Skip to Content


The sealing museum and the sealing vessel

Sealing was practised in Finland from at least as early as the Neolithic period (3000-1300 BCE). Sealing was traditionally practised along the Ostrobothnian coast and from early on became an important source of income for the peasants of the Kokkola region. Sealing’s importance was derived from the versatility of uses for the prey animal and the value of the products obtained from it. The most signifi cant of these was seal oil, which was an important trade item.

The first traces of sealing on Tankar date from the 1330s. The sealing museum on the island houses a large collection of sealing equipment. Entry to the museum is free.

Long-range sealing was based on travelling on the open sea. The sealing vessel served the hunters as a base and tool in a variety of ways: it was home, it was a sailing vessel, it was dragged across the ice, it was a store as well as a means of transporting the yield of the hunt. During the golden age of sealing the vessels were large, more than ten metres long and more than three metres wide. As the viability of sealing dwindled the size of the vessels decreased and a crew of eight was reduced to four. Typical sealing vessels were being made in the Kvarken region at the start of the 20th century. They had high, steep sterns and low, gently-inclined bows so as to be easy to drag onto the ice. The keel was as wide as the stern so it would not wedge into the ice but press it beneath itself. The sealing vessel on Tankar was built in 1928 at Replot in the Vaasa archipelago.

Sealing museum Tankar

The Sealing Museum Tankar


Tekstisi tulee tähän.

Back to top