Definition of bidarka in English:



  • A canoe covered with animal skins, used by the Inuit of Alaska and adjacent regions.

    • ‘There are several hundred bidarkas [kayaks] and large skin boats.’
    • ‘The hunters were Aleutian Indians, essentially slaves, operating from the ships using their skin canoes or bidarkas.’
    • ‘Crews in rowboats and bidarkas were sent to tow the wreck to port, but the wind came up and it got away from them, drifting over three days to Spruce Island, where it sank.’
    • ‘While many of these resources are still hunted and fished, northern peoples commonly use outboard motors instead of the traditional kayaks and bidarkas, and ATVs instead of dog sleds and toboggans.’
    • ‘There was not a boat on the bay, except the rude tule canoes of the Indians, and these were no match for the swift darting bidarkas of the Alaskan natives.’’
    • ‘The center cockpit of these bidarkas were used to transport traders, explorers, and Russian Orthodox priests.’
    • ‘At Fort Ross bidarkas and waterproof clothing were made from the skins and bladders of Farallone sea lions.’
    • ‘Aleuts hunted the sea otters along the California coastline in their kayaks, or bidarkas, but the Spanish name has stayed with the town every since it was founded in approximately 1875.’
    • ‘It was a Spanish rendering of the Eskimo word kayak and apparently referred to the bidarkas of the Aleuts who were employed in hunting sea otter along the California coast.’
    • ‘Like the Tlingits, the Eyaks preferred wooden dugout canoes to the skin bidarkas of the Chugach Eskimos and the Aleuts.’
    • ‘They were unable to invent any improvement in either of them, although they made a bidarka with two and three seats which they employed in addition to the one - seated kayak.’
    • ‘One day all the Aleuts moved out of the village and paddled their bidarkas back to Port Graham.’
    • ‘She found herself beside the bidarka where she had left it.’
    • ‘With jade-tipped harpoons they stalked and killed 60 ton whales in skincovered kayaks, called bidarkas and umikaks.’
    • ‘One-man and two-man skin boats known as bidarkas, or kayaks, and large, open, skin boats were used.’


Early 19th century: from Russian baĭdarka, diminutive of baĭdara ‘an umiak’.