The Artist

Hello my name is Sean Gallagher, and I am part of the 13th region corporation an Alaskan native. I have had an interest in skin boats as far back as I can remember. I have always felt the need to be close to my culture and learn of the things people before me made and did. When growing up I watched my uncles carving King Island style soap stone figures and I started to learn that my family was a little different than the rest. I was part of the only King Island family in Massachusetts.

The culture in my family was rich; everything I learned was filled with the arts and the ways of the tribe. As I grew I found a place for art through drawing and painting. The ideas my uncles' art instilled in my mind started to appear on the pages of my sketchbooks and through my paintings. Even early on in life I wanted to keep the traditions of the native people alive.

I became interested in skin boats because it was once the life blood of the people in the north. The King Islanders were surrounded with water and it was the only place to get food. The first Kayak I made gave me a sense of identity that I had never found before. It was a sense of pride that came from my soul but had never been let out. This was a great feeling, and it was something I wanted to keep.

My plan is to make Kayaks and also to develop a skill level to feel confident to teach other King Islanders the art of skin boat making and to bring the art to them once more.

There is a place for us all on this planet. The identity of ethnic people is constantly stretched and being diminished. The regaining my culture is important to me. I give thanks to people like David W. Zimmerly for doing the research to preserve this craft and also my teacher Cory Freedman for being passionate with skin boat design. He is a constant wealth of knowledge in skin boat design and the revival of the King Island Kayak in the native community. This revival begins now. Thank-you for your support.

This site is © 2006 Sean Gallagher/Anayak Kayaks. Design by Diana Adams
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