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Building a traditional kayak through a virtual class

Published: Jan. 28, 2021 at 7:13 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - From working remotely to setting up virtual classrooms to celebrating milestones over Zoom, coronavirus has altered how we do things.

For Alaska Native artist and teacher Andrew Abyo, the pandemic meant coming up with a unique way of teaching traditional native carving; carving kayaks to be exact.

“My personal view is what better way to keep the traditions alive than by teaching others that want to learn,” says Abyo. “So that’s my passion, I love to teach, especially the kayak, whoever wants to learn, I’m willing to teach.”

Born in Anchorage and raised in Pilot Point, Abyo returned to Anchorage where he perfected the craft that helps teach others about the Alutiiq traditional way of life.

“You have the hunters right, in the kayak, but the hunters were also the warriors that protected the village,” says Abyo. “So the strength of the village was determined by how many kayaks a village had.”

From the woodworking classroom to the Zoom classroom, Abyo inspires anyone and everyone who wants to learn.

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