American Indian language
"Baidara" is an alternate name for baidarka,
the traditional kayaks of the Aleut tribe. Baidara is a Russian word for skin boats, and actually originally referred
to the larger, walrus-hide boats of indigenous Siberian tribes such as the Koryak and Chukchi. When the Russians colonized
Alaska, they brought Siberian words for hide boats along with them. Since Aleut kayaks are smaller and lighter
than Siberian baidaras, the Russian settlers soon took to calling them "baidarkas," merging the Siberian word "baidara"
with the diminutive Russian "-ka" ending. Baidarka is the form of this word most commonly used in Alaska today, although
the name for this kind of boat in the Aleuts' own language is iqyax.
Here are links to our webpages about the Aleut tribe and language:
The Aleut tribe
Aleut language words
Eskimo-Aleut language group
Native people of Alaska
Here are links to more Internet resources about baidaras:
Cultural Change: Bidarki
Here are a few good books about the Aleuts:
Aleut Identities: Tradition and Modernity
Aleut Tales and Narratives
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