Arctic Clothing of North America-Alaska, Canada, Greenland 0773530088, 9780773573284, 0773573283

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Arctic Clothing of North America-Alaska, Canada, Greenland
 0773530088, 9780773573284, 0773573283

Table of contents :
Editorial Note
List of Contributors
Keynote Address: Our Clothing, our Culture, our Identity
Part I: Personal Narratives
Part II: Materials
Part III: Styles and Techniques
Part IV: Change and Responses to Outside Influences
Part V: Clothing and Art
Photographic Acknowledgements
Seams of Time
My Recollections --
Nengqerralria, Yupiaq Elder Elena Charles
How Do We Heal?
Quiet and Reserved Splendor: Central Yup'ik Eskimo Fancy Garments of Kuskokwim Bay, Bering Sea. Caribou and Seal Hair: Examination by Scanning Electron MicroscopyArctic Clothing from Greenland
The Poor Man's Raincoat: Alaskan Fish-skin Garments
Tupigat (Twined Things): Yup'ik Grass Clothing, Past and Present
Birds and Eskimos
Eskimo SewingTechniques in Relation to Contemporary Sewing Techniques --
Seen through a Copy of a Qilakitsoq Costume
Iniqsimajuq: Caribou-skin Preparation in Igloolik, Nunavut
Women's Skin Coats from West Greenland --
with Special Focus on Formal Clothing of Caribou Skin from the Early Nineteenth Century. The Roald Amundsen Collection: The Impact of a Skin Preparation Method on PreservationThe Remarkable Clothing of the Medieval Norse Greenlanders
Dressing up in Greenland: A Discussion of Change and World Fashion in Early-colonial West Greenlandic Dress
Formal Clothing: The Greenlandic National Costume
Clothing as a Visual Representation of Identities in East Greenland
Kayak Clothing in Contemporary Greenlandic Kayak Clubs
Caribou, Reindeer and Rickrack: Some Factors Influencing Cultural Change in Northern Alaska, 1880-1940. Hairnets and Fishnets:The Yup'ik Eskimo Kaapaaq in Historical ContextClothing in Inuit Art
Skin Appliqué and Stencil Prints
Clothing Portraits: Identity and Meaning in Inuit Figure Studies from the Eastern Arctic
Kiana Creations: Iñupiaq Parkas as Wearable Art.

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Arctic Clothing of NorthAmerica Alaska, Canada, Greenland

Edited by J.C.H. King, Birgit Pauksztat and Robert Storrie

McGill-Queen's University Press Montreal & Kingston • Ithaca

© 200 5 The Trustees of The British Museum ISBN 0-7735-3008-8 Legal deposit fourth quarter 2005 Bibliotheque nationale du Quebec Published simultaneously outside North America by The British Museum Press Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication Arctic Clothing / edited by J.C.H. King, Birgit Pauksztat and Robert Storrie. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-7735-3008-8 I. King, J.C.H. 11. Pauksztat, Birgit 111. Storrie, Robert CT1605.A732005



Layout by Andrew Shoolbred Cover design by Harry Green Printed in China by C&C Offset Printing Co., Ltd Cover Illustrations front: Thomas Nutarariaq sitting inside a snow house near lgloolik,1990. © Bryan and Cherry Alexander. Back (top): Replica of the shaman Qingailisaq's parka. Made by Rachel Uyarasuk, lgloolik,c.1989.The British Museum, Ethno1994,Am 6.24. ©The British Museum. Bottom: Contemporary women's boots from Nunavut, made in Arctic Bay,c. 1995 (left).and in Igloolikc. 1985/6 (right).The British Museum, Ethno 1996 Am 3.2ab, Ethno 1986 Am 10.64ab. ©The British Museum. Frontispiece: Siporah Inuksuk sewing a pair of boots. Igloolik, 1986. Photograph by J.C.H. King. ©The British Museum.




Editorial Note


List of Contributors








J. C.H.King Key n ote Ad d ress


Our Clothing, our Culture, our Identity Veronica Dewar

Parti Personal Narratives Seams of Time


Jana Harcharek My Recollections - Nengqerralria.Yuplaq Elder Elena Charles


Elena Charles How Do We Heal?


Dixie MasakDayo Quiet and Reserved Splendor:


Central Yup'ik Eskimo Fancy Garments of Kuskokwim Bay, Bering Sea Chuna Mclntyre

Part II Materials Caribou and Seal Hair:


Examination by Scanning Electron Microscopy Nigel D. Meeks and Caroline R. Cartwright Arctic Clothing from Greenland


Frederikke Petrussen The Poor Man's Raincoat:


Alaskan Fish-skin Garments Fran Reed Tupigat (Twined Things):


Yup'ik Grass Clothing, Past and Present Ann Fienup-Riordan Birds and Eskimos Shepard Krech III


Part III Styles and Techniques Eskimo SewingTechniques in Relation to Contemporary Sewing Techniques Seen through a Copy of a Qilakitsoq Costume Karen Pedersen


Iniqsimajuq: Caribou-skin Preparation in Igloolik, Nunavut LeahAksaajuq Otak


Amautiit Rhoda Akpaliapik Karetak


Women's Skin Coats from West Greenland with Special Focus on Formal Clothing of Caribou Skin from the Early Nineteenth Century AnneBahnson


The Roald Amundsen Collection: The Impact of a Skin Preparation Method on Preservation Torunn Klokkernes andNaliniSharma


The Remarkable Clothing of the Medieval Norse Greenlanders Else 0stergard


Part IV Change and Responses to Outside Influences Dressing up in Greenland: A Discussion of Change and World Fashion in Early-colonial West Greenlandic Dress S0ren T. Thuesen


Formal Clothing: The Greenlandic National Costume Certrud Kleinschmidt


Clothing as a Visual Representation of Identities in East Greenland


Cunera Buijs Kayak Clothing in Contemporary Greenlandic Kayak Clubs


Birgit Pauksztat Caribou, Reindeer and Rickrack: Some Factors Influencing Cultural Change in Northern Alaska, 1880-1940 Cyd Martin


Hairnets and Fishnets:The Yup'ik Eskimo Kaapaaq in Historical Context


Molly Lee

PartV Clothing and Art Clothing in Inuit Art


Nelson Craburn Skin Applique and Stencil Prints


James Houston Clothing Portraits:


Identity and Meaning in Inuit Figure Studies from the Eastern Arctic J.C.H.King Kiana Creations:


Ifiupiaq Parkas asWearableArt Clenna C. Kiana Maulding References Index

153 158

Photographic Acknowledgements


Preface:Old Boots


The genesis of my interest in Arctic clothing lies in a first visit to the Canadian Arctic in the spring of 1986.1 decided, following the advice of writer and film-maker Hugh Brody, to make a visit to Igloolik, Nunavut, in preparation for the 1987-8 exhibition Living Arctic at the Museum of Mankind (King 1989). Part of the interest in visiting that particularly Inuit community was that it was in and around Igloolik that Captain (later Sir) Edward Parry had overwintered during the early 18205. He and his second in command, George Lyon, established friendly relations with the Iglulingmiut - or perhaps it was the other way round. They brought back to England copious information about Inuit life and culture. The Europeans had borrowed much Inuit technical expertise such as snow goggles to prevent snow blindness, and made small collections. Two of these are now housed in the British Museum. Included in one collection is an amauti and a pair of Inuit woman's stockings, among the earliest surviving haired clothing from the North American Arctic. The use of caribou and sealskin clothing, including particularly outer parkas and waterproof sealskin boots, was still widespread during the 19805, and remains important today. The people of Igloolik had been brought in from the land in the 19605 by the government, and settled in imported prefabricated houses so that they could receive English and French language education, medical assistance and other benefits. Hunting, then as now, remained the foundation of Inuit life, and most men preferred waterproof sealskin boots when out hunting. These remain, because of the technical excellence of the concealed, gathered stitches at the toe and heel, the most remarkable articles of Arctic clothing. Part of the purpose of my visit in 1986 was to make a sufficient collection of contemporary material culture for exhibit alongside the historic collection in London. After meeting with the hamlet council, Eugene Ipkarnak and the late Helen Oolalak were suggested as assistants. Eugene was chair of the Hunters and Trappers Association. He spoke on community radio and, explaining my purpose in the community, asked for people to call in to the radio station or to telephone Helen to discuss the sale of old clothing. Eugene, later to play the chief Sauri in Atanarjuat - The Fast Runner (2001), the movie which won the Camera d'Or prize at Cannes, spent much of the time laughing. Helen translated and acted as a consultant, and escorted me around the village to buy old pairs of men's waterproof kamiks (boots) and clothes. After a couple of days she asked me 'Why do you want smelly old kamiks?' The answer was that hunters were reluctant to sell new boots still needed for hunting. To be effective in the cold and


ice they had to be maintained to perfection, with appropriate repairs if and as necessary. Hunters cannot risk using boots that are damaged. The use of a boot with a tear or stitch piercing the surface of the skin would compromise the safety of the hunter-husband or son of the maker. No one could risk the leakage of heat from their feet, or dampness and frostbite, all of which could be fatal, not just to the hunter but eventually to his family waiting at home for food. So, in the front porches of hunter's houses old boots would be stored. These would be rolled up and semi-frozen. They might be about to be discarded because they were nearing the ends of their lives, reaching the point where they could no longer be safely worn and so suitable for disposal to a museum. Examples of these old boots were used in the subsequent exhibition Living Arctic (1987-8), and in the accompanying educational programme. During the 19905 further smaller collections of Arctic clothing were made in Alaska and Labrador, including, occasionally, boots. Later, as part of the programme associated with the development of the North American Gallery at the British Museum (opened 1999), a series of scholarly conferences were arranged. This volume about Arctic clothing arises from these two developments and is of similar form to the proceedings of an earlier conference on Arctic photography (King and Lidchi 1998). The conferences (and their resulting books) bring together an extremely diverse range of speakers with heterogeneous backgrounds. On each occasion, presentations by Native and non-academic speakers were included alongside papers by academic participants, including anthropologists, curators and historians. This juxtaposition is replicated in the organization of the book, and the papers themselves are lightly edited to ensure they remain true to the intention of the speakers. Many people assisted me in this and subsequent projects. Helen Oolalak, Eugene Ipkarnak, John MacDonald, George Qulaut, Leah Otak (all from the Nunavut Research Institute), and above all Rachel Uyarasuk helped me understand the little I know of Arctic clothing. The Inullariit Society of Igloolik and the Nunavut Research Institute supported me over the years, providing scholarly and logistical support of my work at the British Museum. In this I was continually encouraged by Malcolm McLeod and John Mack, successive Keepers of the Department of Ethnography at the Museum of Mankind. The Thaw Charitable Trust, Santa Fe, supported the Arctic Clothing Conference in 2001, and again most generously made this publication possible. I am most grateful to all these organizations and people, and to Birgit Pauksztat for arranging the conference and, with Robert Storrie, for editing this volume.

Editorial Note By and large the ethnic nomenclature of each author has been retained. Historically, the term Eskimo has been used in reference to the Alutiit, Yupiit and Inupiat in Alaska, the Siberian Yuit in Alaska and Siberia, the Canadian Inuit, and the Greenlanders. While it retains its usefulness as a collective term, especially in Canada the term Eskimo has been largely replaced by the term Inuit, meaning 'people'. In Alaska, by contrast, Eskimo is widely used, together with the term Alaska Native, which includes Indian people. Further difficulties may arise

from the use of singular, plural and adjectival forms. The most frequently used singular and adjectival forms are Alutiiq, Yup'ik, Inupiaq, and Inuk, with the plural forms Alutiit, Yupiit, Inupiat and Inuit, respectively. In general, common terms such as ulu (woman's knife) and kamik (boot) have been anglicized. Dialect differences have been retained throughout. The most widely accepted and up-to-date place names are used wherever possible. Historic names in quotations are retained with the modern names placed in brackets.

List of Contributors Anne Bahnson

Nelson Graburn


Leah Aksaajuq Otak

Cunera Buijs

Jana Harcharek

Molly Lee

Birgit Pauksztat

Caroline R. Cartwright

James Houston

Cyd Martin

Karen Pedersen

Elena Charles

Rhoda Akpaliapik Karetak

Glenna C. Kiana Maulding

Frederikke Petrussen

Dixie Masak Dayo

J.C.H. King

Chuna Mclntyre

Fran Reed

Veronica Dewar

Gertrud Kleinschmidt

Nigel D. Meeks

Nalini Sharma

Ann Fienup-Riordan

Torunn Klokkernes

Else 0stergard

S0ren T. Thuesen

Acknowledgements This volume would not have been possible without the help of very many people, to whom we are most grateful. From the start John Mack, Brian Durrans and Henrietta Lidchi enthusiastically encouraged the project from within the former Department of Ethnography at the British Museum, now the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas. Sheila Mackie and the library staff in what is now the Centre for Anthropology provided assistance with a variety of archive and library tasks. Sue Vacarey meticulously transcribed the conference presentations and discussions, some of which form the basis of papers included in this volume. Michael Row and David Agar organized the project photography efficiently and well. James Farrant kindly contributed most of the excellent drawings, while David Williams designed the map. Phillip Taylor and then Ian Taylor efficiently assisted with everything to do with Departmental collections.

Many people generously helped with suggestions, terminology, translations, and references. In particular, we would like to thank Erika Nielsen Baadh, Anna Berge, Cunera Buijs, Christine Cuyler, Aviak' Kristoffersen Dahl, Louis-Jacques Dorais, Ann Fienup-Riordan, Gary Holton, Jobie Inooya, Betty Issenman, Steven A. and Anna Jacobson, Gertrud Kleinschmidt, Anna Kuko-Kuitse, Heather Lane, Flemming Ravn Merkel, Carl Chr. Olsen, Mariane Petersen, Frederikke Petrussen, William O. Pruitt, Jr, R.R. Riewe, Jannie Roed, and Peter Whiteley. Special recognition should go to John MacDonald and Leah Aksaajuq Otak of the Igloolik Research Centre of the Nunavut Research Institute for their enthusiastic support. Over the four year period of the book's gestation they have answered numerous questions quickly, interestingly and reliably, providing invaluable assistance at every stage of this project. 9



Introduction J.CH.King

Arctic clothing is in many ways the supreme achievement of Eskimoan peoples. .All those of the American North - the Canadian Inuit, the Greenlanders, and the Inupiaq, Aleut, Alutiiq and Yup'ik peoples of Alaska - depend on effective garments in temperatures which may remain below freezing for up to nine months of the year. The invention of tailoring, the understanding of the movement of warm air, of insulation, and of the venting of moist air, are all part of a technical complex without parallel. One aspect of loose-fitting clothing is the ability to regulate heat and sweat, by releasing and dissipating moist warm air by lifting and shaking the parka, and to vent air by throwing off the hood. In this way the build-up of sweat is reduced. The insulation provided by the clothing is also vital. Warm air is trapped between the inner parka and the body, and between the two parkas. When a man is, for instance, hunting at a breathing hole he may easily remove his arms from the sleeves and wrap them around the body, further conserving heat. Similarly, the use of kamiks ensures sweat-free feet, and when hunting may avoid the problem of the freezing of moisture inside the boots. The aesthetics and symbolism of Arctic clothing constitute a system of visual communication between people, as everywhere, but also between people and the beings of the nonhuman world, most importantly between humans and animals. Maintenance of respect for animals is essential so that, for instance, clothing made from that land animal - the caribou traditionally maybe made only on the land. The use of parts of skins, such as the ears on children's hoods, and white caribou belly fur over the human chest and heart, shows a sympathetic understanding of the animal. Further clothing reflects a value system which underlies society, and communicates local and distant identities. In the Arctic the high quality of a hunter's clothing will help him hunt effectively, and the fineness of the stitching will express the achievements of the seamstress, whether or not the available skins are of a quality which matches that of the stitches. This introduction begins with a brief account of the history of North American and European publications about Arctic clothing. It then looks at ways in which the study of Arctic skin clothing is different from studies of other clothing, other skin clothing traditions, and from textile traditions. This is important in the understanding of differences between the Arctic hunting world view and that of the agricultural and urban South. These ideas underlie non-Arctic attitudes towards the contemporary study of skin, and of the idea of art in Arctic clothing. Among the points which make Arctic clothing important are ideas of the spirit, and of the senses, of food and nudity, of the appreciation of Inuit by strangers, and of Inuit self-worth. Inuit ideas of 12

tradition and fashion help explain the importance of identity. Finally, the last section provides an overview of the contributions to this volume, most of which were first presented at the conference Arctic Clothing of North America -Alaska, Canada, Greenland, held by the Department of Ethnography (now the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas), the British Museum, in 2001. Sound, Feel, Taste and Smell

Other aspects of clothing which are mentioned frequently, in a token manner, in essay collections are sound, feel, taste and smell. It is worth again considering these, however briefly, in terms of Arctic clothing. Sound might at first seem unimportant in most aspects of Arctic clothing, even when clothing is densely decorated with amulets; teeth and beads hardly make any noise, except perhaps in dancing. Harcharek (this volume) mentions the sound of clicking needles, which perhaps says something about noise levels particularly in comparison to the English expression hearing the 'sound of a needle drop'. But of course the silence of clothing maybe equally expressive, and indeed is vital in a hunting culture. The use of soft-sole kamiks can be contrasted with bench-made shoes, with the heavy use of nails, and metal toe and heal tips which convey a sharp sound, and so power and authority when used, for instance, on a military parade ground. Kamiks speak of respect for the context and surrounding, rather than an individual's power and authority. Nylon and velcro are noisy materials. Feel is important because of the different textures of skin and fur, the latter of course which maybe trimmed, particularly when caribou skin is used to line a parka. Using skin rather than textiles, even when the latter are heavily embroidered, provides a much wider range of tactile sensations. One type of question that may be asked about feel relates to the response of infants to the textures of different skins and hair when in the amauti: the infant first develops sense of touch and taste with the mother, and then from the caribou or sealskin pouch in which he or she is carried. This could be compared to the response of Western infants, or Inuit infants raised in a non-traditional manner, to textile surfaces - diapers and towelling and paper nappies. Smell is all-important, for the association with comfort and warmth that comes from the many months, even years, spent in the amauti. To those not familiar with it, caribou fur may produce an overwhelming choking sensation, in part due to the fugitive, brittle nature of the hair. Sealskin, which to a Westerner has a very pungent, sharp smell, also becomes an essential familiar comfort to Inuit infants. The use of skin as an oral comforter may also prepare individuals, and particularly


women, for the everyday business not simply of preparing skin, but for softening all skin artefacts with their teeth, including clothing and dog and harpoon lines, before use each morning. Unfortunately, it should not be assumed that the traditional use of skin clothing continues to any great extent. For instance, in Canada today most young Inuit mothers use cloth amautis to carry their infants. The Notion of Skin

Traditionally Arctic clothing was only made of skin. This is the concept, as well as the material, which underlies Arctic clothing and which leads to an understanding of its general significance. In the Inuktitut language of Igloolik, of the Iglulingmiut of the eastern Arctic, the word for human skin is uvinik. As an adjective uviniktujuq is associated with adults looking healthy, while uvinnaktuq refers to fat little babies (MacDonald, personal communication, 2004; Aqqiaruk 1992). This meaning is fundamentally different to many Western understandings of skin, not merely to the speakers of contemporary English, but also to those from earlier languages. In English, skin often has negative associations, as in the phrase 'skin and bones' and the adjective 'skinny7, meaning underfed and unhealthy, or 'skin deep' meaning shallow, and 'thick skinned' for insensitive. The word skin derives from Scandinavian languages, which in turn come from the Old High German. The Oxford definition of skin is 'the integument of an animal stripped from the body, and usually dressed or tanned' (Murray et a/., 1919:143-4) • But in the Old High German the original meaning is associated with the skin of fruit. This stresses how etymologically speaking our dominant world view is one in which vegetable species are used for food, and where crops have a vital role in the construction of world view. This can be emphasized by looking at the way early philosophers regarded skin in the Mediterranean world. Aristotle's explanation for the origins of skin was not positive. He said that skin was formed 'by the drying of the flesh, like the scum on boiled substances' which then hardened. This view was similar to that expressed by the Syrian philosopher Job al-Abrash 1,500 years later. He suggested that skin formed on the flesh like the skin which formed on boiled wheat when it cooled. Additionally, skin in the classical Mediterranean world is often associated with flayed skins worn by heros. These include Athena/Minerva, and the skin of the giant Pallas, Herakles/ Hercules and Dionysius/Bacchus and lion-skin (Connor 2004:10-26). Mythic human and lion skins were worn to achieve power, a very different conception to the recognition of the benefits of wearing skin among Arctic peoples. Arctic skin is associated with the respect that needs to be shown to a hunted species before members of that species will allow themselves to be killed. Skin in Europe then, etymologically speaking, is not always loved. More problematic than skin is fur, something which means 'case' or 'encase', from the French (forrer) and in English to line' or 'envelop'. In one sense it refers specifically to the soft wool under hairs from skins belonging to animals such as beaver (Murray 1901). More recently, Emberley's Venus and Furs has captured the cultural politics of furs, particularly issues to do with fashion, class and contemporary politics rather than comparative etymology and ideas of hunting, and indeed of skin in other cultures, a subject yet to be studied (Emberley 1998).

Inuit clothing can be read, and often is read, as endowed with symbolic and spiritual value. In contemporary Western thought technical achievements have symbolic value, but lack a spiritual unity with the source material. Indeed, for Westerners it could be said that the more efficient a technology, the less it may be endowed with spiritual value. So the idea that computers or rockets or synthetic clothing should have spiritual value is deemed absurd. In contrast, Eskimoan thought is predicated on the idea that everything has a spirit, inua oryua, and those animals are non-human persons. The separation of nature from culture, work or leisure, or wilderness from domesticated landscapes does not exist in Native thought because there is only one world. This is shared by all beings, human, animal and inanimate. The conceptual unity of ideas of a spirit, and of technical practicality, can be shown by two simple examples. In a case in the North American Gallery at the British Museum is a large-bladed snow shovel for use in the eastern Arctic when piling snow against snow houses. Made of a whale scapula, now very cracked, it is laid down on the floor of the case for conservation reasons. It was explained, however, by the late James Houston, that this was culturally incorrect, that is disrespectful to the object. When covered with snow the shovel would consequently move around and so not make itself available to Inuit for use. Of course, this idea has the effect of providing positive reinforcing advice for ensuring that a useful tool would never get lost. A similar but entirely different example comes from Alaska, in the explanation of a recent decline in the goose population. For environmentally aware Alaskans this problem arose because of over-hunting, not only in Alaska, but also in California and Texas, by sports hunters. While Yup'ik commentators were aware of the problem and its source, their traditional understandings provided a different explanation. It was said that the geese were not making themselves available to be hunted because they were not being treated with respect within the correct context of proper social relations between beings, human and non-human (Fienup-Riordan 2000:18-19). Although Arctic clothing is important from a spiritual point of view, it also has an extra material dimension: it may act as an insubstantial food source, in extremis, providing food for dogs and people. Clothing is therefore a potential lifeline in a way which textiles can never be. Modesty

In most of the world costume and clothing very much relates to modesty and immodesty, and to concealment and exposure between generations and genders. Associated with this are ideas of nudity and of body decoration and adornment, including tattoos, amulets and jewellery, which may often be considered part of costume. Questions that can be asked may relate to an apparently surprising degree of nudity in, for instance, snow houses, which may rise in temperature only to around freezing point. Or is this simply an aspect of biased reporting by early travellers intent on recording the exotic; or could nudity have been an aspect of practicality - the necessity of removing damp clothing for drying and of drying the body? Thalbitzer deals with the question for the early twentieth-century Ammassalik very neatly. He says that it was quite normal for children to play outside naked, and in the home for adults to remove all clothing except short breeches. It was, 13


Figure 1 (Above)'The three young Danish princesses Margrethe.Anne-Marie and Benedikte wearing Greenland national dress', presented to their parents on their behalf during their visit to Greenland, 1952. (Right)Girl's national costume made in North Greenland in c. 1934 for Ingrid Fulda, daughter of P. Rosendahl, Inspector for North Greenland (1924-39), and presented to the British Museum by her granddaughter Rosi Fulda.

however, considered indecent for a woman to appear outside in this manner. Thalbitzer wanted to photograph the wife of an apprentice shaman, Maneekuttaq, without her parka, and asked him for permission to do so. His response was to say that 'only the wives of the baptized behaved in that way5, a confirmation that the unfamiliar other is stereotyped with negative qualities in both directions (Thalbitzer 1914: 565-6). His volume illustrates, nevertheless, numerous images of people, outside and naked except for briefs. Technological Superiority in Colonial Encounters

The technology of skin clothing is one of a large number of subjects that form part of a body of superlative traditional ecological knowledge, an important, yet flawed, term discussed by Julie Cruikshank (2004: 24-5). This knowledge concerns the environment, including seasons, winds, stars, animal behaviour 14

movements and biology, and innumerable other factors. Whereas among Indian people in North America much of this practical knowledge is lost, for instance on the Plains with the disappearance of the bison and bison hunt, much of this hunting knowledge survives in the Arctic today. This is particularly so in contemporary settled communities where well-educated (in both the Western and Inuit senses) salaried workers can hunt in camps used at weekends and during holidays. Furthermore, this ecological and technological knowledge was keenly appreciated by Westerners from the time of first contact. This we may assume mitigated the loss of self-esteem and a feeling of powerlessness encountered by Indians for instance with the disappearance of staple game animals, or for the Inuit with the arrival of new technologies such as iron tools and sailing vessels. An appreciation of Arctic knowledge systems impinges on the general paradigm of non-Native discussions about imported


clothing styles and materials as a marker of colonial success. This is reasonably expressed, for instance, by Phillips for Northeastern North American peoples and for the beadwork which Iroquois 'identified with the very core of Iroquois aesthetic and cultural traditions' (Phillips 1998: 262). Simply put, the wearing of Western manufactured clothes may indicate to the non-Native the success of the colonial or globalizing projects. Then, at the next stage, Native value systems may, it is proposed by anthropologists, become internalized in the literature as a form of resistance to colonialism. This has been the case in the Pacific, for instance, where the process can be summarized briefly as follows. European clothing was introduced in the nineteenth century, to avoid unacceptable native nudity. This had the result that, visually speaking, it seemed to Europeans that Melanesians and Polynesians were adopting Christian civilization. But for the new users it also seems to have encouraged innovation, self-expression and resistance to European ideas: 'Clothing was one of the key visual markers of the advent of colonialism in the Pacific, and was seen by Europeans as one of the signs of the acceptance of civilization by islanders' (Kuechler 2003: ix). Most interestingly, in both the Arctic and Pacific the term 'Mother Hubbard' was used for a voluminous cotton pinafore or house-gown used in part during pregnancy. The Inupiat of northwest Alaska use this dress type as a wedding dress so that, as in the Pacific, the meaning of this form is changed, internalized and developed (Martin 2003). This suggests underlying similarities in the colonial experience in diverse parts of the world, and yet diverging results of that experience: in Alaska the importance of skin clothing remains. This practice of separating use and meaning still today confuses casual observers: American jeans, trainers and T shirts are used ubiquitously by Islamicist activists, who are nevertheless firmly committed to Muslim precepts. Similarly, comparison between the use of wild skin and domesticated skin clothing and textile clothing, in terms of ethnicity and semiotics, is seldom made. While the literature on costume, clothing, textiles and fashion is growing rapidly, little of this relates to the use of skin and leather. Even less relates to the use of wild animal products in clothing. Little is ever said, for instance, about the use of wild skins as clothing in Africa in terms of ethnicity or personal identity. African textiles, as so often elsewhere, assume symbolic properties, while losing any conceptual connection with the source material. So in Benin red cloth is worn by chiefs: the colour, as so often elsewhere, is associated with power, war and fire, and therefore in Benin is considered protective. A scalloped version of the cloth represents the scales of the pangolin producing a skirt known as 'pangolin skin', resembling the protective scales of the pangolin (anteater), when actual scales are used as amuletic protection against magic (Picton and Mack 1989:13). In Benin, in contrast to the Arctic, division between meaning and material is complete. As mentioned, in the Arctic the acceptance of skin clothing was part of a general acceptance by non-Arctic people of the exceptional accomplishments of Inuit and other Arctic peoples. Explorers emphasized achievements including the construction of kayaks, the importance of snow goggles, and the use of Arctic clothing. Traditional-style kayaks are seldom employed today by Natives in the North outside Greenland, yet kayaking is an

important international sport. From the beginning explorers also appreciated clothing. In Alaska Captain Cook, for instance, noted in the eighteenth century how gut parkas were better than any waterproof clothing in Europe. In the Arctic Europeans were not only confronted by the technical inadequacy of their clothing and methods of winter transportation, but in refusing to adopt Inuit ways also brought about disaster from time to time, as during the Franklin expedition of the 18405. Similarly, while much of the technology of Europeans and North Americans may have seemed miraculous to Native people, Inuit technical superiority in the things of everyday life remained, in what was and in some ways still is a colonial situation. In a sense, then, an Arctic sense of self-worth survived in a way that was distinct from and of a different order to that of other indigenous American peoples. While, for instance, Algonquianspeaking people in Massachusetts taught Europeans how to grow maize in the seventeenth century, this was knowledge simply transferred, perhaps historically recorded as occurring on a single occasion. In terms of clothing, the adoption of expressions such as 'anorak' - 'clothing' in Inuktitut - indicates the technical success of Arctic clothing. Another indication of success is the transfer and survival of the Inuit-derived tradition of sealskin preparation, and offcamifc-making,in southeast Labrador, to and by settlers or Metis of mixed European and Inuit descent. Two other Western presumptions should finally be mentioned in respect of clothing. The first relates to the idea of fashion, and particularly of fashion after European contact. With Europeans came metal tools, but also textiles of wool and cotton, and glass beads, so that noticeably changing fashions quickly emerged. With cloth, of course, practical qualities such as easy availability though difficult maintenance may, we assume, have been of more concern to the consumer than selection of colour and appearance. The copious use of beads, in variety and profusion, would have allowed choice, and to that extent fashion. In the fur trade, for Indian North America, fashion in bead styles was highly variable, and imposed great demands on traders. Some would argue that there could not be fashion before Western contact because things did not change. But this was not so; people married out, people traded widely, and we may assume that the individual preferences and motivations of pre-contact seamstress and clothing consumers no doubt subtly influenced style on a day-to-day basis. Susan Rowley lists twenty-seven historical migrations in the Canadian Arctic c. 1750-1930, and the causes of these, such as friction between leaders, would have ensured at least a degree of similar movements before European contact (Rowley 1985). Further, fashion would have been influenced by preference and availability, and by the ability to obtain favourite animals for their skins. With fluctuation of caribou populations, and so availability of skins, alternative skins from birds, polar bears and so on would be brought into use as required. While only a few archaeological sites have yielded skin clothing, it is clear that clothing styles developed and changed as evidenced by the differences in the cut of the fifteenth-century Qilakitsoq and later Greenlandic clothing seen in early paintings and other representations. Tailored clothing, on the evidence of tools from Old Bering Sea and Dorset periods, can to a limited extent be studied from miniature carvings of clothed humans, as has been suggested by Issenman (1997:11-13). Questions of fashion are 15


intimately connected with ideas of tradition, usually thought of as a vexing, problematic term, but actually of great use as a relativistic concept. If'tradition' and 'fashion' are considered as structural partners, a dialectic of opposing ideas of non-change and change, then the pernicious sense in which 'tradition' means unchanging disappears. So tradition, like other Western ideas such as 'the natural world' and Svork ethic', is essential as an idea for description and discourse. But just as for Arctic people there was no natural world, the entire world was one, so also there was no idea of work, and for clothing, creation and maintenance were part of a holistic interconnected lifestyle, apparently without objectification. In the West one term in particular signifies the objectification of clothing: the word 'costume' from the eighteenth-century French. From the beginning it was a means of othering clothing as indicated in an early use, from the Edinburgh Review of 1802: 'There is always a certain pleasure in contemplating the costume of a distant nation' (Murray 1893:1037). In this account 'costume' is used only in this very specific sense, as a means of objectifying articles of everyday use. Art

Clothing is perhaps the foremost aesthetic system, and the most important visual system of communication in the Arctic. However, few of the recent writers mentioned here use the idea of art. Correspondingly, the anthropologist Nelson Graburn (this volume) treats the Western category of art - sculpture and twodimension graphic art - both as something imposed from outside and as existing within the Inuit world. Here and elsewhere he provides a term for art, pinguak, little imitation things', for instance, without seeking to extend the panglossian term 'art' to include skin clothing (Graburn 1987:48). Other Inuit words also came to be used for art during the twentieth century. Other, particularly Canadian, writers also exclude clothing from art, except notably Bernadette Driscoll. She examined historic collections of clothing for the Winnipeg Art Gallery exhibition The Inuit Amautik, and then explored historic collections to present a cross-section of Canada Inuit clothing in the 1988 exhibition Spirit Sings: Artistic Traditions of Canada's First Peoples (Driscoll 1980,1987,1988). For Greenland, on the other hand, Bodil Kaalund had already included dress in her book The Art of Greenland (1983:122-51), though designating it as a craft. Indeed, clothing is often excluded from Canadian studies of Inuit art (LerouxetaL, 1994, Hesseli998). Reasons for the exclusion of Arctic clothing from ideas of art are suggested by readings from Appiah and Cell. Appiah suggests that any definitions of art are now a provocation, that new definitions of art are designed both to challenge earlier meanings and to push art beyond conventional boundaries of definition. What people seek to say is: 'Here, I have made (or found) this thing that does not meet your definition and I dare you to say that it is not art ' Further, Appiah suggests that what matters about new categories of object is that we should be invited by curators and art historians to treat these objects as art, of aesthetic interest, and that we do not need to look at them only as their makers saw them (Appiah 1997). Cell dismisses art for anthropologists even more simply by saying that anthropologists seek to dissolve or unpack art in the same way that they take apart religion or economics with the aim of further comprehending the phenomena (Cell 1992:52). Art, a slippery concept 16

at the best of times, provides no simple structure with which to describe clothing and using art to express an emotional and even ecstatic appreciation of objects may obscure contextual meaning while proving emotionally satisfying. Part of the reason that no art historian dares to provoke by suggesting that skin clothing is art lies in the basic European understanding of skin and of clothing. To exhibit clothing with its hair still on is to defy the agricultural and textile world we live in, and to acknowledge the artless beauty of nature. This appreciation of nature would seem to deny that art is created, rather than found. Further, it denies that textiles, the supposed opposite of skin, are the core activity of'civilized' existence at the centre of trade, wealth and the industrializing world. This is an attitude that comes from the world view of Western non-hunting societies. When ideas of art were introduced to the world outside the West in the early twentieth century, clothing was largely excluded (Boas 1927). Following on from this came exhibitions; it was in galleries rather than museums that exhibitions of Native North American art were curated by art historians. Famously Frederick Douglas with Rene d'Harnoncourt, at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, mounted Indian Art of the United States (Douglas and d'Harnoncourt 1961 [1941]). Arctic skin clothing in this and subsequent shows was a marginal subject for inclusion: an Aleut gut parka was included, but no other articles of Arctic clothing; all that was said in the catalogue was that 'the Eskimo... make their clothing of furs and skins', and that 'they devised well-tailored fur clothing and garments of waterproof membrane' (ibid.: 169-70). However, Yup'ik masks were included in the 1941 exhibition and also in Norman Feder's Two Hundred Years of North American Indian Art (1971) which excludes Arctic clothing entirely, but features Plains Indian skin costume. Ralph T. Coe included a single gut parka in Sacred Circles (1976:121). Similarly, Feest prefers the category textiles to clothing and includes only belts with skin embroidery from Greenland rather than anything broader such as fur clothing (Feest 1980:148-9). Waterproof gut parkas were perhaps sufficiently exotic to be considered as art, and to this subtype of garment were gradually added other often marginal items, such as beaded inner parkas, decorated or extraordinary enough to be included in this portmanteau category. The first art historian to introduce a more general perspective was perhaps Evan Maurer, who brought a broader view to a survey art exhibition with caribou, bird and squirrel outer parkas (Maurer 1977:342-4). European Appreciation of Arctic Clothing

Three sources provided the first images of Arctic clothing. First are those Inuit depicted after having been brought, forcibly or otherwise, to Europe, from the sixteenth century onwards. Next are the travel accounts, to which the visits may be closely related, and finally there are images of clothing in museums. The earliest European depictions are of a Labrador Inuit mother and child. They arrived in the Low Countries in 1566, and their public appearances were advertised in an illustrated broadside published in several continental cities the next year. Even more influential were the images of three Inuit brought to England by Martin Frobisher during the 15708. The fullest detail of clothing is seen in the drawings created by the miniaturist John White of a man Kalicho, and woman Arnaq and child Nutaaq (Sturtevant and Quinn 1987: 61-73). In the seventeenth century generalized images of clothing appear in accounts and catalogues of cabinets


of curiosity, for instance, that of Olaus Worm in 1655 (Bahnson, this volume), with further paintings of Inuit in Europe and engravings from travel accounts. In the eighteenth century missionary and colonization activities brought further Inuit to Europe, with occasionally illustrated accounts of Greenland (Egede 1745, Cranz 1767). Among the fullest recordings of clothing from the end of the eighteenth century are Nathaniel Dance's portraits of the Labrador Inuit Attuiock and Caubvick in Britain, 1773 (Driscoll 1988). At the same time the scientific recording of natural history, of newly encountered peoples and of topography provided a wealth of new information, as for instance in the Alaskan costume depicted by John Webber, the Swiss artist on Cook's Third Voyage in 1778-9 (Joppien and Smith 1988). The equivalent Russian and Spanish expeditions provided both published and unpublished illustrative sources

Figure 2 (top) Melanie Ipkarnak, Igloolik, 1986, unpacking a set of dolls (inukjuaq) which she made for the British Museum.TheseThule-style dolls, here clothed in cotton, provided the traditional conduit for education in clothing design and sewing.

Figure 3 (above) Measuring by hand. Patterns and people are traditionally measured by hand spans. Rachel Uyarasuk, Igloolik, 1990s, demonstrating over a transparent film used to draw a pattern on a caribou skin.

for clothing (for instance Choris 1822, Palau de Iglesias 1980). The late eighteenth-and nineteenth-century surveys of different peoples, and of different costumes, provide a wealth of copied popularized images of exotic peoples. Some included accurate depictions of what seem to be museum displays, including Native Alaskans in Russia (Pauly 1862). The heroic period of Arctic exploration through the nineteenth century, searching for the Northwest Passage, and later the North Pole, may be said to have begun with John Ross's voyage of 1818. The resulting publication is notable because it included a widely disseminated image by an Inuk, in this case an engraving after John Sackheouse, the Greenlander who accompanied the expedition as interpreter (Gad 1984: 567). Edward Parry in the next decade first acquired a substantial body of Inuit drawings on paper, including drawings of clothing (Carpenter 1997; King, this volume). While later voyages often included representations of Inuit, and clothing, plates often emphasized the heroics of exploration rather than the scientific and other results of the voyages. From the middle of the nineteenth century, with the invention of photography, images of clothing became increasingly available (King and Lidchi 1998). These were occasionally copied for wide dissemination in the new genre of illustrated magazines, for instance the Illustrated London News, published from the 18405. This was also the earliest period from which significant amounts of Arctic clothing survive in museum collections, particularly from Russian America, for instance in Helsinki (Varjola 1990). The catalogue of the collection, including clothing, made during the search for John Franklin during the 18505, was the subject of an early British Museum catalogue relating solely to the Arctic (Snow 1858). Detailed collection, publication and study of Arctic clothing in the nineteenth century is largely association with museums in two cities, Washington DC and Copenhagen. The Smithsonian Institution's systematic collection of Arctic ethnography began in the 18505 in what is now Canada (Loring 2001); by the end of the nineteenth century four major reports had been published of research and collecting expeditions in Alaska and Canada. Boas provided an early treatment of clothing in Baffinland, later extended (Boas 1901-7). Lucien Turner's account of Arctic Quebec, from 1882 to 1883, provided a more comprehensive series of images of Inuit clothing, with useful descriptions of clothing types (Turner 2001 [1894]: 208-22). From Alaska came two reports in the 18905, concerning expeditions from the previous decades, by Edward Nelson and John Murdoch. Notable is the description of Inupiaq clothing collected in 1881-3 at Point Barrow (Murdoch 1892:109-28; Loring 2001). Descriptions of clothing types are accompanied byline drawings of tailoring designs and photo-mechanical reproductions of photographs of clothing and field images. From Danish Greenland came a series of publications from c. 1860 with lithographed images created by Inuit artists (Kaalund 1979). Nineteenth-century scholarship, information and collecting resulted in detailed accounts of clothing, although these overviews were mostly published in the twentieth century. So, for instance, for East Greenland there are works by Gustav Holm (1914: 29-35) and William Thalbitzer (1914: 561-92) which include descriptive illustrated sections about clothing. Danish publications with details of Greenland clothing remained important through the twentieth century, 17


Figure 4 Changing techniques. Flora Nanuk, Hooper Bay.Alaska, 1992, modelling one of her bearded seal-gut parkas, sewn with grass, from the 1980s. Many traditional aspects of skin clothing, such as regular creation and use of gut parkas, have already disappeared. Other elements, such as the patterns for kamiks, mukluks and amauti flourish.

such as Birket-Srnith's detailed account of skin and clothing in West Greenland (Birket-Smith 1924: 81-100,167-208). The origins, typology and structural distribution of skin clothing was first dealt with cross-culturally by Gudmund Hatt in Arctic Skin Clothing in Eurasia and America, first published in 1914 (Hatt 1969). Although Hatt remains influential, this work has never been critically re-examined. In the 19205 the Fifth Thule Expedition yielded large collections for the Danish National Museum. Therkel Mathiassen, for instance, provided a detailed catalogue of Iglulingmiut clothing. Artefacts were listed with field and museum photographs, as well as diagrams of tailoring (Mathiassen 1928:159-95). Kaj Birket-Smith published a similar report for the Caribou Inuit (Birket-Smith 1929:199-230). Christian Leden, describing his travels of 1913-16, published in 1927 an early excellent account of'Eskimo Clothing and Hygiene', emphasizing the airiness and cleanliness of Inuit practice (Leden 1990: 269-71). Canadian publications with details of Canadian Inuit clothing, similar to those from Denmark about Greenland, also began in the early twentieth century. Clothing from Labrador, though not yet part of Canada, is dealt with by E. W. Hawkes, whose early survey includes pattern diagrams (1916: 38-57). At the same time the Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913-16 yielded information which resulted in important reports. The account of clothing in Diamond Jenness's Material Culture of the Copper Eskimo (1946:11-54), describing a collection obtained thirty years earlier, is significant for a number of reasons. Not only is it very detailed and well illustrated, but some of the illustrations are, unusually, in colour; by placing clothing at the front of the book Jenness implies that clothing is technically more important than, for instance, tools and equipment. He describes in detail 18

variations in design and usage from personal observation. Between the 19405 and 19705 relatively few substantial publications appeared that directly related to clothing. Much was written about social and economic change, and about Arctic archaeology. Of course there were exceptions. General ethnographic studies published at this time include brief but significant sections about clothing. One such was Erik Holtved on Polar Inuit material (1967: 36-60), while another was that of J. Garth Taylor. He summarized well the Netsilik clothing collected by Roald Amundsen (Taylor 1974: 23-56), whose conservation is dealt with by Klokkernes and Sharma (this volume). Unusual non-anthropological publications maintained interest in the topic, Edna Wilder published Secrets of Eskimo Skin Clothing, a straightforward, profusely illustrated guide full of practical advice, explaining how to make articles of Alaskan clothing, type by type (Wilder 1976). During the 19805 and 19905 numerous publications indicated a broadened interest in clothing, particularly relating to design and technique, to visuality, and to the individual narratives of seamstresses. Beginning this process was Driscoll (1980,1987,1988). Archaeological clothing began to be discussed as a separate subject, for instance, in the account of the Qilakitsoq mummies. From fifteenth-century Greenland, they remain the best evidence for Arctic clothing before European contact (Hansen etal, 1991). Interest in far earlier clothing, from the Dorset culture for example, was positioned in general archaeological accounts. Radical changes to tailored costume design have taken place over the past millennium or two: for instance, Dorset parkas were finished, according to evidence from occasional figurines depicting clothing, with high collars, the head being covered with a separate cap (Maxwell 1985:146-7). The 19803 was also the period when northern women began to provide accounts of their life experiences, including sewing. Ed Hall published a fully illustrated account of'Making waterproof kamiks' in 1984 by Melanie Hadlereena, Attima Hadlari and Maureen Jansen(Hadlereena et al, 1986), while Sharon Moore and Sophie Johnsons's publication of Lena Sours's life detailed with drawings the making of an Ifiupiaq parka (Moore and Johnson 1986:110-14). Also in 1988, Valerie Chaussonnet published a useful cross-cultural survey of clothing in eastern Siberia and Alaska, 'Needles and amulets: woman's magic' (Chaussonnet 1988: 209-26). Innerskins/Outerskins: Gut and Fishskin looks at two exotic waterproofing materials used in Alaska, from a historic, personal and scientific viewpoint, as well as describing the use of these materials by named contemporary artists (Hickman 1987). Finally, during the 19805 interest in dolls began to be expressed in exhibitions and publications. They were the vital tools through which young girls learned to sew and to create clothing; subsequently, of course, they were also playthings (fig. 2). Few traditional clothed dolls survive, and little is known about the linkage


between these and the contemporary creation of superbly decorated dolls, model people, for the art market. Eva Strickler and Anaoyok Alookee describe this linkage in Inuit Dolls: Reminders of a Heritage (1989). Molly Lee's later compendium Not Just a Pretty Face (1999) broadens the topic with an Alaskan viewpoint. The volume examines how dolls made by adult seamstresses have become important expressions of contemporary artistry and identity, and repositories of knowledge and expertise. In 1990 Marie Meade, a Yup'ik woman, published an account of her life, Sewing to Maintain the Past, Present, and Future, developing an autobiographical approach to clothing. Jillian Oakes expanded ideas about clothing exponentially in her account of Copper and Caribou Inuit clothing (19913). In this she involved Native people to a greater extent than anyone previously. She provides copious detail surrounding skin preparation, patterns for tailoring, and the development of Inuit fashion through time. Her expertise in technical and cultural aspects of skin preparation and interest in clothing is seen by the numerous drawings of skin patterns on skins of a standardized size, with detailed information on the direction of hair flow, and variations in the thickness of hair and fur across skins. Oakes and Riewe's volume Our Boots (1995) continues the process with Inuit consulting editors, providing an exceptional, properly illustrated survey of Canadian Inuit footwear. The Inuit voice is given an expanded recognition; numerous diagrams of skin preparation, processing and sewing are of exceptional use. Included are excellent drawings of Inuit measuring techniques (fig. 3). Betty Issenman's Sinews of Survival (1997) is notable for its excellent structure which details various regional types of clothing made by Canadian Inuit. The aesthetic quality of the illustrations and their reproduction fully demonstrates the visual importance of clothing. Excellent maps, with place names in syllables, are complemented by occasional diagrams with fringe and colour patterns clearly indicated. Further, Issenman integrates contemporary clothing with historic images, and with articles of clothing and clothed sculpture from before contact. Most recently John Bennet and Susan Rowley compiled an oral history of Nunavut, Uqalaruit, with a substantial section describing the preparation and use of clothing by Inuit in their own words (Bennet and Rowley 2004: 307-36). The Conference Papers

Most of the papers in this volume were first presented at the conference Arctic Clothing of North America -Alaska, Canada, Greenland, held at the British Museum in 2001. The conference brought together Native and non-Native anthropologists, historians, curators, conservators, artists and seamstresses, with expertise across Arctic North America. The diversity of the contributors' backgrounds and experiences, and the variety of their approaches contributed much to the success of the conference. This encouraged a dialogue not only between Native and non-Native experts, but also across regional divisions so evident in much of the literature. In the present collection of papers, there was a deliberate attempt to retain this diversity. The papers are organized in this volume by topic. The categories are of course overlapping, and could have been arranged in many alternative fashions. Those selected here highlight Native voices, and place them in a dialogue with anthropological and historical approaches. Setting the tone is the keynote address

given by Veronica Dewar, President of Pauktuutit. The 'Personal Narratives' in the first section are followed by sections introducing 'Materials' and 'Styles and Techniques'. Contributions in Part IV focus on 'Change and Responses to Outside Influences', while papers in the final section address the relationship between 'Clothing and Art'. Key note Address

Veronica Dewar spoke eloquently in a keynote address as President of Pauktuutit Women's Association. She provided a broad view of the self-governing region of Nunavut, in Canada, and described the social significance and political importance of traditional women's knowledge. She emphasized the importance for individual women of being able to make their own clothes, and to retain copyright in the face of the encroachment on intellectual property rights by non-Inuit. Dewar's particular worry is that rights in the design of the amauti, the woman's parka with a pouch for carrying infants, may be alienated and appropriated by outsiders. Dewar notes the importance of the Convention on Biological Diversity (1993) as a first step towards legal protection for indigenous peoples' intellectual property rights. Importantly, however, she does not want Inuit clothing to be objectified as mere artefacts to be found in museum and tourist shops: Arctic clothing is for creation and use by Arctic peoples. Personal Narratives

In many ways, the presentations by Native participants were the highlight of the conference. Not only did the garments that many speakers had brought with them provide visible and tangible evidence (as though it might be needed) of the beauty, technical sophistication and functional efficiency of Arctic clothing, their presentations also testified to the continuing importance of the creation and use of clothing in the Arctic, both for individuals, and for communities. Jana Harcharek provides an eloquent summary of her grandmother's largely non-verbal teaching of sewing techniques. When Harcharek was about seven years old she decided to make a snowy owl. Her grandmother, or aaka, made suggestions and provided the materials. When Harcharek became pregnant, she began to make a parka with a pouch for carrying her baby. Again her grandmother taught her what to do and explained patiently how to tailor the garment so that it would fit comfortably. Finally, towards the end of her life, Harcharek's aaka presented her with a box of ground- squirrel skins. She suggested that she make a fancy parka with them. The task, much helped by Harcharek's mother and aunt, took two and a half years. Like Jana Harcharek, Elena Charles spoke in a detailed fashion about her education in sewing, and it is interesting to compare their accounts. Whereas for Harcharek the first major item of adult clothing she made was a parka when she was pregnant, for Charles it was the creation of waterproof boots (ivrucik) after her marriage to Nicholas Charles. As for other seamstresses, trial and error, sewing and unpicking, were important aspects of the learning process. Charles emphasizes her central role in making clothing for family members, and her delight in creating them. She also emphasizes the use of zips in parkas, reflecting Martin's point that Alaskan seamstresses have always incorporated innovation in their work (Martin, 19


this volume). Finally, Charles, like Harcharek and Mclntyre (this volume) describes the process of creating a fancy parka of squirrel skins, the most prestigious item of clothing in the contemporary Alaskan repertoire. Although different in materials, design and final appearance, the Yup'ik fancy squirrel parka approximates the idea of a national costume in Greenland as described by Kleinschmidt (this volume). Discourse about costume and clothing is closely tied to questions of identity. These are usually discussed from the ethnic and community point of view, but rarely for individuals. Identity conflicts are particularly common among those who, for one reason or another, did not grow up in the Native communities of their biological parents. Dixie Dayo is half Inupiaq, with an American father originally from Wisconsin. She was brought up by her father and Athapaskan neighbours, without fully knowing of her own heritage until she was nineteen. She defines her condition as 'assimilation syndrome', involving missing Valuable cultural life experiences, for example loss of language, traditional values and cultural identity5. Recovering the knowledge of Native clothing, and particularly learning how to make various articles of clothing and how to bead, brought profound emotional relief. Dayo described the various elements of the clothing she wore at the conference in London in 2001, each of which honours her Native and nonNative family and the mentors who assisted her in creating an appropriate identity. While Dayo's contribution shows the personal meanings she ascribes to various elements of her dress, Chuna Mclntyre, from the Central Yup'ik village of Eek, Alaska, explains the meaning of various design elements on Yup'ik garments made by himself and his relatives in terms of Yup'ik symbols and designs used in his family. In his paper Mclntyre recalls how his grandmother would tell him to sew because 'that way you'll never have torn clothing'. He emphasizes that although the more common (and more prominent) role of men is to procure skins, men also knew how to sew; this was necessary to avoid the dangers of wearing torn clothing while hunting. Materials

Many authors highlight the adaptiveness of Arctic skin clothing, noting how seamstresses skilfully select particular kinds of skin for particular purposes. In their contribution, Nigel Meeks and Caroline Cartwright examine the structural features of the hair of caribou and ringed seal by scanning electron microscopy. High-resolution images provide important clues regarding the different thermal properties of seal and caribou hair. In caribou hair, the interior cells are large and air-filled, suggesting that it might be an excellent insulator. In comparison the seal hairs are flat and dense, lacking the large air-filled interior cells characteristic of caribou hair. While caribou hairs are circular in cross-section, those of ringed seal have a cross-section like an aircraft wing, assisting water flow. Frederikke Petmssen describes the different materials preferred in the three regions of Greenland, illustrating how both the local availability of animals and climatic conditions influence the kinds of skin used in different parts of Greenland. She also describes her own upbringing in West Greenland in the 19305, and the period when she lived in East Greenland and learned from local people, particularly Eleonora Arqe. She regrets the decline in knowledge and ability to sew skin clothing, 20

noting especially the common negative idea that only elders have the right skills. More young people should, she believes, work with skins. Arctic people have always been prepared to learn how to utilize new materials. They have always been highly creative in employing marginal materials, sometimes when nothing better is available. Three papers look at the importance offish skin, grass and bird skin in clothing. Fran Reed provides a detailed description of four garments offish skin: an Alutiiq hood of Arctic char skins, a Yup'ik salmon-skin parka, a Deg Hit'an (Ingalik) eel-skin parka, and a Gwitch'in burbot-skin parka. Most interesting is how the original shape of the fish skins were retained during the design process, or adapted where necessary. A mixture of sinew and grass were used for threads in the different items of clothing. Before European contact, Arctic peoples did not generally create textiles. One important exception to this was the use by Yup'ik peoples of several species of grass for weaving mats and clothing, and for insulation, sewing and other purposes. Ann Fienup-Riordan looks at the species of grass available to southwest Alaskan communities, and describes their perception and use by the Yupiit. Drawing on interviews with elders, her contribution provides significant insights into Yup'ik world view and technology. Shepard Krech's paper presents a first overview of the use of birds in food, material culture, in the naming of seasons, and as amulets, across the Arctic. Krech notes a surprising lack of research on birds and Arctic peoples, and points out how the predominance of particular species in art can lead to misconceptions about their importance for Eskimoan people. Styles and Techniques

Contributions in this section address technical and stylistic aspects in the making of Arctic clothing. They not only highlight, once again, the detailed knowledge of seamstresses about materials and techniques, but also suggest the importance of personal choice, and the adaptation of clothing to the preferences and aesthetic sensibilities of maker and wearer, a topic taken up again in later sections. In 1987, Karen Pedersen decided to make a replica of one of the fifteenth-century women's costumes found in 1972 at Qilakitsoq, near Uummannaq in West Greenland, for the new local museum at Uummannaq. Her paper provides a detailed account of the reproduction of the costume, including the stages in the laborious process of preparing the sealskins. Comparing fifteenth-century and contemporary skin preparation and sewing techniques, she notes some striking differences in tailoring and stitching. Whether preparing seal or caribou, bird, fish skin or gut for clothing, the basic technique of drying, scraping and softening the skin remains similar. Leah Otak describes the technical process of caribou-skin preparation, providing a richly illustrated step-by-step account, with Inuktitut terms. She emphasizes the importance of caribou skin in ensuring survival at -4O°C, and explains the delicacy of the material, and the importance of great care during the preparation process. Also mentioned is the naming of one significant season, akulliruut in Inuktitut. This is the 'middle month' dividing summer and winter. It also refers to the moment when the hair on caribou is neither too thick, nor too thin, and so is perfect for clothing.


Rhoda Karetak describes the importance of the amauti, a special type of parka used by women when they are carrying a baby or a young child. The parka is characterized by a pouch (amauti) on its back, a large hood, and broad shoulders, which allow the mother to bring her baby to the breast for nursing without exposing the child to the cold air. Parkas of this type were used throughout the Arctic, although there were marked regional differences. Karetak describes and illustrates some of the styles found in the Kivalliq district and neighbouring regions of Nunavut. Separately Karetak describes the preparation of skin for boots or kamiks, a major area of sewing where skin remains the preferred material. Women's garments of caribou skin from Greenland are the topic of Anne Bahnson's paper. She introduces for the first time a number of exceptional girls' or young women's parkas from the first half of the nineteenth century, all finely tailored from contrasting coloured caribou skin, white and brown skin, and red-painted depilated skin. Bahnson provides detailed descriptions of the seven garments, located in museum collections in Copenhagen, Leiden, London, Nuuk and Vienna. Because of their small size and lack of pouch (amaaf), as well as some circumstantial evidence, Bahnson suggests that they might have been used as wedding dresses. However, the full circumstances of their creation and use remain uncertain. Caribou skin continues to be very delicate after collection, and indeed becomes even more vulnerable, as discussed in the contribution by Torunn Klokkernes and Nalini Sharma. They take the example of a collection of about 140 Netsilik costumes of caribou skin, obtained by Roald Amundsen when he overwintered at Gjoa Haven (1903-5). Klokkernes and Sharma present some results of their research into hair loss, one of the main conservation problems next to vulnerability to insect attack and environmental conditions. They find that the main reason for hair loss lies in the cracking of the skin. Interestingly, this is due to the characteristics of caribou skin, as well as to deliberate cracking of the skin during the drying and softening process in the preparation of skin, which is also described by Otak (this volume). In the Arctic, adaptation to the climate through clothing design and choice of materials is important, but aesthetic sensibilities and traditions may remain paramount. Else 0stergard describes a tradition entirely separate from that of Native peoples of Arctic North America, namely the clothing of the first European inhabitants of the North American Arctic, the Norse Greenlanders. Living in Greenland from AD 985 to the fifteenth century, they used wool textiles rather than animal skin for their clothing. This is known from excavations, particularly from the graveyard at Herjolfsnes. 0stergard provides a detailed description of the clothing, focusing on vadmdl, a costly and exclusive fabric, and what seem to be adaptations in weaving techniques and materials. The absence of sufficient or adequate clothing may provide some part of a general explanation for the disappearance of the Norse from Greenland in late medieval times as the climate grew colder. Change and Responses to Outside Influences

Due to the ephemeral character of clothing, it is difficult to trace changes in material, techniques and cut before the arrival of European explorers, whose detailed descriptions and illustrations are invaluable to researchers today. Contributors in

this section trace changes in Native dress in Greenland and Alaska, which occurred both through external influence and as a result of internal developments. S0ren Thuesen describes changes in West Greenlandic dress as a result of the interaction between Greenlanders and Europeans from 1700 to the early twentieth century. Thuesen suggests that at first men, most responsible for links with Danes, were more willing to adopt complete European costumes, while women's outfits merely incorporated luxurious imported additions such as beads (see also Bahnson, this volume). By the beginning of the twentieth century this situation had altered. The development of a Greenlandic national consciousness has given rise to the creation of a Greenland national dress for use on special occasions. Initially for men this included a black anorak, replaced from c. 1910 by a white anorak, perhaps under the influence of catechists. The contemporary Greenlandic national dress, or formal dress, is then described by Gertrud Kleinschmidt, comparing clothing for children, the young, and adults. In West Greenland the costume tradition is a dynamic one, and, particularly through the twentieth century, adapted by incorporating increasing amounts of beads and beadwork into the costume. Today fashion demands additional amounts of silk and ribbon at the expense of skin embroideries. Two of these skin embroidery techniques are described in detail. Remarkably, this costume was used early on for formal occasions both by the governing classes and the Danish Royal family as well as Greenlanders (fig. i). This development is part of the long history of the creation of a Greenlandic national identity. Incidentally, another feature of this identity is the

Figure 5 Transfer of skills. Communion bucket, Roman Catholic church, Igloolik, 1986. Contrasting inset sealskin is a feature of boot uppers, here transferred to practical use in a religious context



standardization of language around the West Greenlandic dialect. When standardized, the loss of diversity in costume and language is compensated for by an increasing monolithic authority which may better ensure long-term survival. While Thuesen and Kleinschmidt describe change through time in West Greenland, Cunera Buijs focuses on changes and diversity in East Greenland since European contact in the nineteenth century, and gives an overview of the contemporary situation with endless new imported styles and materials. While many of these changes resulted from the arrival of new trade materials, particularly cloth, others are due to the increasing influence of Christianity, and new European and West Greenlandic models. Taking the example of clothing made and used for kayaking, Birgit Pauksztat analyses the reasons for the adoption of new materials in contemporary Greenlandic kayak clubs. As kayaks almost completely fell into disuse in West Greenland by the midtwentieth century, the kayak clubs represent a concerted effort to revive usage in West Greenland. Interviews with thirty-two members of the kayak club in the capital Nuuk show that practical considerations, the wish to preserve tradition, and the adaptation to contemporary needs and preferences were important factors in the choice of material for kayak clothing. Trim, perhaps more than any other element of Arctic clothing, varies enormously and above all expresses fashion and individual taste. Cyd Martin discusses trim designs on Inupiaq parkas in northwest Alaska, emphasizing the dialectic between conservative and innovative forces in parka design from 1880 to 1940. Martin describes Inupiaq willingness to experiment and incorporate new materials and designs. New materials such as yarn, beads, felt and braid, and geometric designs with contrasting skin colours, were introduced through trading networks from Siberia and Europe. This history is perhaps more complex than that of trim development in the eastern Canadian Arctic or Greenland. Change can also be traced through the incorporation of new clothing types. One example is the 'Mother Hubbard', discussed above, which was introduced in the Arctic in the nineteenth century (Martin 2003). Another example, discussed byMoHy Lee, is the kaapaaq, or beaded hairnet, introduced in Russian orthodox communities during the nineteenth century. They serve both practical and symbolic purposes, confining the hair during everyday work, and as a marker of married status. Lee examines the technical relationship of the kaapaaq with the tradition of weaving fishing nets from sinew, and of the attachment of family members to these heirlooms through several generations. Clothing and Art

Contributions in this section address aspects of the relation between clothing and art. First, Nelson Groburn provides an overview of the depiction of clothing in Inuit sculpture before and after European contact. Few Dorset or early Thule culture figures show much clothing detail, and indeed human figurines are rare. From the late 1940$, however, the depiction of clothing became an important feature of accelerating and diversifying sculptural traditions. This included emphasis on the normal and the ideal, as well as on the unusual and exotic, both for Inuit or non-Inuit clothing. Most importantly, the use of perfect


or exaggerated clothing in sculpture acted as a marker of Inuit identity, both for Inuit as they adopted elements of a Western lifestyle, and for southerners looking for souvenir representations of a disappearing Inuit past. At the same time depictions of new non-Inuit clothing types appear, as well as partial male and female nudity. The application of Inuit seamstresses' skin applique skills in a new medium, stencil prints, is the subject of James Houston's paper. Impressed by a sealskin bag made and used by Kenojuak, decorated with a dark-on-light cut-out rabbit design in 1958, Houston, in collaboration with the Inuit of Cape Dorset, set out to transfer this art form to the new medium of printing. From this beginning printmaking spread to other Arctic communities. This account most beautifully illustrates how tradition survives, while at the same time is adapted to changing circumstances. Like many others, Graburn notes the accuracy of women artists in their depiction of clothing in graphics. Such depictions, often of human figures drawn in profile, have frequently been interpreted as representations of clothing designs. Based on interviews with Igloolik elder Iqallijuq Rose Ukumaaluk about drawings she made for Knud Rasmussen in the 19208, Jonathan King shows that the figures in Iqallijuq's drawings actually represent specific individuals. This suggests that many other drawings, such as those in the American Museum of Natural History, and perhaps also twentieth century graphic art, may be portraits of actual individuals, even though there maybe no facial or other obvious external physical features included. While in the previous essays art is understood in the restrictive sense discussed above, and related to clothing in a peripheral manner, Glenna Moulding explicitly posits clothing as art. She describes in detail five parkas, emphasizing traditional design influences, the creation of new designs, and the diverse contemporary materials she uses in garments made for herself and her daughter, and for sale. Maulding's paper complements that of Martin above, in describing in great detail the kind of trim preferred by contemporary Inupiaq seamstresses. Like many other speakers, Maulding also talks of the importance of showing respect to animals, source of so many important materials, and of thanking them for allowing themselves to be hunted. Like Dewar in the keynote address, Maulding is concerned with the issue of copyrighting her own personal contributions to parka design. Conclusion

A number of additional and incremental areas for future research should be mentioned. Perhaps most important is that of gender. The collection includes one essay, by Chuna Mclntyre, from a male perspective; men's contributions to clothing are otherwise occasionally mentioned (Otak, this volume). A future project might examine gender relations and the nature of cooperation (particularly in skin preparation for clothing and boat coverings) between male and female family members. Publication of further oral history is also required concerning specialized areas of clothing interest, particularly bird-skin and gut clothing. More generally, major research efforts are required to make explicit the significant differences between clothing traditions in Alaska, Canada and Greenland as they continue to develop and diverge.

Keynote Address Our Clothing,our Culture, our Identity

Veronica Dewar Originally from Coral Harbour, a community in the new territory of Nunavut,Veronica Dewar has played a pivotal role in gaining recognition for the needs of Inuit women, their children and families. As President of Pauktuutit Inuit Women's Association of Canada since 1998, she has both encouraged and inspired Inuit women to raise their voices and participate in discussions of community, regional and national concerns related to health, social and cultural issues, as well as economic development.Through her leadership, Pauktuutit has gained a national and international reputation as a leader in the area of the protection of traditional knowledge and related intellectual property rights.

I would like to begin by thanking the organizers of this conference for giving me the opportunity to address you. I would also like to acknowledge the many other Inuit women from Canada who are here with us. I am often the only Inuk at gatherings like this, so I would like to thank the British Museum for ensuring there was not only token representation of Inuit from Canada. Pauktuutit is the national organization that represents all Inuit women in Canada. There are approximately 60,000 Inuit in Canada, who live primarily in the six Arctic regions of Canada: the western Arctic, Kitikmeot, Kivalliq, Qikiqtaaluk, Nunavik and the north coast of Labrador. Pauktuutit was incorporated in 1984, to address a range of social and health issues that were not being addressed by other Inuit organizations in Canada. At that time, we were deep in negotiations of land claim settlements, and other matters of national significance to Inuit. Our work has focused on the priorities of women, which have tended to relate to ending violence in our communities, and restoring Inuit ownership and control of our culture, our wisdom and our futures. As the national representative of Inuit women in Canada, Pauktuutit regularly addresses issues related to traditional knowledge. As an example, Pauktuutit completed a major project on traditional childbirthing and midwifery that involved over seventy-five interviews of Inuit women and midwives who described over 500 births. Key objectives were to document and preserve this knowledge and to introduce it to the modern medical profession. I would like to share some personal experiences and perspectives on the importance of our clothing and designs to us as Inuit. I will then discuss some of our recent activities, both within Canada and internationally, and what we hope to accomplish in terms of protecting our traditional knowledge and intellectual property as it relates to the amauti [a woman's parka for carrying babies and infants (see Karetak, this volume)]. These personal comments first appeared in the Ottawa Citizen, a local daily paper in Ottawa, Ontario, where I now live.

When I was growing up in Coral Harbour (Salliq in Inuktitut), Southampton Island, traditional Inuit design was a natural part of my life; these were everyday garments. My mother had thirteen children and she couldn't just leave them to fend for themselves; she had to use the amauti to carry them. The amauti was always around. I even had one as a little girl to carry puppies in. The amauti has been passed down from generation to generation. We couldn't afford to buy expensive clothes. The government social assistance we received was not enough. But my mother made caribou clothing for my father and brothers. She used to make things from sealskin and used fox and wolf fur to protect the face from the elements, and made mitts out of rabbit skin. Everything was made from skins from our surroundings. In a harsh, cold environment we needed these superb garments for survival. I remember looking through Sears' and Eaton's catalogues when I was about eight or nine back in the 19505.1 really liked the big full skirts and the fur muffs. We wanted to buy the things we saw, but there was no way of making money to get them. In Coral Harbour, the priests would get boxes of second-hand clothes and we would look through the boxes. We used to find sweaters and skirts and warm clothing, but nothing as nice as what we saw in the catalogues, so my sister used to make me skirts. I remember a dress my sister made me with a big, full skirt and it used to swing around when I danced. When you start to be exposed to another culture, you get interested in new things. I went to school in Churchill, Manitoba, and then in Ottawa. And I travelled overseas and was exposed to other cultures. I went back home at the beginning of the 19705 and started working for land claims organizations as an interpreter. I started to question what I was doing. 'Why am I not doing more to help my people?' I asked myself. 'Do they understand their rights and what opportunities they have?' I started to get involved in local politics and I travelled around the North to different regions. At the time, I dressed mainly in Western clothes, but when I went back home, all my 23

Veronica Dewar

sisters sewed well and they would make me many traditional garments. I began to see the beauty in them: they were appropriate, warm and well designed, but beyond that they were part of our identity. In fact, they are really in demand now. More and more Inuit are wearing traditional clothes. Even some white people who move up North wear them now too. Also, you need a good salary to buy Western-style material, so sometimes it's easier to use caribou skins. You can wear them as reversible garments - one way with fur outside and one way with the fur inside. I think that some non-Inuit fashion designers have been disrespectful with our designs. If they would only see how they are really used up North, I think they would think twice about how they are appropriating the designs. I've seen some non-Inuit try to sell their own version of Inuit design, but it's often a distortion. For instance, normally the front of an amauti is shorter than the back, which is longer and gives you room to move and keeps your legs warm from the back. But one non-Inuit woman designed an amauti, and she made the back part very short and started to wear it herself. She was selling them as authentic Inuit designs, but they weren't. When the Inuit women saw that, they said, 'Why can't we stop that? It's misrepresentation and it distorts the very nature of it.' It's sad, I think, because the garments have meaning - every piece of the amauti, for example, has a meaning to it. The design is complicated. Every piece has a name, each section has a name and a purpose to it. For instance, with the amauti you can carry the baby in the back, or if you want to breastfeed you put your arms inside and you can roll the amauti backward to take the

Figure 1 Veronica Dewar, President, Pauktuutit Inuit Women's Association, Canada. Ottawa, 2002.


baby inside. If you distort that design, it becomes meaningless because you can't actually do any of those things. It would really be best if designers consulted with us instead of stealing our designs and pattern. We want recognition that these are our designs and to know how they are being used. It's part of a general recognition of Inuit culture and also a way to increase awareness of our culture. We recently had the experience of a visit by a representative of a major New York fashion designer, who came to the western Arctic in Canada and was buying older Inuit garments. In some cases, jackets were bought off people's backs, and people's homes were visited specifically with the intention of looking for older designs. The designer did not consult with Inuit on the purpose of the visit, nor was it explained what was planned for the garments once back in the United States. Pauktuutit learned of her visit when a journalist from Yellowknife called us to enquire whether we were aware of this situation. We were not, but were certainly concerned. Once we had an opportunity to learn more about the purpose of the designer's trip to the western Arctic - which is a very long way from New York City - and the activities in our communities, we felt we had no choice but to intervene. We were very concerned that Inuit were being exploited because the fashion house took advantage of some of the less-educated people who did not know their rights. We wrote directly to the company outlining our concerns and the reasons for them, as well as explaining our efforts to develop a legal mechanism to recognize and protect the collective nature of Inuit ownership of our designs and other cultural symbols and property. We hoped to develop a dialogue,

Keynote Address

but unfortunately we have not received a formal response. We did learn that in response to calls primarily from Canadian journalists, the company's media people stated clearly that it was not the company's intention to appropriate Inuit designs by including them in their lines. It was then that we learned that the garments purchased in the western Arctic were on display in the company's boutique in New York City, along with designs from other cultures around the world. I can only wonder if the people who sold their garments were informed of this, and whether they would have agreed. We are no longer willing to be treated like artefacts in museums, and that includes our living culture which is embodied in our clothing and other symbols of Inuit culture such as the inukshuk,1 ulu (woman's knife), and so on. I also wonder what is the purpose of such a display, and how it relates to the business of a New York fashion designer. Who benefits? Unfortunately, I know that in this case Inuit have received no benefit, but beyond that we may have been exposed to a grave risk of appropriation and exploitation of our traditional and contemporary culture and identity. This brings me to the major focus of my presentation. Currently, our designs are not legally protected. Existing legal protections such as copyright, trademark and industrial property do not recognize and protect the collective nature of Inuit ownership of our designs, including the amauti. These are legal mechanisms that were designed to protect the property of individuals, within a Western legal system. The Arctic adaptation of Inuit has inspired some remarkable innovations and technologies. The modern world, however, has appropriated many elements of Inuit material culture without due recognition or compensation for the original creators. The parka and qajaq (kayak) are obvious examples. The traditional boot, the kamik, is now a trademark brand of a company making outdoor footwear. The 'history3 of the company producing them makes no reference to Inuit, despite using an inukshuk as a logo. This exploitation of traditional knowledge by outsiders, and the intellectual property that it encompasses, is not an unusual experience among indigenous peoples around the world. It is now critical that we develop the tools and skills to protect our heritage and ensure that we benefit from any use of our traditional knowledge, and cultural and intellectual property. The introduction of the wage economy is relatively recent in the North and the rhythm of life for many communities still revolves around traditional harvesting activities. There are many opportunities in the fashion and clothing industry, and many Inuit women are very interested in business and employment opportunities related to Inuit clothing. But proactive methods must be taken immediately to demonstrate and protect the links between traditional culture, modern commercial applications, traditional harvesting and utilization of resources, and financial self-sufficiency. Wage labour and the market economy has introduced the alien concepts of privatization and commercialization to communally owned property. The issue of prior informed consent for the ethical use of this property becomes critical. Indigenous people have the right to own and control their cultural heritage and utilize their environmental resources in a holistic and sustainable manner. It is important that the participation of Inuit women in the modern economy be actively promoted and protected.

For several years Pauktuutit has promoted traditional Inuit clothing designs and artistry. In 1995 Inuit fashion and clothing was showcased at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa during the Winterlude festival and at the Toronto Canadian National Exhibition. Southern consumers expressed great interest in the clothing and accessories at these two events. An economic development project entitled The Road to Independence has recently been completed. The objective was to assist Inuit women in taking advantage of opportunities in the fashion and clothing industry by developing skills related to the design and production of traditional and contemporary garments intended for sale to southern consumers. The idea was to return ownership and benefits of the production of these garments to Inuit by cultivating an appreciation for hand-crafted Inuit clothing. This can provide viable economic opportunities and financial independence for women without undermining the cultural integrity of Inuit communities. The project promoted employment through practical applications of traditional knowledge and skills as well as training to compete in retail markets that extend beyond their communities. Underlying principles included the transfer of skills to younger women by the elders, community development, and ownership and control of the benefits. The success of the project, however, could have a negative impact. Without clarification of the intellectual property rights involved, the amauti may go the way of the qajaq, parka, and kamik. Pauktuutit has been an active member of the Executive Committee of the Aboriginal Caucus of the open-ended working group on the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Canada. The Convention on Biological Diversity, and specifically Article 8(j), offers an opportunity for indigenous peoples to better exercise their rights to control, manage, and share the benefits derived from the ideas and innovations they have developed. Article 8(j) of the Convention calls for contracting parties to: Respect, preserve, and maintain the knowledge and innovations of indigenous peoples that are relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity; promote the wider application of such knowledge, innovations and practices with the approval and involvement of the holders of such knowledge; and encourage the equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of such knowledge, innovations and practices. The Convention will therefore serve as the cornerstone for Pauktuutit's work to protect the amauti. In that regard, we have recently achieved some success in obtaining funding to hold the first consultation with Inuit in Canada on how we wish to protect our cultural and intellectual property. We wish to consult with Inuit experts on the nature of collectively owned property, and to explore the concept of the appropriate custodian for such a protection on behalf of all Inuit. Other questions we wish to discuss and obtain direction on include access and benefit sharing by individuals while respecting the collective ownership of cultural and intellectual property. I know personally of some Inuit designers who are currently struggling with the question of what their rights may be as an individual to benefit personally from the property and designs of all Inuit and our ancestors. 25

Veronica Dewar

Other questions we have identified, and will be seeking answers for during the course of our project, include: What are the obligations of an individual, who may benefit financially from using their own cultural and traditional knowledge as an Inuk, to their community and broader Inuit society? Do Inuit currently have an informal customary intellectual property system in place? If so, what is the nature of the customary laws that relate to traditional knowledge and intellectual property and its appropriate use? How does it relate to protecting the amauti as the collective cultural and intellectual property of all Inuit women in Canada? Are there traditional rules about access and benefit sharing that can be applied in this contemporary context? As a result of our work over many years, we have been recognized as international experts by the World Intellectual Property Organization, which is beginning to address issues related to indigenous traditional knowledge and intellectual property rights. We participated in their second round table on the subject in 1999, and our work to protect the amauti is being looked at by indigenous peoples internationally as a precedentsetting project and is viewed as cutting-edge work in the field of indigenous intellectual property rights work. Pauktuutit has also worked in association with the Indigenous Women of the Americas to develop a better understanding of the issues associated with craft commercialization and intellectual property. The Indigenous Women of the Americas is an association of like-minded indigenous women from throughout Latin and South America, who come together when we can to address issues of mutual concern. In our early discussions with our colleagues in the Americas, we thought that issues of violence and personal and economic security would emerge as priorities for action. Instead, craft commercialization and the need to protect our traditional knowledge and intellectual property rights emerged as the first priority for indigenous women in the Western hemisphere. As we began our work, we conducted a survey in 1997 among aboriginal women in Canada to determine Canadian priorities and concerns. More recently, Pauktuutit helped organize an international training workshop on intellectual property rights and craft commercialization. The workshop was held in late April 1999 near Ottawa and was attended by indigenous women from throughout the Americas. The primary purpose of the workshop was to help women attain a legal understanding of the issues and to help them take economic control over commercialization of art designs. This is another example of Pauktuutit's commitment to promoting the cultural


heritage and economic conditions of women, and positions Pauktuutit as the appropriate manager of a case study on the protection of traditional knowledge. In the spirit of Article 8(j), Inuit need the incentive to avoid an Arctic economy that exploits the environment. Our economy should respect our heritage and allow us to continue to use our traditional knowledge and resources in a sustainable manner. Protecting the intellectual property of our traditional knowledge will help achieve this end. Biological diversity can be conserved by conserving cultural diversity. As I said earlier, much of Inuit community life continues to revolve around traditional harvesting activities. Harvesting rights are guaranteed under the Nunavut, Inuvialuit, and the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreements. An Inuit-owned and controlled clothing and fashion industry that hinges on traditional knowledge, designs, and motifs and the relationship to the harvesting and processing of furs and skins provide a multifaceted link to Article 8 (j). In Ottawa, Canada, there was a hemispheric indigenous leadership summit. Indigenous traditional knowledge and intellectual property rights were addressed as a priority issue within the context of globalization and the upcoming meeting in Canada of the Organization of American States. Inuit in Canada are determined that our rights must take precedence over hemispheric and international trade agreements that could negatively impact on our aboriginal rights. I understand delegates will be developing a resolution on the issue that will be presented to the member states of the OAS in April 2001. Pauktuutit has also been actively involved in events leading to the World Conference Against Racism. We have been providing advice to the Canadian government as a member of their Aboriginal Advisory Committee, and have also attended a recent intercessional meeting in Geneva that began negotiating the text of the declaration and plan of action that will be presented and discussed in Geneva. Traditional knowledge and intellectual property rights are priority issues for indigenous peoples around the world, and it is no different for Inuit in Canada. Inuit have great things to offer the world. We are known internationally as diplomats and negotiators, and have successfully negotiated three major land claim agreements in Canada. Inuit have a unique quality of harmony and consensusbuilding, based on trust and mutual respect. We are more than willing to share these qualities with the non-Inuit world, as we are willing to share our unique culture with the world. But that relationship must be based on respect that is mutual, and one that recognizes that we are the only owners of all the elements of our culture, including our cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and our intellectual property. Notes


A stone cairn in the form of a human, which serves both as a landmark, and to channel caribou herds in particular directions.




Seams of Time Jana Harcharek Jana Harcharek is Inupiaq from Barrow, Alaska. She has worked with Inupiaq elders for many years documenting their ways of life. Most recently she has been involved in finding ways to integrate traditional knowledge into the school system. Jana is an avid whaler, hunter and amateur photographer. Her photographs have appeared in various Alaska publications.

I remember rather vividly when, as a little girl of about five, I sat beside my aaka, my grandmother, and watched her sew on a pair of winter mukluks (boots). She had already spent many hours preparing the caribou leg skins, first drying them and then scraping them with her ikuun, her skin scraper. If I remember right, my grandfather had custom-made the ikuun for my aaka Faye. He had carved the wooden handle to fit her hand, and had fashioned the blade from steel piping. Aaka would occasionally pause to sharpen the tip of the blade with a fine-grade file to maintain consistency in her strokes. She was never in a hurry as she went about this laborious task, taking time to knead the leg skins over and over with her hands, in between the meticulous job of scraping. She sat on her knees atop a dried caribou skin, grasping the caribou leg she was working with in her left hand. She was always very careful not to tear or even pierce the legs as she scraped in a quick backand-forth motion, pausing intermittently to adjust the position of the leg as she worked her way up and down, across to the left and then to the right. My aaka had already sewn the bodies of the mukluks together and was now working on sewing the ugruk soles to them. She had, of course, prepared these soles from the skin of a bearded seal (ugruk) that had been stretched and dried during the summer. Aaka had already scraped off the hair with the ikuun and crimped the ugruk soles into shape with a pair of pliers. Her thread, made from caribou sinew, was quite long - as it should be, I learned later in life. She sewed with a discernable rhythm. Her needle clicked against the thimble as she inserted it into the skins, then clicked again as she pulled it through. This was followed by the sound of the thread sliding through the pieces of skin, which were beginning to take the shape of a pair of warm and beautiful mukluks. Different seamstresses have rhythms that seem to me to be discernible. Hers had a very comforting quality to it. The tranquility and quietude was disturbed only by the rhythmic sound of her needle clicking against her thimble. I broke the stillness by asking aaka why her thread was so long. She giggled softly upon hearing a question that, I'm sure, was the last thing on her mind. Then she turned to me with a gentle teasing smile. At that very moment she had pulled her needle through and was drawing the long thread out. She had a sparkle in her eyes as she pulled out the sinew, then aimed her needle purposely towards my protruding tummy. 'You best better not get too close! I might poke you!' she exclaimed. It was some time before I learned that the thread used to sew mukluk 28

soles has to be long enough to go all the way around without a break in it. She knew that, with time, I would come to understand. Later -1 think I was six, maybe seven - aaka was sewing on something, probably a parka that required the use of white rabbit skins. I really wanted to sew something to show, perhaps, that I could be like her. Deep down though, what I think I really wanted to do was prove to her and to myself that I could do it. It took me a long time to build up the courage to ask her. Finally, and not without a bit of trepidation, I asked aaka if I could use some of the scrap white rabbit cuttings lying on the floor. 'What are you going to do with them?' she asked quizzically. 'I'm going to make a snowy owl,' I meekly replied. 'OK,' she said. I don't know if she heard the sigh of relief. I set about cutting out the pieces I envisioned I would need for my snowy owl with one of aaka's little sewing ulus (semicircular women's knives). I don't remember how many of these she had but, as a seamstress, she had more than a few. My brainchild required that I draw the shape I wanted on a piece of fur that was big enough to accommodate the size I wanted, then cut it out and lay it on another piece of fur on which I would trace the same exact shape. Finally, I sewed the exact same U-shaped pieces together, leaving the bottom open. Then I found a can of something that fit snugly into it. I used the can to draw a circle on a piece of leather that I, of course, had to request. 'What are you going to stuff it with?' aaka asked. 'Tissue paper,' I replied, trying to act as if I had it all thought out, and had planned on using tissue paper all along. She suggested that I also put a couple of small rocks in with the tissue paper to give it some weight. Having stuffed the owl and sewn on the bottom, I then needed something to use for eyes and a nose. She quite readily gave me some small bits of black fur to use. Now, back in the days when twenty-five cents could buy you three candy bars, one dollar was a lot of money. When mom came home, she bought my little snowy owl for a whole dollar! I was so astonished; it may have taken me more than a couple of trips to the store to spend it all. Needless to say, I had a supply of candy for a good long while. Much later, when I became pregnant with my first child, I decided that I was going to make a parka to pack my baby with. I had to make this very special parka large enough to accommodate both the baby and myself, as I would be carrying her on my back, inside the parka. Our ancestors passed on this

Personal Narratives

Figure 1 Jana tosses her son Nagruk in the air at Nalukataq, the whaling festival held in June to honor successful whaling crews. Nagruk is wearing a rabbit skin parka. Barrow, 1986.

ingenious way of keeping a baby warm while allowing the mother to get around pretty much as usual. I chose to make the parka out of white rabbit skins. Whether or not this stemmed back to my childhood, I haven't really thought about. That is, until now. Anyway, I sewed a bunch of rabbit skins together into what I thought the shape should be for both front and back before I went to see aaka. All through her life, aaka always taught. When I went to see her, I told her I was expecting and wanted to prepare for making an amaagun, a parka for packing a baby. She showed me what I needed to do to make it 'the right way1. When the stitching on part of it wasn't quite right, she insisted I take the stitches out many times it was whole seams - and re-sew those sections according to her specifications. Not shy about teaching me proper sewing techniques, she would say things like, 'If you

make the armhole bigger, then when your baby grows, the parka won't be tight on you', or 'If you sew it like that, it will end up looking as if you were standing awkwardly.' Things had to be done right. Yet, her approach and demeanor were always positive. She never made me feel like I had done something wrong, but rather that I should strive to sew better because I was capable of doing better. She advised me throughout the making of the parka, not only about how to make a packing parka properly, but about how to live a good productive life, with a mindset towards being responsible first to community, and about raising children based on a foundation of a sensible, strong, and consistent set of human values. I finished the parka shortly before my daughter was born. On top of the pride and joy I felt at the birth of my daughter, I felt especially blessed, for I had a parka in which my baby and I could become closer. We shared one parka, and so were never separated from each other for any length of time. One day I went to see aaka just to visit, or maybe I went there because I needed her to elucidate the meaning and correct usage of another Inupiaq word. She really was a linguist in a traditional sense, in that she would use a word in whatever context she believed it might arise and would explain the various nuances. And she never used uncommon, technical or grammatical jargon to clarify what something meant. That day she gave me the most extraordinary responsibility. She was sitting on her couch when she reached under it and pulled out a small box. 'I am giving these to you,' she said. She had written her name on the box. I still have it today. Inside were her ground squirrel skins. 'In all my years I never got around to making a parka with tassels on it' she told me. 'I want you to have these because you are going to make one.' These were squirrels she had snared herself during the many times she was out on the tundra in the spring. She had spent hours tanning many of them herself. She had sent others away to be, as she would say, 'outside tanned'. She could no longer sew because her eyesight had deteriorated so badly. Sewing was her life before age took its toll on her ability to see. I have tried many times to imagine what it must have been like for her not to be able to see well enough to do what she loved doing. 'In all my years I never made time to sew myself a fancy squirrel parka,' she told me. Throughout her life she must have sewn hundreds, maybe even thousands, of fur garments. She sewed for other people - her family, her friends and others who needed or wanted her special talent. Aaka was quite practical about what she made for herself; functional parkas and mukluks, never overstated with any fancy trim work or anything that would draw attention to herself. In presenting me with her skins to make an atqagun, a fancy squirrel parka, aaka was telling me that I could do it, that I could make this very elegant parka and make it beautiful with lots of trim, wolverine tassels and a sunshine ruff - the whole works. She smiled. 'If you finish it before I die you will have done something before me,' she told me. I was struck with awe. The intangible part of her gift to me was her confidence. She was confident that I could and would do it. There was no way I could refute or question it. The project took me more time than she had left on this world; I didn't finish it before she died. I'd start on it and then put it away. Then I wouldn't pick it up for a long time. 29

Jana Harcharek

Figure 2 Jana in her fancy squirrel parka with her hands resting on her grandmother Faye Kimmialuk Nusunginya's headstone on the day the sun set for the last time in November. Barrow, 1995.

Occasionally, she would ask how the fancy parka was coming along. I would have to answer that I had begun, but hadn't had time to devote continuous attention to it. She never did admonish me for taking so long. When we took her to the hospital she was already gravely ill. She lapsed into a. coma. Her grandchildren never left her side. There were always two or three of us taking care of her. That's


what she had taught us - always take care of each other. The day she died, I had not wanted to leave her side. I feared that when I left she would take her last breath. And so it was. It took me two and a half years after she passed on to finish the task aaka assigned me. My mom and my auntie put in many hours stitching trim, then stitching the trim to the bodice, sewing the sleeves onto the bodice, and assisting me with the lining. Their perseverance and encouragement, coupled with another auntie's expertise in the making of the sunshine ruffall three are aaka's daughters - helped bring aaka's dream to reality. I put in the last stitches the night before I had to leave for the 1995 Inuit Circumpolar Conference, which was held in Nome, Alaska. The project didn't really come to a close until Bill Hess, my photographer friend, asked if I would go to aaka's gravesite with him. He wanted to photograph me beside her. We had placed aaka's granite headstone at her head the summer before. It was inscribed with her name and 'Aakakpuf, meaning 'Our Mother, Grandmother, Great-grandmother', along with praying hands. She used to indicate her Christian beliefs by sewing praying hands onto her calf-skin trim work. When we went to visit aaka at her grave, Bill with his camera and I in aaka's gift, she was looking down. It was cold that day. The wind, coming out of the northeast, was biting. The midNovember sun had no more than just risen, and was already slipping back down. It would not rise again until late January. It was appropriate that Bill and I happened to be there just as the sun set for the last time that year. I placed my hands on her headstone. 'Alright,' I said to aaka, 'I know you're OK.' I could finally say goodbye. I know in my heart that she was smiling.

My Recollections - Nengqerralria Yupiaq Elder Elena Charles Elena Charles Elena Charles is eighty-six years old and has seven children, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She lives in Bethel, Alaska, and continues to sew and teach. She is a member of the BethelTraditional Dancers, and shares her knowledge and experience of Yupiaq culture (of the Kuskokwim region) with many people.

My mother Kalirtuq did not have any brothers or sisters, so for this reason, she pampered me and did not allow me to work as a child. All I did was play, play, and play with my friends in our tundra village of Nunacuaq (near the present-day village of Kasigluk), Alaska. When the village children and my friends came to play, we would braid grass and make huts. I would pick hard unripe crowberries and make necklaces for all the children. In the summertime I traveled by kayak on the many lakes and sloughs where I was born. I would drag my kayak to the edge of the lake and paddle across. Once on the other side, I would climb out and portage overland to yet another lake or slough. During those early days, I picked guagciq (sourdock, Rumex arcticus) and itag (tall cottongrass, Eriophorum angustifolium). When the berries ripened, I picked them. There were very old graves behind our village and I would look at the grave posts very closely. All of the possessions of the deceased were tacked onto posts on top of the grave. I used to look at the jewelry. My grandmother would admonish me not to take anything from these graves, so I only looked at them. Eventually, fall would arrive and school started. I attended the federal school in our village through to the sixth grade. Later my parents moved from Nunacuaq and started a new village, the present-day village of Kasigluk. It was during this time, when I was fourteen years old, that I began to help in the house, especially by helping to care for my younger brother Tanuk who was very asriq - mischievous. By this time I had two younger brothers and two younger sisters. I took care of Tanuk as though he was my own child. It was he who received the very first boots that I made of reindeer skin. This was during the time of spring camp when waterproof boots (ivrucik) were needed.1 The skins were soaked in water until the hair came off, stretched, and tanned with urine and alder bark- called cuukvaguaq. This combination created a beautiful wine color. When I finished those reindeer boots, I told Tanuk to put them on and told him not to walk in water or my stitches would be ruined. Of course, he could not resist the water. When I was eighteen years old in 1936,1 married Nicholas Charles of Nelson Island. He is seven years older than I. Shortly after our marriage I began to make waterproof boots. I hardly made any parkas during the early years. Nick and I used to travel back and forth between Nelson Island and Kasigluk by dog sled in the winter and by boat in the summer. We used the portage pass in the summer, so it was important to have these waterproof boots.

Some years later, in 1940, we moved to Bethel. It was during the springtime, in April. I had only two children then, George and Mary. That was when I started making parkas, boots, mittens and malagg'aayat - fur hats. When making a parka, I assembled everything I needed. Nick would trap, buy or trade furs for me, different kinds of furs, wolverine, calfskin, mink, mountain squirrel. I would get

Figure 1 Elena and Nicholas Charles at their home in Bethel, 1994. Elena is wearing a squirrel parka, called atkupiaq or'real parka', made by her mother Marie Nicholas in Kasigluk in the 1940s or 1950s. Note the 'blackfish tail' on the middle panel.The three panels on the back and the three on front are called qemirrlugutet or 'tassels on panels'. Nicholas is wearing a badger jacket made by Elena. He is holding a double hawk mask that he made for his son George. Elena is holding fans used for dancing, made of woven grass, caribou fur and long-tailed duck feathers.


Elena Charles

Figure 2 (top) Family photo, Bethel 1994. Rear: Mary Stachelrodt (daughter), Sarah Ali (granddaughter), Elizabeth Ali (daughter), Susan (daughter), Christopher (grandson), Nicholas Jr (son), Maria (daughter-in-law). Middle: Christine Ali, Felisha Stachelrodt, Katherine Ali (granddaughters), Elena and her husband Nicholas Charles, Sr., Francis, Sonya,Theresa and Matthew Charles (grandchildren). Parkas and jackets all made by Elena, including the boots. Drums made by Nicholas Jr, masks by Nicholas Sr.


FigureB (above) Tuvutetluk (Yukon-style) parka. See also detail of the parka in fig. 5.

materials for the decorative trimmings, and beads. I also needed the right needles,2 thimbles, very sharp uluat (women's knives), and scissors.3 Those first parkas... I would sew them and unravel the stitches if they were not right. I would sew them all over again until I was pleased with the work. As my family grew, I made many parkas of various styles. I tried to make them very good. I made so many parkas for my children and my husband, and of course I made boots of many different styles and for many different purposes: everyday boots and very fancy ones for special occasions.

Personal Narratives

Figure 4 Nicholas Charles, Jr and his family, 1995: Matthew, Theresa, Sonya, Francis, and his wife Maria, all in jackets and parkas made by Elena. Matthew is wearing a badger parka, Sonya a m'mkqaliq (girl's fancy parka), and Francis a beaver jacket. Maria is wearing an otter qaliq.Tberesa is wearing a tusrutlek (boy's fancy parka) - her cousin Christopher's parka - and thigh-length caribou leg boots, which were originally made by her greatgrandmother, Marie Nicholas, for Elena Charles.

Figure 5 Back detail of tuvutelluk-sty[e parka shown in fig. 3. Bethel, 1994.

I used to make jackets for my sons that were trimmed with tumarcat - decorative piecework of black and white calf skin. No two patterns were the same, since I loved to try different patterns. And the girls... I made parkas for them all of different styles, plain and fancy. I'd sew zippers on them to make them easier to put on and off. These parkas were all lined. My own fancy parka that I took to the conference at the British Museum in 2001 was made with mink trapped by my husband Nick. The skins were from his very last trap line. I prepared these skins myself, washing them in detergent in my old wringer washer. After washing I hung them up to dry with the hair to the outside. When the skin side was almost dry, I scraped them to make them soft and used hand lotion to keep them supple and fragrant. In the process of making a women's fancy parka, I first make a pattern. The right measurements must be made. To measure, I use both the ancient way - my own hands and arms - and a ruler. Then I cut the furs using a sharp uluaq. I also finish the decorative trimmings to be attached to the body of the parka. I always make the tassels first. These are made with calfskin, wolverine, otter, and beads. The tassels or alngat are sewn to the bodice in the front and back. Each type of parka has to have the right number of tassels placed correctly on the body of the parka. Some parkas, such as the qaliq-style ones, have tassels only on the upper body of the parka, front and back. I put three tassels on each shoulder, six in all. Two large tassels are placed on each side under the hood, which is made partly of calf skin.

On the ruff I put a i inch (2.5 cm) strip of land otter followed by a 2\ inch (6.4 cm) strip of wolverine. The wolf ruff itself is made up of 5 inch (0.6 cm)strips of wolf skin, which are sewn on to leather. There are three rows of wolf, with the last row having the longest hair. On the hem of the parka I sew calf skin, wolverine and otter, three strips in all. Once this step is completed I cut the front to place a zipper, and line the parka with fabric. In the past zippers were not used. I made all of these parkas throughout my life. Besides the fur parkas, I made fur-lined ones with fabric covers that were decorated with trim. I have made many boots and parkas for all my grandchildren and great grandchildren. Currently, I am making a child's rabbit parka as well as dolls, hats, necklaces and earrings of beads and bone, and dance fans made in the old-time way. Notes The text was transcribed and translated by Elizabeth All, 10 April 2001. 1 2 3

Waterproof boots were made of both reindeer skin and sealskin. Both skins were commonly available, but being closer to the reindeer herds the family had more reindeer skins. The thread had to be thicker than the needle hole, so the thread would fill the hole the needle made, thereby making it watertight. Scissors were readily available as there were many white traders around.


How Do We Heal? Dixie Masak Dayo Dixie Masak Dayo, an Inupiaq raised within the Koyukon Athabascan culture, is from Manley Hot Springs, Alaska. She holds an MA in Rural Development from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, but feels her most valuable education has been the one she received from the Alaska Native Elders who taught her many traditional skills.

I was born an Inupiaq, the daughter of the late Hazel Aveogonna Dayo from the village of Wainwright, Alaska, and Stanley Dayo from Wisconsin and Manley Hot Springs, Alaska. My story-dress is a tribute to my father, birth mother, and the Athabascan and Inupiaq women who raised me, as well as to my three brothers, and to the land. It is a symbol of the Alaska Native traditional values that guide my life. At a recent Alaska Native education conference a professional educator asked the question 'How do we heal?'. The response was: 'Learn your Alaska Native language, practice traditions, learn to drum, dance, hunt, fish, gather traditional foods, and live a traditional life.' When this question was asked I was beading a medicine bag. I often bead while attending meetings and I reflected on healing and my own wellness journey. It was then I realized that beading served as therapy for me. I started beading when my Aunt Sally Hudson invited me to her Indian Education class in November 1972, when I was fifteen years old. That first semester I made three pairs of slippers, two pairs of mittens and a needle case. While I've beaded and sewn other fur items since then, I've also embarked on a wellness journey to heal the dysfunctions in my life, especially as they relate to 'assimilation syndrome' and lack of spirituality. I define 'assimilation syndrome' as having missed valuable cultural life experiences, for example, loss of language, traditional values and cultural identity. Being raised by my non-native father, away from my mother and her Inupiaq culture, it was difficult to know or live my Inupiaq culture. I did not know I was an Inupiaq until I was nineteen years old and was taking an Alaska Native history class from Tlingit Professor Dennis Demmert. Before this I had been told I was an Eskimo. My Inupiaq cultural experiences were very limited. My mother was the first generation to receive a Western education and was taught not to pass on her first language to her children. She worked hard to make sure we didn't have village accents. When she attended the Eklutna Boarding School, assimilation was the education policy. However, traditional clothing construction was encouraged. My mother was a master header and skin sewer. As indigenous people, we must take the time to bead, sew and wear traditional clothing to continue our living culture. There are horror stories of indigenous people's clothing being burned at residential schools as part of the assimilation process. Traditional clothing needs to be a part of our everyday lives, formal attire, and fashion. There is magic in making and wearing traditional clothing. My Stanley Dayo necklace represents my father who raised me. I beaded a poinsettia, our Christmas flower, because when I 34

was growing up every day was like Christmas Day. My father came to Alaska seeking his fortune as a goldminer and trapper. Being a generous man he gave away any fortune he made. The gold bead in the centre represents a gold nugget for his mining years and his heart of gold. The dentalium shells were once used as money and prized for chiefs' necklaces and fancy dress trim. The red beads represent Alaska's fields of cranberries. There is a special feeling while out in the cranberry fields with your family picking berries, getting fresh air and exercise. Cranberries are an excellent medicine for urinary tract problems and a rich source of vitamin C. Cranberries complement all meat and fish dishes. Since there are two sides to every wellness story, this piece has two sides. And because we all need a useful purpose in life, this necklace is also a pouch. My Dad taught me the values of hard work, honesty, and of having good self-esteem. This necklace was made from the first moose hide I ever owned. My Judith Woods headdress is a tribute to Judy Woods, who adopted me into her family. She was our Koyukon Athabascan neighbor, originally from Tanana, and mother of eleven children. She taught us how to sing and dance in the traditional Athabascan way. Momma Judy taught me the Athabascan values of family relations, practice of traditions and hard work. Her eleven children treat me like a sister. They have given me strength, taught me women's skills, believed in me and held me accountable. Each of these flowers represents my seven sisters. The leaves represent my four brothers. One leaf is a little different, it has one red bead; this leaf is for Mickey, who was the eldest and a talented musician. There was also another sister, a first cousin who was raised with the family, like me, so I made her flower a little different. And this upside-down bluebell flower, that's me hanging on. The polar bear fur honours my birth mother for her strength. She had respect for knowledge and a grand personality. My cloth dress is called atikfuk in Inupiaq, and in Athabascan it is a bets' eghe hoolaane, meaning 'with a hood'. Mabel Ahreenaq Hopson, one of my Inupiaq relatives, made it, since I am not very good with a sewing machine. Next, there is my Lake Minchumina belt. Lake Minchumina is the largest lake in the interior of Alaska. It is the most spiritual place that I have ever been. The blue flowers represent the many wild flowers in Alaska and the beauty of the land. The willow leaves represent the willows that are very important to us. Willows are medicinal. When boiled, bark tea is used like aspirin. Young willow leaves are preserved in seal oil and eaten like greens with fish or meat. They are rich in vitamin C. One can chew the willow leaves and apply them to bee stings to stop

Personal Narratives

the pain and swelling. The bark was once used as twine to make fishnets and for rope. Willows feed our moose and beaver. The moose and beaver feed us. Moose meat is our main food source. The hide that my beads are sewn on is tanned moose hide. We also use beaver fur for hats, mittens and to trim our clothing. Being out on the land hunting is a spiritual experience and reinforces family traditions and the values of sharing and selfsufficiency. The round purple dot is the k'eenloo, an Athabascan word that translated into English means 'unripe berries'. This is a symbol of good luck. My knife sheath represents my three brothers who encourage me to be a moose hunter. The three flowers are for my brothers, Darryl, Robert (Bolo), and Jonathon. My brothers take me out moose hunting. It is because of them that I am able to be a moose hunter. My brother Darryl taught me kindness, Bolo how to share niqipiaq (Inupiaq for 'meat', literally 'real food'), and Jonathon taught me independence in the woods. The flower petals aren't filled in as when I go out into the country I feel I am filling an empty part of me. My favourite place in the world is Lake Minchumina, and my most comforting

experience is to be there with my brothers. My brother Jonathon made me a story-knife for my story-dress. Such story-knives were once used to draw illustrations in the sand and snow while telling stories. I also made a tool pouch to show respect for our tools. In earlier times, we weren't a 'throw-away' society. Tools are important for survival. The blue bead is a tribute to our fields of blueberries. Like the cranberry, this fruit is important to our survival. Picking berries is also like a spiritual experience and being out in fields of blueberries is therapeutic. Wild blueberries are used in akutuq (Eskimo ice cream),1 eaten plain or with blueberry sauce. Today we make blueberry pie, pancakes, and numerous other dishes. My nephew, Nathon Blackburn from Lake Minchumina, made me an ulu (knife) at a size used for sewing. The tool pouch also holds an ancient stone ulu to show respect for our ancestors. My fancy moccasins were made in honor of Elizabeth Karvak Fleagle, who also adopted me into her family. Her Inupiaq name is Karvak, meaning 'the soles of the moccasins you walk on'. She is originally from Alatna, across the river from Allakaket. The flowers are my dancing flowers in gratitude to my mom, Elizabeth Karvak Fleagle, as she has the best humor and is always happy and dancing. She has been my foundation for many years. She taught me to laugh and live the life we choose without criticizing others. She now dances for the Lord and beads daily. When I asked her sister for this pattern, as I introduced myself to her, she said, 'I know who you are, you're my sister Betty's oldest daughter.' Again, the k'eenloo for luck. My gloves were made in honour of my Aunt Sally. She was the first person to teach me to bead. She taught me the importance of keeping my hands busy. She insisted that we keep our hands and mind busy. Aunt Sally never doubted my ability to sew and encouraged me from the beginning. She gave me one of my most valuable skills, the gift of beading and skin sewing. Aunt Sally said we must always bring our sewing bag with us wherever we go. A long time ago women never went anywhere without their sewing bag because if they tore their moccasins or clothing they had to sew it right away. If they were traveling in the winter and tore a moccasin, repairing it immediately was a matter of survival. This needle case is one of the first pieces Aunt Sally had me make twenty-nine years ago. Beading is a way to preserve our Alaska Native history and culture. My mother beaded. She learned to bead at Eklutna, the residential school she attended. The students taught each other various skills, and she learned to bead from the Athabascan students. My mother beaded a coin purse for her friend Audrey Eckert over forty years ago. Many years later, after my mother passed on, Audrey gave me the coin purse. It had additional meaning coming from Audrey as my middle name is Audrey. Aunt Sally said she first bought this style of bead in 1929 from the Northern Commercial Company in Manley Hot Springs. At that time they were so excited about the colours.

Figure 1 Dixie Masak Dayo modeling the storydress she made as a tribute to her family, Alaska Native values, and as a symbol of wellness and healing. Fairbanks, Alaska, 2001.


Dixie Masak Dayo

I collect beadwork, including work from other cultures. One of the pieces I have came from Poland. Interestingly, this Polish style of beading is identical to our interior Athabascan style of beading on black velveteen cloth. As my father is part Polish, I joke with my Athabascan friends and say I bead because of my Polish ancestry. Not all beadwork tells a story; most pieces are just beautiful pieces of art or functional clothing. I just wanted to do something unique for my wellness journey and as a special tribute to those that helped me with my life. When I asked Charlotte Crow Douthit, a master beader, if beading was healing for her, she replied, 'The Lord heals us, we need to pray to God to heal us. Beading can be like therapy, but the Lord heals us.' I love to bead and will forever be grateful for the gift of beading that was taught to me in the traditional way.


Notes i Akutuq, 'Eskimo ice cream', is an Alaska Native dish popular throughout Alaska. Ingredients vary regionally, but commonly include one or more kinds of berries, which are mixed with fat (Crisco or rendered caribou or moose fat), sugar, and cooked fish or crushed dried moose or caribou meat.

Quiet and Reserved Splendor: Central Yup'ik Eskimo FancyGarments

of Kuskokwim Bay, Bering Sea

Chuna Mclntyre Chuna Mclntyre was born in the village of Eek. He is a traditional and contemporary artist, and holds a BA in Studio Art and in Native American Studies from Sonoma State University of California.

Yugtun wiinga ciumek qanlartua, niicesqumiimku elpecenun Yugtun qaneryaraput. Qqnrulluci taitellemnek makunek aklumtenek akaarartarnek caliaqsarait, qaraliit, waten pimalriit wangkuta Yup'igni pirpakngamteki. I always start in Yup'ik because I want people to realize that our language is still being spoken. The lines above explain that we bring our clothing to you from a long time ago to show you the incredible work, the beauty that always has been, the skills that it requires, and the commitment and patience it takes to come to this point, because we are very proud of who we are. I'm wearing a garment (fig. i) which was made for me by one of my relatives with the help of our late maternal grandmother, Minnie. My grandmother was the one who told her to put certain pieces here and there, during the construction of my garment. It's a young man's garment - and I will always qualify as a young man! We call it kayurutalek in our language, which means 'one with arm bands'. It has emblems of Bristol Bay, Alaska, because we inherited certain design elements from that region. The base material of the parka is Arctic squirrel, which we call qanganaq. I am also wearing a drummer's hood. It's a special hood which is made for drumming and singing, because singing and dancing are very important for us. The hood is called nacarpiaq in Yup'ik, which means 'the ultimate hat'; and you can see why, because it uses so many different furs which are important in our world. Nacarpiaq employs many, many different furs. The main body of the nacarpiaq is the famed Siberian sable, which I purchased from the Siberian Eskimos when they were finally allowed to come to Alaska to dance. Other furs are from my home region, such as wolf flank and leg fur, wolverine, land otter, and swan-foot skin (from my late grandmother's collection). In addition to these furs, it also uses calfskin, European glass beads, yarn, two small walrus ivory carvings by my younger brother, in the shape of a kayak, ochre red earth paint, and one white cultured pearl placed on top of a piece of sealskin. The sealskin piece is in the shape of the crescent moon, which means that it has celestial connotations.

We use tassels, which we call alngaq, meaning 'to show ability1, to show that you have what it takes to be able to go out and obtain the wolverine, of which our tassels are made. They attest to the industry of you and your family. And not only that, there is even a boasting tail made from the tail of the wolverine itself (fig. 2 and fig. 3). I don't ever have to open my mouth to

Figure 1 Chuna Mclntyre wearing his young man's garment (kayurutalek). Note the characteristic armbands (kayurutalek) that give the parka its name, and the qamuurat ('sled runner on snow') design on the hem of the garment.


Chuna Mclntyre

boast! My boasting tail will do that for me, especially on a windy day, when the wind takes the tail and flaps it around. So it is a young man's garment, and it is very warm. They're made, of course, for very cold weather. We have designs down on the hem of the garment, which we call qamuuraq (fig. i). Qamuq means to pull something, as when you pull your sled over the snow and leave tracks. I could easily have had a zipper, which is fine, but I didn't want a zipper to cut the hem. I wanted the authentic qamuurat. My boots are fancy boots called ciuqalek, which means 'the fronted ones'. They are made of wolverine leggings on the front and on the back. Again, they are shoes that attest to you and your family's ability to acquire this particular animal. The bottom parts of the boots are made of sealskin. The white parts, nowadays, are made of calf skin, though traditionally we used caribou calf. The boots also have the qamuuraq designs on the tops. On the back of each boot top is a design consisting of little vertical lines. This design is called taqeq, which means an artery, much like the arteries in our bodies. Now, in my particular family we have certain designs which we inherited, such as a piece of land otter on the upper cuff of the parka sleeve. We call it kaunguaq, which literally means 'that which describes the dipping into the bowl'. In my family we have always made Eskimo ice cream, akutaq.1 As you are mixing it, you might get some on your sleeve. This design was originally the 'ring around the cuff. It characterizes my family, as we always had Eskimo ice cream. So this is one little design element which attests to our particular family. On the top of my hood rim there is a little piece of white fur, which my grandmother insisted be there (fig. 4). We call it yurturuaq. It comes from the wordyuq. When you make jello it becomes jelled after a while - that's the state of yurturuaq, or yuq. My grandmother described my parka hood as the bear's den, where the bear comes in and out. When the bear comes out of hibernation in the spring, it sits on top of its den for a while and slowly 'jells'. It is an old notion from what we observe when bears come out of hibernation. So this is part of our design element that is indicated on this particular garment. My grandmother taught me how to sew (fig. 5). Yes, men can sew! If you're out in the wilderness and you're by yourself 38

Figure 2 (left) Detail of the young man's garment (kayurutalek) showing the stitching and beadwork of the boasting tail holder.Among its decorative elements are swan feet and caribou hair- both animals of great distinction. Figure 3 (centre) Back view of the boasting tassel (pequmiutaq) of wolverine tail. Figure 4 (right) Detail of the young man's garment showing the white piece of fur {yurturuaq) on top of the hood. It symbolizes a bear, resting outside its den, 'jelling' and getting used to its surroundings after a long winter's sleep. Figure 5 (below) Photograph of Chuna Mclntyre's maternal grandmother, late 1970s. She is wearing a separate hood, ca[[edyuraryaraq.

Personal Narratives

and something tears, are you going to pretend not to know how to sew? No, you're not. You're going to take out the sewing needle and sew that one part of your garment - or freeze in that part! So my grandmother always taught me how to sew. One of my earliest memories is sitting on top of her big bed; she had given me a needle and thread and a scrap of something such as sealskin, and she made me sew. Later on as I grew up she told me, 'If you know how to sew, you will never have torn clothing.' And that's the truth, simple as that. I took the sewing business even further. I began to make garments because I felt compelled to do it. Of course, the women in our world are expert sewers, because they deal with the skins day in and day out. When an animal is brought into the house it becomes the domain of women, because they are the ones who will cut up and distribute whatever was brought in, and cook it. They become very involved with these materials; but then among themselves they will sometimes make a little joke and say, 'Occasionally when men sew they really sew well, don't they?' I think that's the truth, so when we men sew sometimes, we do sew pretty well, I think. Thanks to my grandmother, my number-one teacher who taught me how to sew! Sometimes we made parkas without hoods. These were summer garments. When it's a cold day you simply put on an additional hood to keep warm. My grandmother made just such a hood for me. It is calledyuraryaraq, which means 'coming up through the hood', or the act of putting it on. I made a garment for my sister-in-law, a parka called qaliq, which in our language means 'the outer garment', your outer shell, just as in the old days when we didn't have any fabric. The base of this parka is Arctic squirrel. It can be considered a marriage garment. This one was created when my brother married. Family members collected the furs, and I was given the task of putting it together. When a marriage takes place, gifts are given within families; in the Yup'ik world a woman is given a garment by the groom's family, to a degree to bind the marriage. It's like a contract, in a way. So this garment was given by my family to my brother's wife. But she had one request: that we stitch on her parka sleeves her grandfather's hunting harpoon head designs. We call those nuusaarpak in Yup'ik. They are the very apex or tip of her grandfather's harpoons. In honour of her grandfather we put those particular emblems for her, but the rest of the designs are from my family. In other words, we are the ones in control of the production of the garment, and symbolically we give our family's designs to her. So that's the way it is. When my family handed the parka to my sister-in-law, her first words were 'alngankaV - 'my tassels!' So our alngat, our tassels, which show our hunting and sewing talents, are important to us to continue the pride that is within all of us. The designs and the emblems that have been produced through these centuries are enormously important to us to instill pride. Over time garments will begin to disintegrate; the skins will dry out, the seams will rip. But the designs, emblems and pride will remain. They will pass on to the coming generations. Again and again another parka will be made to continue the traditions, so this is akin to a physical manifestation of what we are after in terms of aesthetics. I have also sewn a garment of white rabbit skin. We call this garment atkupiaq atrarutelek qagluni. Atkupiaq means 'the real

Figure 6 Detail showing the frontal designs on the young man's garment: manurun, the white vertical strip of fur in the centre; nerutak ('the reason for eating'), the two narrow white bands, one on each side of the manurun; the horizontal frontispiece; and the two miryaruak (tassels representing the regurgitant of the ancestor Apaanugpak) on either side.

Figure 7 Photograph of the frontal midriff of the young man's garment, with Chuna Mclntyre holding and showing the 'arrow tassels' (pitegcautet) on either side of the parka.

parka'. Atrarutelek means 'pieces of emblems coming down'; there are two on the front and two on the back. Qagluni means 'with rounded hem'; the back one is a little bit longer than the front one. This is an ancient style of Yup'ik design. The chest emblems, which we call keggatii, come from Bristol Bay. The midriff tassel holders have the fluke of the beluga whale as part of our family emblems. This design is particular to our village of Eek. There is a small black piece of bird foot in the shape of the tail of the black fish as part of the design element on the tassel holder. We call itpamyuq, 'the tail'. On the top piece of the tassel holder are horizontal linear pieces made from the freezedried esophagus of the seal. We call those nerutai, 'the reason for eating'. In times of warfare and madness, there was an ancestor, it is said in our stories, whose name was Apaanugpak. One day he was sitting down eating caribou. He loved caribou fat. He was just sitting there eating his favorite food, not minding his surroundings, which he should have been because we were in wartime. Suddenly, from across the river there were two warriors approaching. They were already too close for him to make a quick escape, so he stood up, caribou fat dribbling from his mouth, and started to climb the mountain in front of him. Each time he turned around to look, caribou fat would drip onto parts of his clothing. That is how these dribbles of 39

Chuna Mclntyre

Figure 8 Great Aunt Alice with her fancy parka (atkupiaq). Photograph taken by Moravian missionaries, Eek, around 1930.

caribou fat became our emblems. We call them nerutai, 'his reason for eating'. On his escape Apaanugpak also regurgitated caribou fat onto his parka front. They too became our emblems, called miryaruat, meaning representation of his regurgitant (fig. 6). During his escape, Apaanugpak was shot by an arrow by one of the warriors. The arrow went in one side of his body and came out the other. But he didn't die because he quickly did some magic - he was a shaman. He healed himself, continued to climb the mountain, and escaped down the other side. So tassels placed on either side of the parka are his arrow emblems, which we callpitegcautet, 'arrows' (fig. 7). All these design elements mean quite a lot to us. The numbers of tassels are not random either - things are carefully counted to ensure that our traditional numbering system is respected. Yup'ik sacred numbers are three, four, five and seven. Three is our own form of trinity, which consists of our spirit, the positive, and the negative within us all. Four represents the four cardinal directions; also we believe the known Yup'ik universe to be divided into four quadrants. Five represents our digits, our grasping hand, or our industry. Seven is the conjuction of three and four, the four directions and the Yup'ik trinity, making it the most powerful number in our traditional counting system. Our tassels employ the number system very carefully. I also made a parka for my little sister, which is made of muskrat. It is called atkupiaq atrarutelek keggacillerluni nunuralek. The translation is as follows: atkupiaq: 'a real parka'; atrarutelek: 'with emblems coming down'; keggacillerluni: 'with chest emblems'; and nunuralek: 'with scolding or gift tassels'. You can quietly scold someone with your tassels, if you need to.


Nunuq means 'scold' in our language, and nunuraq means 'as a gift', so you can take these tassels in both ways, as something scolding or as a gift. So these emblems have great historical meanings in our system of language and culture. Even very plain tassels were placed on the garment; we call those tangviarrluaraat. When we render seal oil we have little pieces left at the bottom. These tassels indicate those pieces left from the seal oil rendering. They are very important to us. It's like our Eskimo bacon. My grandmother used to fry them. They're very tasty! These particular designs indicate the importance of tangviarrluaraat, the seal oil renderings. On the midriff tassel designs, the colour of the tassel fur is carefully considered when we cut up the wolverine. The fur colours alternate between dark and light. Careful attention is paid in the construction of the garment. Even when you construct a sunshine ruff, it's not all one piece - it's all small pieces put together very carefully to create the whole effect (see also fig. 3). It is a very Yup'ik parka, but our culture has introduced new things, as Western people and new ideas have come into our world. You may wonder why my surname is Mclntyre. I'm just a touch Scottish, you see. A bit of the old blarney goes a long way! So the last time I was in London I picked up a few Celtic things, such as beads and other materials. In the construction of my sister's parka I was determined to include a few Celtic materials. In the manumiit, the front beaded dangle tassels, I included Celtic beads to indicate our connection with our Scottish lineage. So we Yup'iks share in this wonderful wide world to which we now belong, but you see we've never compromised the basic Yup'ik design. What it tells you as a piece of work is something that carries through the ages, that my people have lived on the Bering Coast, Kuskokwim Bay, where my village is, which is called Eek. My great aunt Alice lived to be about eighty-six. When she died we found, underneath her bed, very carefully packed, her parka from her youth, which she apparently had kept all her life (fig. 8). In Yup'ik we do ceremonial cleansing of the houses when someone dies, to clean up everything from top to bottom. Then we put certain things onto the funeral bonfire. We believe that when we throw something into the funeral bonfire it appears in our Yup'ik heaven, which we call pamalirlagmiut. My late mother was the one who found my great aunt's parka, and she was the one who put it onto the funeral bonfire. In Yup'ik thinking, it became reconstituted in our Yup'ik heaven, and so my great Aunt Alice has her atkupiaq there, her real parka!

Notes i Akutaq (literally a 'mixture'), also known as 'Eskimo ice cream', is a Native dish popular throughout Alaska. Ingredients vary regionally, but commonly include one or more kinds of berries, which are traditionally mixed with oil-rich ingredients such as seal oil or caribou fat.

Part II


Caribou and Seal Hair: Examination by Scanning Electron Microscopy Nigel D. Meeks and Caroline R. Cartwright Nigel Meeks is a materials scientist and metallurgist in the Department of Conservation, Documentation and Science at the British Museum. He specializes in the application of scanning electron microscopy and microanalysis to the technological study of antiquities and related materials. Caroline Cartwright is a materials scientist in the Department of Conservation, Documentation and Science at the British Museum. She specializes in wood, fibres, shell and other organic material, as well as in ceramic and stone petrology and glass.

Clothes of caribou and sealskin have been in general use by Inuit for a long time. Made from locally available materials, they provide effective protection against the Arctic environment. In order to examine how the characteristics of these two different furs contribute to the protective qualities of the garments, samples of hairs from both caribou and sealskin were taken from items of contemporary clothing in the handling collections of the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas at the British Museum. The hairs were examined by scanning electron microscopy to provide details of their external and internal structures in order to study how these relate to the suitability of the furs for making efficient Arctic clothing. Techniques

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to provide microphotography of the hair structures, as it is the technique best suited for high magnification imaging with a large depth of focus. Samples of hair were cut transversely with scissors and longitudinally with a scalpel blade to provide cross-sections that reveal the internal features of the hairs. The samples were mounted and coated with a very thin layer of gold - a routine SEM procedure to make the samples conductive in the SEM, and to provide bright electron images with much detail, but in monochrome. Hence the illustrations are in black and white.

Figure 1 SEM image (x270) of a transverse section of caribou hair showing the circular cross-section of the hair, the surface cuticular scale texture and the internal large cellular'bubble-wrap' structure of the medulla. Width of image is 0.45 mm.

Results Caribou Hair

In the SEM, transverse cross-sections of the caribou hairs show that they are round to oval in shape and between 0.17 and 0.27 mm in diameter (fig. i). This compares, for example, with human or horse hairs which are about 0.125 mm in diameter. The circular outer surface of the caribou hair has a scale texture which appears as fine cusps about 0.005 mm deep (fig. 2), rather than as overlapping scales which often appear on other mammalian hair. These cusps appear to give some rigidity to the surface of the hairs, while the surface texture would also allow flexing. The numerous grooves and ridges on densely packed adjacent hairs would also trap air to help insulate against extreme temperatures. 42

Figure 2 SEM image detail (xlOOO) of the caribou hair surface scale texture showing the height of the scale edges and the cusps that would combine to trap insulating air between adjacent hairs. Width of image is 0.12 mm.


reverted to their original form. Clearly the strong, resilient keratin of the hair has allowed recovery from deformation. This implies that in nature the hairs are resistant to collapse or crushing and the air remains trapped inside the cells, which would provide clothing that would retain its highly insulating properties during use. Thus, it is these remarkable physical properties of each caribou hair in the densely packed fur that contributes to making the clothing warm, relatively light in weight, weatherproof and hard wearing. Seal Hair

Figure 3 SEM image detail (x300) of a longitudinal cross-section of caribou hair showing the open cellular structure of cortex and medulla, and the thin cell walls. Width of image is 0.4 mm.

The hairs, in both transverse section (fig. i) and longitudinal section (fig. 3), show a remarkable open cellular structure reminiscent of 'bubble-wrap'. This feature makes caribou hair highly distinctive (Boulton 1986). Such an open structure is very different from many other mammalian hairs, which are more solid (fig. 4). The cell walls are extremely thin, being less than one thousandth of a millimetre thick, and even the tubular outer surface of the cortex and the cuticular surface is hardly any thicker. In longitudinal cross-section the cellular structure appears to have a sub-surface cortex layer of smaller cells beneath the outermost cuticular layer, and the larger internal (medulla) cells form some two-thirds of the bulk volume of the hair (fig. 3). The larger medulla cells lie transversely across the hair with one to three cells bridging the gap between the surface layers. In oblique view, the medulla cells are seen to compartmentalize the core of the hair (fig. 5). The outer walls of the sub-surface cells appear to coincide with the edges of the surface scales, showing the relationship between the internal structural components of the hair and the surface. The hairs are extremely light in weight, being largely filled with air. The efficient insulating properties of this 'bubble-wrap' structure are enhanced by the ultra-thin cell walls which provide hardly any heat conduction. Presumably the cellular structure is, essentially, hermetically sealed, making the hairs impervious to water. The undeformed cellular nature of the hair indicates that despite deformation during cutting the samples, the hairs

The seal hairs are of very low profile, being flattened to an aerofoil type shape in cross-section, being thickest in the middle and tapering towards the edges (fig. 6), which contrasts with the caribou hairs. The width of the hairs is between 0.115 mm and 0.2 mm, but the thickness in the middle is only about 25 per cent of the width. The outer cuticular surface has a fine scale texture. The scales are very thin and lie very flat; therefore the overlaps produce only tiny physical steps. When viewed obliquely to emphasize the edges of the scales, the overlap is seen in one direction (fig. 7); this clearly corresponds to the direction of water flow during swimming. Hence, if used for clothing, the skin garment would provide water-repellent properties, for example, for boots. The transverse section of the seal hair shows a completely different structure from that of the caribou. The hairs are solid, apart from a thin central lumen that appears like a crack across the centre of the hair (fig. 6). The nearly flat transverse section is highly characteristic of seal guard hair (Boulton 1986). Compared to the caribou hair, the solid medulla would not provide as much thermal insulation, and the relatively smooth surface would not trap additional insulating air. Discussion and Conclusions

The caribou and seal hairs are of very different physical form. Each hair is a specialized product of evolutionary adaptation with its structure ideally suited for the environment in which the animals live. The caribou hair has a lightweight, 'bubble-wrap' structure which is full of air and is therefore highly insulating. The effectiveness of caribou hair as a thermal insulator makes the animal fur excellent for traditional Arctic clothing, in an area where temperatures are below freezing for most of the year. Thus, in the Canadian Arctic, the traditional Inuit winter outfit is made of caribou-skin, consisting of an inner and an outer parka, inner and outer trousers, several layers of footwear and, of course, mittens. The inner layer has the fur turned inwards towards the body, while the fur of the outer layer is turned

Figure 4 Comparison of caribou hair (left) with a schematic cross-section of mammalian hair (right), showing the distinctive large lattice medulla and thin cortex of caribou hair.


Nigel D. Meeks and Caroline R. Cartwright

Figure 5 SEM image (x300) of an oblique view of the longitudinal cross-section of caribou hair showing the compartmentalized medulla and cortex cells. Width of image is 0.4 mm.

Figure 6 SEM image (x500) of a transverse section of seal hair showing the flattened, curved shape, the solid cortex and medulla core, and the central lumen appearing as a crack. The hair is 0.05 mm thick. Width of image is 0.25 mm.

Figure 7 SEM image detail (xlOOO) of seal hair. The oblique view gives enhanced contrast to the thin edges of the cuticular surface scales, showing the overlap in one direction.The scales are sub-micron in thickness (i.e. less than one thousandth of a millimetre). Width of image is 0.12 mm.


outwards. Warm air is trapped between the two layers of clothing and the body, providing insulation against the cold, while the loose fit of the garments permits ventilation and air circulation. By comparison, seal hair is solid, flat and relatively smooth, which limits its insulating properties but gives it excellent waterrepelling characteristics for use as clothing. Some of the bestpreserved examples of clothing made from caribou, seal, polar bear and bird skins have been recorded from the Qilakitsoq mummified bodies in Greenland, recovered from an abandoned settlement dated to about AD 1425-1525 (Hansen, Meldgaard and Nordqvist 1991; see also Pedersen, this volume). Out of the seventy-eight pieces of clothing found, a considerable proportion was made of sealskin, particularly trousers and boots where water-repellent properties were of paramount importance. In summary, caribou hair has an open cellular structure that makes it an efficient thermal insulator. Seal hair is smooth and dense, giving it water-repelling qualities. Thus the particular physical characteristics of caribou and seal hair have been exploited in their use for particular articles of traditional Arctic clothing.

Arctic Clothing from Greenland Frederikke Petrussen Frederikke Petrussen was born in Akuliaruseq in the southernmost part of Greenland in 1931.Together with her husband, pastor Amandus Petrussen, and her three children, she has lived mostly in South Greenland but also in towns and villages in West Greenland, as well as in Ittoqqortoormiit (East Greenland) from 1953-6, and in Qaanaaq (North Greenland) in 1972-3 and 1975-9. In this way, she learned the traditional ways of skin preparation and sewing that were characteristic for the different parts of Greenland.

In Greenland, as in other parts of the Arctic, adequate clothing is essential for survival. In the past, all clothing was made of skin, while today European clothing is predominant. Nowadays in Greenland a hunting permit is required in order to procure the skins necessary for making clothing. For my discussion of the use of skin, I will divide Greenland into three parts, namely North Greenland (Avanersuaq), which is the area around Qaanaaq; East Greenland (Tunu); and West Greenland (Kitaa). North Greenland (Avanersuaq),Twentieth Century

In this area, the following skins are used: polar bear skin is used for trousers and boots, and as decorative edging on most skin garments. Store-bought caribou skin is used for outer parkas (qulitsaq), as well as for children's boots, and for the skin stockings for women's boots. When dog-sledging, a caribou skin can also be used to sit on. Hare skin is very important to North Greenlandic hunters, who regard it as warmer than all other kinds of skin. Because it protects so well against the cold, it is the preferred material for men's skin stockings. Fox skin is used for outer parkas (kapatak}, women's short trousers (nannuk), children's hoods, and men's stockings - and it should be mentioned that the latter is only the case in North Greenland. Fox tails may also be used as an edging on the hood and wrists of parkas. Sheep skin, which can now be bought in local stores, is also used for parkas (qulitsaq), and skin stockings. Sealskin is much used for various items of clothing for both men, women and children, such as boots, skin stockings, mittens, hoods, and so on. Depending on the intended use of the skin, it may be prepared in different ways, for instance as meqqulik (skin with hair), as unneq (white dehaired skin), or as waterproof skin for boots. For hunters especially, soft and waterproof clothing is indispensable. In the past, eider and dovekie skin was used for everyday parkas, but they have been replaced by European clothing because it is much more practical. As I mentioned earlier, in this area skin clothing is essential for most of the year. However, it is my impression that the use of skin clothing is slowly declining as a result of stricter hunting regulations that limit the number of animals that can be taken, and define hunting seasons for particular species.

East Greenland (Tunu), 1950s

In East Greenland, skins were used in the following ways: polar bear skin was used for skin trousers, parkas (called alateq in East Greenlandic), boots, mittens, and as decorative edging on other items of clothing. The East Greenlanders also liked to use it as a seat (called ingoraq in East Greenlandic) when dog-sledging, because it provided some protection against moisture. In the 19505, sealskin was much used for children's, men's and women's boots, for stockings and mittens, and for everything else that it suited. Sealskin intended for hunters' boots was prepared in a special way: the hair was removed (saliRugu*) in order to make it water-repellent. Dog skin, which is very warm, was used for stockings for hunters' boots. It was also used for hoods and mittens. In the 19505, fox skin was usually sold rather than used by the East Greenlanders themselves. Consequently they used it very little for their clothing, except for the trim of parka hoods. Musk ox skin was used to sit on when dogsledging, and because it was very warm, it also made a good sleeping bag when traveling. In the 19505,1 was living in Ittoqqortoormiit, East Greenland, with my family, and I am very grateful for this. I was so fortunate to be able to learn skin preparation and skin sewing from the local people, which, I felt, was like a continuation of what I had learned as a child. In East Greenland, I met an extremely skilled, unforgettable woman, whose name was Eleonora Arqe. Thinking back to her, my work becomes easier. While preparing this essay, I made enquiries about the current situation in East Greenland and I discovered that, unfortunately, it is almost impossible to find anybody still wearing skin clothing. My hope is that if there are people who are interested and take honour in using clothing that is suited to the conditions in Greenland, the clothing will not disappear. West Greenland (Kitaa)

When I grew up in the southern part of West Greenland in the 19305, sealskin was the most important material for making clothing, and sealskin and eider skin were much used for everyday and warm clothing. I clearly remember that in the 19305 and '405 we wore outer parkas of bird skin and skin boots, and even on the coldest days we were out playing without getting cold or ill.


Frederikke Petrussen

Figure 1 (above) Bolethe, Frederikke Petrussen's daughter, wearing a West Greenlandic national costume. Figure 2 (above right) Bolethe and her friend Naja Engelund Kristiansen wearing festive clothing from North Greenland. Qaanaaq, 1974.

Figure 3 Bolethe wearing winter clothing from North Greenland. Qaanaaq, 1974.The fox-skin parka (kapatak) and fox-skin trousers (arnatnannui), both with edgings of polar bear skin, were made by Frederikke Petrussen in 1973, and presented by her to the British Museum in 2001.


Materials Figure 4 (right) Bolethe on her confirmation day together with her parents Amandus and Frederikke Petrussen. Nanortalik, 1980. Figure 5 (far right) A picture of Bolethe's wedding.The picture shows the bride together with her husband Poul Stenskov and her father, pastor Amandus Petrussen, who presided at the wedding. Qaqortoq, 1992.

Figure 6 Frederikke Petrussen sewing avittatthis requires untiring persistence in order to finish.

In contemporary Greenland, sealskin clothing is still common, although in a modernized form. There are more and more people who wear sealskin jackets, mittens, trousers, and so on. Sealskin is also an indispensable part of our national costume, most of which is made of sealskin - without it, it would lose some of its valued and highly regarded character. Today, although there is still a great interest in skin preparation and sewing, there is a lack of knowledge about the preparation of fresh skins in the Greenlandic way. With regard to Greenland as a whole, I believe it is necessary to change the common notion that only elderly people are capable of preparing and sewing skin clothing. Personally, I take great pleasure and pride in the fact that today there are some young

people who are skilled in skin preparation and sewing, and I think that this should be encouraged more widely. For my part office work is no life for me - if it was like skin sewing, the result would have to be perfect. This paper was intended to provide a short introduction to the different kinds of animal skins which are the most important materials that we are using for our clothing in Greenland, presented on behalf of my fellow Greenlanders. Notes All the West Greenlandic national costumes shown in these pictures were made by Frederikke Petrussen from start to finish, including everything from skin preparation to sewing, embroideries, crocheting, and beadwork. 47

The Poor Man's Raincoat: Alaskan Fish-skin Garments

Fran Reed Fran Reed is an artist working with fibre arts and contemporary basketry using fish skins and hog casing, on which she has done independent research. A member of the Northwest Designer Craftsmen group, her numerous awards include the Western States Arts Federation/NEA Regional Fellowship for Visual Artists (1993), and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Artists in Giverny, France Fellowship (1996). In 1997 she was commissioned to construct fish-skin baskets for the Governor's Arts Awards.

Weather conditions in Alaska can be extreme and rain is very much a part of the environment. Raincoats have always been essential during hunting and gathering activities such as collecting bird eggs, seaweed or berries, as well as for fishing in the rivers or navigating the seas in a kayak (Nelson 1899: 118; Varjola 1990:147). Traditionally, the best waterproof parkas were made from locally available materials such as animal intestines, bird skin or fish skin (Jochelson 1968:18). These types of garments were used throughout the coastal regions of Alaska. Today, however, most rain parkas are made with commercially manufactured materials (Davidovi92s: 3; Jochelson 1968:18; Hickman 1987: 28-9). Gut Parkas

Around the coastal regions the seas were, and still are, the source of materials derived from animals that were necessary for survival. The intestine or gut parka, also referred to as a frock, coat, jacket, or kamlieka (a Russian word commonly used in Alaska for this type of garment), was made from the intestines of bears or sea mammals such as sea lion, seal, or walrus (Black 1982:161; Varjola 1990:147). The walrus was one of the most important animals, not only as a food source, but also because its skin was used for making boat covers, while its bones, ivory, and whiskers were used for creating tools and amulets. Most significant in this context was the use of entrails to make garments and containers. To a lesser extent the same can be said of the seal, sea lion and whale, whose contribution to the survival of the people was also crucial (Issenman 1997: 36). Utilitarian parkas were used for hunting from kayaks. They had simple hoods, little decoration, and ties around the wrists and hem. The hem-ties were used to secure the parka to the cockpit of the kayak, thus providing waterproof protection for the hunter in the open seas. The gut parka, or kamlieka, was used throughout coastal Alaska, with the most elegant examples made by the Aleuts whose ceremonial kamliekas were made from the intestines of the various sea mammals (Black 1982:158). The most delicate and prized intestine came from the bear, a material the Aleuts traded with the peoples of the mainland of Alaska (Osgood 1966: 50; DeLaguna 1972:427). These garments had no hood, but a high stand-up collar, and elaborate ornamentation around the collar, wrists and hem. The decorations were made with 48

dyed oesophagus, caribou hair embroidery and bird skins. Many of the kamliekas in museum collections today were designed in the Russian style with beautiful long panels, caped shoulders, and high stand-up collars. The Russians commissioned these garments for the crews of their trade ships. For a short time they were even considered high fashion, as evidenced by their being exhibited in the Paris Exposition of 1883 (Black 1982: plate XXII, 50; Fair 1985:144; Varjola 1990:147). The people further up the coast - Yup'ik, Ifiupiaq, and Siberian Yup'ik - used gut garments for the same purposes. Like the Aleuts, the Siberian Yup'ik of St Lawrence Island made distinctive parkas preferring the intestines of the ugruk (bearded seal). They prepared the intestine so as to create a supple white material, and stitched crested auklet feathers and orange mandibles into the seams (Fitzhugh and Kaplan 1982: 66; Nelson 1899: 37). Women prepared the intestine by washing and soaking it for several days, scraping the inner and outer surfaces, then stretching and inflating the intestine and letting it dry (VanStone 1989: 36). The drying process was accomplished in one of two ways. In the northern regions, especially on St Lawrence Island, the intestine was allowed to dry in cold, dark, windy weather for a considerable amount of time. This would cause the intestine to turn white. Intestine prepared in this manner was often referred to as 'bleached gut' or Vinter gut', and was very flexible and durable. The intestine tubing was then cut lengthwise and opened out to form long narrow bands. These bands of intestine were then stitched together horizontally or vertically to create a parka (Wilder 1976:16). In southwestern Alaska the gut parka was made primarily of seal, sea lion or walrus intestine and, like those from northern Alaska, was used for waterproof protection while kayaking, or for tide pool hunting and bird egg collecting. Preparation of the intestine was the same as in the northern region, but because of the less harsh weather with more daylight and warmer temperatures the intestine turned yellow in colour, and was thus referred to as 'summer gut'. When dry, the summer gut parka was less flexible and would tear easily. But when wet, the gut would become soft and flexible and conform to the wearer's body. The utilitarian parka took about two months to construct and with normal wear would last about five months (Hrdli^ka 1945: 74; Black 1982:157).

Materials Bird-skin Parkas

While the gut parka was well known for its waterproof and lightweight construction, the bird-skin parka was also popular for its protective qualities and versatility (Levin and Potapov 1964: 887). From the far north to the south, bird skins were used for making warm, waterproof garments. Bird-skin parkas were ideally suited for the cold and wet regions, especially along the Aleutian Islands. The parka was reversible, to provide protection either from the cold or the rain. During rainy weather the bird parka was worn with the feathers outside or under a gut overparka. When it was cold but dry, the parka was reversed to have the feathers on the inside. Bird-skin parkas were constructed of eider ducks, loons, cormorants, puffins, murres or other sea birds. Diving sea birds were preferred to land or non-diving birds due to their tougher skins (Marston 1969: 30; Issenman 1997: 74; see also Krech, this volume). In preparing the bird skin, it was necessary to skin the bird whole, and then scrape and wash the skin several times. The skin was cut from the inside so that the feathers were not damaged. For parkas from St Lawrence Island, as many as twenty whole murre skins were used, while from the Aleutian Islands up to 140 cormorant throat skins were used in these garments (Davidovi92s: 2; Elaine Kingeekuk, Savoonga, personal communication 2001). Unlike the gut parka, where an active hunter might go through two or three in a year, the birdskin parka could last up to two years before it needed replacing (Hidli£kai945:68). In the Yup'ik and Inupiaq regions along the coasts of the Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean, clothing was made from the skins of caribou, ground squirrel, and other land mammals (Gordon 1906: 79; Issenman 1997: 32). They were very detailed, expressing the wealth and skill of the wearer. Each element of these fancy winter fur parkas had a specific name that referred to the stories, spirits or history of the village or the wearer. Such garments were the mark of a husband who was a good hunter and a wife who excelled in her skill as a seamstress (Lantis 1946: 158; Mclntyre, this volume). Gut-, bird-and fish-skin garments were often highly ornamental and created as elaborate works of art. As J.C. Beaglehole wrote in The Voyage of the Resolution and Discovery 1776-1780, concerning the artistry of the Aleutian women: The form of the Garments here, as I have before observ'd, are like it of a Carman's or Seaman's frock, those of the Natives were made of Bird Skins, which were worn with the feather side inwards, over it they have another made of large Chitterlings, which are very excellent in wet Weather, the Needle work of these Cloths does great honour to the ingenuity of the Ladies of the Country, whose Needles are pieces of Bone modeled to that purpose, & whose thread, fine Sinews, take their productions for strength and neatness, and I believe they are to be excelled by no People under the Sun (1967:1337)-

very different from the skins of eel, burbot or Arctic char in size, shape, durability and transparency. Unlike the simple shapes of the intestine and bird skin, each fish-skin shape produced its own creative challenges. When making garments women did all the construction. It was the responsibility of the male hunters to provide the raw materials for the gut and bird-skin garments (Beaglehole 1967: 459)- By contrast, almost anyone could acquire fish. Women, children and the elderly were all capable of setting weirs and nets to harvest fish from the sea and rivers. In 1899 Edward Nelson wrote: 'On the Lower Yukon very poor people utilized even the skins of salmon for making their frocks' (p. 31). Nearly a hundred years later Bill Fitzhugh (1982: 140) suggests that Nelson may have picked up that bias from the Eskimos to the north, who used fish skins for ceremonial gloves or an occasional container, but never for garments (Jacobson 1977:134). For the Yup'ik to the south, the use offish skin played a large role as a clothing material, particularly in earlier times. This is especially true for those people who relied on the river for their survival (Hatt 1969: 8). Fish skin was a warm, durable and waterproof material. With the abundance offish in the Alaskan rivers and with the Native peoples' close affinity to the land and its resources, it followed naturally for fish skin to become widely used as a 'fabric' in the construction of garments, mittens, boots and containers (Fitzhugh 1982:43). Fish were abundant in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta throughout the year. The king, chum and silver salmon made up the largest supply of food and contributed greatly to the spiritual and material culture. The skin of the chum salmon was preferred for garment construction, as it was highly durable, strong and lightweight (Osgood 1940:116; Kaplan and Barness 1986:121). Also popular were the whitefish, blackfish, and Arctic char. Thinner-skinned fish such as burbot were also used for clothing, but were especially suitable as an alternative to gut in the construction of window coverings (Stefansson 1914:145). Eels, too, were a major source of material for the construction of garments and bags because of their massive migrations up the Yukon River each year (Dall 1870:180; Nelson 1899; VanStone 1996: 3). The fish-skin garment was primarily used as an over parka, or raincoat, and was constructed large enough to fit over a skin or bird parka to provide protection from the wind, rain, and as a cover when cleaning and preparing fish for winter storage. On Kodiak Island, the Alutiiq also used fish skin for raincoats, but were better known for their creative uses of intestines. The Yup'ik in southwestern Alaska and their Athabascan neighbours up the Yukon River, the Deg Hit'an (Ingalik) and Gwitch'in, refined their construction techniques to create garments as fine as their fancy winter fur parkas (Osgood 1940: 258; Hrdlic'ka 1945: 68; VanStone 1989: 36).

Fish-skin Garments

Alutiiq Hood

While the gut and bird-skin parkas were very important garments for protection from the rainy environment and for use at sea, the fish-skin raincoat was also an important garment, especially for the Yup'ik in the southwest region (Krech 1989: 118). Fish skin was also waterproof, but it required more preparation. The curvilinear shape of the fish made the construction more difficult, but it helped to generate exciting, varied and individual designs. Salmon skin, for instance, was

The Alutiiq rain hood in fig. i was collected by Sheldon Jackson from Kodiak Island in the late nineteenth century. It is now in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. It was made from Arctic char skins cut into panels and stitched together using a couching stitch of very fine sinew with approximately ten stitches per inch. The Arctic char, a species closely related to the salmon or lake trout, and nearly identical to the Dolly varden char, was abundant throughout the Alaskan 49

Fran Reed

Figure 1 Alutiiq hood. 19 inches wide by 24 inches from front of hood down the back.

Figure 2 Yup'ik parka. 35 inches across hem, 45 inches from top of hood to hem.

coastal areas (Armstrong 1996:14). Half-inch (13 mm) strips of alder-dyed salmon skin were used to divide each panel. In order to fit the fish skin into the hood design, small patches were added to the panels where the natural shape of the char skin was not large enough to fit the needed space. These patches were connected using a simple running stitch. The dorsal fin was removed, and the opening patched with salmon skin turned inside out and joined with a running stitch. Around the hood the dyed salmon skin was gathered and folded over the opening. The fish skin was then stitched onto the hood after careful placement, such that the dorsal fin patches formed a distinctive design element. The patches were located on the center of the back and front panels and at the top of each shoulder panel. Typical of all fish skin the garment is quite stiff but becomes flexible with the slightest spray of moisture. It is in excellent condition and a most elegant rain hood. Skin Preparation

Fish skins were prepared for stitching by carefully stripping off the meat after the fish were smoked and dried. Using a special tool for scraping, all the meat and oil on the skin was carefully removed (Oswalt and VanStone 1967: 97; Oakes and Riewe 1998:13). The skin was then soaked in urine for two or three days and strung on a cord to freeze-dry in the cold. This was a time-consuming process, not only in the amount of time required to scrape each skin, but also because each skin was prepared as the meat was eaten. The smoking and freezing processes helped to keep the skins flexible (Annie Alexie, Bethel, personal communication 2000; Fienup-Riordan 2005:133). Yup'ikParka

The Yup'ik garment in fig. 2 is also in the National Museum of Natural History. It was collected by Edward Nelson in the 18705 from the village of Russian Mission on the lower Yukon River. It was constructed of very light salmon skins stitched together side by side. The subtle design of the garment required placing the 50

front end of each skin next to the back end of the neighbouring skin. In this way several skins were placed together to make a larger 'fabric'. To accentuate the design, the dorsal fin of each skin was typically patched with salmon skin, except for a few which were patched with seal throat. The skins were stitched together to form a zigzag design running horizontally around the body of the garment. These panels were then spaced apart using a half-inch (13 mm) wide strip of dyed salmon skin placed inside out, along with an eighth-inch (3 mm) strip of white seal throat or sealskin. Triangular gussets of dyed salmon skin formed the shoulders of the garment. The strips were stitched together using a simple running stitch of sinew or slit gut. The hood, cuff and hem do not show any finish detail. Sinew and Stitches

There were numerous types of stitches used in the construction of this garment, each with a special purpose and name, but three were the most common: the simple folded seam using a running stitch; the couching stitch using grass, sinew, or gut along the seam; and the over stitch (fig. 3), where each fabric was folded and stitched with a running stitch followed by an additional thread to connect the seam (Hatt 1969: 22; Hickman 1987: 8). The most common thread was made of sinew from the tendons of whales, caribou and other mammals, although cotton thread, grass and fine strips of gut were also used (Nelson 1899: no). The thick strands of dried sinew were beaten out, combed and shredded by hand. The fibers were then plied together to the size desired. The thread was extremely strong and when exposed to water would swell and render the seam watertight (Gordon 1906: 79; Krech 1989:113; Varjola 1990:147; Oakes and Riewe 1998:19, 22). Deg Hit'an Parka

The unique eel-skin parka from the Yukon River in fig. 4 was collected from the Yup'ik's neighbours up-river, the Deg Hit'an (Ingalik). It is now in the Cherry collection at the Field Museum,


Chicago. It was made in the 18905 in the village of Anvik. For its construction over 200 eel skins were stitched into panels. Each major panel is made of three smaller panels, approximately 3 by 10 inches (7.6 by 25.5 cm), each in turn consisting of three eel skins stitched together with sinew using a simple inside folded seam. The narrow panels were stitched together end to end to form long panels which were then accentuated by halfinch wide (13 mm) dyed salmon skin strips sewn into the vertical seams. At the top of the garment the skin strips were turned horizontally and run across the chest and down the sleeves. Small gussets were added to each side of the hem to add a slight flare to the garment. The hood and cuffs were trimmed with cotton cloth, while the hem was trimmed with beaver fur. The intricacy of construction produced a very elegant and sophisticated design, and indicates that this garment was probably meant to be more than just a raincoat (Osgood 1940:258). Dyeing and Tanning

Alder and sometimes willow bark was, and still is, used to tan skins. Bark chips were removed from the limbs and added to a pot of boiling water. The pot was removed from the heat and allowed to cool to lukewarm. The soaked chips were rubbed on the inside of the skin, which was then folded and rolled and left to cool overnight. The next day, the skin was opened, the chips were removed and the skin stretched out to dry. This was not only a tanning process, but a dyeing process as well, and produced a wonderful soft red colour in the skin (Hatt 1969:16). Gwitch'in Dress Figure 3 Over stitch. Drawing after a sewing sample made by ClaraTiulana from King Island for demonstration in summer 1985 at the American Festival at the Museum of Mankind, London.

Further up the Yukon River, above the Arctic Circle, William Dall in the i86os collected the short-sleeved Gwitch'in dress in fig. 5, now in the National Museum of Natural History. This dress was made of burbot, a member of the cod family found in rivers of interior Alaska (Armstrong 1996:18). Because of the fragility of the material, this is a very unique skin garment.

Figure 4 (right) Deg Hit'an parka. 36 inches across hem, 45 inches from top of hood to hem. Figure 5 (far right) Gwitch'in dress. 51 inches hood to hem, 43 inches shoulder to hem, 56 inches cuff to cuff.


Fran Reed

When the fish was skinned, both the belly and the back were torn apart. The result was a V-shaped skin. The gap in the skin was filled with an additional skin, producing a design that was accentuated with tiny strips of alder-dyed salmon and blackfish skins. The design created by the curved dark fish skins at the end of each panel produced a very exciting detail. By stitching them together in this fashion, a subtle overall 'X' design was created. The skins were stitched inside out using grass as a thread (approximately four stitches per inch (25 mm)). New grass was tied in approximately every three inches (76 mm). The hood and cuffs were finished with folded fish skins, and the cuffs and hem were trimmed with rows of black and dyed fish skin. Conclusion

These four garments were created taking various design considerations into account. They were constructed from the skins of Arctic char, salmon, eel and burbot, with different


methods of stitching in each garment. They were stitched with sinew or grass or a combination of the two. The shape of the skins either defined the design or was altered to accommodate the overall pattern. All these garments exhibit the wonderful inventiveness of the seamstresses and hold special interest for the artist or historian in their continued study of garmentmaking by the various cultures in their adaptation to climatic forces and the material resources available to them. In 1940 Cornelius Osgood wrote that although 'fishskin pants were more often worn by men, occasionally some old woman who can get no other kind of skin makes a pair of trousers of fishskin' (p. 262). Fish skin was available to everyone, rich or poor, male or female, young or old. Although, by comparison to other Alaskan garments of skin and intestine very few fish-skin items were collected by museums, it should be noted that fish skin was the more abundant material resource and was available throughout the region. Fish-skin garments reflect the true resourcefulness and ingenuity of the indigenous people of Alaska.

Tupigat (Twined Things): Yup'ik Grass Clothing, Past and Present

Ann Fienup-Riordan Anthropologist Ann Fienup-Riordan has published many books on Yup'ik history and oral tradition, including Eskimo Essays: Yup'ikLives andHowWeSeeThem (1990), The LivingTradition of Yup'ik Masks (1996), and Wise Words of the Yup 'ik People: We Talk to You Because WeLoveYou (2005). She has lived and worked in Alaska for over thirty years. In 2000 she received the Alaska Federation of Natives Denali Award for her work with Yup'ik people, and in 2001 the Governor's Award for Distinguished Humanist Educator.

Discussions of Arctic clothing celebrate women's skill using sinew thread to shape animal pelts, bird skins, fish skin, and gut. What of the lowly grass plant, ubiquitous along the coast of southwestern Alaska? Although animals were sometimes hard to find, grass was within easy reach of every dwelling and required no loom or tool other than the human hand to shape it into myriad useful forms. Contemporary Yup'ik elders speak long and often about the importance of this commonplace material, insignificant to the untrained eye but actually of lifesaving importance.

look as if they are split apart. They call them nuyaruat [water weeds, literally 'imitation hair'] They would use those as tissues to wipe with... collecting lots for their wiping purposes And they also used those as rags and as towels when they took a steambath, folding them a few times They call them evegveret [grasses] or nuyaruat ... Kelugkat, taperrnat, and iitat were the strong ones— They twined using those to lace with. Yup'ik twiners distinguish between 'male' and 'female' blades of grass and only use 'female' blades for twining, as the 'male' blades are hard and inflexible. Ironically, this Yup'ik classification reverses the Western biological one, as the 'male' blades are those burdened with seeds. Theresa elucidates the

Types of Crass and their Uses Theresa Moses was born in Cew'arneq (near Kipnuk) in 1928 and moved to Nelson Island when she married. She described the many kinds of grass and their various uses: Our elders used to tell us to always have a supply of grass since [those grasses] didn't like to run away. They told us to gather them before they were covered. The fall season was the time for people to gather many different things for the coming winter. We gathered iitat [tall cottongrass, Eriophorum angustifoliuni], the kind that have roots that mice eat. That was the kind of grass used to make twined socks. And the kelugkat [coarse grass], the grass that grew along rivers and lakes, was used for bedding. Long strands of kelugkat were also used to interlace little fish to hang for drying... and to make into tote-bags. And on Nelson Island taperrnat [coarse seashore grass, Elymus mollis] is also used for things just like kelugkat; I used to make twined grass linings for fish skin mittens used by men when they paddled in their kayaks. All the grass and weeds that grow are used for many things such as bedding and baskets to store things. However, I've never heard of the inaqacit [flat seashore grass, from inar-, lying down'] that grow with the taperrnat being used alone for anything. But they mixed them with taperrnarrluut [poorquality seashore grass] and used them to string fish. The can'get [blades of grass, general term] are used to line boot soles... and to line the interior of houses to keep the soil from falling. They used twined mats made out of kelugkat to line their walls, for bedding, for the doorway; they also used them for partitions when girls had their first menstruations. Twined grass was very useful since they were the only kind they had. Mary Mike of St Mary's briefly described the vocabulary of grass on the lower Yukon River: Their names were different in the Yukon area. Can'get, qayikvayuut [wheat grass, Agropyronsp.], taperrnat, kelugkat, and iitat... .And those that grow in the marsh... are long and soft to the touch and

Yup'ik logic: They still only gather the female plant because the male plants are good for nothing. The male plants are too hard and difficult to work with Female plants have nothing on top and are very easy to work with. We always gather the female plant nowadays. The kelugkat and taperrnat both have male counterparts Every living thing has a male and female counterpart, including weeds. The 'male' and 'female' grasses sometimes had different names. Theresa continued: The male counterparts of can'get are called tugkugpiit. The female can'get have many branches and are much softer then the male plant. ... When we gather can'get we get both male and female plants together. They are used for many things. Catherine Moore of Emmonak noted a similar distinction in the Yukon area: 'When they gathered kelugkat they tried to get the tall ones and not their angucaluit [male counterparts, from angun, 'man'].' Harvesting Grass Harvesting grass was a major fall-time activity, requiring hours of backbreaking labor. Paul John of Toksook Bay recalled: In the fall, either just before or after freeze-up, the women collected grass when it turned pale. They would place their large collection of grass away from the house, and the pile would look like a small house. And they would use that huge pile of grass all winter. And since they didn't have beds with springs, they used the grass for bedding. And then they would place twined grass sewn together on top of the grass. They would be about 4 feet [122 cm] wide. They would use them all winter as their bedding They harvested a lot of grass. Since it was the women's responsibility, they were told to harvest grass before it became too cold in the fall and the grass was covered with snow. They were told to get the grass before Ellam Yua


Ann Fienup-Riordan [the person of the universe] covered the ground with its huge hands. In the fall the elders would say to the women, 'You young girls go out and begin harvesting some grass. Gather some taperrnat and kelugkat before Ellam Yua covers them with its huge hands.'

Paul also described the legendary reaction of grass to this constant harvesting, recalling the story of the discontented grass plant that Edward Nelson (1899: 505-10) recorded a hundred years before. Paul noted: During the time ofqulirat [legends] a human form was developing, going from one form to another, having different guises. As a prelude to developing into a human form, it tried all the plants on earth as guises. When it was a grass, it was not satisfied because too many people harvested it in the autumn. It did not enjoy being a grass.

After the grass was harvested, it was dried and stored for future use. Catherine recalled: Grass wasn't cut and twined immediately. When grass was cut, they spread it out to dry and kept it from getting wet. As soon as the grass turned pale, they stored it in the storage shed. They did this with all the grass that was picked. Mats, Bags and Dolls of Crass

Harvested grass was used for every conceivable purpose. Tupigat (twined things, from tupig-, 'to weave or twine') were ubiquitous in Yup'ik daily life. Strictly speaking, the traditional technique used for making many grass articles was twining, a construction method in which two flexible weft strands are twisted around an assemblage of rigid warp elements, rather than the over-under process normally assocated with weaving (Molly Lee, personal communication; Mason 1972 [1904]). Mary gave a useful inventory: Long ago, people used this grass quite considerably for many different things. They would twine them together and make a bag out of them. They would make a pouch, they would twine them together and make mats out of them and curtains for the doors. There used to be alot of twined grass. They would place those on top of their fish rack and also used them for windbreakers.

During a three-week trip to the Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin, Paul and Catherine, along with Wassilie Berlin of Kasigluk and Annie Blue of Togiak, had an opportunity to examine and comment in detail on a variety of tupigat made in southwestern Alaska in the i88os and brought back to Berlin by the Norwegian collector Johan Adrian Jacobsen (FienupRiordan 2005). The elders had seen and used similar objects in their young years, and they commented in detail and at length. They looked at large grass sleeping mats placed as padding between the earth floor and reindeer-skin bedding, and rolled up during the day when not in use. Annie observed that one (IVA4267) was made by a left-handed person, while another (IVA4265) was made by someone who was right-handed. Paul noted that the outer side of each mat was frayed, while the side in good condition had lain next to the wall. Wassilie described the ikaraliitet (kayak mats) he had used when he was young:

Figure 1 Multiuse grass bag from the tundra area with willow strips braided into it for decoration.


My kayak mats were twined finely with smaller mesh. And the sides of my kayak mat weren't frayed. My kayak mat wasn't too wide The kayak mats were twined tightly, and the ends and sides were woven securely so grass wouldn't come off easily.

Theresa noted the inherited designs women twined into each mat: When you twined the ikaraliitet, if you owned the kind of design that asked for a very thin piece you'd put it there; or some people would go across here on the edge, then put a thick piece next. And if her family had a certain design she'd put it in the middle of the mat. They always put their own designs even on twined grass. Even on the bedding mats you'd put wide pieces first and thin pieces next, and those were your designs. And if a pregnant woman sat on the mat, she'd sit on it with the design showing down below her feet, and sometime during pregnancy they would turn the mat around and the design would be under her head when she lay down. This was to ensure that the baby's head turned toward the birth canal.

Theresa also described how mats were placed in kayaks to help carry the fish or other game the hunter harvested: They also used long pieces of twined grass they called cayukautet inside the back floor of their kayaks... when they went after fish. .. .They were used for matting... and were long and extended all the way back— They'd fill the back of the kayak with fish. And when they unloaded they'd keep pulling the twined grass mat until all the fish was gone.

Paul also explained how grass mats were used to line walls during the construction of their semi-subterranean sod dwellings: Before the sod was put on the roof, the women were asked to make grass mats to place between the roof planks and the sod covering. After the qaniit [wooden roofing planks] were placed on the frame, the prepared grasses called qerqulluut or eviutet [from evek, 'grass'] were placed [over the wood] before the sod was put on the qasgi [communal men's house] frame— Grass was also used as a kangciraq [tarpaulin]. Loosely twined grass was used as a lining on the inside walls of the houses. Little wooden pegs tacked the kangciraq on the wall, keeping it from falling. When the weather warmed up intermittently, the dirt floor of the houses would turn soft. When the soil softened like that, they would get some grass from the big pile and lay it on top of that softened soil. Then the floor's condition would be a lot better. When the mats got worn out, they threw them away outside and replaced them.

Grass was also twined into containers, including a variety of grass bags and baskets. Catherine gave a detailed description of

Materials Figure 2 Clara Agartak of Nightmute on Nelson Island storing dried herring in a large issran, an open-twine bag that she quickly made from nearby grasses.

a large, multiuse grass bag (IVA4255, fig. i) from the tundra area, with willow strips braided into it for decoration: Here's a big issran [twined grass bag]. Bags like these take a long time to make. First the taperrnat are dried. They pick the grass with the roots and lay them on rocks to dry. When the grass dries and turns white, the roots are removed. If the grass isn't completely dried, it tends to break when twined. A weaver will begin at the base, but using one blade as thread. When the base is done, you'd begin coming up, twining the side of the bag. Here at the end you'd add more grass to make it wider When you begin to twine around the second time, you'd cut those two which were added. You'd keep twining the bottom part... in a regular pattern, tupipiggluni [genuine twined stitches]. And the top part is twined in a pattern called mallegtat [closely twined stitches, from malleg-, 'to be close together']. It was twined straight up without adding more grass to increase the width— They also decorated them with dyed material. This looks like it was dyed with blackberries. This is a very nice bag.

Annie was also impressed, commenting on the patience it took to make such a large bag. In the past she had seen people twining grass all the time, including grass bedding, kayak mats, bags, and baskets: 'When I was little, I was surrounded by people twining.' Annie and Catherine spoke about the many things stored in these grass containers, including pelts, provisions and personal possessions. Even Wassilie was moved to comment: 'This is a qemaggvik [container for something precious]. When the son of a couple got married, a bag like this would be brought out filled with garments for the new bride. New garments made for a son's future wife were kept hidden in bags like these.' The elders also examined a large grass bag (IVA5525) from Nushagak, with looser weave and larger stitches similar to the one in fig. 2. Wassilie commented, 'These open-twine grass bags were called ukilqaamat [from ukineq, 'hole'] because you can see through them.' Catherine remembered the bag's many uses: I saw bags like these for traveling. We filled them with berries and greens and carried them on our backs. When we picked berries, we'd line the bag with pieces of an old seal-gut garment before we filled it with berries. Bigger bags were also used when we gathered firewood. I don't think they lined the bags when they filled them with things such as mussels, clams, and sea anemones.

Examining a group of three grass bags from the Yukon (IVA426o, IVA4276, IVA439i) and one from the Kuskokwim (IVA4468), Annie remembered similar bags used to store blackberries in water. Catherine commented on how they had been made: 'These tupigat weren't started from the bottoms These are made of dried iitat. Over in our area we call these qecugat [from qecug-, to pull out]. This is a kalngak [bag] ... used for blackfish.' Holding the two short pieces of grass extending from the base of the Kuskokwim bag, Paul brought the container to life: This bag is made out of cottongrass, but some made bags out of qayikvayiit [wheat grass] or cangiat [grass in general] to store fish in to keep frozen In my home we called them naparcilluut [rigid, upright grass baskets] The naparcilluut I saw had two pieces of grass sticking out of the bottom They'd say these were the legs for the naparcilluk. There's a story about a young man who always arrived in the village with a big bag like this in his sled. When people saw him arrive, they'd say, 'Gosh, you're such a strong person.' Since the young man was an angalkuq [shaman], he'd reply that whenever he got to a bag with two things like this he'd say to it, 'Well then, get into my sled.' The naparcilluk would use these two pieces of grass as legs and walk and get into his sled. That was why bags for frozen fish were made like this.

Paul and Wassilie identified a long, slender grass bag (IVA4264) from the Yukon as a man's carrying bag for his equgcun (wood splitter). Paul and Annie identified a group of grass baskets (IVA4229, IVA4230, IVA4233, IVA4434, IVA4485, IVA552I, IVA7266, fig. 3) from all over the region as aguumat (storage baskets). Jacobsen reported that the baskets were used to store sewing utensils, but Paul mentioned a wider variety of uses. Turning to Annie, he teased, 'My tobacco pouch, my keys, and my money, I'd say I'm putting them in my aguumaq.'' In fact, grass bags were twined for every conceivable use. Men kept bladder water containers in twined grass bags as they traveled in the ocean. Valuable clay pots, made by mixing clay with seal oil and the ashes of burned grass, also had twined grass covers to protect them from breaking. Annie described a sugarviutaq [bag for sugaruat or dolls] she had when she was young, made of twined taperrnat with a swallow sewn inside to give her wealth and strength. And Wassilie recalled grass backpacks with evenly spaced holes twined into their upper edges so 55

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that they could be attached to wooden carrying yokes for hauling heavy loads of caribou meat out of the mountains. Young girls also routinely twined miniature grass mats and bags as practice pieces and used them when playing with their doll families. In Berlin, Catherine and Annie examined a dozen miniature grass items from the Yukon. Annie recalled: These are doll families' possessions This [IVA4279] is a bedding mat which we girls loved to play with... for our doll families back in those days. The bedding was made out of uyat [bird-neck skins]. We always had doll families back in those days and really treasured them. This was probably a bag— This cute toy akluinqun [clothing bag] was also stitched with mallegtat [closely twined stitches]. My, people back in those days were so skilled.

Catherine had also played with dolls: My past life just flashed before me These [IVA4285, IVA4279] are made of iitat. And the others are definitely taperrnat. And they called ones with tops like this kangcirat [tarpaulins, sled sheets]. They were placed behind their toy houses. And mallegtarpakwas the name for this toy bag [IVA4492]. And this narrow toy bag was called mallegtayagaq. These took a long time to make. I think these were used as door flaps. Doorways had covers like these.

Grass was also used for such unlikely purposes as catching fish, as when Catherine used grass to twine a small fish trap: After we gathered qayikvayiit [wheat grass] I started twining— We set the trap and checked it now and then, but they didn't let us eat the fish that was caught. We kept a grass basket up on the shore by our trap for our fish— When the river started to freeze, we pulled out our trap and our basket was filled with fish. Fish we caught with just a twined trap were offered during Elriq [the Great Feast for the Dead].

When taking sweatbaths, in which the fire was stoked and men enjoyed the intense heat, people used qanermiat (firebath respirators) made of grass to filter out smoke and hot air, and they used grass as a bath towel when the firebath was done. Paul recalled: Kelugkat, not taperrnat, were also used by men to wipe themselves after taking a firebath. They used a talun [shredder] to shred the grass, and when the strands were braided a little bit, they called it nasqiqerluki. The men used the braided part to wipe their bodies— They hung them when they weren't in use. When men used these in firebaths, they'd squeeze them to get rid of the water, and they'd wipe their bodies again until they were dry. They could break if they were wrung. These are perriutaat [towels] for wiping water.

Figure 3 Pauljohn and Annie Blue examininga group ofaguumat (grass storage baskets).


Twined Crass Liners for Fish-skin Boots and Mittens

Among the most impressive uses of grass was the construction of alliqsiit (grass boot-liners) (fig. 4). Such 'grass stockings' were used by both men and women, especially with fish-skin boots which, although waterproof, provided little insulation. Grass socks were ubiquitous in coastal villages through the 19508. Theresa recalled: I used grass in my boots all the time and I never saw store-bought socks. When I first became aware, I never saw jackets or shoes. We only wore twined grass socks. And when my sister was sick with three children, she was lying on the bed dying and under her pillow was a bundle of tied up grass.

The ingenuity of using this simple material to craft something so essential impressed the descendants of their makers. All the elders who visited Berlin had used grass socks and described their importance. Annie began: Up Togiak River we called these alliqsiit I've become an old woman and still haven't learned to make these. But when I was a girl, I watched women twining them. Men used them as liners in their hunting boots. These are twined with mallegtat [closely twined stitches]. And this [other] pair of socks is called tupipiarumalriik [those two that are genuinely twined, from tupig-, 'to twine'] — These are made out of cottongrass. I used to go with women gathering it. We'd bring a bundle of young grass into the house, then cut off their bottom portion and put them into a bowl. When we got enough, we'd store them in seal oil, and people would eat them with great enjoyment.

Catherine added detail: They dried the cottongrass before they used it for twining. When the grass was twined, it was soft and easy to work with. My, someone sure was skilled in making these mallegtat stitches When my stepmother was teaching me how to twine, I was thinking to myself, 'Gosh, I wonder when I'm going to be done with this one?' She taught me to twine socks starting from the soles. The front part of the sock was made a little wider. And when I got to the toe part... she showed me how to decrease the stitches. You'd repeat the same stitches, going back and forth. And when you get to the part which will cover the ankles, you twine until you get to the appropriate length— I finally finished a pair of socks like these. But I've never made a pair with mallegtat stitches. Looking at them, they look difficult to twine.

Paul added detail on the different methods used to twine grass socks:

Figure 4 Alliqsiit (grass liners) for skin boots.


The socks twined in a spiral manner were called alliqsiit. The area that would cover the toes was twined by going back and forth. The upper part of the sock which would cover the ankles was twined with stitches going upwards in a spiral manner until it was the right height. And for the socks they called qugcuutet, they began twining the grass, and when it was a certain length, they'd fold it to the part you would pull on when you put on the sock. And they twined the sides of the socks going back and forth, and then they joined the two sides. That was how they made qugcuutet. Paul also described how loose grass was used as insulation: 'Twined socks this size were large enough to be stuffed . . . with piineq [dried grass used for insoles] in cold winter weather.... The loose grass lining was called piineq, and the twined sock was called alliqsaq.' Annie concluded, 'When a person put on a nice pair of skin boots, these were used to line the boot.' Wassilie noted that fish-skin ivrucik (waterproof boots) were known as amiriik (from amiq, 'skin') and used in dry, cold winter weather. They were lined with grass in the bottom and worn with grass socks by both men and women. Grass was used to insulate mittens as well as boots. Coastal hunters routinely wore salmon-skin mittens while kayaking and sled driving, and in winter they lined them with braided grass liners. Particularly towards springtime when the snow started to melt, they protected well against moisture. Paul noted: 'They also twined liners out of cottongrass for their arilluut [fish-skin mittens], which they used while hunting on the ocean. When men went out in the winter, they always took the woven liners to keep themselves warm.' People also wrapped loose grass around their feet as insulation. Mary described how this was done: They placed the grass right along [the insole]. The grass was very thick and it was not twined. And then using the same grass, they would measure out their feet and use grass right along [the top]. Then they would wrap the foot with grass and put on that fish skin boot. Using grass for insole, their feet never got cold. Some of the children... who I used to play with, I used to wait for them to put their boots on. Their mothers did that to them all the time. When their mothers put on their boots, they would continuously crumple the grass, placing their feet on the grass and folding it, they would wrap them [with grass] and then let them put on their waterproof skin boots... I guess they changed them when they became mashed! ... Those don't get broken up after being used once... They would have grass insoles all the time. Grass was also stuffed into wet skin boots to prevent them from shrinking. Looking at a pair of caribou-skin wading boots, Annie remarked: 'When they were wet and were dried without any kind of stuffing, they shrank... and got damaged. If they had been dried stuffed with grass, they would have kept their shape.' Grass socks also played a part in ceremonial events, such as the foot races that took place the day following the arrival of the guests for a Messenger Feast. Wassilie recalled races he had observed at Nunacuaq, near the present-day village of Kasigluk: The young married men who were just starting families prepared to run against their teasing cousins. That time there was a lot of snow on the ground. When the race was being prepared, a man would leave the qasgi [communal men's house]. He would come back in holding amiriik that were already lined with grass. When he came in, he would stand in the middle and look at all the young men around the room. Then he would choose one young man, have him sit, remove his boots, and replace them with new boots. Another man would do the same. After all the young men were dressed, a man on the side would turn to them and say, 'As you run on this race, proceed without any worries. We have just released the old life. It will not be

remembered again. Run with all your might.' Then the young men went out... wearing qasperet [cloth parka covers] and holding staffs. They were also wearing belts around their waists. Boot grass was changed regularly, as broken, worn grass had less insulating value. Theresa recalled that new grass would grow up in places where old grass was dropped: Taperrnat were used to line their boots in the wilderness, and at the place where they dropped used grass lining a clump of grass would later grow. New grass would grow after the old, used grass was dropped there. You know, when you move about on the tundra you sometimes come across a clump of grass grown in an unusual spot. People would say it was from the old boot grass. Wassilie told the story of the giant Uayaran who traveled the tundra checking his traps wearing huge amiriik lined with grass: As he walked, his feet would begin to slide in his boot when his grass lining got worn and crumbled. Then over at the tip of Akulurat, he'd climb on the high ground... where the bluffs begin to come down, the place they called Kinkinret. It was there he'd climb to the top and change the grass in his boots. The place where he changed his grass is now grown with taperrnat. Annie described another use of old boot-sole grass: Long ago I heard people talking about how they gathered nengyauryuut [dentalia] from a place near Ugaassat. They would tie boot-sole grass together and throw it into the water in the lake so they would catch the nengyauryuut, which they used as ornaments. The nengyauryuut would quickly swarm over the grass. After they took the grass out from the water, they'd kill them. Their little ribs are a hollow cord like a tube. They'd remove the ribs and cut them into assorted lengths, some short and some long... Then they set the cut pieces outside to bleach in the sun They were easy to cut when they were fresh, but they became hard to cut with an uluaq [woman's knife] when they dried and bleached. They would become beautiful beads.

Saving Oneself With Crass Although grass boot and mitten liners are now rarely used in southwestern Alaska, grass may still be 'worn' in an emergency. In fact, among the most impressive uses to which Yup'ik people put grass to this day is as lifesaving insulation under clothing when a person is cold and wet out in the wilderness. In 1977,1 heard Paul John give the following advice to a group of Toksook Bay highschool students (Shield and Fienup-Riordan 2003: 726-31). I never forgot what he said and have repeated it to my own children. His admonitions bring home the importance of understanding the uses of grass. They had advice about grass when people didn't go without it back then. If a person does not know where the village is and happens to bump into a pile of stored grass, he is to go inside that grass and wait for the blizzard to pass. It is said that if a person is within that pile of grass, he is not going to get cold. That is true. And I will tell a little about what you are to do during a storm If you are far from the village, you collect some grass. When you get enough, grab a handful in each hand and tie the two ends together. If you have a jacket, turn it inside out and use that grass as insulation. Having unzipped your jacket, take it off and sling over your shoulder half the grass you've tied together. Do the same thing to the other bunch of grass tied together, slinging it over the other shoulder to the back. If you have a companion, have your companion insulate your back with grass you've collected. If you are by yourself, do the best you can and insulate your back. When you put your coat back on, spread out the grass in your front for insulation and then fill out your sleeves, too. Sometimes it's OK to insulate only the chest area in the summer. When you have placed some grass on your chest inside your coat, not very much water will get to your body. Your coat will be


Ann Fienup-Riordan

soaked, but because of the grass insulation, it will not touch your body much. The water will drip onto the ground. You won't be cold, even though your coat is wet... and you are quite a way from your village. Or sometimes the boats get weather-bound nowadays. You took off in a boat with plans that you will be coming home the same day, but the wind picked up and made it impossible for you to return. If you cannot return and you follow the aforementioned advice during the rain, you won't be cold, even though you are in a boat. This is if you have forgotten your raincoat. Even though the rain has gotten your coat wet, the rain is going to dribble down through the grass while you are sitting down. And if you are not going to be walking around, you can do the same thing with your legs. Even though they may prickle at first, you stuff some grass in there. The grass is warm and a good lifesaver in bad weather. They will save a person from hypothermia— If a person falls through the ice in the falltime and gets completely wet and it's not raining outside, he should look for some grass. A person is not going to die quickly from hypothermia. He is to look for a grassy area and take off his clothes. He is to quickly wring out his clothes, underwear and all, and then insulate himself with dry grass. He is not going to be cold even though his clothes are wet. He is going to warm up if he is moving around. Even though the outer wear is still wet and cold, the underwear will dry out. The grass will have helped him— He won't be cold. If you happen to have children, you can advise your children about what I have told you if they are going to go somewhere in the fall when it's dangerous to go anywhere... I went through that one time, and since I remembered what they did, I used some grass for insulation. But I didn't totally immerse. My chest was above water, but it was cold outside. Because I remembered the saying, as soon as I saw a grassy area, I quickly ran to it... and lifted up the part of my T-shirt that was wet and wrung it. And then I took off my pants after taking off my boots. I wrung out my underpants and put them back on. Then I quickly wrung out my pants. Since I was wearingpiZugu/c [sealskin boots] with the fur side in, and since I knew how to use grass for insoles, I bent the length of the grass to the right size for my boots and placed them inside my boots. I put on my boots, but I didn't pull them all the way up. And then I insulated my pants with grass all the way up to my waist inside my small parka like this. After that, I put on my coat. After putting them on I stood up and my clothing got cold. When they got cold, I started bending my knees. The part where my knees were was no longer cold. I should have been cold, but I wasn't. When I started moving around, my torso felt as if it hadn't fallen into the water. My underwear started drying out, but my outerwear was cold. The areas where my joints were located were OK. I wasn't cold because my underwear was dried out. When I went through the experience of falling into the water, I found out that what they used to say is true.

cold out in the wilderness when there is not a house around to use for shelter. If you used the grass for a seat, you would help yourself from getting cold.

Paul's description of the insulating value of grass may help to explain the function of an unusual 'grass shirt' or parka the Kuskokwim trader A.H. Twitchell collected in the early 19005 and later sold to George Heye for his American Indian museum in the Bronx (now the National Museum of the American Indian) (fig. 5). Although this remarkable piece is unique in museum collections, Kuskokwim residents remember seeing similar parkas in use when they were young. Trimmed in fur and tightly woven, the parka may have been worn under an imarnin (seal-gut rain parka). Like the makeshift grass parkas that Paul advised hunters to construct if they became wet or stranded while traveling in the wilderness, this grass garment could keep a person warm and dry in many cold, wet situations. The lifesaving properties of grass were also celebrated in oral tradition. Mary recalled the story of a young girl who saved herself from being carried away by the northern lights by holding tight to a single blade of grass: Apparently, the northern lights tried to fly people away.... They say there was a woman out in the wilderness who they tried to take away. It was only one blade of grass that kept her from flying away. If it had been a bunch they probably would have broken off. She held on to one blade of grass ... that got stuck to her hand. It saved her life. They say at times she would lose her ground, and when the northern lights ascended they would make a hissing sound. Her feet would fly off the ground sometimes. Then suddenly she felt something hit her hand. After they flashed by she looked down and saw a blade of grass stuck in her hand. It kept her from flying off.

In another traditional tale, Mary described how a young woman wandering alone in the wilderness saw the grass door covering to a sod house. Parting the grass, she saw a large man and a pretty woman who said that they were aware of her desperate situation and so had allowed her to see their dwelling. The couple told her to enter, and they fed and cared for her there all winter until the weather was warm enough for her to return to her village. Leaving the house in the spring, the girl looked back

Paul also described how a person could use grass to stay warm in cold, snowy weather (Shield and Fienup-Riordan 2003: 736-7): And if one of you accidently gets stranded, you are to go to the grass. If one does not have a shovel and if the snow is not hard, one is to step on the grass, brush off that snow from the grass with ones's feet. When they appear, one is to pick them from the base. When one has enough grass and is still cold, one is to place that grass inside one's coat, provided that the grass is dry. It is called ekiiq [from ekiaq, 'lining']. And if one doesn'thave coveralls and if one has longjohns, one is to put grass inside one's pants. It will be as if one is wearing coveralls. One is not going to be as cold as one would have been. And then when riding on a snow machine on a wet day, it is always wet and uncomfortable to sit... even if the pants are thick. When the weather is warm enough to melt snow, the seat gets wet. If one sees some grass, one should collect it, divide the grass into two, and tie them together by the tips,... place them on the seat, and sit on them. That way one's buttocks are not going to get wet. And if it starts raining, he is to get grass. He notices that there are bushes around. If he has a cutting tool, he is to get some branches and tie them together so that they would not be dropping off and then place them underneath the grass that he has placed on the seat, and his buttocks will be dry. When the buttocks are wet, it makes one


Figure 5 'Grass shirt' collected by Kuskokwim trader A.H.Twitchell in the early 1900s.


and saw that it was actually a den and her hosts were a male and a female bear. Ceremonial Uses of Crass

Given the importance of grass and grass clothing in daily life, it is not surprising that grass also played a prominent part in Yup'ik ceremonial activity. Among the most elegant expressions of the importance of grass, and plants generally, are three 'plant masks' collected by Otto Geist from Old Hamilton on the lower Yukon in 1934 (fig. 6). Along with the masks, Geist also collected this enigmatic story, perhaps describing grasses engaged in the traditional game ofcaukia in which players spin a wooden top and call out 'Caukia [Come to me]!' to encourage it to stop facing in their direction: 'Out of the earth grass and other growing plants appeared. As they grew out from the earth they would spin a top. Whenever the top would stop spinning they would quarrel among themselves saying that the top had turned toward them' (quoted in Fienup-Riordan 1996: 241). The jaw of each mask, held in place by cotton string, would open and close when the masks moved, perhaps representing the grasses' periodic quarreling. Each spring, men donned masks like these in a ceremony known in some areas as Agayuyaraq (the way of praying for or requesting an abundance of things in the coming year). Theresa explained the masks' meaning: They say they made masks which represented things— Perhaps the angalkut [shamans] allowed them to present things they wanted. If they wanted many seals to come in the springtime they presented a seal mask; or if they wanted to have plenty of walrus they presented a walrus mask. They would make the images of things they wanted to acquire.

When Justina Mike of St Mary's examined a photograph of the three plant masks in February 1993, she suggested that they likely embodied a similar request: They would agayu [dance with masks]. The people in the village would ask the berries to be plentiful in the coming summer. Perhaps this is the person of those plants. They say sometimes many plants would grow. Perhaps that is the meaning behind [the mask]. They have painted this [mask] white. When there is lots of snow, we call it aniuq. When there is lots of snow on the ground, the berries and plants are plentiful the following summer. (Fienup-Riordan 1996:241)

Figure 6 Three small masks (possibly worn on the forehead) representing plants. Collected by Otto Geist at Old Hamilton on the Yukon River in 1934.

The connection between mask and song was fundamental. In fact, the song was often the first expression of a person's experience that would subsequently find form in dance motions and a carved mask. Men and women alike composed such songs. For those who listened, songs were all around them, even in the grass. According to Paul: Our late parent [Billy Lincoln] always came to our house to see his grandchildren, and when he came my wife said to him, 'Oh my, Little Grandfather, would you compose a song if you can?' He quickly said that he had a lot of songs with him. He said, 'You see the grasses outside, the wind continuously makes them sing. I can hear their songs myself. I have their songs with me.' (Fienup-Riordan 1996:207)

Although missionaries successfully suppressed masked dancing in the early 19005, viewing it as pagan superstition, dancing in general remained a vital part of Yup'ik community life in coastal and Yukon River communities. During these dances, men kneel facing their audience while women stand behind them, bending their knees and gracefully swaying to the beat (fig. 7). Both hold dance fans and move their arms in stylized motions that tell the story behind the dance song. The men's fans are stiff, made of coiled grass or willow root decorated with feathers. Mary recalled: They used some of the grass for the men's [fans], they would twist them... and then connect them [in a circle]. Then they would bind them up with willow roots Those things the men hold, after tying them around with something, they bound them. Then they added bird feathers for decoration. The ones who had some would use snowy owl and swan tail feathers.

In the past women danced holding tiny wooden 'finger masks' carved for them by their male relatives. Catherine commented that such carved fans are rare today and women use dance fans with woven grass handles decorated with caribou beard hair. Mary agreed: When I was becoming aware of things, they absolutely never held grass tegumiat [fans] Those [grass fans] appeared very recently. . . . And the people from Hooper Bay never held those kinds made of taperrnat when we were dancing some time ago. I guess they are holding some now across there! I guess they are making some And then one time, I saw that woman holding [fans] made of taperrnat. So I tried making dance fans. Ever since then, I started making dance fans. Then these two [other women] joined me We never used to make grass dance fans... because there is no taperrnat around [the Yukon]. Don Slope's wife sends for some taperrnat from her relatives who live at Stebbins [on the coast]. I, too, send for some from Scammon Bay and Hooper Bay. And sometimes when I have money, I have someone buy me some from Hooper Bay. The taperrnat from Hooper Bay is very good. They soften very fast as soon as one dips them in water, and they are strong. [It is because] the salt water keeps going over them There is lots of taperrnat at Hooper Bay because they are located along the ocean.... They use inaqacit for the foundation. They are like taperrnat, but they are long, and they lay down when they get tall.... They use that to coil it together. If they want to, they also use taperrnat for coiling. I use the taperrnat that isn't of good quality for the foundation because I don't have the other kind.

In 1983 Cecelia Foxie of Stebbins displayed a particularly innovative use of grass during the annual curukaq or 'potlatch' held at Stebbins, during which one village goes over to another to dance and exchange gifts. Cecelia stood before the assembled crowd wearing a grass headdress, necklace, and braided grass belt to show the importance of grass (fig. 8). As she danced, she was telling those watching not to misuse this valuable resource, 59

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Figure 7 Grass mats hung behind three dancers performing in Chevak (near Hooper Bay) in 1946.

as from it one could make socks, mitten liners, bedding, insoles, baskets, and insulation for houses and to protect food. Headdresses, ceremonial belts, and necklaces are all important dance accouterments and are usually fashioned from valuable furs, caribou teeth, and beads. To replace these rich materials with the lowly grass plant and to display them to the people on such an important occasion was eloquent testimony to the profound and continued value of this apparently insignificant material. During the annual dances, young dancers performing for the community for the first time also stand on either a grass mat or valuable pelt while they go through the motions of their dance. Charlie Steve of Stebbins remembered the importance of placing something on the floor for the first-time dancers to stand on: They want the first-time dancers to stand proper because they could not do that [dance] without a cushion. They make [the dancers'] place of standing very good and let the people see that they let [the dancers] sit on a nice expensive thing. So when they reveal him, they do not want him standing bare. (Fienup-Riordan 1996:204)

Grass mats were also given as gifts during dance exchanges. Wassilie had received such a gift, and he recounted his experience with feeling. After his mother died he once attended a memorial giveaway in Nunapitchuk near Bethel where the sister of the deceased had made many kayak mats to give to young boys in memory of her younger brother: Sitting in the qasgi, I was not expecting to be included as a recipient of such a gift— The couple was down in the middle arranging the gifts for distribution. Then after whispering to each other the wife said, 'Is Uqsungiar here?' I was very surprised! I went down to receive the kayak mat. When she gave it to me, she said, 'I'm giving you this as a gift since you always helped my late brother.'

Grass mats were used in a number of ritual contexts, sometimes to mark the boundary between human and spirit worlds. Girls, for instance, sat on grass mats behind grass curtains when they had their first menstruation. Catherine described what she observed, relating the disappearance of this past practice to problems in the world today.


When a young girl menstruated for the first time, she sat for five days. During the five days she was placed next to the entryway with a woven grass mat hanging to separate her from the others The girl I observed menstruated in the summer. Before she went out to urinate, she put on the mitten, belt, and hood over her head. During that time when people talked about respect for the land they would say that the world will become polluted. At this time now what they prophesied has come true. Our earth is polluted today, and its people are corrupt. People are still talking about worse times to come.

Mats were also placed underneath a patient being ministered to by a shaman or angalkuq. According to Theresa; 'If a shaman doctored a person they'd let their patient sit on a woven mat The angalkuq used whatever woven grass mats were available to them at the time.' During the house-to-house visiting that took place during eldluteng [ceremony held in the qasgi in which men receive bowls filled with food], Mary described men sitting on kayak mats and receiving akutaq ['Eskimo ice cream', a mixture of berries and fat]: Then they would do another activity they called eldluteng. They would do this after the qaariitaaq [fall ceremony in which children go from house to house, receiving food and water]. It was after several days. And my late stepmother would make some akutaq. Then a person would open the door and... spread out the grass mat for the kayak in front of the door.... Then a person would come in wearing a seal-gut parka. He'd wear a hat and belt around his waist. Then he'd sit on the ikaraliin [small twined grass mat] out there Then when he sat down, behind him there'd be another person out past the open door, but I never recognized who it was. The string of his imarnin [seal-gut rain parka] hood would be pulled and tied. Then my late stepmother filled the wooden bowl with some akutaq and gave it to that person sitting down. Then the person took a little bit in his hand and threw it back to the person behind him. We'd hear a crackling sound when the piece landed on his body... on his imarnin... which was usually crisp and dry. They say sometimes when the person in the front threw the piece back and it landed in the mouth of the one behind him it was a good sign. They would be glad when it landed in his mouth— Those two people would do that and visit all the homes.


Figure 8 Cecelia Foxie of Stebbins wearing a grass headdress, necklace and belt, all of which she made for the 1983 Stebbins Potlatch.

Grass Today Grass today remains a valued material in southwestern Alaska. Although people no longer use it to make clothing, they do use it to make items they can sell for money to buy clothing and other commodities. Many women, including Mary, Annie, Catherine, and Theresa, make both lidded grass baskets, dance fans, and even an occasional grass doll which they sell to add to the family income. In 19951 asked Theresa to make several large grass mats for use as props in the Yup'ik mask exhibit, Agayuliyararput: Our Way of Making Prayer. She made the mats and spoke at length about what the request meant to her: When I sold some grass mats the other day I remembered the old people who used to talk to me, and I was very grateful about it. I never thought I would sell twined grass mats as long as I lived. The old folks told me more than once to learn about grass and its use— Evidently, the ones who cared for me had told me that. When you try to follow the advice of the elders good comes out of it. It is much better to learn to work on things and not be lazy. Evidently, they tell the truth in their advice. They told me to know about twining grass... and to always keep twining grass available And way before I got married that old man told me more than once that since I loved to chew tobacco I should always have twining grass with me I've mentioned that since I never thought I would sell twined grass, no wonder they told me to always have twined grass with me. Then I sold some twined grass, and I have been forever grateful about it. I did exactly what they told me.

culture camp on Nelson Island. Walking along the beach, she spent time teaching the girls how to identify, gather, and dry the different kinds of grasses. At the days' end she commented with feeling: 'I love the grass and use it for everything. I love grass so much that I always have some around. The grass lets me survive, and they are precious things.' Notes The information in this paper was gathered over a number of years as part of projects funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Science Foundation, and I am extremely grateful for their continued support. I spoke with Mary Mike of St Marys in October 19 94 and Theresa Moses of Toksook Bay in October 1995. Both interviews took place in Anchorage. Discussions with Wassilie Berlin, Paul John, Annie Blue, and Catherine Moore took place at the Ethnologisches Museum, Berlin, in September 1997 during a three-week research trip documenting Yup'ik objects that Johan Adrian Jacobsen collected from their area in 1882-3. Sophie Shield of Bethel translated the interview with Mary Mike as well as Paul John's description of using grass to stave off hypothermia in the wilderness, and Marie Meade of Anchorage translated all others. Without the Elders' generosity in sharing what they know and Sophie's and Marie's expertise in their language, this paper would not be here.

In 2000, Theresa spent ten days working with youngsters at a


Birds and Eskimos Shepard Krech III Shepard Krech III is professor of anthropology and environmental studies, and director of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology at Brown University. He is the author of numerous essays and author or editor of ten books and monographs, including The Ecological Indian: Myth and History (1999) and Encyclopedia ofWorld Environmental History (2003).

Many know the renowned Kenojuak as 'the bird artist' (fig. i), but when Canada Post selected her Enchanted Owl for a stamp, she became 'the snowy owl artist'.1 Whether from a desire to produce something beautiful or to experiment with form and its elaboration, or for reasons connected to the external art marketplace or other matters, Kenojuak has returned to this owl time and again.2 Moreover, even if their avian representations are on the whole diverse, other contemporary Inuit graphic artists and sculptors have followed suit. It is entirely possible that if one's impressions of the importance of birds to the Inuit were based on the work of Kenojuak and her contemporaries, the conclusion would be that the snowy owl is, and perhaps always has been, a very special bird. If, by contrast, one's knowledge of Inuit (or Eskimos in general, or of the Arctic) were derived from popular representations in text, film and photograph, the conclusion might well be that traditionally most, if not all, birds were relatively insignificant.3 Nearly absent in some classical general works, birds often fly just below the radar of scholars interested in traditional culture and behavior.4 Their invisibility is no doubt due to the overwhelming importance of large sea and land animals in diet and material culture, as well as, perhaps, to the privileged status given to the (male) gendered hunt for mammals, by ethnographers and others.

Figure 1 Drawing for The Owl. Felt pen on wove paper,45.5x61.1 cm. Kenojuak Ashevak,c. 1969.


Does the snowy owl deserve iconic or metonymic status, or do birds in general merit their unheralded status? Today, over 200 bird species breed or spend part of the year in the North American Arctic. Unevenly distributed, many are limited to habitats where they can satisfy their particular feeding and nesting requirements. Both numbers and diversity are greatest in the western portions of the North American Arctic, and least in the central Canadian Arctic.5 In this essay, which is part of a comprehensive project on the intersections of birds and indigenous people in North America, I take up these questions and the avian-human relationship first - despite perils of generalization - with some fairly sweeping (albeit selective) remarks on Eskimo and Aleut names for months, places, and persons; and on subsistence, technology, and material culture. The focus then narrows to clothing, Inuit amulets and a Copper Inuit dance cap, through which I seek to explore the questions posed above. Month, Place, and Personal Names

That we might be dealing with a class of living things deserving greater visibility is signaled, first, by names given by Eskimos to months, places, and people, in which birds often figure. In various parts of the Arctic, the month of March or April was the month that 'birds come' or arrive; April or May the time when 'geese come', the 'bird place', or 'birds hatch', signaling the arrival of the months of production and fledglings. For some, June was 'the egg month' or 'the time of eggs' 'when the eider ducks lay eggs', or '[the time] of nestlings'; elsewhere July was Vhen the eider ducks have young' and July-August was the 'one with the open mouth', referring to birds sitting waiting to be fed. The molt was inscribed into the months of July, July-August, and August: July could be 'the bird-molting moon'; July-August was 'molting time for birds that have had young' or 'the time of geese getting new wind feathers', and August 'the time for brooding geese to molt'. Finally came the migration months: for some Eskimos, August-September was the 'time for young geese to fly1, for others October was 'the flying away7 of remaining breeding birds. Birds rarely figure in the names for winter months but, for some Aleuts, January was 'the time in which cormorants appear' and February was 'cormorant month' when these birds were netted.6 Birds furthermore were often inscribed on the landscape. Many Inuit embedded avian imagery- a kind of ornithogeography- into the names of cliffs, islands, bays, or other natural features: for instance, the island Vhere gulls abound'


and 'the place where there is much nest down' for an island where, presumably, eider ducks breed; 'the ptarmiganabounding ones' for two small islands; for a lake, 'the place with many [common loons]'; a mountain next to a lake where gulls nest, or an island, 'the young gulls'; for a bay frequented by many seabirds and by people for feasts, 'the place with the bird breasts'; and 'the place of many eggs' for a nesting site. Other Eskimos and Aleuts had similar names for places in the environment.7 For some Eskimos, the cultural salience of birds was also apparent in the choice of personal names selected seemingly, at times, from a bewildering variety of possibilities. The Inuvialuit of the Mackenzie Delta, for example, who apparently favored birds over all other animals for personal names, took names like rough-legged hawk, snowy owl, long-tailed duck, or whitefronted goose; Igloolik Inuit had names like sparrow, snow goose, ivory gull, and dovekie, and other Inuit had names like jaeger or common eider.8 Bird names have continued in use in recent times: black guillemot (pitsiulaaq) can be seen in the names of a prolific (female) Cape Dorset artist, Pitseolak Ashoona, as well as a late (male) artist-photographer Peter Pitseolak,9 and rough-legged hawk (qirnuajuak) in the name of the artist Kenojuak, with whom we began this essay.10 Subsistence

Avian month and place names reflect gustatory interest in birds despite the greater focus (as made energetic sense) on larger animals or fish." No doubt Eskimos have always pursued birds for the pot, and in recent years birds have supplied approximately u per cent of the calories consumed by eastern Hudson Bay Inujjuarmiut, or 2 to 8 per cent of Yukon Delta Yup'ik subsistence by weight.12 Birds were of particular importance in the north Pacific and Bering Strait regions. The Aleuts and St Lawrence Island Yupiit consumed great quantities of the flesh and eggs of numerous alcids, gulls, ducks, and geese. The Inupiat of northern Alaska killed many eiders, ducks, geese, gulls, loons, and other birds, including ptarmigans. After one spring hunt, one village had a reported 2,000 ptarmigan in the larder.13 Aleut, Yup'ik, Inupiaq, and Alutiiq refuse-heaps on Kodiak Island, Norton Sound, Cape Prince of Wales, and Seward Peninsula have yielded the remains of over eighty species of birds: loons, grebes, albatrosses, fulmar, shearwaters, cormorants, puffins, murres, murrelets, auklets, guillemots, swans, geese, ducks, jaegers, gulls, kittiwakes, eagles, sea eagles, owls, ptarmigans, the wandering tattler, black oystercatcher, magpie, crow, raven, and others.14 Further east, the Copper and Igloolik Inuit ate ducks, geese, loons, gulls, guillemots, hawks, ptarmigans, and even small birds like plovers, longspurs, and snow buntings.15 In northern Greenland, in the area around Qaanaaq, Inughuit consumed murres, guillemots, gulls, and thousands of eider and alcid eggs, and they netted dovekies by the thousands (a hunter's average was 500 birds per day), stashed them in sealskin bags, and later ate this delicacy of decomposed, fat-saturated, fermented birds.16 People occasionally tabooed birds and eggs as food; for example, Inupiat and St Lawrence Island Yupiit prohibited ravens (and owls), and the Inuvialuit forbade the consumption of eggs. But on the whole prohibitions seemed rare, and the overwhelming impression is that most birds were labeled fair

game and consumed, as were eggs and even ptarmigan scat. Across the Arctic, people expressed preferences for certain species and bird parts; for example, in the Bering Strait region they had a penchant for all alcids but puffins, the central Arctic Copper Inuit liked raw but not boiled eggs, and others consumed eider duck fat with great relish. And through time birds once commonly eaten lost favor (for example, snowy owl among the Inupiat) ,17 Bird-hunting Technology

The region-wide importance of birds is signaled by a widespread bird-hunting technology and tactics. Some tactics amounted to no more than throwing sticks and stones at birds like ptarmigans as they flew by in narrow valleys; catching molting waterfowl or herding molting or young geese into stone enclosures; catching fledgling birds and letting their cries attract the parents; grabbing, by their feet, gulls attracted by bait to the top of a snow house-blind; and even (it is reputed) yelling at heavy moisture-laden, barely air-worthy, eider ducks flying by in deep, ice-heavy fog, startling them to the ice where they could be run down. Other more complex techniques involved the manufacture of baited bone hooks, barbs, and gorges (especially for gulls), or of lanyards with which one could lower oneself over the edges of cliffs to collect the eggs of nesting alcids and larids or to snatch the birds themselves. Some Eskimos made decoys of stuffed skin or molded snow and moss. Others threaded sinew through the maxillary nares (nostrils) of live birds, or around their feet, and let their movements and calls attract others. Many made darts and spears, propelled with the help of throwing boards, or blunt-headed arrows launched with bows. Many used nets and snares for birds: baleen snares set above or under the water or near nesting sites; sinew and whalebone hair snares placed over nests; circular nets at the ends of handles used to scoop flying puffins, auklets, and dovekies from the air; and stationary sinew nets that stopped flying ptarmigans and other birds. Finally, some Eskimos ensnarled eiders and other birds with thrown bolas.18 Birds in Material Culture

Across the Arctic, Eskimos and Aleuts killed birds not simply in order to eat them, but to use them in material culture. They made containers for moss, wick material, and rendered fat from the feet of swans, gulls, and other birds (fig. 2); stored whaling line and tobacco in loon and swan skins; used the skins of gulls, ptarmigans, loons, swans, longspurs, and other birds as hand wipers; and kept mosquitoes at bay with loon and duck skins. They fabricated a legion of objects from bird parts: sinew from gull esophageal tissue or guillemot wing tendons; windows from loon and gull gullets; and needle-cases, thimble holders, bodkins, drill handles, and snuff tubes from the bones of swans, geese, and other birds. Eskimos also used feathers from ptarmigans (and other birds), mixed with clay and sand, to temper pottery. They fletched arrows with snowy owl, hawk, loon, duck, and ptarmigan feathers. Swan's down was an important element of the indicator so essential to breathing-hole sealing. Ptarmigan or goose blood was a vital ingredient in glue. The red ocular skin of ptarmigans ornamented clothing and boots, puffin and crested auklet bills were put to use as decorative pendants on 63

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Figure 2 (right) Bag (marnguti), of the skin of eider duck and frost-bleached sealskin, made by Siporah Inuksuk, Igloolik, 2000. Traditionally, such bags were used for storing vegetal material for the wicks of the seal oil lamps. Figure 3 (far right) Alutiiq puffin beak rattle from Kodiak Island. It is constructed of two bent wood circular hoops, painted green/blue on the inside and red on the outside surface, with a handle of a two-piece wooden cross, fastened with strips of cotton (?) cloth and sinew.To the red side of the rattle are attached numerous puffin bills, pierced near the tip, and sewn and hung with sinew. Additional struts of baleen are used to hold the two hoops apart. Probably collected by Finnish naturalist Henrik Johan Holmberg (1818-64) in the mid-nineteenth century.

clothing and dancing mittens, crested auklet bill sheaths were transformed into earrings, and orange pieces of auklet bills became fish lures. Some made rattles from crops of ptarmigan dried with berries inside. In what might be the most subtle use of a product from birds, Copper Inuit men sometimes suspended a lemming skin from a boiled-albumen button on the back of their parkas. (The use of feathers and other parts of birds in ritual and religious contexts is discussed below).19 Clothing

In his important survey of Arctic clothing, Gudmund Hatt remarked that bird skins 'play an important role' in Eskimo clothing, yet he largely ignored them and focused instead on clothing made from the skins of caribou, seal, other animals, and fish.20 Jillian Oakes subsequently brought bird-skin clothing into proper light, identifying some two dozen bird species used in a variety of parkas, coats, tunics, shirts, headgear, undergarments, and slippers in the North American Arctic (fig-4)- 21 Bird-skin clothing was most common in the eastern and western portions of the Arctic and comparatively rare in the central Arctic (although Copper Inuit wore loon-skin socks in summer). In the east, Igloolik Inuit and Belcher Island Inuit used eiders for garments, hats, and stockings, and the Inughuit of northern Greenland used dovekies and thick-billed murres (feather side in) for inner coats (fig. 5). In Alaska, the Yupiit used many bird skins: on Nunivak Island, they made parkas from four species of eiders, loons, and long-tailed and harlequin ducks, and people elsewhere employed the skins of emperor and white-fronted geese and greater scaup in clothing. The Ifiupiat and Yupiit collectively used cormorant, auklet, murre, duck, swan, and loon skins for parkas, and cormorant and murre skins as mittens. The Ifiupiat made belts of the wing feathers of ducks, and a dancer wore a headband in which eagle feathers had been inserted or was itself made of the skin of a loon (or another bird), the bill thrusting forward from the dancer's forehead. Farther west, in the Bering Strait, Diomede Islands and St Lawrence Islanders wore tunics and parkas of guillemots (and Siberian Eskimo winter parkas were also of bird skins). The Alutiit used bird-skin clothing extensively: tunics of 64

Figure 4 (middle) Belt made of feathers, porcupine quills (?), skin and sinew.The belt, given to the British Museum by John Barrow, Jr in 1855, was collected at Winter Island (?) south of Igloolik, possibly by William Edward Parry during his second voyage in the search of the Northwest Passage 1821-3.

Figure 5 (above) Parka of the skin of auks or little auks (dovekies), made by the Inughuit in northern Greenland, collected by the American explorer Robert Peary (1856-1920) inthe 1890s for the American Museum of Natural History.


cormorant and puffin skins on Kodiak Island, and hoodless eagle-skin parkas on the mainland. And Aleuts, for whom birds were important in many contexts including religious thought and ritual, were renowned for their bird-skin clothing. They wore long shirts reaching to their knees or ankles, made from the skins of murres, tufted puffins, horned puffins, and cormorants, and wore the feathers inside for warmth or feathers outside to stay dry. They also made hats from the entire skins of shelducks. It took from forty to sixty tufted puffin skins to make a shirt, which when finished lasted one to two years and was considered especially durable. Aleuts valued shirts or parkas made from the bellies of birds, and prized most parkas made of neck skins (in particular cormorant neck skins, which were very lustrous), with more than 150 skins required for each one.22 Birds were used in clothing mostly in the eastern and western parts of the Arctic because of a range of ecological and cultural factors, of which their ready availability coupled with a scarcity of preferred sources of clothing such as caribou seemed most important. What Saladin d'Anglure called 'the clothing problem' on the Belcher Islands can surely be extended to islands like the Aleutians, St Lawrence Island, Kodiak, and Nunivak, where bird-skin clothing was also particularly in evidence.23 Amulets

Birds appeared widely on Eskimo bodies (and in boats and other places), not only in the form of skin clothing but also pendant from, or incorporated into belts, hats, and other apparel.24 The Inuit in particular employed numerous bird parts attaching bird bills, feathers, heads, feet, and skins to clothing, tying them onto belts, or turning them into hats. Bird parts used in this manner possessed amuletic significance, the spirit of the object believing to aid, protect, or otherwise give power to the wearer. For example, the Copper Inuit associated specific birds (or bird parts, which stood for the whole) with explicit beneficial consequences: the eagle's beak or claws with success in hunting; the head, claws, or skin of a falcon with courage; the skin of a common loon (especially when one had been wiped with it at birth) with long life; a red-throated loon skin with health, long life, or success in kayaking; the skin of gulls with success in fishing; the neck skin of a male eider or ptarmigan scat positioned over a small girl's lower abdomen with the subsequent birth of a male infant; the head of a common loon, a crane's bill or head, or the bones of various birds, tied to a belt and worn by a woman, with the birth of males; a ptarmigan placed on the neck of an infant boy and taken off quickly with ensuing invisibility to his enemies, and a ptarmigan bill, feet, or head with the same; and redpoll tail feathers and tern's bills with other positive consequences.25 The Netsilik Inuit, it seems, had more amulets than other people, on the inner and outer surfaces of their clothing, and on belts. Some were avian and linked to now familiar qualities. A gull's bill or head; the head of a red-throated loon; an Arctic tern's head or skin - all were connected with successful fishing. The feet or skin of a red-throated loon were linked to kayaking speed, as were common loon, eiders, and snipe. A waistbelt of snowy owl claws was conducive to the development of strong fists. A raven's head or skin made one invisible to caribou, and raven's head and claws were linked to obtaining good shares during a hunt. A lapland longspur lent clever words and

expressions for lampoon songs. The skin of an eider, snipe, or any other bird that had been used to wipe an infant at birth became an amulet placed under the kayak seat to protect and give speed to that infant when he grew up. Many amulets worn by Inuit girls and women were connected with a future son: a swan's bill helped produce a first-born son, ptarmigan feet made a son a fast and tireless runner, the head or feet of a red-throated loon, eider duck, or gull helped the son as a fisherman, raven's heads produced good hunting shares, and so on.26 Environmental Knowledge

As amulets, birds often lent well-recognized abilities: diving, swimming, fishing, grabbing prey, singing, being present when a kill is made, or being clever. That birds possessing such characteristics became amuletic should be no surprise. The Inuit are renowned as close observers and deeply knowledgeable of their surroundings, and there is every reason to expect that they scrutinized birds as closely as other living things; that when it came to birds, they possessed knowledge akin to the Western naturalist, albeit embedding in them Inuit, not Western, presumptions concerning ethology, ecology, and nature. Along these lines Inuit and other Eskimos seem to have distinguished by name many of the same birds as Westerners did. John Murdoch remarked that late-nineteenth century Point Barrow Inupiat 'knew and distinguished by name nearly all the species we found to occur there'.27 'Nearly all' opens the door to cultural difference in systems of recognition and classification. In Western science, distinctions among related forms like birds are made largely on the basis of anatomical features modified by genetic data, with the resulting taxonomy (a hierarchy of categories like species, genera, families, and orders) representing in essence a hypothesis of evolutionary relationships.28 Indeed, at Murdoch's time, the Inupiat appear to have departed from Western taxonomy in lumping several species of small land birds with redpolls under a single name, and not distinguishing various small sandpipers and waders from each other.29 In the twentieth century, the Inuit named many of the same species as in Western science, especially highly visible (and easily separable) species like red-throated loon, pacific loon, tundra swan, long-tailed duck, red-breasted merganser, snowy owl, short-eared owl, Sabine's gull, horned lark, American pipit, raven, and snow bunting. The evidence for whether they gave separate and distinctive names to all others, including those that were small (and less useful), is mixed - despite stability of naming practices.30 Inuit taxonomy appears to have differed from Western science in several ways. As Douglas Nakashima has shown, hunters in two late twentieth-century Inuit communities in Nunavik tend to place in a single category of eiders and eiderlike ducks (mitiq) the common eider (mitiq), king eider (mitiqluk), a smaller subspecies of common eider (mitiqluujak), a smaller king eider (mitiqluk mikiniqsaq), white-winged scoter (aningasik), and/or long-tailed duck (a'iakanak). In this instance, the label for the more inclusive category corresponds with that for one category subsumed by it (but not to a similar category in Western taxonomy), and subspecies contrasts with species at the same level (again unlike Western science).31 65

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Of even greater interest for cultural difference are distinctions at higher taxonomic levels: water-seekers versus landseekers, and large birds versus small birds. Eiders, loons, diving ducks, mergansers, and alcids are water-seekers (imatsiut), but swans, geese, raptors, ptarmigan, jaegers, and the raven are land-seekers (nunasiut) (gulls, Arctic tern, and dabbling ducks are anomalous). All of these are large birds (timmiaq), in contrast to small birds (qupanuaq) like plovers, sandpipers, and passerines.32 Taxonomy at the water-seeker versus land-seeker level reflects the well-known traditional Inuit separation of land and sea animals, products, and activities - all related to the desire to appease the all-seeing and vindictive sea goddess (see below) who wishes to keep the two domains apart.33 Copper Inuit Dance Cap

Armed with the assumption that Eskimos were keenly aware of birds and distinguished many in thought and taxonomy, I turn to an object used in expressive and ritual contexts in the hope of understanding why one particular bird and not some other was incorporated into it: the Copper Inuit dance cap (fig. 6). Other objects might have been selected - the possibilities among the Yupiit are boundless34 - but this dance cap not only continues the focus on the Inuit, but also with a yellow-billed loon head and bill pointing skyward vertically from the top, it is one of the most visually striking objects of Eskimo material culture incorporating birds. Across the Arctic, Eskimos connected loons and other birds with dance, song, and shamanic performances and feats. The Copper Inuit (living on Victoria Island and in the area south of Coronation Gulf), who had an especially rich singing and performance life, wore such caps (either their own or borrowed) when they danced and sang songs, expressing hopes for hunting and fishing success, calm weather, and many other matters. Why the yellow-billed loon? Knud Rasmussen suggested long ago that for the Copper Inuit, the loon was 'the bird of song', and indeed, a parent might place the bill of a loon into the mouth of a child to promote development of singing ability; the Copper Inuit had a rich corpus of dance songs, and the loon-bill cap undeniably links the wearer to a bird with extraordinary vocal abilities.35 For people in the West, the loon's songs and calls leave an indelible impression; for many they conjure up the wilderness or seem in some way 'strange', eliciting reactions heavy with cultural assumptions about laughter, insanity, and other matters. Yet no matter what images or metaphors are invoked for the loon's calls, Western naturalists and biologists have distinguished in the loon's repertoire various hoots, moans, wails, yodels, tremolos, and a chorus, used at various times to communicate with a mate, in territorial encounters, when alarmed, or on other occasions.36 Nevertheless, I wonder if more than song led the Copper Inuit to the loon-bill dance cap.37 For the Inuit in general, birds figure in contexts where shamans attempt to ensure an adequate supply of sea mammals, favorable weather, and individual and community health and well-being, sometimes by flying, magically, in order to propitiate other-than-human persons. Sometimes, an Inuit wishing to apprentice to a particular shaman gave the man a tent pole, on the top of which a gull's wing was tied. The message was transparent: he wished to fly.38 In their dance-house gatherings and performances, the Copper Inuit 'interspersed' - the image is Diamond Jenness's 66

Figure 6 Copper Inuit dance cap, sewn with strips of contrasting caribou skin and surmounted with the bill of a yellowbilled loon and ermine skin. Collected by the explorer D.T. Hanbury in May 1902 (?), near Ogden Bay, Queen Maud Gulf.

dances and songs with ritual in which a shaman with his spirit helper divined taboo infraction and attempted to influence the spirits. So-called spirit flights were evidently far less common among Copper Inuit than among other Inuit, yet shamans were still required to influence spirits of the air (hilap inue) or to approach, through the air above or the water below, the mistress of the sea (in some shamans' songs, she is deliberately conflated with other spirits 'up there' in the air rather than 'down there' in the water; in others she is clearly below).39 Narratives about the mistress of the sea provide an important context for the appearance of birds in Inuit culture in general. There are numerous variations on the crucial tale, in a consequential genre of animal-human tales, about the woman whose name is most commonly rendered as Sedna, Nuliajuk, or Arnakapfaaluk: the mistress of the sea or the sea goddess. In one version, a fulmar woos and weds a woman, then takes her to the land of birds, where to her chagrin - the fulmar had lied about life there - fish is the constant diet, and she withers. Her father visits and rescues her, but on the sea voyage home fulmars catch up with them and raise a big storm, and to save himself her father tosses her over, cuts off her fingers joint by joint when she tries to re-board the craft, and then kills her. She sinks to the bottom of the sea to become mistress of whales and seals created from her finger joints. Because taboo infractions anger her and cannot be hidden from her, shamans must see to the confession of taboos and propitiate or intimidate her into releasing the animals for human consumption.40 Did Copper Inuit shamans keep their loon-bill caps on as they sang in the dance house to influence the mistress of the sea or other spirits? If they did, they chose association with a bird that possessed what must have been well-known qualities essential to their task. It is no great stretch of imagination to think of them using the same principle as when they selected birds as amulets, or loon bills in singing and performative

Materials Concluding Thoughts

Figure 7 Ivory gaming pieces in the form of birds. Collected in Hudson Strait in 1738 by Alexander Light.

Figure 8 Painted Alutiiq feast bowl in form of a crested bird, such as a breeding red-faced or pelagic cormorant, or possibly a red-breasted merganser, made of cedar wood, with inlaid white glass beads. Nineteenth century, from Chenega (?).

contexts. Western-trained naturalists remark not just on yellowbilled (and common) loon vocalizations, but also on the striking colors and patterns of their plumage (there are also numerous Inuit tales about how birds like loon and raven acquired their colors). They also notice strong territorial behavior, including so-called ritualized bill dipping, fencing posture, rushing, and other highly visible aggressive maneuvers, attending rather quiet courtship display and formation of a monogamous pair bond that lasts through some fourteen weeks of nest-building, incubation, brooding, and feeding of young (after which loons depart for the south individually or in association with others) .41 Loons also possess certain qualities related to strength and endurance. Few birds are more powerful and direct in flight than loons - and some fly at high altitude. Few dive more strongly or travel farther under water (often avidly pursuing fish). Few are as tenacious, indefatigable, and hard to kill. And few are as quick to inflict devastating punishment - deep sternal wounds from bill thrusts are common - on others that threaten them or intrude on their territories. These traits are well known to Western naturalists, and must also have been to the Copper Inuit (even if they assigned their own cultural values to them). It was these essential qualities, I suggest, that led (with song) to the selection of the loon for loon-bill dance-caps.42 Of the several kinds of loons that breed in Copper Inuit territory- common, yellow-billed, and red-throated loons - the largest, the heaviest, and the one with the greatest wingspan is the yellow-billed loon. If one were going to link oneself with, or seek help from, the spirit of an avian species in order to reach those over whom one wished to exercise influence - to 'fly through the air like a bird [or] go down into the ocean like a fish' (as one shaman was rumored to do) - no species was stronger or more able swimming or flying than the yellow-billed loon, and none more able to engage in combat with other-than-human beings encountered on the way.43

We are now in a position to answer the questions posed at the outset. First, Kenojuak notwithstanding, the snowy owl does not loom large in this excursion into the traditional Inuit (or Eskimo) world. The relative insignificance of the snowy owl would not be altered by Inuit narrative, which has been neglected here but which tends to privilege birds like ravens, loons, and others. This is true of short trivial animal tales, in which the raven is far more prominent than the snowy owl; more significant morality tales such as the one about proper behavior toward close kin and revenge, in which (in the Copper Inuit version) a red-throated loon helps a blind boy kept prisoner by his grandmother to recover his sight by taking him several times to the depths of a lake. In many human-animal tales involving bird-human marriage, the loon, raven, goose, eagle, and fulmar are important, but the snowy owl is not.44 The second and final conclusion is that birds open a door onto diet, technology, clothing, and material culture, as well as naming practices, religion, and expressive culture. Because of its bearing on the subject of Inuit clothing, we explored here the use of birds as amulets, which led to taboo systems and ritual, shamanic performance, and song - all involving the yellowbilled loon among Copper Inuit. We might instead have gone in different directions - for example, toward the extensive representations of birds in Eskimo material culture, from small carved ivory figures of birds used in 'images of birds' (fig. 7), a dice-like game, to outlines of tundra swans or snowy owls in string games, to naturalistic figures and abstract and stylized representations of birds on Aleut hunting hats, to complex masks of birds, and so on - which would have led to yet more contexts for birds in the Arctic. All lend support for the general conclusion that birds do not deserve invisibility in either the traditional or contemporary Eskimo world. Notes 1 Names for species (e. g. snowy owl), genera, and categories like owls or puffins appear in lower case. 2 Blodgett 1985. 3 In this essay, I use Arctic for the North American portion of the cultural region covered in Damas (1984); Eskimo as the collective ethnonym for northern people living in the Arctic with the exception of the Aleuts (or Unangan); and Inuit, Inupiat, Inuvialuit, Yupiit, Alutiit, and Aleuts in preference to other ethnonyms. 4 Birds barely appear in Boas 1964, Weyer 1932 (not even an entry in a chapter on 'Animal Life'), Birket-Smith 1936, or Balikci 1989. Elsewhere (e.g. Spencer 1969:35-6; Oswalt 1967), they are granted secondary status, yet in the latter (Oswalt) rendered invisible by discussion of whale hunters, seal hunters, caribou hunters, and fishermen. 5 Sibley 2000; Gill 1995. 6 Rasmussen i93ob: 125; 1931:482; Mathiassen 1928:232; Simpson 1875:260-61; Hawkes, 1916:29; Nelson 1983:234-5; Veniaminov 1984:289-90; Liapunova and Miklukho 1996:88-9; Fienup-Riordan 1996: 33. 7 Rasmussen 1930^91,155; 1931:100, in; 1932:9,87. Aleuts called one island Bird Island because gulls and other birds bred there in great numbers (Veniaminov 1984). 8 Ostermann 1942:36; Rasmussen 1932:79,81,85; Mathiassen, 1928: 15-20.1 follow Irving and others cited in note 30 below, but have modernized all species names and adjusted some. 9 Eber 1978; Bellmer 1980. 10 James Houston, Nelson Graburn, and Douglas Nakashima, personal communications 4-5 and 12 March 2002; also Irving 1961. 11 Smith (1991:187) discusses the low net return of birds compared to caribou, char, and seals. 12 Yukon Delta Yupiit consume ducks, geese, swans, cranes, ptarmigans and other birds (Fienup-Riordan, 1986:220-25 and 67

Shepard Krech III


14 15 16 17



20 21 22

23 24

25 26 27 28 29 30


passim), and Inujjuarmiut eat Canada geese, eiders, ptarmigans, and other birds (Smith 1991:180-91). Veniaminov 1984:144,276 and passim; Liapunova and Miklukho 1996:85-103; Ostermann 1952:44 (2000 ptarmigan); Murdoch 1988:56-8; Ray 19883; Ixxiii; Ray 19880: xci; Hughes 1974:125-47. Friedmann I934&, I934b, 1935,1937,1941Jenness 1922:105. The Igloolik Inuit also mixed ptarmigan excrement with walrus meat. Ekblaw 1919; MacMillan 1918. Other Arctic people also tabooed ravens. The Inuvialuit tabooed eggs, believing they made one sick (but experimented with their children: if they did not get ill, they could apparently consume eggs). See Jenness 1922:105,133; Stefansson 1914:136-7; Mathiassen 1928: 206; Rasmusseni93i: 136; Simpson 1875:235; Spencer 1969:375; Murdoch 1988: 62. Jenness 1922:136,152; Mathiassen 1928: 64-6; Stefansson 1914:59, 85,203,349-50; Boas 1901-7:27-8,1964:103-05; Rasmussen 1931: 187,1932:104; Ray i988b: xci; Murdoch 1988:201,206,260,278; Spencer 1969: 35; Nelson 1983:131-5; Nelson 1969:150-70; Veniaminov 1984:283-4,360; Liapunova and Miklukho 1996: 94-103; VanStone 1980. For bird-hunting technology, see also Damas 1984: passim. Mathiassen 1928:156-7; Rasmussen 1931:25,154-6; Stefansson 1914: 59,92,96,121,140,145,172,217,243,273,295,312,313,322,330, 349-350; Jenness 1922: 63,1946:46,58,91; Murdoch 1988:201; Nelson 1983:30,56-7,82,103,107,109,160,161,179,275; Spencer 1969:375; Liapunova and Miklukho 1996:203-4,210; VanStone 1980; Saladin d'Anglure 1984. Hart 1969. Oakes 19913, i99ib, 19910, i99id, 1992; Oakes and Gustafson 1991. In addition to Oakes's work consult e.g.: Veniaminov 1984:266-70; Liapunova and Miklukho 1996:193-218,227-34; Nelson 1983:30-43; Simpson 1875:242-3; Spencer 1969:375; Stefansson 1914:59,215; Boas 1964:146; Murdoch 1988: no, 135-6. Also see Damas 1984: passim. It was really the caribou problem: there were none, and Belcher Islanders made parkas from eider skins (Saladin d'Anglure 1984: 482). Some Eskimos signaled ownership of objects by attaching to them the feathers from the same species as worn on their persons. The Ifiupiat and others associated ravens and eagles with whaling; a successful hunter wore the skin of a raven on his back for the next six months, or placed bunches of feathers or an entire stuffed raven or eagle (or godwit) skin in a whaling boat (umiaq) to ensure success. Murdoch noted the prevalence of'rapacious' birds associated with whaling. The Inuvialuit sometimes attached a long-tailed duck skin to a bag or box believing that a person who stole such an object would lose his reason (like the 'crazy1 long-tailed duck) (Stefansson 1914:145,168,169,340; Murdoch 1988:275,437-40). Jenness 1946:47-9; Rasmussen 1932:47-9; Stefansson 1914:354. Rasmussen 1931:38,40,42-3,259,266-77. Murdoch 1898:732. e.g. Gill 1995; McGowan 1993. Murdoch 1988:57-8. H0rring, etal., 1937; Porsild 1943; Irving 1953,1958,1961; Manning etal 1956; Snyder 1957; Macpherson 1958; Hohn 1969; Freeman 1970. Some Inuit apparently collapsed some species with others in

31 32


34 35 36 37 38 39


41 42

43 44

the 'small brown jobs' categories of shorebirds and sparrows and allies; both the extent to which they did this, as well as whether all did, remains unclear to me. There is, of course, a large and interesting literature on classification, beginning with Durkheim and Mauss (1963), bearing on the matter that things like birds - as Claude Levi-Strauss (1966:9) put it- 'are not known as a result of their usefulness; they are deemed to be useful or interesting because they are first of all known'. There is difference of opinion among the hunters (Nakashima 1986, 1988). Within (roughly speaking) the animals (umajiut) are two categories of birds: large birds (timmiaq) like loons, ducks, geese, swans, raptors, ptarmigan, jaegers, larids, alcids, raven) and small birds (qupanuaq) like plovers, sandpipers, and passerines. Within the large birds (timmiaq) are water-seekers (imatsiut) like loons, diving ducks, mergansers, alcids; and land-seekers (nunasiut) like swans, geese, raptors, ptarmigan, jaegers, and raven. These Inuit assign gulls, arctic tern, and dabbling ducks inconsistently to the two categories. On these and other issues see Nakashima 1986,1988; Johnson 1987,1992. Yet even if Copper Inuit were supposed to use ptarmigan skins as napkins when eating caribou meat, and gull skins when eating seal, in practice they used any skin (but not the same one for both types of meat, not however because of taboo but because of oily seal meat) see Jenness 1922:106. Aleuts seem to have drawn major distinctions between land birds, lake or fresh-water birds, sea-water birds, and perhaps a fourth category (see Veniaminov 1984: 35-7,359). See, for example, Lantis 1947; Fienup-Riordan 1990,1996. Rasmussen 1932: opposite 220 (bird of song); Roberts and Jenness 1925; Jenness 1922,1959:196-7,203-4 and passim; Damas 1972:41 (loon's bill in child's mouth). Bent 1963 [1919]: 47-82; Mclntyre and Barr 1997; North 1994. In her conference presentation, Bernadette Driscoll-Engelstad also discussed the association of loons with the Copper Inuit dance cap. Rasmussen 1999:126. The association between birds and shamanism is also seen in post-igso graphic art. Rasmussen 1932:24ff, 129-79, opposite 220; Jenness 1922:198-9, 1946:28-31,1959:49-52 [divination]; Roberts and Jenness 1925: 7-15,490-91. The Ifiupiat also wore loon heads and bills on their heads, with the bill pointing forward horizontally from the wearer's forehead (a very different look from the Copper Inuit). In other versions the mistress of the sea is initially an orphan rejected by her people, who toss her over the side, and both she and her father are swallowed by the earth. In its many iterations this tale is very common and the literature on it extensive. See Merkur 1991: 97-144. Bent 1963:47-82; Mclntyre and Barr 1997; North 1994; Barr, Eberl, and Mclntyre 2000. Bent 1963:47-82; Mclntyre and Barr 1997; North 1994; Barr, Eberl, and Mclntyre 2000. Jenness (1922:134) tells the story of two men who pursued two loons in a lead on a lake, frightening the birds into diving each time they surfaced, shooting all their arrows without effect, and finally killing them with a .22; a story about the strength of loons and difficulty of killing them. Jenness1959:223. See Boas 1894; Rink and Boas 1889; Kroeber 1899; Rasmussen 1932: 204-7 loon tales (maZereq), 223 common loon (toglik); Jenness 1924; Merkur 1991.

Part III

Styles and Techniques

Eskimo Sewing Techniques in Relation to Contemporary Sewing Techniques Seen Through a Copy of a Qilakitsoq Costume

Karen Pedersen Karen Pedersen was born in the village of Sermiarsuit, located in the Uummannaq district in North Greenland. Growing up in a small village, she learned skin preparation and sewing. An internationally recognized expert, she has given presentations all around the world, including Adelaide (Australia), Bangkok (Thailand), and the Expo 2000 in Hannover (Germany).

In this contribution I will examine the differences between the way skin clothing was sewn about 450 years ago, and contemporary sewing techniques. In 1972 eight Eskimo mummies were found lying in a grave in a rock cave near Uummannaq in West Greenland. The mummies were shown to be about 450 years old. The picture (fig. i) shows the coat (annoraaq) of one of the mummies, which is now exhibited in a glass showcase in the Greenland National Museum & Archives in Nuuk. Here you can get a clear impression of how the Arctic clothing of Greenland looked like 450 years ago. It is this special type of skin clothing that I am going to talk about.1 The place where the mummies were found is called Qilakitsoq, which translates into 'where the sky is low', indicating a place where the sun seldom shines, only when there is midnight sun. About five kilometres from Qilakitsoq, there is a small village called Sermiarsuit. This is the place where I was born and grew up. As a child I knew the grave with the mummies, but I only thought of them as dead people. In 1972, 'the dead' were officially found as 'mummies'. Of course, I was not the only one who knew about the grave but, as I said, in my childhood they were just regarded as dead people. The mummies' skin clothing is very special in relation to contemporary garments. In 19871 had the idea to sew a copy of one of the garments2 for the new local museum in Uummannaq, that my husband, Finn Pedersen, was planning to open in the following year. With financial support from the municipality of Uummannaq, I went to Nuuk to study the original garments in order to make the copy as accurate as possible. I noted that I would need about twelve sealskins to sew a copy of the costume. Thus, first, a hunter would have to go out to the sea to catch these twelve seals, and it could well take some days to catch that number. For the original, adult ringed seals had been used. For the soles of the boots, seals with thicker skin had been used, which may have been harp seal or bearded seal. I could have substituted skins from other kinds of seal, but we managed to obtain the right kinds of seal. The best skins are obtained from seals caught in spring. For the most part, this hunt takes place on the sea ice, where the seals lie on the ice basking in the sun. To approach the seals, the hunters crawl arduously on their bellies towards them, hiding behind a white 70

shooting screen, until they are within shooting distance. It should be noted that only adult seals are hunted in Greenland. When the seals had been caught, they had to be flensed, and the layer of blubber (about 4 cm thick) had to be cut off. All the blubber has to be removed without cutting holes in the skin (fig. 2). For this purpose, the traditional ulu, the woman's knife, is used.3 It is a lot of work, which takes many hours, and it requires a skilled hand if the skin is to be of good enough quality.

Figure 1 A woman's coat or annoraaq from Qilakitsoq, front view.

Styles and Techniques

Figure 2 Karen Pedersen preparing a sealskin in her kitchen in Uummannaq, 1986. When a seal is flensed, the layer of blubber (about 4 cm thick) on the inner side of the fresh skin has to be removed.The skin is placed on a board of wood which is held at an angle, and the hunter's wife cuts off the blubber with an ulu. She has to be careful to remove all of the blubber without cutting a hole into the skin itself. It is greasy and strenuous work to remove the blubber, and demands skill and expertise.

Figure 3 shows a cross-section of a sealskin. The outer layer consists of hair (meqqui). Under the hair is the epidermis (eqartaa), the dark outer layer of the skin. Between the blubber (orsua) and the epidermis there is another layer, called maminga. One can distinguish between maminga ilorleq (dermis) and maminga qalleq (hypodermis), a layer of fatty tissue, which is about i mm thick. It is this layer, maminga, that has to be cut away with the ulu - but not too much! If you cut too deeply into it, there will be a hole in the skin, but if you cut off too little, there will be fat remaining, and that will make the skin yellow, and it will not last very long. When the blubber has been removed, the skin has to be washed several times. The raw skin is first washed three times in water mixed with ocean salt. This will draw remaining fat and other unwanted particles out of the skin. Then, the skin is rinsed twice in clear water without adding anything. Afterwards the skin is washed in lukewarm water with soft soap (Danish brun saebe, Greenlandic qaqorsaat aqitsoq), and rinsed in clear water. At the time when the mummies were alive, urine was probably used; today chemicals are used. The wet skin is then placed on a hard surface, and scraped on the inner side (maminga) with a special scraper (tasitsaat), which consists of a wooden handle with a piece of round-sanded steel attached to it. Then the skin is hung up on a rope outdoors for drying, preferably in cold weather (around -5°C to -io°C). After about a week, the skin is taken in again, and soaked in clear water for about twenty-four hours. The whole washing process is repeated several times, until there is no fat left in the skin. The skin is rinsed in clear water, placed once more on a hard surface, and scraped again on the inner side to remove the water. Then the skin is folded

lengthwise along the centre line, inner side to inner side, and is perforated symmetrically along the edge, with about 5 cm between the holes. The two holes left by the flippers are sewn together separately. The skin is then spread out in a drying frame with a strong rope that is drawn through the holes along the edge of the skin. The frame with the skin is placed outdoors in a dry, ventilated place, preferably in freezing temperatures. In the mummies' time, the skin would perhaps have been stretched out on the snow or on the grass but today skin frames are used. When the skin is dry it is stiff as cardboard, and it is therefore necessary to soften the skin before use. This can be done with a kammiut (a scraper for softening skin), or by hand. It is up to the individual who prepares the skin to decide on the method. When the skin is dry and softened, the seamstress can start to cut out the pattern for the garment out of a whole skin, which is done in such a way that as much as possible of the skin is used. When cutting, the seamstress always cuts on the inner side of the skin, not on the hairside, in order not to cut the hair (fig. 4). The mummy's coat or annoraaq consisted of different pieces. Some narrow pieces of skin in another colour were sewn into the garment as decoration. Also, it is necessary to fill the holes left by the seal flippers that have been cut off, with fill-in pieces of skin. All in all, six to seven skins were used for the annoraaq. My problems began when I was starting to sew the pieces together, because the sewing technique used on the original costume was different from the one used today. Studying the original garment, I noted that the upper shoulder piece, to which the sleeves were sewn, was gathered - today, by contrast, the sleeves would be gathered. Sewing the sleeves was the most

Figure 3 Cross-section of the skin of an adult seal.Terms in English and West Greenlandic.


Karen Pedersen

Figure 4 (top) The skin pieces are cut on the inner side of the skin, using an ulu. Figure 5 (above) The skin pieces are sewn together with sinew thread. Figure 6 (above right) Woman's boot orkamik from Qilakitsoq, side view.

difficult task, because they were sewn with stitches from the left instead of from the right as it is done today. I do not know whether this was the usual sewing technique at that time, or whether the seamstress of this garment was left-handed. Also, it was difficult to make the design of the annomaq narrow on the front over the breast and wide on the back - a cut that is not seen in contemporary costumes. During that time, the women did much work in a bent-over position, as is still the case today, and that was probably why their dresses had to be wide on the back, so the garments were not too tight when they bent down. And in the same way, there should not be too much skin on the front over the breast, because that would be in the way when working, when flensing seals for instance. The sewing itself is done on the underside of the skins in order to avoid sewing the hair into the seam (fig. 5). When the dress is finished it is turned inside out, so that the hair is on the outside. Turning the dress inside out was a really difficult task, especially with regard to the sleeves and the hood. 72

In order to make a complete costume for the Uummannaq Museum, I also made a copy of the boots and the trousers of the same mummy. Notice the little club-foot of the original kamik (boot) that the mummy wore (fig. 6). The ankle was made rather high, probably to ensure a greater freedom of movement in the foot. The size of the foot itself must have been measured according to the woman's own foot size; however, the finished kamik fitted myself as well. The kamik was sewn in a way that it was wind-tight and almost waterproof as well. The little patch that is sewn on top of the kamik was added because the skin used for the kamik was not large enough for the whole kamik. The sole was very thick and hard-wearing, a result of not stretching the skin too hard during the drying process. The upper part of the boots were made of ringed seal, while the soles may have been made of harp seal or bearded seal. The trousers consisted of many small left-over pieces from the skins used for the annoraaq, which were all sewn together in such a way that the hair flowed in different directions. Perhaps

Styles and Techniques

Figure 7 Postcard showing the finished dress made by Karen Pedersen, 1988.

this was a decorative device, but maybe this was done to prevent the woman wearing the trousers sliding on ice or snow if she fell on her bottom. However, it may also have been in order to make complete use of the material available. I followed the original with regard to the number, pattern and arrangement of the pieces, as well as with regard to colour and hairflow. I have not seen similar constructions in contemporary trousers. This postcard (fig. 7) shows the finished dress, which now is on exhibition in the Uummannaq Museum in Greenland.

Notes 1 For more information on the mummies found at Qilakitsoq see Hansen, Meldgaard and Nordqvist (1991). 2 In the Qilakitsoq grave, only women and children were buried. Thus, the costume chosen for copying was a woman's costume, which, by the way, also had a more interesting design than a man's costume from the same time would have had. The costume discussed here was the best conserved, which meant that the National Museums of Greenland and Denmark in cooperation were able to measure the garment and draw out the pattern in i: i. 3 The ulu or woman's knife is made of saw blades, and can be made very sharp. In contrast to the blade of ordinary knives, the ulu blade has a crescent shape, so that the cutting edge is bevelled. Opposite the cutting edge, a handle is fastened to the blade, ensuring a secure hold, and making it possible to use the knife for very precise work.


Iniqsimajuq: Caribou-skin Preparation in Igloolik, Nunavut

Leah Aksaajuq Otak Leah Aksaajuq Otak, of Igloolik, Nunavut, is Manager of Oral History and Traditional Knowledge Research for the Nunavut Research Institute. She has a long-established interest in the preparation, design and sewing of Inuit clothing.

Caribou-skin clothing is essential to the success and safety of Inuit during their midwinter hunting activities in the Igloolik area of Canada's Nunavut territory. In this region temperatures regularly dip below -4O°C for extended periods in January and February, often accompanied by persistent winds from the northwest. The comfort, efficiency, and durability of caribou-skin clothing greatly depends on the selection of the proper skins and their subsequent preparation and sewing. Skins used for men's winter clothing are harvested in late August or early September, during the moon-month called Akulliruut in Inuktitut. This is the 'middle month', dividing summer and winter, but the name, meaning 'in-between', also refers to the fact that during this season, the hair on caribou skin is neither too thick nor too thin; in other words, it is ideal for clothing. Skins preferred for women's clothing are taken slightly earlier, in mid-August, when the hair is shorter and lighter. The preparation and softening of caribou skin prior to sewing is a complex process involving careful stretching, delicate fracturing of the epidermal layer, and scraping, all done ideally under proper temperature and humidity conditions. From start to finish the process goes through about a dozen distinct stages, and in the hands of a skilled worker a skin can be ready for sewing in about two days. While caribou-skin preparation today is done almost exclusively by women, traditionally men shared in the work, particularly in the process involving the removal of the hypodermis for which a sakuut (a metal-bladed scraper) is used.

Note that in the following photo essay the Inuktitut term miqqua refers to the 'hair side' of the skin, while mami is the inner side. Mami also refers to the dermis, as shown in the drawing of the caribou skin cross-section below. Igirrutit- Women's Tools Used in Caribou-skin Preparation

In the first stages of skin preparation the tasiuktirut is used. This is a blunt tool made from bone, stone, or metal, and is used for stretching and softening processes. To remove the hypodermis, the sakuut (a scraper with a sharp metal blade) is used. The ulu or woman's knife is used for trimming the skin. The sharpening steel - ipiksaut - is used for sharpening the ulu, and semisharpening the sakuut.

Figure a (above) A selection of tools used in skin preparation. Figure b (left) Cross-section of caribou skin.Terms in English and Inuktitut.


Styles and Techniques

1 Paniqtuq- Dried Skin

During the drying process, the skin is spread out symmetrically, with the miqqua (hair side) down, on dry, even ground, taking care to avoid any stretching at this stage. Curling along the edges should also be avoided to prevent rotting or thickening of the skin's edges. The skin should not be over-dried, nor left too long in direct sunlight, nor exposed to precipitation. Under ideal conditions, this stage takes a full day.

2 Pannaijaqtuq -Working the Overly Dried Areas

The first step in the preparation of the dried skin is to smooth and even out, on the mami side, any thicker areas that have may have been over-dried. We do this with the tasiuktirut, taking care not to remove any of the hypodermis. No stretching of the worked areas should occur at this time. The skin is now ready for the siirliqsiqtuq process.

3 Siirliqsiqtuq-Curing the Epidermal Layer

Siirliqsiqtuq is perhaps the most important stage of caribou-skin preparation and involves a 'curing' treatment of the epidermis under the proper temperature and humidity conditions. Here, we treat the skin in such a way as to enable the shallow fracturing of the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin. In summer this involves exposing the skin on a cool day to direct sunlight for a few hours. In winter the effect can be achieved by either freezing the skin or using it as a blanket next to the body in bed overnight. I have cherished memories of my grandfather curing the pukiq - the belly portion of a caribou skin - by wrapping it round his back, under his clothing, while scraping a previously cured skin.


Leah Aksaajuq Otak 4 Siirlirijaqtuq - Fracturing or Cracking the Epidermal Layer

We use the tosiuktirut for working the mami to gently fracture the epidermis. At this stage, the skin is worked first crosswise (sanimuktuq), then lengthwise (tukimuktuq). Extreme care must be taken at this stage not to remove any part of the hypodermis. With a properly prepared skin, the fracturing of the epidermal layer during this process makes a discernible sound, the cessation of which indicates that the portion being worked on is complete (see also Klokkernes and Sharma, this volume).

5 ftnaq tuq -Wetting the Mami

The mami side of the skin is dampened by spreading water evenly with the hand over the entire surface area. Thicker parts of the skin require more dampening than the thinner parts. The accumulation, or pooling, of water on the skin's surface depressions should be avoided and, above all, the skin should not be soaked through.

6 /mo/og - Folding the Skin

Immediately after the skin has been dampened, it is first folded in a manner in which the mami areas of the skin stick together, allowing no air to be trapped between the opposing layers. We then tightly roll up, as illustrated, to ensure that no part of the mami side is exposed to the drying effects of the air.


Styles and Techniques

7 Pulauqsiqtuq - Seeping

The tightly folded and bound skin is now left for at least two hours, to ensure even and complete dampening. If this stage is reached late in the evening, we often leave the bundled skin in a cool place overnight and work on it again first thing in the morning.

8 Tasiuktiqtuq - First Stretching

This is the main stretching stage. The process requires stretching the dampened skin with the tosiuktirut, using short strokes in all directions with a firm, even pressure until the worked area is fully dried. Note that the skin is folded over to prevent the unworked portion of the mami from drying out.

9 Kingmaluktuq - Chewing

At this time the thicker, hardened parts of the skin, called taqojuk, especially in the head area, are chewed (kingmaluktuq) in order to soften the skin and remove excess membrane around the eyes and ears.

10 Sakuktuq- Scraping to Remove the Hypodermis

At this stage all of the hypodermis is removed with thesakuut, usually a semi-sharpened, metal-bladed scraper. To avoid loosening the hair roots, we are careful not to over-scrape the skin. Particular attention should first be given to working the edges of the skin to allow overall uniform stretching.


Leah Aksaajuq Otak

11 Urrurittiqtuq - Slight Dampening

This process involves a second, extremely light, dampening of the skin. In winter we do this by placing the skin outdoors for a short period to allow frost crystals to accumulate on the mami side. In summer the same effect is achieved by exposing the skin to fog or dew. The dampening of the skin at this stage must be minimal, care being taken to avoid actual wetting of the surface.

12 Tasijuktuq- Final Stretching

Using the tosiuktirut, this is the final stage of stretching and must be done immediately following the secondary dampening. At this stage we try to stretch the skin as much as possible. When we were learning how to prepare caribou skins, we were often encouraged with the expression 'tasiluarunnanngittuq!', meaning that it is impossible to overstretch the skin at this stage. It is important to stretch the sides evenly, working the skin in all directions. This finishes the actual skin preparation. Now the skin is referred to as iniqsimajuq, meaning 'completed'.

13 Naliqqaktiqsimajuq - Aligning the Sides

After the final stretching and before cutting the skin for clothing, it is important that the skin be symmetrical along an axis line running from head to tail. We do this with a partner, stretching and pulling the skin into shape. To achieve full symmetry it is sometimes necessary to do additional stretching using the tosiuktirut.


Styles and Techniques 14 Qitiliuqtuq - Marking the Middle

When the skin is finally symmetrical we crimp a centre-line along the head-to-tail axis using our teeth.

15 Qitiliuqsimajuq - The Completed Middle Line or Crimp

The crimp is now visible on the mami side of the skin and can be used as a reference line when cutting the skin into clothing segments.

16 Imusimajuq - Folded Skin

The folding or rolling up of the skins during preparation is important. Normally, dried skins can be rolled up with the miqqua out. However, if they are over-dried, or if the hypodermis has not yet been removed (sakuksimanngittuq), they must be rolled or folded with the mami side out to prevent deep cracks developing on the epidermis.

Notes Most of the information in this article is derived from conversations with Siporah Inuksuk. The processes of skin preparation described here are common knowledge among older women in Igloolik. 79


Rhoda Akpaliapik Karetak Rhoda Akpaliapik Karetak was born in Coral Harbour, Nunavut, on May 15,1933. Until recently, she worked as Cultural Adviser for the Department of Education in Arviat, Nunavut. An expert seamstress, she started to design modern clothing around 1969, which is frequently copied by other people.

Our ancestors wore clothing made from skins (fig. i). When the skins were prepared and softened and ready for sewing, women made them into clothing. Our ancestors did not have measuring tools or patterns like those we purchase from the store today. They were able to produce this complex clothing using only their hands and sinew to measure. One of the most important garments that they made was the amauti (plural amautiit'), the large hooded woman's parka (fig. 2). Amautiit are an important part of our lives; they not only protect against the cold, but they are also used for carrying babies, helping to develop bonding and understanding between the mother and her child. Inuit believe that amautiit were responsible for the survival of many newborns in the past in the difficult and demanding environments in which they lived. Mothers were able to continue with their work while carrying their child. The baby could be shifted to the front to feed without being taken out of

Figure 1 A family dressed in skin clothing.


the amauti, or a toddler could sit in the amauti and eat. The amauti is used for carrying children from infancy until they are about three years old. Amautiit made in the arnatuuq style (a style common in the Kivalliq area west of Hudson Bay) are very comfortable; those made from caribou skin, sealskin or duck skin stretch as the baby grows, as though the pouch of the amauti is growing with the child. The amauti perhaps also served as a method of birth control. For as long as the child remained in the amauti they were breastfed, reducing the mother's fertility. When the child turned four years old they left the amauti, and were no longer breast-fed; shortly after they would get a younger sibling. The constant attention and contact with their mothers that Inuit children receive in their early years is very beneficial and healthy. This knowledge must be passed on and taught to our children while our elders are still here and able to teach us; asking for advice from people who have this knowledge is

Styles and Techniques

Figure 2 Woman carryings baby in her amauti. This style is common in the Igloolik area (Amitturmiut) and in northern Baffin Island (Tununirmiut).

Figure 3 Woman carrying a baby in the front of her amauti.

always welcomed by them. It is very important for our students to learn the history of this clothing as well as learning to sew amautiit because they are an essential part of our culture. Our children will have children and they will want to use amautiit, as they are both comfortable and practical. Amautiit are still used today. Different styles have been adapted for summer as well as winter use, and they are often made from modern materials. An amauti is a joy to have, and there are all sorts of ways to make your amauti nice. These days fringes bought from the store are being used in place of caribouskin fringes. It is much easier to make an amauti from storebought material than from skins, as long as you choose material that is not too slippery as this is harder to work with. There are different styles of amautiit from different regions in Nunavut, and each has its own name. Listed below are names for amautiit and the different styles you may see in Nunavut. Caribou-skin Amauti with Pouches on Upper Arms, Used in the Kivalliq Region West of Hudson Bay

This type of amauti with pouches on the upper arms is very comfortable for caring for infants (fig. 3). They were carried from the moment they were born, by bundling them into the pouch of the amauti without exposing them to the harsh cold air. It provided a safe haven for the child. Even when they became toddlers and able to walk, a child would drag the amauti to his or her mother, begging to be carried in it. Amautiit are a lot of hard work to make. The same amauti maybe used for as long as it continues to fit comfortably. If she is able, a women might have two amautiit in a year as the child is growing. It should be kept clean as it is the baby's safe place. In earlier days, caribou-skin amautiit were among the most useful garments as neither the child nor the mother needed any other clothing. The child and the mother touching, that was very important, there was a special closeness between the two. When making an amauti, you should pay close attention to the size of the person you are making it for. The front tail and

Figure 4 Woman wearing an amaut/.This type of amaut/was commonly used in the Kivalliq area west of Hudson Bay, but is also known from northern Quebec.

the back tail should fit perfectly. If a woman is wide, make the front and back tail wide. If she is slim, make the front and back tail narrower. You should pay close attention to the height and size of the person. Amauti without Front or Back Tail (Angijuqtaujaq)

The type of amauti without tails is called angijuqtaujaq. It is made and worn by women from Coral Harbour, Arviat and in Rankin Inlet. It does not have a pointed tip to the hood, the body part is made like the one with the front and back tail, and the bottom part is made like a skirt. In this type the sleeves are as long as the arm. Some of these amautiit have short sleeves, and some long sleeves. This type of amauti is comfortable. Women worked and did their chores while carrying their babies. Young girls carried their younger siblings while mothers did their work, as they were always busy sewing and cooking. Amautiit should be made carefully so that the woman does not become tired by wearing it. Amauti with Front and Back Tail (Akulik)

This type of amauti with tails is called akulik, which means 'with a tail' (fig. 4). It is made and worn by women from Coral Harbour and Cape Dorset. It is comfortable to use even for larger babies as it has a big pouch, but because of this the infant must be securely wrapped in a blanket so that they will not slip around. This type of amauti is challenging to make. The v-shaped attachment point for the tie-strings on the front has to be very carefully placed to ensure that the weight of the child is evenly distributed and comfortable to carry. Beaded Amauti with Shoulder Pouches

A beaded amauti with shoulder pouches (fig. 5) requires a lot of work. It is a joy to see people making their own amauti, using their own skills. Self-taught with determination, they create their own designs. In the past, beads collected from the land 81

Rhoda Akpaliapik Karetak

Figure 6 (top) Sealskin boot. Figure 5 Sungaujaaqtuq - a woman wearing a beaded amauti. Inuit in different regions had beaded amautiit, but they seem to be most elaborate in the Arviat area.

Figure 7 (above) Different types of sealskin boots.

were used. When gathering beads from the land, the index and little fingers were used to pick them up, because it was believed that the hole would disappear if the beads were picked up with the thumb and index finger. That is how the story was told. When the whalers arrived, they brought beads and storebought thin duffle that was used for the v-shaped string placement. Atigi tuilik - an amauti with shoulder pouches - is another style used by women in the Kivalliq. It is made from caribou skin, which must be of good quality. The skin should not have had warble fly eggs in it, and it should be nice and white. It should be neatly sewn with proper stitching.

place, making sure not to make holes along the outside of the edge or in the kamik. Summer kamiks have three tabs for tie-placements: around the ankle area, at the front and on the sides. In this way, when the strings are tied, the soles of the kamiks won't shift around as much, and they will not be uncomfortable while walking and hunting for caribou. The material used for kamiks should be harvested during winter, because at that time the skin is at its best. Although a bearded sealskin may be very big, it is easily softened. Bearded sealskin that has been treated with hot water to make it white soaks up water more easily and, in comparison to black untreated sealskin, it would be too soft to use for the sole ofakamik. Men's summer kamiks may be made with a bigger upper part of the boot than winter kamiks (fig. 7). When used for wading, such a kamik lasts longer and doesn't get ruined as fast. The sole must be made exactly the right size for the wearer, sealskin for the soles should be pegged out and stretched on the ground so that it will be easier to soften. Make sure you don't stretch the skin too much. When chewing to soften the skin, chew in small spaces. First start by chewing side to side, and when you have completed chewing the sole in that

Women's Sewing and Traditional Knowledge

Kamiks (sealskin boots) for men have to be carefully made (fig. 6). If the kamiks are for summer use they are made waterproof and the soles need to be strong with no holes. For patches, unstretched bearded sealskin is used. Briefly soak the piece of skin and, once it is soft, shape it to fit onto the part of the sole that is worn off most quickly. The skin patch is attached with the outer side of the sealskin facing out. The edges of the patch must be thinned. Before beginning to sew, stretch the sole of the kamik and put a duffle sock in. Then carefully sew it in 82

Styles and Techniques

Figure 8 (left) Different women's knives (ulus) and scrapers. Figure 9 (below) Tools: soapstone lamp, thread, needle, thimble and sticks.

direction, start chewing vertically until it has been chewed completely. Until the chewing is completed you should store the sole properly, making sure it does not dry. Store it in a plastic bag so that it will not be too hard to work with. Make sure that the sole is softened by soaking along the edges. In this way, it will be easier and softer to sew. Women's Tools

Women's tools should be comfortable for a woman's hand. There are different kinds of women's tools: tools used for butchering and preparing meat, tools for cutting skin, and implements for stretching and scraping skins (fig. 8). Women use ulus that are comfortable for them. Ulus are used for preparing polar bear skin and sealskin, for cutting out patterns on hides and sealskins, for fox pelts, and as a scraper to scrape fat from sealskins. Illustrated here are some tools that women use when sewing and preparing skins for clothing: thimble; needle; sealskin scraping board; a half-moon-shaped soapstone lamp; and a wood frame for stretching and drying sealskins and caribou skins (fig. 9). Bearded sealskin which is to be used for kamik soles, is better when stretched on the ground with wooden pegs, because then it is easier to manage and to work with. Notes I would like to thank the Department of Education, Government of Nunavut, in Arviat, for supporting my work, and Suzie Muckpah, Nunavusiutit Curriculum Coordinator, for translating my paper into English.


Women's Skin Coats fromWest

Greenland -with Special Focus on Formal Clothing of Caribou Skin from the Early Nineteenth Century Anne Bahnson Anne Bahnson, curator at the National Museum of Denmark, has been working with the Arctic collections since 1969, specializing in Eskimo skin clothing. She curated the Museum's permanent Arctic exhibition, and has been responsible for electronic registration and the development of an online database of the Arctic collections. From 1984 to 2001 she participated in the repatriation of Greenlandic objects from the National Museum of Denmark to the Greenland National Museum & Archives, Nuuk.

In the Arctic collections of the British Museum is an extremely beautiful woman's coat made of caribou skin (Ethno 1990 Am 12.i). The coat was bought at an auction at Christie's in 1990 but, unfortunately, the information in the auction catalogue was very brief. It only mentioned that the artefact was: 'A West Greenland sealskin parka, with various designs and borders in skins of different colours finely sewn with sinew thread. 90 cm long. Provenance: Charles Winn (1795-1874)' (Christie's South Kensington Ltd 1990: 73). The coat is unique and beautiful; the fur is soft and it is very well preserved (fig. za and fig. ib).


For more than 150 years, three similar coats have been in the Ethnographic Collection at the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen. In connection with the repatriation of Greenlandic clothing to the National Museum and Archives in Nuuk in 1994, specialists from the National Museum of Denmark

Figure 1a and 1b Coat in the British Museum, front and back view (Ethno 1990 Am 12.1).

Styles and Techniques

have carefully researched these coats. For a number of reasons coats of this type are very rare in museum collections. In the first place skin clothing in general was very difficult to collect; Inuit people usually had only one set of clothes at a time, and when it was worn out after a year or two the skins were normally cut up and used for other purposes. Second, these special coats, made of thin and fragile caribou skins, have been difficult to preserve in the wet European climate. Finally, artefacts made of skin were particularly attractive to vermin such as insects. It has nevertheless been possible to preserve Inuit skin clothing in museum collections and before I describe and compare these caribou-skin coats, I would like to examine how the earliest-known drawings, descriptions and collections of skin clothing came to the National Museum of Denmark, which now contains one of the world's largest and most varied collections of Inuit clothing. From 'Museum Wormianum'to the Department of Ethnography

The oldest register describing Greenlandic skin clothing in a Danish museum is an inventory of 1642 from the 'Museum Wormianum' collection of curiosities founded in the 16205 by the Danish naturalist Ole Worm (1588-1654). Among others, the register lists a sealskin coat, a birdFigure 2 The frontispiece of 'Museum Wormianum'(Worm 1655).

skin coat, and a coat offish or seal intestines ('Anorak af Fiskeindvolde. Indusium Gronlandicum ex intestinis Phocas') (Schepelern 1971: 356). The objects are shown on the frontispiece of the folio 'Museum Wormianum' (1655), as they were exhibited in the museum (fig. 2). A bird-skin coat and a gut-skin coat are seen hanging on the wall to the right of the window, while a sealskin coat is mounted on a manikin. Today these Greenlandic coats are no longer in the possession of the National Museum of Denmark. These old coats were probably auctioned in 1811 (Dam-Mikkelsen and Lundbaek 1980: XVII) or destroyed over the years by the humid Danish climate. After Ole Worm's death in 1654, the Wormianum collection became part of the Royal Kunstkammer. This cabinet of curiosities existed until 1820. However, a great number of the most damaged objects were put up for auction in 1811. The money raised was needed to provide new cases to replace the old ones, which dated from the time of Frederik III (1609-70) (Dam-Mikkelsen and Lundbask 1980: XVII). In 1825 the rest of the objects were allocated to various specialized collections. One of these new museums was the Art Museum (Kunstmuseet), which held objects dating back to the seventeenth century. Christian Jiirgensen Thomsen was installed as curator in 1839 and he immediately began rearranging the Art Museum's nonEuropean collections. Under the auspices of the newly created Ethnographic Department, the collections were again displayed in 1841. The museum was soon overcrowded, which led to the


Anne Bahnson

opening of the Royal Ethnographic Museum in 1849 in th Prince's Palace. In 1892 the Ethnographic Museum was incorporated into the new National Museum of Denmark. The Department of Ethnography has been an independent section within this institution since 1921 (Lundbaek 1988:170). Painting of Creenlanders, 1654

A very special addition to the Royal Kunstkammer was a painting of four Greenlanders captured in the Fiord of Godthaab (near present-day Nuuk) by a Danish captain in 1654. The picture was painted in Bergen in the same year by an unknown but clearly very skilled portrait painter of the day. This is the earliest pictorial representation of Greenlanders and shows the everyday summer costume of West Greenlanders at that time. Hans Egede, 1741

In the eighteenth century, the National Museum did not acquire any new skin garments from Greenland. However, the Danish missionary Hans Egede (1686-1758) gave a detailed description of Greenlandic women's costumes in his bookDet gamle Gr0nlands nyePerlustrationellerNaturel-Historie (1741). This description of the country and its people is a very important source of material concerning Greenland's early colonial period. From 1721 to 1736 Egede and his family lived in Greenland, and over these fifteen years they gained a detailed knowledge of the country and language and were therefore able to get all their information from the Greenlandic people at first hand. Of women's clothing Egede noted: They have coats made of two layers of skin. The inner layer next to the body is made of caribou skin, of which the fur is turned inside out. The outer layer is also made of thin-haired and beautiful, coloured caribou skin. If caribou skins are not available, they would use sealskins, edged and decorated with white [skin strips] between the seams. The effect is rather exquisite (1741: 73).

Christian Jiirgensen Thomsen, 1840s

In 1839 Christian Jiirgensen Thomsen, known for developing the terminology 'Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age', became curator of the Art Museum. Thomsen classified the ethnographical objects according to culture areas, and emphasized that it was not the curiosities on which he wanted to concentrate (Jensen 1992:190). After the 1811 auction mentioned above, there was not a single Greenlandic costume left at the museum. Thus one of Thomsen's first priorities as curator was to ask the authorities for money and permission to buy objects in Greenland. He also applied for funds to buy exhibition cases to display the new acquisitions (Jensen 1992:190). In the spring of 1839 he sent a systematic and carefully worked out list of the artefacts he wanted for the museum to the inspectors for southern and northern Greenland, to priests and missionaries and to the trade managers (kolonibestyrer). After this, the inspectors, missionaries and trade managers began enthusiastically to collect objects for the museum. The development of the collection over the following years can be seen clearly both in the inventory and in the related archives of the Department of Ethnography. In a letter dated 24 March 1840 to J.M.H.F. Punch (i8o6-8oV a missionary in Nuuk from 1835 to 1841, Thomsen complained about the random and incomplete collections in the Art Museum. He also complained that the authorities were 86

unwilling to spend the necessary amount of money to build up a presentable collection. He continues: 'I therefore appeal to you to contribute to this collection and make it decent.' In particular he points out: 'We don't have any ideas of how children, especially babies, are dressed.' In response, Joachim Punch, as early as 1841, forwarded a woman's costume to Thomsen. This garment (Lc.m) was worn for daily use and designed in such a way that the woman was able to carry her baby on her back inside the garment. Carl Peter Holb011 (1795-1856), Inspector of South Greenland from 1828 to 1856, in the same year sent seven garments from a place in the neighbourhood of Nuuk, including three women's outfits: one of caribou skin (Lc.ns); one of sealskin (Lc.n6); and a child-carrying coat or amaat (Lc.ii7). The caribou-skin coat was beautifully decorated with skin embroidery. In the enclosed letter, dated 15 July 1841, Holb011 writes: 'According to Thomsen's wishes, I have acquired some costumes. I have no doubt that you will admire the beauty of the skin and the needlework.' The caribou outfit is still in the collection of the National Museum in Copenhagen. Also in 1841, Dr C.N. Rudolph (1811-82), a physician in Ilulissat from 1839 to 1854, sent a woman's costume to Thomsen. The coat (Lc.i4o) was made of linen-covered sealskin. In the enclosed letter, dated 28 July 1841, Rudolph wrote: 'According to your wishes I am sending a complete woman's outfit as it is used here in the North, it isn't a new one but I could not obtain a better one at the moment. If you don't find it satisfactory, I will be glad to send you another one - if you lack a Sunday dress I will look out for one for next year.' In 1844, Major Ludvig Fasting (1798-1863), Inspector for Northern Greenland from 1828 to 1843, succeeded in obtaining two men's (Lc.i8s and Lc.i86) and two women's (Lc.i87 and Lc.i88) outfits from the northern part of West Greenland. The women's coats were both made of caribou skin, similar to the one previously mentioned. One of these two coats (Lc.i87) is from Attu, in the neighbourhood of Sisimiut. In a letter from Major Fasting to Thomsen dated 4 September 1842, Fasting writes regarding this coat: 'I asked you last year if I should pay for beads for the woman's coat that I obtained for the Art Museum, but I did not receive an answer from you.' This coat, still unbeaded, is in the collection at the National Museum of Denmark (fig. 3). In the same letter to Thomsen, Major Fasting writes with regard to the other coat (Lc.i88): 'In Upernavik I bought a similar garment from a young woman, who had worn it at a wedding.' The museum catalogue report concerning this garment reads: 'A common woman's coat of caribou skin decorated with beads. Bought on the Island Pr0ven [Kangersuatsiaq] in Upernavik District: from a bride just coming from her wedding.' This garment is no longer in the collection at the National Museum of Copenhagen. Unfortunately, the catalogues and archives do not give any further information on the history of the coat. It is impossible to know if it was destroyed due to bad environmental conditions or given to another museum in exchange for other artefacts. In 1847 an anonymous donor sold a caribou-skin coat to Thomsen (fig. 4). About this coat, the museum catalogue reports: 'A Greenlandic woman's coat, made of caribou skin lined with sealskin, and at the lower edge richly decorated with beads.' The catalogue mentions neither a place of origin, nor a

Styles and Techniques

collection date. This beaded coat was repatriated in 1994 and is now in the collection of the Greenland National Museum and Archives in Nuuk (KNK 2215 Lc.242.i). In total then, during the six-year period from 1841 to 1847, Thomsen enlarged his West Greenland collection with eight outer coats for women: two sealskin coats for daily use, two coats of sealskin for carrying a baby (amaaf), and four coats made of thin, soft and fragile caribou skins, elaborately decorated with skin embroideries and beads and probably made for formal occasions. Depression in Greenland

Sadly, however, the clothing acquired by the museum in that period does not present an accurate picture of the way people dressed in West Greenland in an everyday context during the first part of the nineteenth century. The number of formal outfits acquired by the museum in these years equals the number of everyday outfits. One explanation could be that it was extremely difficult for the trade managers and other Danish officials in Greenland to obtain ordinary clothing for the museum. On 16 September 1841 Major Fasting, the Inspector in North Greenland, wrote to Thomsen: You complain that you don't have any everyday garments in your museum. However, this is not surprising as the Greenlanders hardly have any themselves. It is a rarely the case that they have more clothing than what they are wearing.

In addition, Dr Rudolph in Ilulissat provides us with this description of winter 1844: It was a long and severe winter for all of us; but it would have been far less terrible if the Greenlanders had not been completely devoid of clothing, as well as of skin for their beddings. The women, children and the aged were almost naked this winter, and the few clothes they had were rotten and spread an intolerable stench in the house.

The reason for the extreme economic depression among the Greenlanders at the beginning of the nineteenth century was that the Danish government, while trying to establish a higher standard of living for the Greenlanders, simultaneously pushed ahead with a drive to increase production. To obtain these goals, the administration raised the prices of Greenlandic products and lowered those of Danish goods (H.C. Petersen 1991: 34). The unfortunate and unforeseen result was that the Greenlanders began to sell all they produced, including all the skins that would have been needed for garments, blankets, boats, and tents. Morten Meldgaard, in his article 'The Greenland Caribou' (Meldgaard 1986: 58), explains that in the period from 1841 to 1847 the caribou population in all districts of West Greenland reached their height. This was the time when the aforementioned coats were made and collected. There was a great variety of materials from which to fashion clothes, but at this time, as the trading statistics from West Greenland show,

Figure 3 (above) Coat in the National Museum, Copenhagen, back view (Lc.187). Figure 4 (left) Coat in the Greenland National Museum and Archives in Nuuk, front view(KNK2215Lc.242.1).


Anne Bahnson

an extremely high percentage of all the skins from the animals hunted were sold to the Royal Greenland Trade Department (Meldgaard 1986:17). Previously, Greenlanders had always stored skins and food reserves for winter. However, Greenlanders did not consider money to be an alternative to the winter reserves; on the contrary, they were told that money should be spent here and now. Therefore they sold the important necessities of life and unfortunately, with only short-term gain in mind, used the money for stimulants and finery (H.C. Petersen 1991: 35). In a letter to C.J. Thomsen dated 16 September 1841, Major Fasting, Inspector for North Greenland, observed: Some of them have now started to smarten themselves up on Sundays and on formal occasions. The Europeans have taught them to use another outer garment called an 'anorak', made of cotton or wool.

However, these garments were not warm enough during the harsh Arctic winter. Description of the Women's Coats Made of Caribou Skin

To my knowledge there are only seven specimens of this type of tailored woman's coat in existence. In addition to the one held by the British Museum (Ethno 1990 Am 12.1), the two garments in Copenhagen ( and Lc.iSy), and the one in the Greenland National Museum and Archives in Nuuk (KNK 2215 Lc.242.i), there is one more coat in the collections of the British Museum (Ethno 1212; fig. sa and fig. sb) which was identified after the conference, a coat in the Giesecke collection of the Museum fur Volkerkunde in Vienna (321; fig. 6), and one in the Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde in Leiden (060102). The features of the tailored form of these women's coats are 88

Figures 5a and 5b The Christy Collection Coat, front and back view (Ethno 1212).

particular and all display the following characteristics: A careful selection of skins: only the most beautiful caribou skins were chosen. ' A clear sense of design: expressed by an ordered combination of white, brown, and red-coloured skins. Splendid decorations: artistic skin mosaics using both fur and depilated red-coloured skin. Emphasized seams: all seams are ornamented with ribbons of skin in dark and light shades. A strong sense of symmetry in design and decoration of the coat. A five-branched central back-piece: the back is built up around an unusual symmetrical figure. Extremely small size: slight and slender, and without the pouch for carrying a child, which is a common feature of other female outfits. Very deep armholes: the sleeves are connected to the body parallel to the coat. Flaps on the front and the back. Sewn with sinew thread. As the coats are incredibly similar with only small variations,

Styles and Techniques

Figure 6 Back view of the coat in the Museum fur Volkerkunde, Vienna (321).

the following description holds for all the coats of this style held in the various collections mentioned above. The skin at the front of the garment is divided along a median seam, marked with inserted ribbons approximately i cm wide, made of strips of skin in different colours. This vertical line is ornamental and gives the coat a strong symmetry. The two front skins are continued in shoulder pieces passing from the front over the shoulders and down into the back piece. Beneath the opening at the throat, the coats have breast ornaments consisting of two pieces which vary in both shape and design. The uppermost is a rounded piece of white skin, inserted at the breast just under the edge of the hood. It is bordered and divided in the middle by a ribbon decorated with skin mosaic. In the middle of the breast, below this 'bib', there is a rectangle decorated with skin mosaic and with squares of skin of alternating light and dark colours. The rounded front flap is made of the narrow front skin divided by the median seam and bordered with a number of sewn-on ribbons in varying colours. The side seams are marked with a i cm wide white strip, sewn into the front skin, which again emphasizes the cut. The armhole seam begins at the shoulder joints and runs

downward and a little inward at the trunk of the coat, almost to the middle of the breast and then horizontally out to the side seam. That makes the armholes very deep and incised. The sleeves are very narrow and the special cut-out makes the outside measurements of the sleeves almost three times larger than the inside measurement. The sleeves are sewn on almost parallel to the body of the coat. This distinct cut prevents the wearer from stretching the arms above the head, but accentuates the horizontal movement of the arms. This style does not seem to be especially functional for a hard-working person, unless the movements are always executed in front and downward. Inserted into the seam on the outside of the sleeves, are broad ornamental bands of light skin, with dark narrow strips. The sleeve cuffs consist of several ribbons of light and dark skin, finished off with a border of red woollen fabric. This is missing on one of the garments held at the British Museum (Ethno 1990 Am 12.1), but it is possible that the red woollen edging was sewn onto the sleeve of the inner coat. The back is composed of a middle section with five connecting pieces. The two uppermost pieces run from the middle of the back on either side of a drop-shaped hood ornament; from the back of the head they are sewn to the bottom of the hood. The outer edges of these uppermost branches are sewn to the shoulder pieces running from the front over the shoulders and ending under the shoulder blade. The outer side of these shoulder pieces create the back of the armholes. The two diminutive side branches are sewn to the bottom of the shoulder pieces; they in fact keep the front and back segments together. The last branch creates the back flap of the coat. Built up like the front flap with a narrow middle section, with numerous ribbons and borders made of different coloured skin, the back flap has a spade-like shape. Triangular side pieces sewn to the middle section and the side seam create the loin of the coat. All the coats, with the exception of one in the British Museum (Ethno 1990 Am 12.i), had a border around the lower edge made of red woollen fabric. This border was used to fasten chains and rows of big glass beads. When examining that particular British coat, there was no edging of woollen fabric left, only a row of tiny little holes and small pieces of sinew thread on the border of the skin, around the lower edge. Furthermore, I found two red threads on the edge, both about 1.5 mm long, one on the back flap and one near the left side seam. This indicates that there must originally have been an edging of red woollen fabric. Like the other coats, this one probably was decorated with beads. The hood is made of two symmetrical parts connected at the top and back with ribbons. Inserted next to the front is a broad piece of white caribou skin; between this edging and the hood segments there are several ribbons and rows of skin mosaic. Two of the coats (Lc.iSy at the National Museum of Denmark and the British coat, Ethno 1990 Am 12.1) have a V-shaped ornament inserted at the top of the hood. A special ornament of light skin runs from the top of the head on the back of the hood through to the bottom of the hood onto the neck section, down through the back piece of the coat, almost to the waist, ending in a rounded drop-shaped form 89

Anne Bahnson

with dark skin at the bottom. The inner-coat has been preserved in only one of the garments at the National Museum of Denmark (Lc.ns). On the edge of the inner hood of this coat is a string of baleen,2 which has been sewn into the opening; this was probably to strengthen the smooth skin and to enable the hood to stand erect in a beautifully symmetrical bow around the head. Three of the coats (Lc.ns in the National Museum of Denmark; KNK 2215 Lc.242.i in the Greenland National Museum and Archives in Nuuk; and Ethno 1212 in the British Museum) have a U-shaped decoration inserted into the middle seam of the flaps. I have not discovered a clear explanation for this; it could be a decoration designed to display the skill of the seamstress, or a practical arrangement simply adding a piece of skin to the length of the flaps, or it could even have been inserted as some form of protective amulet. Conclusion

The women who created these masterpieces showed through them their exemplary taste and their skill as seamstresses. At the same time they demonstrated the skills of their husbands as competent hunters. As we have seen, the seven coats are all very similar. They have exactly the same cut, and the design and ornamentation are almost identical apart from small differences in design details. We know the exact place of origin of four of the garments, all of which are from the central part of West Greenland. The coats in the National Museum of Denmark and the coat in the Greenland National Museum and Archives in Nuuk were all collected at the beginning of the 18405, thanks to Thomsen's initiative. The coat in Leiden was collected between 1800 and 1875. The two coats held by the British Museum were collected in the early nineteenth century, one (Ethno 1212) in 1826, the other (Ethno 1990 Am 12.1) probably by Captain H.P. Hoppner


in the 18205 during the search for the Northwest Passage. The coat now in Vienna is probably older than the others, as it was collected by Dr Karl Ludwig Giesecke during his stay in West Greenland between 1806 and 1813. These magnificent pieces of clothing were produced in a period when people surrendered all their skins for money and trade goods. Many of the Greenlanders were experiencing dire need and were quite without financial means; unfortunately, many were also in a state of profound distress (H.C. Petersen 1991: 35). Some explanation for the design of these particular tailored coats can be found in the fundamental changes in the social and religious milieu in Greenland during the nineteenth century. The rituals connected to the church, such as services on Sundays, confirmations and weddings, became integrated into daily life in Greenland during this period, and the adoption of a special dress code for these events became more and more prevalent (see also Thuesen, this volume). These church festivals incorporated many rituals which required specific clothing. Moreover, Greenlandic women had observed that the wives of colonial officials created the most beautiful robes for their daughters, a practice they may have been emulating when producing the elegant garments described in this paper. Thus the caribou coats described here, which display such artistic competence and are so aesthetically pleasing, do not seem to be everyday garments, but rather are unique artefacts which may have been worn by young women during religious ceremonies. Notes 1 This and the other letters quoted in this paper are in the archives of the Department of Ethnography, National Museum of Denmark. Translation by Anne Bahnson. 2 Sieve-like plates of fibrous material (keratin) hanging down from the upper jaw of the so-called baleen whales.

The Roald Amundsen Collection: The Impact of a Skin Preparation Method on Preservation

Torunn Klokkernes and Nalini Sharma Torunn Klokkernes is a senior conservator at the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo. She has a master in conservation from the School of Conservation in Copenhagen and is currently doing a PhD in conservation science on the preservation of skin and fur material from the Arctic and Subarctic. Nalini Sharma has been a textile conservator at the Museum of Cultural History at the University of Oslo since 1991 Trained at the Museum of Decorative Arts, Oslo, she holds a diploma in art history from the Ecole du Louvre, Paris, and a MaTtrise in art history from the Institut de I'Art et Archeologie, Sorbonne Paris IV, Paris. She is a member of the Centre International d'Etude desTextiles Anciens (CIETA).

The Museum of Cultural History at the University of Oslo (formerly the Ethnographic Museum) is the home of the prestigious Roald Amundsen collection of artefacts from the Netsilik Inuit. The material was collected over a two-year period (1903-5) on King William Island around Gjoa Haven. In fact, when Amundsen stopped at Gjoa Haven, he was on his way to fulfilling his childhood dream of finding the Northwest Passage. To give further importance to the expedition and to attract financial backers, he had an additional goal: to locate the magnetic north pole. At Gjoa Haven (named after his ship Gj0d) he found a safe natural harbour for the winter and a good location for his magnetic observations (fig. i). In 1991 a thorough examination was made of the Inuit caribou-skin collection brought back by Amundsen for the Museum of Cultural History at the University of Oslo. This was in order to assess the condition of the skin artefacts with a view to determining their future preservation and conservation needs. Using Amundsen's diaries and photographs of the expedition, and the historical records of the museum, we examined the way in which the garments were worn by the Inuit (to point us in the direction of where to expect wear and tear), the condition under which they were stored over the years, and museum exhibition practices. It was obvious that the objects had not been kept under optimal conditions, neither during transport from North America nor in the 100 years since they came into the custody of our museum. However, this alone could not explain all deterioration features, such as the cracking of the epidermis and subsequent hair loss. This led us into an investigation of skin preparation methods used by the Inuit of the time. Information from Amundsen's diaries along with other written sources, combined with analysis of our material and field studies, gave us an understanding of the skin preparation

methods. We came to the conclusion that the most important factor that has determined the degree of deterioration of this collection of skin artefacts, especially concerning hair loss, is the original preparation method itself. The History of the Collection

Before he had set sail from Norway, Amundsen had already expressed the hope that he would encounter, and be able to get to know, people in the area where he would stay for the winter. If this happened, he planned to collect artefacts from them. One can therefore imagine his satisfaction when, having found a safe harbour for the Gj0a, he was asked by a passing group of Inuit if they could set up camp in the same bay (fig. 2). Later he wrote: This was something that had to gladden the soul of an anthropologist and ethnographer. We had hoped for something like this when we were planning the expedition, and with this in mind we had bought many small things that could be used for bartering. I began collecting objects that could illustrate the Eskimo way of life for the museums. Before I had finished, I had several such sets, some of which are now exhibited in Norwegian museums. I acquired samples of practically everything that these Eskimos owned, from clothes used by both sexes to examples of all kinds of cooking and hunting equipment. (Amundsen 1927:48; translated into English by the authors).

Figure 1 Cjea at anchor in Gjoa Haven at King William Island. From the Gj0a Expedition, 1903-5.


Torunn Klokkernes and Nalini Sharma

Figure 2 Onaller with her son. From the Gj0a Expedition, 1903-5.

Figures 3a and 3b Netsilik woman's outer parka of caribou skin, front and back.

Most of the clothing had already been used. According to sporadic entries in Amundsen's diary concerning the objects, the clothes were packed in crates and stored on board the Gj0a. Nothing is said about how or where on the ship they were put. Most probably they were stored in crates and/or bags below deck. During the preparations for their departure, Amundsen writes in his diary on 29 May 1905: 'I have taken the crates out in the open and aired them out well.'1 A little later, on 27 June, he writes that all of the fifty bags containing clothing had been aired and taken on board again for the last time. The room where they were placed was dry, well ventilated, and he wrote of his hopes that everything would survive! It would seem from these accounts that the artefacts were probably stored quite casually until just before departure, at which time they were aired thoroughly and repacked with care. In September 1905 the expedition arrived at King Point, where Amundsen and his crew spent the next winter. In a diary entry in March 1906 Amundsen writes: We used the first days of good weather building ourselves a big airy house on a hilltop for our collections. Now that the sun was back for good we wanted to air our skins and plants. We were just as anxious for our crates as we were for our lives.

The collection was once again brought on board just before their journey onward in May 1906 (exact date unknown). On 31 August 1906, Amundsen fulfilled his dream: as the leader of the expedition he was the first to navigate through the Northwest Passage. Then, between August and December 1906, the collection had to travel across a whole continent by train, wait in New York, and once again sail the seas to arrive finally in Oslo at the very end of 1906. The collection consisted of roughly 700 items, of which approximately 140 were of caribou skin (fig. 33 and fig. sb). Soon after their arrival in Oslo, some of the artefacts were sent to the Historical Museum in Bergen, and some to the National Museum of Copenhagen in Denmark in exchange for other objects, so that there remain ninety-five caribou-skin items in 92

our museum. This caribou-skin collection consists of inner and outer parkas, trousers, boots, stockings, shoes and mittens for men and women, children's parkas, trousers, and two combination suits, men's caps, mittens, and a few pairs of gloves. The whole collection is catalogued in detail in Garth Taylor's Netsilik Eskimo Material Culture (1974). The collection was exhibited immediately from its arrival in Oslo in December 1906 until November 1907, at which time it was closed for cataloguing. A new permanent exhibition was set up in the Museum of Cultural History in the so-called Gj0a Hall on the first floor. We can assume that most of the artefacts were exhibited in the accepted ways of that time. In a photograph taken some years later (date unknown), we see the clothing exhibited without protection from light, dust, the roving hands of the public, or insects (fig. 4). This situation lasted until World War II, when all the museum objects were packed away safely. We next specifically hear of the Amundsen collection in 1966, when a new exhibition was set up where only a small part of the collection was exhibited. Also in 1966 a cold-storage room for the furs and skins was built, and a new attitude towards preservation of skin artefacts pervaded. It had taken many years to convince museum administrators of the necessity to allocate funds for specialized storage facilities (Klausen 1966,1970). In the 19708 the Arctic exhibition was modernized. Some objects were placed in showcases, but on the whole most were exhibited in the open. It was only a question of time before there would be a massive insect infestation. This happened in the autumn of 1986. The building was evacuated and the Arctic exhibition was gassed with Fumisect (consists of 3 per cent dichlorvos, 3 per cent malathion and 2 per cent pyrethrin). Hardly a year later there was yet another attack - and the exhibition was dismantled. Ever since 1862 (the museum opened in 1857) there are records of insect infestations at the museum. A newly appointed administrator of the museum, Ludvig Kr. Daa, wrote in a letter to the Collegium Academicum,

Styles and Techniques that the hairs part easily and at the bottom the skin is visible. [...] Method number three is the drying piece by piece over the flame of a lamp.

On Tuesday 9 May 1905 he continues: I need to comment on the skin preparation. Almost all the skins that are to be used for clothing are dried with method number two - on the body. First air-dried, then used at night as a cover, with the flesh side against the naked body. Then put down on the ground to freeze, and thereafter scraped both by the man and the woman until soft as silk.

Figure 4 The Roald Amundsen collection exhibited in the Gj0a Hall.

What is likely to happen in this wrapping of the skin against the naked body is that the non-collagen substances and the water that surrounds the collagen fibres are heated, rendering the skin more pliable. In the subsequent scraping process, the fibres in the collagen network are pulled apart and are somewhat realigned in a more parallel formation, rendering the skin soft and pliable. The freezing process is thought to have an effect on the flexibility of the skin as well (Hatt 1914). The Examination of the Collection

University of Oslo, on 6 October 1862 of his deep concern for the condition of the collection, and described the method of trying to keep insect infestations under control (Nielsen 1907). In our present Arctic exhibition, opened in 1993, where some artefacts from the Amundsen collection are exhibited as well, the clothing seems to be doing well. All the garments are exhibited in almost airtight showcases. As far as possible we have tried to keep the cases small in order to prevent the spread of insects, should there be a new infestation. Furthermore, the use of fibre-optic lighting means that we have been able to reduce light intensity (and UV) and heat significantly. We feel we have managed to provide fairly stable conditions for this very susceptible group of objects. Central Inuit Skin Preparation Method

The Netsilik Inuit are described in the literature as using what has been called the Central Inuit method in the preparation of skins. As for other Inuit groups, no tanning agent is added during the preparation process. This is described by Hatt (1914), Rasmussen (1931) and Balikci (1970,1984). According to Hatt (1914), the skinning of the animal is the only common denominator in the Arctic skin preparation process. Amundsen, in fact, describes this process in more detail than most other sources. The processes were observed during the two winters he stayed in Gjoa Haven. The descriptions of the preparation methods in his handwritten diaries show a good eye for observation. On Saturday 6 May 1905 Amundsen describes in his diary the processes of drying caribou fur: Caribou skins are dried in three ways. The first one is thorough drying in the air. When the caribou is skinned, the skin is stretched out on the ground - but not with sticks - and held in place with small stones around the edges, or with bones from caribou pierced through the edges of the skin. It dries quickly when the sun is shining. If you take a skin like this and look at it you will not be able to see the root of the hairs.

On the same day he continues: If you want fur that is especially soft and supple, you use method number two. After the initial drying, the skin is used as a cover at night. In the morning it is scraped until it is soft. This process is repeated several times until it is considered soft enough. If you look at the surface of a skin treated by this method, you will find

The examination of the collection was undertaken to determine the condition of the artefacts; to set the standard for future handling, storage and exhibition; and to examine the skin and look for physical properties which would help in identifying the preparation method. Several problem areas were examined. One of these was hair loss, which was severe. Hair loss is the result of several factors, one of which is the mechanical stress to which the skin is subjected during preparation. Another is the nature of the hair itself. The root of the hair in the follicle is short and the hair expands in diameter as it reaches the surface of the skin (Berge 1949). The medulla (marrow) of the hair, which makes up most of the hair's diameter, consists of cubical cells filled with air (Berge 1949; Timisjarvi et al. 1984; see also Meeks and Cartwright, this volume). Both features make the hair very susceptible to mechanical damage, and can contribute to the loss of hairs. The area between the epidermis and the dermis is another weak point, not only because of the fragility of the hair itself, but also because the two layers (dermis and epidermis) dry differently. After the initial drying, the epidermis appears stiffer and cracks more easily than the dermis. The surface of the epidermis loses its former flexibility, and the mechanical preparation is an attempt to restore this. Other areas of examination were the dryness of the skin, acidity, the presence of mould, the degree of insect damage, and the thickness of the dermis. Physical deterioration, such as ripping and staining, were also examined. A non-destructive methodology was developed that could be practised using simple means, such as macroscopic inspection and microscopic analysis. Subsequently, to test the value of the macroscopic observations, different analytical methods were used: pH-measurements, shrinkage temperature of the collagen fibres, and amino-acid analysis. Most of the features observed had an obvious explanation, but the vertical cracking of the epidermal and dermal area could not be explained in a satisfactory way. The cracks were more or less evenly distributed over the entire surface on all of the skin artefacts and therefore were most likely not caused by environmental conditions (figs. 5 and 6). 93

Torunn Klokkernes and Nalini Sharma

Figure 5 Slight cracking of the epidermis.

Figure 6 Severe cracking of the epidermis.

On seriously deteriorated skin artefacts the result of the vertical cracking can be observed as 'islands' of hair and epidermis with very little attachment to the dermis. When carefully bending the skin, you can see the bottom of the epidermis/the top of the dermis. This cracking is a result of the mechanical preparation of the skin when it is bent over the edge of the dull scraper. As the instructors at a skin-preparation workshop in Churchill, Canada 2 said: 'You are doing it right when you hear a cracking sound as the scraper is passed over the skin.' This cracking sound is the sound of the epidermis breaking (see also Otak, this volume). Amundsen's observations in his diaries mention this feature, but without giving a clear reason for it. As referred to earlier, he writes in his diary on 6 May 1905: 'If you look at the surface of a skin treated by this method, you will find that the hairs part easily and the bottom of the skin is visible'. The characteristics of elastin, a fibrous protein in the structure of the skin, may be a contributing factor in the vertical cracking of the skin. The structure of elastin is flexible and returns to its original state when stretched. On ageing it is transformed into elacin, and the fibre loses its elasticity (Montagna and Parakkal 1974). Thus, it maybe presumed that the stiffness also contributes to the vertical cracking, and also to a detachment between the dermal and epidermal area. The cracking feature is particularly visible on the parkas and trousers, less on the boots. The explanation lies in the structure of the skin, which is different on different parts of the animal. In leg skin the hairs are better fastened to the dermis and are less susceptible to loosening. A contrasting example can be given from the Evenk population in Transbaikal (Klokkernes, personal observation 1998-2001). Among the Evenks the skin is scraped with both dull and sharp scrapers while it is lying flat on the floor or ground. Therefore the cracking of the epidermis is less severe. Damage to skin artefacts due to preparation method is consequently not obvious and has so far not been observed.

The Evenks also add tanning agents to the skin during the preparation processes. This gives the material different properties, which have to be considered in the subsequent examination of a given artefact.



It is important to be aware of the fact that the present condition of skin artefacts in collections depends, among other things, on differences in production methods and the extent of wear and tear. One must also remember that methods of production, materials, and use patterns may have changed over time in a particular society. Geographical differences and availability of resources are important factors, as well as the individual variations in preparation method that exist in all societies. The identification of the exact method of skin preparation for a specific historical artefact will therefore never be absolutely certain. Focusing on the mechanical (scraping) stage in the preparation process, as in this example, does not exclude the effect of other treatments, such as the effect of tanning and finishes used, nor should one exclude the possible consequences of other mechanical methods (rubbing, pressing, and stretching) used to obtain a desired quality in fur and skin. The important point is to find adequate ways to handle artefacts with certain specific deterioration features. At the same time, it is useful to be able to determine preparation methods by subsequent characteristic appearances in skin and fur artefacts. Process-oriented examination is a tool that can be used to achieve this. Notes 1 This and the following diary entries quoted in this paper are in the National Library in Oslo. Translation by the authors. 2 The workshop was organized by the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) in Churchill, Canada in 1993. The instructors were Elizabeth Nibgoarsi and Leah Okatsiak from Arviat, Nunavut, and Jill Oakes and RickRiewe from the University of Manitoba, Canada.

The Remarkable Clothing of the Medieval Norse Greenlanders

Else 0stergard Else 0sterga rd has been a textile conservator at the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen since 1958. Her work with archaeological textiles from Greenland over the last years resulted in the publication Somsyettiljorden:Tekstilfundfra detnorr0ne Cr0nland (2003), published in English as Woven into the Earth:Textile Finds from Norse Greenland (2004).

The subjects of this paper are those people who inhabited Greenland in the tenth century, more than a thousand years ago. The focus will be on the Norse Greenlanders - the Viking landowners or farmers who for different reasons fled from Norway to Iceland and from there to Greenland, where they became settlers in the then uninhabited southern part of Greenland. In the far north there were the Dorset and Thule Eskimos, seagoing hunters of walrus, seal and whale, people who had come from the north of Canada and established settlements along the northwest coast of Greenland at the same time as the Norse Greenlanders settled in the south of the country.1 In the summer of 1921 the Danish archaeologist Poul N0rlund arrived in Greenland to excavate the remains of a Norse church and churchyard at Herjolfsnes in southwest Greenland. In his book Buried Norsemen at Herjolfsnes he writes that he did not remember having had, at any excavation in Denmark, such a numerous or interested crowd of spectators as in this deserted spot (1924: 34). There were not many of the Greenlanders from

Figure 1 The so-called'sailor's jacket'.The gown is 110 cm long. Found at Herjolfsnes in 1839 by Ove Kielsen.

the nearby settlements who did not pay the excavators a visit. They were all well acquainted with the old churchyard. Many of them had themselves found fragments of cloth at the water's edge and, they said, one of the women had once taken some pieces home to make clothes for her children, but found that they were not quite strong enough, which is understandable as the cloth was at least 600 years old! It was at Herjolfsnes that one of the Vikings who followed the famous Icelander Erik the Red first settled in Greenland in the year 985. He and other skilled men set out from northern Iceland with twenty-five vessels, but only fourteen reached Greenland; the rest were beaten back or wrecked. On the ships were families, their servants and their domestic animals. The settlers divided the country between them, each chieftain taking possession of a fjord, which was usually named after him. 'Herjolf took the Herjolfsfjord,' says the Grsenlendingasaga (Greenlanders' Saga) (Det Kongelige Nordiske OldskriftsSelskab 1976:181). Other sagas and medieval documents from Iceland and Norway contain abundant information about these emigrants, now called the Norse Greenlanders - not to be confused with the Thule Eskimos. The two different populations never mixed, although they may have traded with each other. In the early nineteenth century excavations began in the Norse sites - churches, monasteries and farms - at the Eastern and Western Settlements and, later on, also in the Eskimo sites in the Thule district of North Greenland. The so-called 'sailor's jacket' (fig. i) was the first textile item from Herjolfsnes, which was found in 1839 by Ove Kielsen, a commercial assistant with the Royal Greenland Trade Department (N0rlund 1924:17). Many other excavations followed, which produced a large body of information about the daily life, style of buildings and so on of the Norse Greenlanders (Arneborg 1998,1999). At its height the Norse Greenlanders' population numbered at least 3,000 (Lynnerupi998). Last but not least, a great many textiles have come to light over the decades (fig. 2 and fig. 3), of which the well-known items of clothing from the churchyard at Herjolfsnes are the main finds (fig. 4). These clothes were used for the last time as burial shrouds. The dead were either buried in a wooden coffin or wrapped in their old clothes - rarely in both. The shroud can thus be understood as a substitute for a coffin. In one grave a sealskin was spread over the burial. The textile was in an excellent condition, whereas the sealskin was nearly decayed (N0rlund 1924: 87). 95

Else Ostergard

Figure 2 This garment is called the 'coat with buttons', but it was never an outdoor item of clothing.To keep warm in Greenland one needs thick and windproof clothing, and this must also have been the case for the Norse Greenlanders in the Middle Ages. Clothing made of wool was not enough, and they must surely have had different kinds of furs to wear during the winter. Unfortunately nothing has survived other than several raw fibre samples, namely cattle, musk ox, caribou, wolf, fox, bison, and bear (both polar bear and brown bear) found at CDS, suggesting that the Norse Greenlanders traded fur with the Eskimos.

Figure 3 A child's gown, 49.5 cm long.The cut is similar to that of adults' clothing.

Figure 4 The last item of clothing N0rlund found during his excavation at Herjolfsnes in the 1920s was this short-sleeved gown, carbon-14 dated to around 1430. It may be a shroud from one of the last burials at the churchyard.


Styles and Techniques

Figure 5 A piece of the Greenlandic vadmal. A textile woven as a 2/1 twill with a dense weft in a light colour on a dark warp, resulting in a reversible fabric: mottled on one side and of a single colour on the other.

Almost 400 fragments of other textiles belonging to these settlers have also been discovered, which provide much interesting information about textile production on Greenlandic farms in the Middle Ages. Furthermore, textile tools are the most frequently found artefacts (0stergard 2004: 31,233-52). When we survey all the textiles, a pattern appears. The earlier textile fragments found at the landndma farms2 are different from the textiles dated to the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The fabrics from the landndma farms have a higher number of warp threads than weft threads per centimetre. After a few generations, the tradition changed. The cloth was now woven with a higher number of weft threads than warp threads and very often the product had a completely weft-dominated structure (fig. 5). The result was an unusually beautiful textile, probably the Greenlandic vadmdl, which according to the sagas was so costly and exclusive that Leif the Lucky presented a mantle of Greenlandic vadmdl to his beloved Thorgunna (Det Kongelige Nordiske Oldskrifts-Selskab 1976: 385). The northern short-tail sheep, from which the wool was obtained, was the sheep breed that the Norse settlers took with them from Iceland and kept through the nearly 500 years they lived in Greenland. It is unlikely to have changed much. The fleece generally has a thick woolly undercoat combined with a substantial amount of long hairs. The many finds of raw wool staples are distributed over all the culture layers in the excavations at the farm known as 'the farm beneath the sand' (in Danish Garden under Sandet, or GUS). This is the largest number ever registered from the North Atlantic area. Penelope Walton Rogers of Textile Research Associates in York has investigated most of the material from the Herjolfsnes clothes and the GUS textiles. She concluded that: the Norse at GUS both sheared and rooed [plucked] their sheep. The collection of raw wool by rooing will produce a wool with a reduced amount of hair, but this is not enough to explain the difference between the warp and weft yarns in the textiles. The use of a form of wool-comb to separate hair from underwool seems highly likely on the present evidence (1998:71-2; cf. 2004:79-89).

The long hairs were spun into Z-threads3 with a spin of 4O°-5O° for the warp, and with a thickness of about i mm. The shorter underwool was spun into S-threads for the weft, with a spin of 3O°-4O°, and with almost the same thickness as the Z-spun threads. The new product, the Greenlandic vadmdl with its dense weft, was not the result of any radical change in the wool quality, nor were there technological reasons for its appearance. So what is the explanation? One explanation could be the increasing coldness of the climate. At the end of the tenth century, when Icelanders voyaged to Greenland and settled there, the climate was milder, but only a couple of centuries later it became colder and it was necessary to wrap up warmly on most days of the year. Using

more of the warm underwool and beating it closer in the loom gives a firmer, warmer cloth. Using fur for clothing would also have been a reasonable alternative for people living in a cold and stormy climate, but coats of fur have not been found. The Greenlandic soil preserved textiles, but not furs and skins (0stergard 2004:119-21,147). However, hair from wild animals not native to Greenland has been registered at GUS. These include some samples of pigmented bear fur (brown, black or grizzly, Ursus sp.), and a single piece of bison hair (Bison sp.), which may indicate contact with North America, perhaps through trade with the Inuit (Walton Rogers 1998: 71-2). The Norse Greenlanders were not an isolated population living in a remote country. They were travellers and explorers. From the Graenlendingasaga we have information about the Norsemen exploring 'Vinland', the north coast of America, at the beginning of the last millennium - nearly five centuries before Christopher Columbus appeared on the scene. Several Norse items found at excavations in Newfoundland and Labrador have confirmed the details of the sagas. In 1977 when the Canadian-Danish archaeologist Peter Schledermann excavated some Thule culture settlements at Ellesmere Island (which forms the winter bridge between Greenland and the Canadian Arctic), some artefacts proved to be of Norse Greenlandic origin. More than fifty finds were made, including a piece of cloth, carbon-i4 dated to AD 1190, which was woven like the typical vadmdl of the Norse settlers in southern Greenland. An unlikely trade item for Eskimos who wore tailored skins and furs exclusively, perhaps the cloth reached the island worn by one of the Norse settlers. Recently, Patricia D. Sutherland of the Canadian Museum of Civilization came across a ten foot length of yarn from a Dorset site on northern Baffin Island (which had been in the collections for some time). The specimens have been identified by Penelope Walton Rogers as plied yarn spun from the fur of the Arctic hare (Lepus articus) (Walton Rogers 1998: 71-2, Sutherland 2000: 241). The yarn is directly comparable to yarns used in two textiles from GUS in South Greenland. Both the yarn from the Dorset site and the textiles from GUS are dated to the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century. The Norse Greenlanders' 97

Else 0stergard

contact with Vinland, as documented in the sagas, took place around AD 1000, but the cloth from Ellesmere Island and the spun yarn from Baffin Island suggest that the Norse Greenlanders had more than occasional contact with the Inuit for some centuries. We know that the Norse Greenlanders made long journeys to hunting areas (known as the Nordsetur) in the Thule district, seeking walrus and narwhal tusks (Holtved 1945, Meldgaard 1995), which were without doubt the most valuable and soughtafter commodities traded from Greenland to Europe in the early Middle Ages. It is likely that the Norse Greenlanders also traded for tusks with the Thule Eskimos along these coasts (Holtved 1945, Meldgaard 1995). At Ruin Island in the Thule district another piece of woven cloth, carbon-i4 dated to AD 1250, has been found at an Eskimo site together with Norse artefacts (Meldgaard 1995). Yarns from this cloth have been identified by Penelope Walton Rogers. In her report she concludes that the textile is: made from a blend of wool and [...] hair from a species of Canis, a genus which includes the domestic dog, Canis familiaris and the wolf, Canis sp. [...]. The wool is white and similar in quality to that found in the raw wool from GUS [...]; the dog/wolf hair is a mixture of white and pale fawn. The proportion of wool to dog/wolf hair varied from sample to sample, but it was clearly a deliberate inclusion, not a contaminant (2004:83).4

The textiles found in the above-mentioned sites may have been valued only as curiosities by the Eskimos. However, in the Thorfinn Karlsefnes Saga we can read that the Eskimos, when bartering with the Norse Greenlanders, would exchange furs, skins, and real miniver or squirrel fur (algrd skinri) for cloth, and that they preferred red cloth (Det Kongelige Nordiske OldskriftsSelskab 1976:425). Red cloth has always been regarded as the most glorious and sought-after colour by people in Europe - so why not for the people in Greenland too? In spite of finds of textiles in Eskimo sites, there is no reason to believe that it was more than a strange object for the Eskimos. The famous eight Eskimo mummies, which were found in 1972 some hundred kilometres north of the Arctic circle on the west coast of Greenland at Qilakitsoq, wore clothing made of skin and fur, carbon-i4 dated to AD 1475 (Hansen, Meldgaard and Nordqvist 1991; see also Pedersen, this volume). Skin and fur were also the clothing for three babies from a rock-cave at Pisissarfik (a mountain on the Nuussuaq peninsula in North Greenland), and also for two babies and a young woman found at Uunartoq, just north of Nanortalik. The babies were inside the skin wrapping of the woman. The baby mummies and the young woman mummy are at least 200 years later then the Qilakitsoq mummies. Not one piece of textile was found together with any of the mummies, nor are textiles seen on paintings of Eskimos from the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (Ammitzb011eta/., 1991:136-49).


Excavations in Norse Greenlandic sites reveal that the Eskimos subsequently had taken possession of what was left behind when the Norse Greenlanders, for whatever reason, left their farms. Carbon-i4 dating of Eskimo sites near the Norse settlements confirm that the two groups of inhabitants lived there at almost the same time. Finally, Norse Greenlanders used the natural resources of the country, but when the climate became colder the green fields disappeared and it was no longer possible to feed the domestic animals. In addition the Greenlandic tusks and other commodities lost their value on the European market with the introduction of elephant ivory and other products. At last the Norse Greenlanders gave up. We do not know exactly why, though we do know that it was in the middle of the fifteenth century. The last written evidence is from a wedding in 1408 in Hvalsey church. A letter written by some Icelandic wedding guests gives the impression that everything was well. What actually happened will probably remain a mystery. The medieval garments from the Herjolfsnes churchyard, preserved intact for centuries by the permafrost, display exceptional similarities to western European costumes of the time. Previously, such costumes were known only from contemporary illustrations. Thus, the Greenland finds provide the world with a close look at how ordinary Europeans dressed in the Middle Ages. And these remarkable clothes still fascinate people today. Notes 1 When the Viking settlers came to South Greenland the country was uninhabited, but they found traces of the Saqqaq culture (2500800 BC) or of the Dorset culture (500 BC-AD 200). In the North, in the area around Qaanaaq, traces of the Dorset culture (dated to AD 1300) have been found. This area, the present-day Avanersuaq district, is also known as Thule. Around AD 1200, the so-called Thule Eskimos arrived in this area from Ellesmere Island, Canada, and migrated south along the west coast of Greenland. It is supposed that they arrived at'Vesterbygden' (near present-day Nuuk), which was the northernmost Norse-Greenlandic settlement, around the same time as the Norse settlements became depopulated. The Thule Eskimos probably reached '0sterbygden', the southernmost Norse-Greenlandic settlement, around AD 1400 while the Norse Greenlanders still lived there. The word 'Inuit' (singular inuk) is the generally accepted term for Eskimos in Greenland and Canada. In my text I have used the term 'Eskimo' as it is the term found in N0rlund's book and in most of the archaeological literature. In the Middle Ages an Eskimo was called 'skraeling'. Today 'Inuit' is the most frequently used term. 2 Landndma is the Old Norse word for the 'first settlement'. 3 Fibres can be twisted clockwise (Z-spinning) or anti-clockwise (S-spinning). In the yarn the fibres lie in the same alignment as the stroke of the letter. 4 It is reasonable to assume that there were also women on board these north-going hunting ships, and that they probably brought a spindle whorl and sheep wool with them, complementing that wool with dog or wolf hair that was available in North Greenland. From these yarns of sheep wool and dog/wolf hair, the women back home at the Norse farms could then have woven a cloth (similar to the Ruin Island fragment).

Part IV

Change and Responses to Outside Influences

Dressing Up in Greenland:

A Discussion of Change and World Fashion in Early-colonialWest Greenlandic Dress

SorenT.Thuesen S0renT.Thuesen is associate professor and head of the Department of Eskimology and Arctic Studies at the University of Copenhagen. Holding a PhD in the history of literature from the University of Aarhus, he has been a research fellow at the Center for North Atlantic Studies, University of Aarhus, and at the Department of Eskimology, University of Copenhagen. From 1988 to 1989 he taught at the Ilisimatusarfik/Universityof Greenland. From 1992 to 1996 he was curator at the Paamiut Museum and later at the Sisimiut Museum.

The spectacular Greenlandic national costume is one of the most important ethnic symbols of contemporary Greenland. The costume as we know it today consists of various elements of both traditional and European origin. Although the costume in its present standardized appearance is largely an invention dating from the beginning of the twentieth century (Petersen 1994:7; S0rensen 19973:178), it can be viewed as a reflection of the long history of exchange and contact between West Greenlanders and Europeans (fig. i and fig. 2). This paper will examine the history of change and innovation in women's and men's clothes in West Greenland from the time of the Dutch whalers (around 1700) through the Danish colonial period until the beginning of the twentieth century. I shall deal with the changes in terms of'fashion', 'world fashion' and 'ethnic dress' (cf. Eicher 1995). Fashion implies change, and probably also people being aware of changes in clothing styles during their lifetime. As I use the term, 'world fashion' covers those elements of dress that have been distributed and accepted globally, for example, business suits, ties and hats or caps. More recent examples are jeans, T-shirts, and athletic shoes. Ethnic dress, on the other hand, is almost the opposite of world fashion. Ethnic dress visually separates one group from another, it is often seen as traditional, and it is felt to be timeless and unchanging (Eicher and Sumberg 1995: 299-301). The modern Greenlandic national costume is a good example of this type of ethnic dress. Elements of world fashion were introduced into Greenland as part of the gradual process of Greenlanders becoming integrated into both the global economy and colonial institutions. Fabric and items of clothing have been among the most sought-after foreign goods in Greenland since the early trading contacts between West Greenlanders and Dutch whalers at the turn of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. When the missionary Hans Egede arrived in 1721, he noted that stockings, mittens and patterned linen for shirts were in dem and (Gad 1969: 56-7). In his Perlustration (1741), Egede remarks that although the Greenlanders made their shirts of purchased fabrics of coloured and striped cloth or linen, they did so according to their own manner. He adds that the traditional 100

skin stockings were then being replaced by white, blue and red woollen stockings (Egede 1984: 72-3). Furthermore, it is well documented from archaeological finds that accessories for women's clothes, like glass beads and so-called 'glazed corals', were common at this time (Gull0v 1997: 278-91). The Dutch, German and British whalers had only visited Greenland for a short time each summer. With Danish colonization and the establishment of a number of settlements along the west coast, a large part of the Greenlandic population gained year-round access to European goods. Although the Danes tried to enforce a trade monopoly, they never succeeded in stopping the whalers from trading with the Greenlanders, and there was ongoing competition between the Danes and the whalers over prices and variety of goods. It seems that from very early on the Greenlanders acted as well-informed consumers, conscious of both price and quality. According to the Danish trade manager Lars Dalager in 1752, the Greenlanders were particularly interested in items like shirts, stockings, caps, and coats (Dalager 1915:45). Dalager's writings are of particular interest because he describes changes in the fashions of Greenlandic clothing. Referring to the general description of clothing in Hans Egede's Perlustration he states: Men have begun using neck cloths, buckles on their shoes, beautiful garters on their stockings. It is also now common to see them with pockets in their trousers to hold their snuffbox and handkerchief. Women however are seen wearing a sort of neck cloth, which I believe is called a modeste, and furthermore they are over sewn from top to bottom with bows of wide silk ribbons (1915:44) -1

In 1741, Hans Egede writes of both shoes and kamiks (boots) (Egede 1984: 74), and so does Glahn in Sisimiut in 1767 (Glahn 1921:164). We know from the famous painting by Grodtschilling of Pooq and Qiperoq from 1724 that Qiperoq wore small shoes and knee stockings (fig. 3). But to my knowledge, shoes were not part of ordinary Greenlandic footwear in the nineteenth century. Was the use of shoes, then, something that went out of style, or was it a local eighteenth-century fashion which copied contemporary European men's fashion? Dalager mentions colour as another changing element of Greenlandic fashion. Red had been the most popular colour, and

Change and Responses to Outside Influences

Figure 1 (left) Contemporary Greenlandic national costume, ZOOO.The man is wearing a thin white cotton anorak with black cloth trousers and black shoes.The woman's costume is made of a large variety of fabrics, materials, colours and techniques.The boots, trousers, and edgings are made from sealskin and decorated with various types of embroidery and crochet.The beadwork bracelets and collar covers most of the upper part of the body. Photograph taken in Qassiarsuk of Jargen Petersen and Aviaaja Lennert.

Figure 2 (right) Woman's costume, Nuuk 1860.The beadwork collar was still very short at this time.The woman's topknot is tied with a ribbon, and there are silk ribbons at the top of the boots. She wears a cotton shift. It was fashionable at the time to make the shift show, which is probably why the coat is rather short and with very short sleeves. Woodcut by Rasmus Berthelsen.

although people in the far south still preferred it, in general, dark blue and white became more favoured (Dalager 1915:43). As a merchant, Dalager knew his customers and their finances well, and pointed out that the new foreign clothes were not within the reach of poor people, who had to dress in dog-skin or bird-skin clothes, whereas only the more fortunate could afford foreign clothes of cloth, kersey and linen (1915:43). Our knowledge about dress styles in Greenland during the first century of colonization is quite limited. Only a few paintings exist, and written accounts from whalers are scarce. However, from 1782 onwards we have the Royal Greenland Trade Department's 'General Price Schedule', containing information on the range of clothing items available, and thus giving some indication of demand. Published annually, it listed all available items with their prices not in money but in the corresponding amounts of hunting products. For example, four ringed sealskins would buy one white and blue checked scarf with a special bonus of a small pair of scissors. On the purchase of a large scarf of the same type the bonus was another tool: a coarse file. If the scarf was red, the bonus was a small portion of tobacco (Bendixen 1917: 3). During the first years (1782-96) the trade items were rated in different categories with varying levels of profit for the trading company: i) necessities; 2) useful items; and 3) luxury items. In the category of'necessities' were included three sorts of linen fabric, scarves, bleached and unbleached thread, as well as woollen ribbons and Icelandic woollen sweaters. Counted as 'useful items' were, for instance, coarse fabrics for trousers like kersey and frieze (or homespun), and woollen stockings and mittens. 'Luxury items' included cotton fabrics like shirting and nankeen, silk scarves and ribbons, woollen wristlets and beads. Items meant for Danes only but, according to Bendixen, without doubt available to Greenlanders who were willing to pay the price, were flannel and finer cotton fabrics and expensive green velvet caps with

otter skin and golden tuft or lambskin wigs (1917: 4-5, 8-9). At the beginning of the nineteenth century the Greenlandic consumers were introduced to a variety of new fabrics and qualities. In the 18305, even at smaller outposts one might choose between, for instance, ribbons of wool or taffeta, Icelandic or Faeroe stockings and sweaters, Copenhagen scarves or Scotch caps (Sveistrup and Dalgaard 1945: 374)When we turn to the early nineteenth century written sources, especially those from the Danish missionaries, it is striking that remarks on Greenlandic clothing are frequently made in connection with special events. One of the consequences of Christianization was a new set of celebrations around events like christenings, weddings and Christmas. All of these celebrations involved dressing up. Glahn mentions in 1764 that the Greenlanders of Sisimiut on the day of their baptism 'dress up the best they can' (Glahn 1921:108). In the 18405 Carl Emil Janssen, a missionary in Sisimiut, described dressing up at weddings. In one example he wrote that '[s]he was in her native dress, white embroidered skin boots and embroidered reindeer trousers, he on the other hand in an old grey European sweater with anchor buttons and blue linen trousers' (Janssen 1913: 52). On another occasion he describes the bridegroom as 'partly misshapen with some old European clothes from a period gone by, in his sweater only a single button' (1913: in). His descriptions of the bridegrooms' outfits is very interesting and I am convinced that he is referring to authentic West Greenlandic bridegroom's costumes of the middle of nineteenth century because C.J. Thomsen, the curator of the ethnographic collections at the Art Museum (Kunstmuseet) in Copenhagen, ordered a set of wedding clothes from Greenland around this time (see also Bahnson, this volume). When he received the costumes he was disappointed by the groom's outfit, which he called 'the suit of a Copenhagen townsman' 101


Figure 3 (left) Qiperoq and Pooq, 1724. Painting by Bernhard Grodtschilling.

Figure 4 (right) Students from the catechist training college in Nuuk wearing coloured cotton anoraks, white shirts and caps. Although not visible in this photograph, they are probably wearing sealskin trousers and boots. From the left: Pavia Chemnitz, Julius Motzfeldt, Eli Sivertsen and Johan Dahl. Hand-coloured photograph by H.J. Rink from the late 1850s.

(Lange 1900: 274). The suit was probably not included in the collections, at least not as a Greenlandic wedding suit. Other types of festive occasions included dance nights, or visits to the houses of local Danes. When John Ross was invited to dine with the trade manager in Sisimiut in 1829, he was served by local 'Esquimaux females in their native costumes [...] and moreover decorated with a profusion of beads, and their hair bound with pink handkerchiefs' (Ross 1835: 66). In 1844 Janssen went to a local dance and noticed 'the peculiar varicoloured dress of the girls, their coal black hair combed d la chinoise, bound with red ribbons' (Janssen 1913: 53). The use of coloured ribbons around the topknot was introduced by the German Moravian missionaries in South Greenland as part of their practice of using different colours for unmarried and married women, widows and unmarried mothers. The topknot ribbons and their colours corresponded to the ribbons of the bonnets worn by Moravian women in Germany (Peterseni994:7). The wearing of topknot ribbons in Sisimiut, north of the Moravian districts, clearly spread as a local Greenlandic fashion. Janssen described some of the locals who visited him on Boxing Day (26 December): Jacobine was distinguished by a fur coat embroidered with a multitude of coloured beads, and Mikael by European dress. The sweater was an old black suit with large puffs on the shoulders and cut-off tails, the trousers too long above and too short below- in his skin clothes he is a handsome spirited lad, now with his long black hair he looked like a ghost (1913:92).

Jens Mathiesen, a trade manager, provides a similar account from North Greenland where he wrote, 'the male sex rig out in English finery, which they have bartered from the whalers', and that it is peculiar to see a Greenlander 'dressed like a "Gentleman" in black suit and trousers, but with all this finery without underwear, with nothing on the head, and long black hair down to the shoulders or at least covered with a woollen Scotch wig' (1852: 79). There is every indication that during the eighteenth century men dressed up in European style or as close to it as possible, 102

whereas women only modified their skin clothes through the addition of accessories of European origin, such as beads and coloured ribbons. It is unsurprising that men were more willing to adopt European styles because it was they who usually acted as intermediaries between their own communities and the Europeans, in trade and work. There is reason to believe that it was first and foremost the Greenlandic employees of the Royal Greenland Trade Department and at the missions who introduced elements of world fashion. From the 18405 formal education and training were given to catechists, trade assistants, midwives and craftsmen such as coopers and blacksmiths. It took place either in Denmark or at the catechist training colleges in Nuuk and Ilulissat (fig. 4 and fig. 5). This new group of educated Greenlanders was mainly recruited from families of mixed descent. Studies have shown how, through intermarriage, these families gradually gained a position as a local cultural elite, clearly visible by the end of the nineteenth century (Rasmussen 1986,1987). It is striking that at the beginning of the twentieth century it is within this elite that one can find both elements of men's world fashion such as suits, hats and watches, as well as a distinctive ethnic dress in the form of the national costume. Members of this elite acted at two different levels: as employees in colonial institutions, and as advocates for a new and modern style of'Greenlandicness' promoted though literature and through the first Greenlandic association, Peqatigiinniat, in the first decades of the twentieth century (Thuesen 1988) (fig. 6). Peqatigiinniat was a Christian revivalist movement with the goal of working for individual and collective progress (both spiritual and material) for Greenlanders. Although the cultural elite formed the most active group within the association, Peqatigiinniat can be regarded as being part of an early phase in the development of Greenlandic nationalism, which culminated in home rule for Greenland in 1979. Numerous photographs taken during the first three decades of the twentieth century by the Greenlandic photographer John M011er of male students and staff at the catechist training college

Part 4 Change and Responses to outside influences

Figure 5 From the middle of the nineteenth century elements of world fashion are likely to have been introduced in Greenland by young Greenlanders returning from professional training and education in Denmark. /?/g/rt: Greenlandic midwife Karoline Rosing in her finery in Copenhagen, 1867. Far right: Greenlandic carpenter and cooper apprentices John Petersen and Nikolaj Ravn wearing suit and tie in Copenhagen in the 1880s.

in Nuuk, and of male politicians (from the Provincial Councils, for example), bear evidence of rapid changes in male fashion, especially with regard to caps, neck cloths, and ties. The cloth anorak was still an important part of the male dress, which was also subject to fashion changes, mainly with regard to colour, but also in the way it was combined, for example, with ties worn outside the anorak. In the late nineteenth century, and still at the time of the first Danish royal visit to Greenland in 1921, Greenlandic men wore black anoraks on special occasions. From a list of items of clothing for new students to bring with them to college in Nuuk we see that '3 coloured anoraks and i fancy anorak either black or white' were recommended (Thuesen 1995:104). It appears that the white anorak gained in popularity from around 1910, when the students (and teachers) at the catechist training college began wearing the white anorak as a kind of uniform on festive occasions and, for example, at local YMCA meetings. During the following decades use of the white anorak spread throughout West Greenland, probably with the catechists and other members of the cultural elite as 'fashion agents'. Rasmussen suggests that the women's beadwork collar was developed and spread likewise by members of the elite (1984:17-18). Why is it, then, that eventually the white cotton anorak became a fixed element of the men's national costume? There is no simple answer. The male costume has clear similarities to traditional Greenlandic dress in its anorak and kamiks (boots). It also demonstrates a connection with the outside world in its black cloth trousers and thin white cotton anorak, now without the former fur edgings and bird-skin inner coat. The simplicity of the black and white male costume, compared to the women's costume, leads me to suggest that it might be regarded as a Greenlandic version of the Western black suit and white shirt. To sum up, the Greenlandic national costume is a recent twentieth-century 'invention'. It is reserved for formal and special occasions and by no means everyday wear. It is an ethnic dress reflecting centuries of familiarity with foreign dress elements, which today- with the possible exception of the Inughuit and the East Greenlanders - serves as a symbol for Greenlanders of all kinds and occupations. Notes i

All translations from the Danish original sources by S0ren Thuesen.

Figure 6 The founder of Peqatigiinniat, painter Stephen M0ller, and his wife Hansine, about 1906.The appearance of this young couple gives an impression of the fashion among modern educated Greenlanders in the early twentieth century. Holler wears a suit with a watch chain clearly visible at the waistcoat, and skin boots (kamiit). His wife was one of the first Greenlandic women who did not tie her hair into a topknot (Kleivan 1998:110). Instead her hair is arranged in plaits on top of the head. Apart from the very short bead collar, her costume has a strong resemblance to today's national women's costume.


Formal Clothing: The Greenlandic National Costume

Gertrud Kleinschmidt Gertrud Kleinschmidt is a skilled seamstress, and recently retired as a teacher of needlework at Ilinniarfissuaq, Greenland's teachers' training college. Born in the settlement of Kapisillit (near Nuuk) in 1938, she learned skin preparation and sewing from her mother and maternal grandmother, both expert seamstresses, and later familiarized herself with both European sewing traditions and North Greenlandic methods of skin preparation. Her research on caribou skin preparation, in collaboration with the Greenland Homerule Government's skin consultant Martha Biilmann and other Greenlandic seamstresses, resulted in the books Tuttutamii (1995) and Renskind (1995).

The reason why I have chosen the title 'Formal Clothing', instead of National Costume', is a very personal one. I don't think that beads, silk, silk ribbons, cotton and embroidery wool are very Greenlandic materials. I prefer to call this the 'modern' Greenlandic costume. However, just like other people, Greenlanders have always worn formal clothing on special occasions and celebrations (fig. i). By 'special occasions' I mean the first day at school, confirmation, graduation, weddings and funerals. By'celebrations' I am thinking of Christmas, Easter, Whitsun, the National Day, and so on. I would now like to describe what 'formal clothing' looks like today. The boy's costume consists of a white annomaq (upper garment), black trousers and boots - simple and beautiful. The girl's costume has a top consisting of an inner annoraaq with skin edgings of tanned and coloured skin, a bead collar (nuilarmiut} which is made of about 65,000 beads,1 bead embroidery at the sleeves and the neckline (nipinngasut), and an annoraaq of silk with edgings of silk ribbon. Under the top, a neck piece of embroidered white cotton and knitted wristlets with bead embroidery are worn. The trousers (seeqqernit or

takisut) are made of harbour or ringed sealskin, and decorated with sealskin embroideries (sioqqat) on the front. The boots (fcamiir) consist of a long inner boot - sealskin with the hair turned inwards -with edgings of tanned and coloured sealskin, and a shorter outer boot made from dehaired white skin, with skin embroideries and soles of strong dehaired sealskin. The piece between the short outer boot and the skin edging of the inner boot is decorated with a crochet border and an embroidered white piece of cotton. A piece of silk, the colour of which symbolizes the age of the person wearing the costume, is placed on the inside of the crochet border. The costume is colourful, impressive and, we believe, beautiful. Making a woman's formal costume requires quite a bit of preparation before the actual sewing of the costume starts. If one person were to work on the costume, without the help of other family members, it would take about two years to complete the work. However, in practice it is very difficult to estimate how much time it would take to make such a costume, because there are usually several people helping each other in the making of the different parts.

Figure 1 Graduation class, Nuuk 1997. 104

Change and Responses to Outside Influences

Before one starts working on the costume itself, different skins have to be prepared in different ways, depending on their intended purpose. For the outer boots and for skin embroideries, skins are scraped and washed, and the hair and the dark outer layer of the skin are removed. Then the skins are washed again, and dried, preferably in freezing temperatures. This results in a whitish kind of skin which is called unneq, which may then be coloured as described below. Skins for the inner boots are scraped, washed, and dried. Skins for soles are scraped, soaked, dehaired, washed, and dried. For edgings, black-coloured skins with the hair left on are used. These skins are scraped and frozen, salted, or dried to make them durable for the transport to Great Greenland, a commercial tannery in Qaqortoq (South Greenland), where they are sent for colouring and tanning. Alternatively, coloured and tanned skin can be bought directly in certain stores as well. Lastly, unneq is painted for skin embroideries and coloured boots. Today, this is done with store-bought paints, such as powder colour, which is mixed with oil (which I prefer). Really up-to-date women use bicycle paint to colour the unneq. For skin embroideries, a piece of painted skin is scraped with an ulu (woman's knife) on the inner, non-painted side until it is very thin. Then, using the ulu, it is cut into thin strips, which all have to be of exactly the same width. In the past, patterns were achieved through contrasts in the skins' natural colour (see Bahnson, this volume). Every kind of seal has its own hair colour, and when dehaired, the skins are different too. A sealskin that has been dehaired is not white at first, but brown or almost black. Such a skin, where the hair is removed but the outermost layer of the skin is left on, is called erisaaq. The skins of small seals are light brown or brown in colour. Large seals are black. Then there is unneq, which is dehaired skin, where the outermost layer has been removed as well, so that the skin becomes white. These natural coloured skins allow for different colour combinations. This technique is still employed by East Greenlanders today. They are masters in the use of these natural coloured skins, which they use to make extraordinarily beautiful skin embroideries. Differences between the National Costumes of Children, Young People and Adults

As is apparent from the photographs, the costumes vary

according to the age of the wearer (fig. 2). In the case of boys and men, age is reflected in their boots. Little boys and young men, usually until they get married, wear boots made from depilated skin which has been coloured blue. The boots have an edging of depilated white skin with skin embroideries (avittat) on the top, and a white strip of skin on the front of the boot. Also for decoration, a white strip of skin is folded and sewn in between the boot and the sole. Then there is the inner boot or skin sock with the hair towards the inside, which is edged with tanned and coloured skin with the hair left on. The boots worn by adult men after they are married are made from depilated skin that has been coloured blue, with edgings of the same skin, and decorations of white skin embroideries. As in other boots, the inner boot is edged with tanned skin which is either black or left in natural colour. In most cases, the young girl's costume is the same as the costume worn at confirmation or graduation ceremonies. From the girl's wedding day onwards, however, the costume is changed gradually. Often a new dress is made for the bride, though this will depend upon whether or not the family can afford it. In the past, it was important to show the change of status, from unmarried to married, by changing the annoraaq colour from red (the young or unmarried woman's colour) to blue (the adult's or married woman's colour). In this picture the bride has blue wristlets. Note the blue silk annoraaq and the dark bead collar worn by the bride's mother. The decorative borders next to the skin mosaic on her boots are also blue. The mother of the groom is somewhat older, and she seems to have said to herself, 'Now that my son is getting married, I'd better swap my youthful white boots for long red ones,' which are adult women's boots. These red boots also consist of two layers, an outer and an inner boot. The red outer boot is made of the same kind of white skin that is also used for the young girl's boot, but here it is painted red. On the front, there are skin embroideries edged with long white pieces of skin. The knee piece is sewn separately, and there is an ornamental white strip of skin between the sole and the boot. On the top, the boot is edged with white skin decorated with skin mosaic. The woman is still wearing her bead collar. These days, it is quite common to keep one's bead collar, while in the past women would usually stop wearing their bead collar when they reached a certain age; for instance, when they had

Figure 2 A bride and bridegroom, Crethe and Hans Jensen, with the bride's parents Sofie and Jakob Filimonsen, and the bridegroom's mother Elisabeth. Nuuk, 12 October 1986.


Gertrud KLeinschmidt

grandchildren. It is my impression that nowadays it is the bead collar rather than, for example, the skin embroideries on the front of the trousers, which is the eye-catching part of the colourful costume. The bead collar is very striking and dominates the costume with its size and colour.2 In the nineteenth century, beads began to be used as additional ornaments in the form of a narrow bead collar, modernizing costume design (cf. Hansen 1979). It has also been customary to sew a single large glass bead or bead made from bone onto the boot of an especially loved girl with a long sinew thread, so the bead would dangle and make a sound as the girl was walking. I do not want to sound opposed to the bead collar, because that is not so. I am simply a great admirer of the Greenlandic woman who tirelessly and carefully prepares sealskin for various purposes and, in my opinion, it seems as if the admirable avittat or skin embroideries and the old sewing techniques are gradually being overshadowed by silk, ribbons and beads. In fig. 3, the photo from 1959 shows adult women dressed up for a special occasion. Although the photograph is in black and white, one can still sense the rich colouring of the costume, even if it is not decorated with a large bead collar. Here it is very easy to focus on the ornaments on the boots and the skin trousers. One of the women is wearing red boots, the other is wearing black boots. The skin trousers are sewn in the same way as those of young girls, but in the skin embroideries more subdued colours are often used. Both women wear an inner annoraaq made from eider skin.3 At that time older men also wore a black annoraaq instead of the white one. The black annoraaq underlined age and dignity. This suggests something of how age is reflected in the costume.

Skin Embroideries (avittat)

Skin embroideries (avittat) are used as a decoration on formal boots, and on the front of women's trousers (fig. 4). For avittat, as mentioned above, painted unneq is used, which is scraped very thin on the inner side with an ulu, and cut into thin strips. This is a laborious task demanding a high degree of precision. If the pieces differ by even a small amount in thickness or width, it is very difficult to make the pattern work. Thus, women mastering this technique must be both patient and dextrous. There are two different techniques for skin embroidery (fig. 6). The first technique is used for the skin embroideries on both boots and on women's trousers. Here, the thin skin strips are sewn onto a piece of skin with a running stitch (akussitat). It is important that the avittat strips are placed very close together (fig. 5, fig. 6a and fig. 7). The other technique (called nallartitat in South Greenland, and qiukkat in North Greenland) is used only for the embroideries in the middle of the decorative panels (sioqqat) on women's trousers. Here, the thin strips are sewn together at the edge with whipped stitches on the back so that they lie neatly together (fig. 6b). Sioqqat consist of several pieces (fig. 8). The middle piece is made of between seven and nine avittat strips. It is edged on both sides with three or four strips of the same width as the avittat strips. On both sides a strip of sheep or dog skin is added, and two or three avittat strips. Finally, a wide border of red skin is added at both sides and at the bottom. Two identical pieces are made and then sewn on to the trousers. These days many people sew avittat using a pattern, but the women I watched as a child always had the pattern in their heads - not drawn out on a piece of paper - which is why I always think of them as mathematical geniuses. Notes 1 Working about four to five hours every day, the bead collar can be finished in about two months. 2 There are certain regional differences with regard to the colour combination in bead collars. For instance, it is evident that in the districts of Nuuk and Paamiut, and to a certain extent in Qaqortoq, blue, red, yellow and purple dominate, while North Greenlandic bead collars are often characterized by shades of green. There are also patterns and colour combinations that are handed down in families. 3 Skin from eider ducks is very soft and warm. Thus, when indoors, older women often removed their inner annoraaq, keeping only the outer annoraaq on.

Figure 3 Beathe Kleinschmidt and her cousin Kitura Euginius, dressed up for a special occasion. Nuuk, 1959. 106

Change and Responses to Outside Influences

Figure 4 (right) This sheet was made at Ilinniarfissuaq, the teachers' training college in Nuuk, by students specializing in mathematics and needlework, together with their teachers. On the sheet, the following information is given:'The Creenlandic costume is decorated with beautiful patterns made from very tiny pieces of skin in various colours.This skin sewing technique is called avittarneq.Jhls kind of skin embroidery, called avittat, is not known anywhere else in the world. Avittat is found on women's trousers and on boots for both men and women.'

Kalaallissuut - avittat


Figure 5 (above) Skin embroidery on boots. Skin embroidery is sewn onto the skin as shown in this drawing.The strips are placed on the skin, and are sewn to the skin with back stitches. When piercing the skin, the needle should be held at a right angle (in relation to the skin) to ensure that the hole is as small as possible. When an appropriate length of strip has been sewn on, a very sharp knife is used to cut off the strip, which is then fastened to the skin with a final stitch.

Figure 6 Skin embroidery techniques. 6a: Skin embroidery sewn with a running stitch. 6b: Skin embroidery iorsioqqat, where the strips are sewn together at the edge with whipped stitches.

Figure 7 (right) Detail of skin embroidery on women's boots. Top: detail of a woman's sealskin boot, probably made in West Greenland, early or mid-twentieth century. Bottom: detail of a girl's sealskin boot, made in North Greenland in c. 1934 for Ingrid Fulda, daughter of P. Rosendahl, Inspector for North Greenland (1924-39), and presented to the British Museum by her granddaughter Rosi Fulda.

Figure 8 (far right) Decorative panel (sioqqat) on a girl's trousers.The trousers are part of a national costume made in North Greenland in c. 1934 for Ingrid Fulda.


Clothing as aVisual Representation of Identities in East Greenland

Cunera Buijs Cunera Buijs has been curator of the Arctic collections of the National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden, since 1990, and is an affiliate with the CNWS research school at Leiden University. Buijs has conducted extensive fieldwork in East Greenland from 1985 onwards.This has resulted in several publications, including her dissertation Furs and Fabrics: Transformations, Clothing and Identity in EastCreenland (2004).

Clothing and Identity When I married Mads [a Dane] in Denmark, I had this romantic white wedding dress. We married once more in Qaqortoq, where my [adoptive] parents live. Mads wore a black suit and I dressed in a light blue skirt with matching vest. I didn't want to use my [West] Greenlandic national costume, since it would not have matched Mads's Danish suit. I also have a Thule costume. (...) It won the top prize at the Miss Costume Election in Thule [Qaanaaq]. My [biological] father's family comes from Thule. (Aviaja PhilbertEgede, personal communication, Tasiilaq, 1997).

Aviaja owns costumes stemming from different cultural and regional backgrounds: Kilamiut (West Greenlandic), Qaanaaq and European. Apart from aesthetic considerations, her choice of dress, illustrated in her choice of wedding dress for different occasions, expresses her multiple identities in various contexts and locations, shifting emphasis from one identity to another. In the Arctic, although the most vital function of clothing may be protection against the cold, clothing serves other functions as well. A highly visual part of material culture, dress is 'a coded sensory system of non-verbal communication that aids human interaction in space and time' (Eicher 1995: i). It can be used to express social values and identities, such as national and regional identity, status and gender. In this paper I will explore the semantics of clothing among the Tunumiit, the Inuit of East Greenland. In particular, what identities are represented in their clothing? In East Greenland, collective identities are based on membership in named local groups affiliated with a particular place. The name of such a local group is derived from the designation of their settlement or area (for example, Tunu, meaning 'east' or 'backside') by adding the suffix -miit (meaning 'inhabitants' or 'people of a particular place) to the place name (Nooter 1976; Robbe 1994). This system is known from other parts of the Arctic as well (for example, Nuttall 1991; Dybbroe 1991; Kublu and Oosten 1999: 56). In their personal names they identify themselves with their ancestors and namesakes. The personal names and family names can often be traced back to the nineteenth century. In this way, Inuit identity takes into consideration not only social but also cosmological relationships, as Dorais (1994: 254) and Oosten and Remie (1999: 2) have pointed out for Canadian Inuit. These include relations with ancestors and spirits, as well as animals. This is also the case in Greenland. In Greenland, Inuit define 108

themselves as hunters in relation to the Arctic animal world that surrounds them. In the context of the nation-building process, starting in the 19505 and intensifying during the 19705, that accompanied the establishment of the Home Rule in 1979, a new national Greenlandic identity has developed. The ultimate visual expression of this national identity is the red and white flag. Next to the flag, the colourful national dress has become a national symbol of Greenland par excellence. In addition to this specific, political identity, many other identities are relevant to the people in East Greenland. These include their regional identity as Tunumiit (in contrast to the Kilamiut, or West Greenlanders, and the Inughuit of the area around Qaanaaq), their local identity based on affiliation with a particular settlement, as well as identities based on social categories such as age, occupation, or status. In relations with Danes, ethnic identities may become important. Today, different types of clothing still play a major role in the expression of identities of subgroups in Tunumiit society. They are used in a flexible way, leaving room for personal identities as well as group identities. Studying the clothing of East Greenland, we find that clothing plays a role on all levels and types of identity, on the individual and group levels, diachronically as well as synchronically. In this contribution, I will examine the development of clothing in relation to the social and political developments of East Greenland in order to assess which social and political identities were expressed in clothing in this area. Developments in East Greenland Clothing

Studying the garments worn by the Tunumiit from the period of discovery up to the modern fashion of today, we can distinguish several periods in the development of clothing and identity. The oldest preserved clothing from East Greenland dates from the end of the nineteenth century, or the pre-contact phase. Clothing of the Tunumiit changed rapidly during the colonial period, roughly speaking from the turn of the century to the end of the Second World War. After the war, there was a period of'Danization' (Petersen 1995), followed by what might be called a 'Greenlandization period', in which Greenland gained self-governance and a new

Change and Responses to Outside Influences

Greenlandic national identity emerged. The present is characterized by the continuing importance of regional and national identities and by the influence of globalization. Thus, which social categories and identities were distinguished by means of clothing in East Greenland in these main periods? Nineteenth-century Clothing

Late nineteenth-century clothing often expressed first events in someone's life. Such events were marked by means of gifts, magic chants, and, especially for women and girls, by changes in their clothing. At puberty, girls as well as boys received their first under-breeches (naatsit); it marked the transition from child to adolescent. Making her hair up in a topknot for the first time marked the beginning of adulthood for a woman, meaning that she was ready to look for a life-partner. Amaarngit and tattulat, women's inner and outer sealskin coats with a broad back-part and a wide hood to make room for a small child, indicated motherhood (fig. i). The most important rites of passage for a boy, such as getting his first kayak and catching his first seal, were not articulated in the details of his garments. However, getting the first set of warm winter garments made out of polar bear fur must have been a significant moment in a boy's life. This was the winter outfit of adult men, and indispensable for hunting, fishing and traveling out on the ice for many hours. Of course, such a garment also was the prerequisite for catching one's first seal during winter hunting. Nineteenth-century clothing was strongly connected with the spiritual and animal world. Clothing served as a protection against spirits and dangers. A woman had to cover her head during menstruation and after a miscarriage, both as a sign of mourning and as a protection against evil (Holm 1914: 78; Thalbitzer 1914: 590; Kaalund 1979:139). A special hood, called piaaqqusiaq, protected children of whom many brothers and sisters died (Rosing 1946:101; Thalbitzer 1914: 588-90; Buijs 2004; see also Chaussonnet 1988; Issenman 1997). Amulets were frequently sewn into clothing (Rosing 1946: 68,70). Perfectly made clothing protected a hunter from freezing to death, but beauty and perfection were perceived to have supernatural effects as well. Moreover, the spirit of a seal was considered to be more willing to turn to a beautifully dressed, skilful hunter than to a hunter with poorly made clothing. The same notions were involved in the perfection and beauty of hunting gear (Buijs and Petersen 2004). In the nineteenth century, differences in dress existed throughout Greenland, for example in the kind of skins used for making clothing, or in the shape and design of garments made in various regions (Bahnson 1997). Greenlanders could see at first glance whether they had to do with Inuit from other areas. In sum, nineteenth-century clothing had religious aspects, as well as social and adaptive aspects. In contrast to later periods, it is worth noting the lack of professional specialization and corresponding clothing differences, as well as the absence of festive clothing, worn only for special occasions. Normal, newly made garments may have had this function.

Clothing in the Colonial Period

Traditional East Greenlandic fur clothing changed rapidly when, after the Danish lieutenant Gustav Holm reached the east coast in 1884 with his Konebadsekspedition (Women's Boat Expedition), contact with foreigners became frequent and intensive. West Greenlanders, who came together with the Danes, were the first Native officials in East Greenland, working as trade managers (kolonibestyrer), trade assistants, catechists and teachers. In this period Danish colonists and West Greenlanders became the frame of reference for East Greenlanders, and Tunumiit rapidly started to adopt West Greenlandic garments. West Greenlanders had already incorporated colourful European materials such as beads and textiles into their dress (see Thuesen, this volume). The Kongelige Gr0nlandske Handel (KGHJ, the Royal Greenland Trade Department, established a local shop in Tasiilaq, which soon became the largest settlement on the east coast. This resulted in the (almost year-round) availability of European clothing and textiles in the area (Mathiassen 1933: 132-4; Rosing 1946: 27; Mikkelsen 1960:125-9,147; Eistrup 1989: 103-4). Beads and colourful textiles were highly appreciated,

Figure 1 An East Greenlandic woman carrying an infant in her inner amaarngit (amaat in West Greenlandic). Tasiilaq, 1906. 109

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Figure 2 (left) A small group of Tunumiit connected to the new Danish-oriented upper class, sitting in their best European clothes in the sun on the rocks at Somandsfjeld nearTasiilaq.June 1934. Thomas J0rgensen (trade manager), his wife Derisia,ApikaAmatagneq (midwife in-training) and Katarine Kalia (kippaq or housemaid in the household of the trade manager Rassow).

Figure 3 (above) Sofia J0rgensen with her son in Tasiilaq, on Sunday 15 July 1934.The infant was baptized that day, and wears a christening dress.

Figure 4 (below) The celebration of Christmas,Tasiilaq, 25 December 1933.

especially by women. Traditional garments that would previously have been made from fur began to be made in fabrics, such as cotton amaarngit. Traditional fur garments were gradually made in a simpler way, and eventually disappeared. A mixture of cloth and fur garments could be seen everywhere (Buijs 2004:108-23). Social differentiation and stratification, which started to develop during the 19305, was reflected in dress as well. Tunumiit who were working for Danes as housekeepers (kippat~), as assistants at the trading post, or as seasonal labourers at the harbour, had more access to European clothing due to their cash income and their exchange relationships with West Greenlanders and Europeans (Mikkelsen and Sveistrup 1944). They often adopted European-type clothing (Buijs 2004: 139), such as Sunday trousers, nice European coats, jackets, blouses and even ties (fig. 2). Such European garments were expensive and articulated a new type of wealth and status. However, the Tunumiit living in small settlements dressed in a mixture of (old) European garments, sealskin clothes and homemade textile dresses and trousers. Priests and missionaries also influenced the clothing habits of the East Greenlanders, since the first missionary, E.G.P. Ruttel arrived in Tasiilaq in 1894. Intending to change sexual morality, the clergymen especially objected to the East Greenlanders' custom of taking off their clothes inside the houses, as well as to the short women's trousers and long boots, which left part of the women's legs naked (Ruttel 1917:46,129,162; Gessain 1984: 83, 88). Cloth blouses, anoraks, trousers and skirts were not too warm and therefore well suited to use indoors. Indirectly, they contributed to the disappearance of native fur garments. After the first East Greenlanders were baptized in 1899, Ruttel, and after 1904 his West Greenlandic colleague Christian Rosing, started to hold services in church on Sundays. Further, new Christian holidays replaced pre-Christian Tunumiit rituals, such as those around the midwinter solstice. The church stimulated the introduction of Sunday's dress for the services, baptisms, weddings and funerals (fig. 3 and fig. 4). Ejnar Mikkelsen1 described a Christmas service, probably in 1937, in some detail: The East Greenlanders and Danes walk in the dark through the white snow to the church, bringing candles with them. The illuminated church is full of properly washed and beautifully adorned Greenlanders; all the men and boys in white anoraks, and almost all the women and girls in radiant, colourful attire, which can now be seen only on important holidays, but which was weekday clothing in the past (1960: 96-7, translation from Danish by C. Buijs).


Change and Responses to Outside Influences

Figure 5 Elika Jonathansen during a spontaneous drum dance performance for theTiileqilaamiit in Tiileqilaaq, 1968. She is wearing a cotton homemade dress. Older men and women can be seen in oldfashioned dress from the 1930s, the clothing of their mid-life, while the younger generation started to wear green coats and jeans, and so on.

The influence of Christianity and the Lutheran Church stimulated not only the development of festive clothing in East Greenland, but also the introduction of the first types of professional clothing, when the minister (palasi) and catechists (ajerti) started to use the black clerical gown with pleated collar and black silk anoraks, respectively (see also Buijs and Petersen 2004). Another example of professional dress introduced in the 19305 is the white medical dress and apron, worn by Signe Vest, a Danish nurse in Tasiilaq, and later on by Tunumiit (student and assistant) nurses (Jette Bang photo collection, Dansk Polarcenter, Copenhagen, photo-nr 3032; interviews East Greenland 1998). In sum, there were many simultaneous developments in clothing during this period, reflecting rapid changes in East Greenlandic society. The increasing influence of trade and a cash economy affected social and economic relations between East Greenlanders, creating a new status hierarchy in Greenlandic society, expressed in clothing materials and styles. West Greenlandic and European garments were integrated and Tunumiit garments started to disappear. Social, religious and economic features continued to be expressed in garments, but these features themselves changed as the Lutheran faith replaced shamanic beliefs and practices. Clothing after the Second World War

New political structures, better medical services, and new schools were established in the second half of the twentieth century. The process of modernization penetrated the widely scattered villages and changed daily life. East Greenlandic economy changed from a subsistence to a cash economy, where hunting is combined with income from jobs and welfare transfers (for example, Nooter 1972-3:166; Hovelsrud-Broda 1997: 83,100). Small privately owned enterprises, growing tourism, a crafts and a sewing workshop are examples of new economic impulses that started in the igSos.2 In this period suits and jackets, European vests, and white shirts for men were increasingly incorporated into men's dress. These could also be seen during official meetings of municipal and provincial councils, of political parties, and in parliament. Woollen jerseys, textile trousers, blouses and - homemade or ready bought in shops - skirts and dresses for women were worn in daily life (fig. 5). For a long time footwear had remained Greenlandic due to the absence of European types of footwear at the shops, but now European boots and shoes came into use. This development was made possible by the availability of (Euro-American) clothing in the stores of the KNI/PilersuisoqA/S.

It became also possible to obtain special clothing (from abroad) via the shop in Tasiilaq. Today, ordering clothes is also possible through the Internet, either from home or from the Internet cafe in the Tasiilaq library. During the process leading to the establishment of home rule in Greenland, starting in the 19505 and intensifying during the 19705, national identity became increasingly important. This development was stimulated by politicians and intellectuals in Nuuk. To be a Greenlander became a matter of pride (Nuttall 1994:10; H. Kleivan 1969; I. Kleivan 1991; Lynge 1981; R. Petersen 1991,1995; Thuesen 1988). The unity of the country was expressed in the national symbols invented, such as the Greenlandic flag, an unofficial national anthem, and an official National Day. The men's white anorak and the women's national costume became important symbols of a Greenlandic national identity (Kleivan 1991; R. Petersen 1985, 1991,2001). These costumes were adopted in East Greenland as well. Women were seen in church and at official occasions in colourful bead-collar costumes, with seal fur trousers and long white or red sealskin boots. Men dressed in white anoraks and black trousers made of textiles and black painted and decorated sealskin boots. 111

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Figure 6 (left) Tobias Ignatiussen, tourist outfitter and hunter, driving his motorboat. Ammassalik Fjord, summer 1998.

Figure 7 (below) Anna Kuitse, a drum dance leader and teacher from Kulusuk,and some schoolchildren, performing drum dances in 'traditional East Greenland dress' on the Greenlandic National Day inTasiilaq, 21 June 2001. White cotton amaarngit (right) as well as a sealskin tattulaq (left) can be seen.

Recent Developments in East Greenland Clothing

Today, clothing in East Greenland is characterized by great cultural heterogeneity. Elements from different cultural backgrounds are used and combined, such as European latest fashion, European-style clothing for special occasions, West Greenlandic garments now constituting the national costume, Tunumiit clothing variants made out of textiles, newly invented sealskin garments from the sewing workshop Skasven, and clothing made by Western outdoor firms. Nowadays Tunumiit dress in Western-style clothes. Their everyday clothing is not very different from that of other peoples living in northern areas. In daily life men, women, and children dress informally in casual clothing such as sport trousers, shirts, and sweatshirts. Outdoor winter outfits produced by outdoor firms are popular but expensive. The custom of undressing at home, so offensive to clergymen, still exists: indoors East Greenlanders dress in T-shirts, shorts, or tights. In the 19805, a sewing workshop (mesertapik), Skaeven, was established in Tasiilaq.3 It was a municipality initiative to reduce unemployment and to stimulate the sale of indigenous fur products, arts, and craft. Skaaven produces newly designed garments made of fabric and dyed and painted seal fur. 'Traditional' garments are not available at Skasven. Its sealskin 112

coats, vests, hats, mittens, and slippers are modern and attractive not only to tourists, but also to young, modern Tunumiit. Younger women are fond of the fancy designs and new materials, such as red and grey dyed seal fur mittens, bags and belts. However, only Danes and East Greenlanders with salaried jobs can afford this expensive clothing, except for the smaller and less expensive garments. As other women copy the new designs when making their own garments, Skasven's designs do have an innovative influence on the clothing developments in the region. In recent years, new forms of social differentiation in the Tunumiit society can be seen and new social categories developed (Buijs 2004:172; Petersen 1995:125; see also S0rensen i997b). In addition, new professions and new branches within the Greenland economy and cultures gave rise to new social groups. Not all of these small subgroups within the East Greenland society can be distinguished by means of their dress, but some can. East Greenlanders with jobs can often be recognized by their uniforms or by having the logo of the firm they are working for on their dress. The white garments of the medical staff in Tasiilaq were the first to be introduced to professional dress. Elderly East Greenlanders usually dress in an old-fashioned

Change and Responses to Outside Influences

kind of trousers they used to wear in their youth, shirts, but also in sport trousers and T-shirts. On special occasions they dress in expensive trousers, suits, jackets, blouses, and skirts, occasionally still combined with short painted sealskin boots. Young East Greenlanders follow the latest fashion of Denmark, Europe, and America, imitating the clothing of the Spice Girls, the Back Street Boys, or other idols seen on videos or worldwide television programmes such as MTV. They dress in black, the youngsters' fashion colour in Europe. They have black metal belts, jeans, and short skirts, and are fond of clothing with trademarks such as Adidas and Rucanor. Young East Greenlanders like to dress up for dancing parties or an evening out to the local club. For contemporary hunters the ideal is to pursue a modern career earning money and to be a successful hunter in their spare time. The combination of hunting with wage work is also necessary because of the poor cash yields of the hunt. The warm hunters' outfits consist of store-bought Western expedition garments (fig. 6), although some of the hunters still wear fur trousers in winter.4 In the past, relationships with the game and the spirits were the prerequisite for hunting success. Nowadays, social success, new careers, and political positions are appreciated. Success was, and still is, expressed by means of beautiful new (fur) clothing or expensive, ready-made latest European fashion bought in the shops or at the sewing atelier. During the 19905, a new consciousness of and appreciation for East Greenlandic culture developed. Typical East Greenlandic garments are now made again, even in sealskin. During the 19805, the female members of the local choir Tasiilami Erinarsoqatigiit chose to wear white textile amaarngit of an East Greenlandic type when they needed a regional costume during the national choir contest. In the 19805 and 19905, other types of'typical' East Greenland dress were (re) invented, such as sealskin amaarngit and tattulat, anoraks, trousers, and boots, made on the occasion of the centennial anniversary of the Tasiilaq district (fig. 7). These costumes are now in the custody of the Tasiilaq Museum and people may borrow them for special occasions that are of importance for the Tasiilaq district and East Greenlandic culture, such as

Figure 8 Pattern of a man's festive anorak in East Greenlandic style made by Eliza Kunak.

Greenland's National Day, a culture festival, or an East Greenland fashion show. Recently, an East Greenland anorak variant was invented by Eliza Kunak, made of white cotton and decorated with line stitching that imitates the stripes of nineteenth-century East Greenland gut-skin anoraks in the Tasiilaq Museum (fig. 8). Eliza Kunak formulated her motivation for an East Greenlandic pattern as follows: I have chosen to engage myself in East Greenlandic culture, because I think that it is vanishing. [... ] Personally, I believe it is very important to preserve our culture, and it is meaningful to children and young people to understand their past. I therefore believe that we citizens can cooperate in preserving that culture and transferring it to the young, so that we can be sure that we still have it in the next generation (Kunak 1996: 3, translation from Danish by C. Buijs).

Regional identity is still expressed in clothing, often on occasions and in situations where competition between subgroups plays a role, such as during the national folk dance competitions, or in political debates (see also Kleivan 1969). Regional identity has the potential to develop into an ethnic identity. However, for the most part, the term 'ethnic identity*, in the sense of a politicized identity (Cohen 1993; Dorais 1994; Jenkins 2002), is not appropriate for the East Greenlandic case in daily life. Ethnic identity can, however, be established in contact between Greenlanders and Danes, or other foreigners, when competition or opposition occurs, as well as in the relationship between East Greenlanders and West Greenlanders. 5 However, on special occasions, such as regional or national contests within Greenland, it is regional identity, rather than the ethnic identity, that is expressed in clothing. Cultural aspects such as language and clothing are selected, used and manipulated to express regional, or ethnic, or national identities. Conclusion

Clothing in East Greenland articulated different kinds of identities in different periods. In the pre-contact era the garments worn by East Greenlanders marked rites of passage and stages in life. Hunters could be recognized by their warm polar bear fur clothing. Clothing was made of animal skins from animals which had souls or spirits. The use of skin clothing was connected to ideas of spirituality, hunting success, taboos, and dangers. Thus, social, economic, and religious aspects were involved in the clothing of the past. During the colonial 'Danization' period, West Greenlandic garments and European clothing were adopted rapidly. As a consequence, the traditional


Cunera Buijs

East Greenland clothing disappeared. Relationships between East Greenlanders, the Danes, and West Greenlanders were reflected in the selection and preference of'foreign', Danish and West Greenland garments. In the period of striving for self-government, the national costume developed. Recently regional, East Greenland types of festive clothing were (re) invented within the context of cultural meetings and (inter)national contests. Traditional identities connected to cosmological and religious aspects have disappeared from contemporary everyday clothing. Today, the Lutheran Church provides a new context for new 'religious' clothing - European and Greenlandic festive clothing. Events connected with rites of passage are celebrated in church. National identity expressed in the national costume is being constructed and institutionalized. Whether Greenlandic formal clothing is interpreted as national costume or religious clothing depends on the situation. New forms of differentiation within East Greenlandic society developed and are reflected in a new variation in clothing 'Greenlandization', which entailed both a greater uniformity and the creation of an overall Greenlandic national identity, stimulated by Greenlandic politicians and intellectuals in Nuuk and Denmark. The younger generation is in for world fashion and clothing with trade marks. Thus, certain developments in clothing and identities are evident. Nineteenth-century clothing expressed cultural and social identities, and to some extent spiritual identities. In the colonial phase, in addition to social identities, ethnic identities came to the fore. In the period of home rule, clothing tended to express economic and national identity, especially articulated in (East) Greenland's national costume. Relationships between Danes, West Greenlanders, and East Greenlanders played a major role in the development of society and material culture, clothing being an inherent part of it. Garments are used as emblems of identity and are visual representations of one's


social group or one's social position. Clothing, as part of the material culture of East Greenland, becomes an area of reinvention (Hobsbawm and Ranger 1983), (re)constructing the past for future generations. Notes This article is based on research of museum collections dating from the time of the first contacts with outsiders and of the 19305. Data on modern clothing derives from field research conducted in Tasiilaq and Tiileqilaaq in East Greenland in 1997,1998 and 2001.1 am grateful to the Tunumiit (East Greenlanders) for their hospitality and for sharing their knowledge with me. I would like to thank the following institutions for the kind cooperation: the Tasiilaq Museum in Tasiilaq, the Greenland National Museum and Archives in Nuuk, Musee de 1'Homme in Paris, Museon in The Hague, and the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen. The research was financed by the National Museum of Ethnology and the research school CNWS in Leiden and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research in The Hague. 1 2


4 5

Ejnar Mikkelsen was Inspector of East Greenland 1933-50, and trade manager (kolonibestyrer) in Ammassalik 1937-8. Although rapid change occurred within the East Greenland society, there was a strong cultural continuity until the beginning of the twenty-first century. Hunters still set out in their motorboats to hunt seals, whales (especially narwhales), birds, reindeer, foxes, and polar bears. They combine hunting with fishing for cod, salmon, and trout, and with gathering mussels, seaweed, and eggs. Often women also take part in fishing activities, but they seldom hunt or participate in hunting trips. Until the beginning of the 19805, the summer migration pattern persisted, and even today families camp on the land during the summer months. The summer migration in connection with subsistence activities retained its importance for the economy and social life of the Tunumiit (see also Robert-Lamblin 1986:83). In the 19805, sewing workshops have been established in the major cities throughout Greenland. They develop their own products, as well as garments such as fur mittens and caps that are made in other regional workshops as well. Sealskin boots (kamiit) have recently been replaced by waterproof synthetic thermo boots which are now available in the shops. Robert Petersen (19 95) called this type of dominance from the west coast towards other regions (such as indirect dominance through the West Greenland official language on the radio throughout Greenland) 'internal colonialism'.

Kayak Clothing in Contemporary Greenlandic Kayak Clubs

Birgit Pauksztat Birgit Pauksztat holds an MA from the University of Cologne and from the University of California, Irvine. As Thaw Special Assistant in the British Museum's Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, she co-curated the exhibition Annuraaq:Arcticdothing from Igloolik, and was co-organiser of the conference Arctic Clothing of North America-Alaska, Canada, Greenland.

A recent innovation, kayak clothing made of neoprene is now used in kayak clubs all along the west coast of Greenland, increasingly replacing kayak clothing of sealskin. In light of the fact that the clubs were founded in order to preserve the Greenlandic kayak and its equipment in their traditional form, this is a surprising development. In this paper I will look at the reasons given by members of the Kayak Club Nuuk for the use of kayak clothing of sealskin and of neoprene, and explore some of the factors contributing to the success of neoprene clothing in Nuuk and other contemporary Greenlandic kayak clubs. The Kayak Club Nuuk was founded by young Greenlanders in 1983 as the first one of its kind in Greenland.1 At that time the kayak, once indispensable for hunting and transportation, had been gradually replaced by boats and ships since the 19205, and with the kayak, the clothing used for kayaking had almost completely disappeared by the 19705. The goal of the club was to reverse this trend: to revive the Greenlandic kayak and its equipment by 'taking it out of the museums' and using it again for leisure and sports. The 'kayak movement', as it was called, was very successful. The idea quickly spread along the coast, and today (in 2002) there are eleven local clubs in West Greenland, joined together since 1985 in a national association, Qaannat Kattuffiat. Among the activities offered by the clubs today are kayak building and training in paddling and rolling (i.e., capsizing and coming up again). For many club members2, the high point of the year is the annual Kayak Championship. Disciplines include racing, rolling, harpoon throwing, and rope exercises.

mittens, and kayak sleeves. I will start with a brief historical overview of the manufacture and use of sealskin kayak clothing in West Greenland,3 and point out some of the changes that have taken place. Sealskin kayak clothing is made of erisaaq (waterproof sealskin). Because of its size and the structure of the skin, the preferred material is the skin of the adult harp seal. To make it waterproof, the skin is plucked free of hair with a knife - a process called erisarneq. This has to be done carefully in order not to damage the dark outer layer of the skin, the epidermis. Thus, in order to make the hair easier to remove, the hairside of the skin is rubbed with certain substances which loosen the hair. In the past, urine or ashes were widely used for this purpose, while contemporary seamstresses use a variety of things including soda, scouring powder, or baking mixture. In summer, when the sea was calm, kayak hunters used a sprayskirt (akuilisaq, or tuiitsoq'). Fastened with drawstrings around the cockpit of the kayak and reaching up to the midriff, it prevented water from coming into the kayak. Sprayskirts of sealskin are still common in the kayak clubs today (fig. i), but other materials are used as well. In the Kayak Club Nuuk, as well as in other clubs, sprayskirts made from canvas have been used at least from around iggo.4 In the past, sprayskirts were usually worn in combination with kayak mittens and kayak

Kayak Clothing in West Greenland

For the purposes of this paper, I define kayak clothing simply as those garments that are made and used for kayaking. In Greenland, this includes kayak jackets, sprayskirts, kayak

Figure 1 Sprayskirt of harp seal skin, made by Louisa Reimer, llulissat, in ZOOO.The sprayskirt belonged to Hans Kristian Olsen (Kayak Club llulissat), who wore it both for training and in competitions. 115

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Figure 2 Kayak jacket of sealskin, made in Maniitsoq around 1988. First used by members of the Kayak Club Maniitsoq, it was bought by Hans KleistThomassen (Kayak Club Nuuk) in 1996, and was worn by club members in the rolling competitions at Kayak Championships.

Figure 3 (top) Pair of kayak mittens, made in Nuuk about 1994 for Jenseeraq Amondsen (Kayak Club Nuuk). Inside such mittens, hunters would have used either inner mittens of cotton or wood shavings (pineqqat) for insulation. Today, as this practice is barely remembered, they appear to be quite large, but, as someone observed, 'these mittens are very handy, they are great for rolling-those rolls where you have to come up using only your hand. Because they are so big, it is much easier to come up again.'

sleeves (pi. aaqqat) - separate sleeves that a hunter would put on to keep those of his ordinary jacket or pullover dry. Unlike the sprayskirts, kayak sleeves are rarely used any more. In cold and stormy weather, kayak hunters wore a kayak jacket (tuilik, or kapitak) - a hooded jacket with drawstrings to fasten it to the cockpit and to secure it around the hood and at the wrists (fig. 2). The kayak jacket was warmer than a sprayskirt, but more importantly it ensured that the hunter would not get wet when capsizing. Today, kayak jackets of sealskin are mainly used in the rolling competitions in the Kayak Championship. Kayak mittens (pi. aaqqatit), worn with both kayak jacket and sprayskirt, usually had two thumbs, one on each side. In

this way, the mitten could be turned around when one side had become too slippery from water or ice. In the past, the sealskin for kayak mittens was often prepared in a special way. The hair was not plucked out as for the other articles of kayak clothing, but shaved off so that the skin did not become too slippery. Furthermore, the inner side of the skin was treated with seal blood, rendering it more waterproof and more supple. Today, such mittens are still used in the kayak clubs (fig. 3), but another type of mitten is made and used as well (fig. 4). Having only one thumb, which is part of the 'bodice' of the mitten, and a two-part front piece, they are similar in pattern to mittens from the Avanersuaq district (Frederikke Petrussen, personal communication, 3 July 2001; cf. Holtved 1967:47).


Figure 4 (above) A pair of kayak mittens made by Juliane Padilla (Kayak Club Sisimiut) during the Kayak Championship in Nanortalik in July 2001.Today, sealskin mittens are mainly used during the Championship, especially for rolling, when the hands get cold quickly.

Change and Responses to Outside Influences

Other changes in contemporary sealskin kayak clothing are evident as well. For instance, members of the Kayak Club Nanortalik told me that the jackets used in their club are longer than was the case in the past. They explained that this is because in the past, the jackets were used for paddling in cold or stormy weather, and consequently only had to be long enough to allow for paddling movements. Today, by contrast, the sealskin kayak jackets are mainly used for rolling, where much more freedom of movement is necessary, and consequently they are made longer. Another example concerns the thread used for sewing kayak clothing. According to the seamstresses and elders I talked to, thread made of seal oesophagus is still the best material for sewing kayak clothing, because it expands when it gets wet, filling the holes left by the needle (cf. Arnat Peqatigiit Kattuffiat 1987: 26,34; Biilmann 1990:43). However, it is now almost impossible to get, and synthetic thread imported from Canada is generally used as a substitute. The idea of making kayak jackets following traditional patterns but of a new material, neoprene, was developed around 1992-3 by a member of the Kayak Club Nuuk and a Canadian. They contacted Brooks, a business in Vancouver, who manufactured a kayak jacket in neoprene according to their specifications. After a satisfactory trial in spring 1994, several garments were commissioned both for the club and for individual members. The idea caught on, and today kayak jackets of neoprene are used in kayak clubs throughout Greenland (fig. 5). In distinction to a tuilik of sealskin, a kayak jacket of neoprene is called tuiliusaq, literally 'something resembling a tuilik'.

Today, participants at the annual Championship are required to wear kayak jackets or sprayskirts made of sealskin; kayak sleeves and mittens are optional, but, if used, they have to be of sealskin too (Qaannat Kattuffiat 1999: §31, §54, §62). Apart from this, there are no regulations regarding the use of kayak clothing in the clubs. Thus, for training and recreational paddling, kayak jackets and mittens are of sealskin or neoprene, while sprayskirts are of sealskin, canvas or neoprene, depending on the garments available to the members of the club as well as on personal preferences. Interviews with thirty-two members of the Kayak Club Nuuk5 in 1999 showed that this pattern of use was generally accepted, although some of the younger members said that they would like to use sealskin clothing for training purposes as well, in order to get used to it.6 With regard to the competitions at the Kayak Championship, half of those I interviewed said that only sealskin clothing should be used. However, 25 per cent thought neoprene would be acceptable for the Championship, and a further 25 per cent said that this was a possibility worth considering. In view of this one might ask why, in a club with the preservation of tradition on its agenda, the use of neoprene clothing is acceptable, and furthermore, why is it generally accepted for training, but not for the Championship? Sealskin or Neoprene?

Looking at the reasons given by members of the Kayak Club Nuuk in interviews in 1999 for their attitudes on the use of kayak clothing of sealskin and neoprene (fig. 6), it appears that the one most often used in favour of sealskin clothing was its Greenlandicness and the members' wish to preserve traditional clothing ('Tradition'). The arguments most often used for neoprene clothing, on the other hand, were its availability, and its characteristics and quality. Characteristics and Quality

As the club members are interested in using the kayak for paddling and rolling, the characteristics and quality of their equipment is important to them. After all, when paddling, this can be a question of life and death. In the interviews, quality was used as an argument by about half of the members. Most found that neoprene was much warmer, more waterproof, less stiff, and less likely accidentally to become detached from the ring of the kayak's cockpit, while two members held the opposite view.7 Furthermore, it is important that the equipment is practical and easy to look after. For this reason, many of the members preferred neoprene clothing, because it did not need much treatment after use. Many also commented on the fat used to treat sealskin clothing, which, they said, leaves the user white and smelly with seal fat afterwards.

Figure 5 PaviaTobiassen (Kayak Club Nuuk) on the beach in Nuuk, carrying his kayak up to the racks after a training trip. He is wearing a kayak jacket of neoprene over his drysuit, and boots and mittens of neoprene. March 1999. 117

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Figure 6 Reasons for the use of sealskin and neoprene clothing, from interviews with members of the Kayak Club Nuuk, 1999. Of the thirty-two members interviewed, twenty-seven named one or more reasons in response to open-ended questions.


Another argument that occurred frequently in the interviews concerned the availability of the clothing. Many said that sealskin clothing was much more difficult to get and far more expensive than neoprene, and that, as a result of this, the club was constantly short of sealskin clothing. This line of argument was used to justify the use of neoprene for training, and to suggest that neoprene should be allowed in the Championship: Now we always have problems to get skin, and we never have enough sealskin sprayskirts. So maybe they should just permit both neoprene and sealskin clothing. (Member of the Kayak Club Nuuk, 1999)

Interviews with seamstresses and members of kayak clubs in 2001 suggested two main reasons for the difficulties in obtaining sealskin clothing. First, getting enough fresh skins of good quality is difficult. Hunters sell most of the sealskins they obtain to Great Greenland, a commercial tannery in Qaqortoq specializing in sealskin (cf. Naatsorsueqqisaartarfik/Gr0nlands Statistik 2000:106,109,451). The tanned skins, used for fur jackets and other products, are unsuitable for making kayak clothing. Erisaaq, the kind of sealskin used for kayak clothing, cannot be bought on the market. Instead, the women making and repairing kayak clothing make arrangements with relatives or local hunters to obtain fresh skins, which they then prepare themselves. Second, the knowledge of skin preparation and the manufacture of kayak clothing is disappearing in Greenland. To counteract this decline, and to pass on the relevant knowledge, courses have been arranged as part of the Kayak Championship, where participants learn how to prepare erisaaq, and how to sew kayak clothing. However, it was said that beginners would often find it difficult to continue on their own afterwards, especially those without any previous experience in skin preparation and sewing. In contrast to kayak building, there is no detailed written instruction on the making of kayak clothing, and often the women have nobody to ask for advice or to consult with in their clubs. In consequence, there are rarely more than one or two women in each club who are able to share the tasks of making and repairing the clothing, both of which require a considerable amount of time and work (fig. 7). In Nuuk, kayak jackets are therefore usually commissioned from seamstresses in North Greenland, while smaller items and repairs are made by club members. 118

As a result, sealskin kayak clothing is not only difficult to obtain, but also expensive. A kayak jacket costs about £500^750, a sprayskirt about £i3o-£i8o, and a pair of mittens about £50. Expensive and difficult to replace, sealskin garments, especially kayak jackets, are used - and carefully mended - for as long as possible. Over time, many of the garments deteriorate in quality from wear. To keep the garments in good condition, proper treatment is important. Seamstresses and members of the kayak clubs explained that, when not in use, the garments should be stored in a cool and dry place - ideally in the deep freezer. In addition, they should be treated with seal fat and softened by rubbing from time to time. In this way, they not only become more waterproof, but also more comfortable to wear.8 By comparison, as members of the Kayak Club Nuuk explained to me, neoprene clothing does not require much care after use, except for occasional cleaning in the washing machine. In addition to being easy to care for, neoprene clothing is less expensive (a jacket costs about £220) and comparatively easy to obtain: neoprene jackets can be commissioned through a member of the Kayak Club Nuuk, and neoprene mittens can be bought in local sports stores. Tradition

In contrast to neoprene clothing, sealskin clothing was described as 'the real thing', as truly Greenlandic, by many of those I interviewed: It is much more Greenlandic if you use sealskin. It's almost like you are getting Europeanized if you start using neoprene and other rubber things. (Member of the Kayak Club Nuuk, 1999)

Statements like this reflect the fact that Greenlandicness is often defined in terms of traditional culture, and that the kayak, closely associated with the hunter, the epitome of the 'true Greenlander', is an important symbol of Greenlandic identity (Berthelsen 1986; P. Langgard 1990; K. Langgard 1998; S0rensen 1994). Part of a highly valued heritage, many also felt that sealskin clothing should not disappear: [...] maybe it would be better to use sealskin clothing more, also for training. Then it does not disappear either. We change too many things now. If we do it like our ancestors did in the old days, then it does not get lost. (Member of the Kayak Club Nuuk, 1999)

The importance of preserving the Greenlandic kayak and its equipment, reflected in the statements above, was confirmed in other parts of the interviews. For all of those I interviewed this

Change and Responses to Outside Influences

was an important goal of the club - for some, it was the most important. This is also evident from the statutes of the Kayak Club Nuuk (PeqatigiiffikQajaq Nuuk 1999: §2). Moving with the times

While the use of the kayak for sports and recreational purposes was only regarded as a means to an end at the club's foundation in 1983, the weighting of these aspects has shifted. Today, not only the club's 'cultural mission', but also sports, recreational, and social aspects are important to the members (Pauksztat 1999). In addition, as described above, the preservation of the kayak and its equipment in its traditional form often proved difficult under present circumstances. This is reflected in some of the reasons given for the use of neoprene, namely that one should 'move with the times'. To 'move with the times' referred to an adaptation to contemporary circumstances. For some of the members, this was a necessity. 'We cannot do it like in the old days any more,' as one member put it. For others, 'moving with the times' - taking advantage of new possibilities, and adapting to the interests and needs of the club's members -was a positive and desirable development. Other trends seem to have contributed to an increasing acceptability of change and, in consequence, of neoprene clothing. In Greenland, the definition of Greenlandicness in terms of traditional culture 'has been coming under pressure from those who assert that the modern is also Greenlandic' (Thomsen 1996: 265; cf. S0rensen 19973). In addition, for many of the club members the emblematic aspects of the kayak and its equipment seem to move into the background in everyday activities. Kayak clothing then becomes a trait which, free from ethnic symbolism, can be modified without implying a statement about ethnic identity that the modification of an emblem might entail (cf. Briggs 1997; Thomas 1992). Also, the kayak is no longer exclusively associated with tradition, but also with sports and recreation, both in the eyes of club members

and the public. This is evident from members' statements and club goals, from the national association Qaannat Kattuffiat's joining of the Sports Confederation of Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaanni Timersoqatigiit Kattuffiat/Gr0nlands IdrastsForbund) in 1990, and from media coverage (Pauksztat 1999: 63-5).

However, changes like the introduction of neoprene clothing raised questions about the definition of'tradition'. While for some the use of neoprene was clearly 'untraditional', adaptation was not always seen in opposition to the preservation of tradition. As some members pointed out in relation to kayak building, their ancestors always adapted the kayak to their purposes and took advantage of new materials wherever possible. Thus, in a way, it was a Greenlandic tradition to constantly change and improve the kayak and its equipment: I think we can use these materials. I think that if our ancestors had had these materials, they would have used them as well. Because it is so much easier. (Member of the Kayak Club Nuuk, 1999)

For others, limited changes were acceptable: 'I think it is better to use the new materials that are available, but to follow the traditional pattern for making clothing' (Member of the Kayak Club Nuuk, 1999). Arguments of this kind maybe due to a wider definition of the 'traditional', or they may indicate that for the speaker, traditionality is not important with regard to all attributes of a garment. In all of these arguments, tradition is invoked as a standard against which contemporary practices are measured and evaluated (cf. S0rensen 1994),9 and its authority helps to justify and legitimate change. In this way, confrontations that might ensue from modifying emblematic objects can be avoided. Compromise

In sum, underlying the general acceptance of the pattern of use of kayak clothing in contemporary Greenlandic kayak clubs, there is wide agreement among the members on the relative

Figure 7 Bibiane 'Arnaq' Isaksen (Kayak Club Qaqortoq) making an akuilisaq during the Kayak Championship in Nanortalik, 16 July 2001. She uses erisaaq of adult harp seal skin which she had already prepared at home in Qaqortoq. 119

Birgit Pauksztat

advantages of neoprene clothing with regard to availability, cost, maintenance, and, although to a lesser extent, its characteristics and quality. Although preserving the Greenlandic kayak and its equipment remains an important goal of the clubs, its importance is lessened by the increasing significance of other goals and interests of the members, and it is recognized that it cannot be realized without adaptation to contemporary circumstances. Together with the increasing acceptability of change, this may explain the success of neoprene clothing. On the other hand, because the preservation of the Greenlandic kayak and its equipment still is important to the members, and sealskin clothing still is seen as more Greenlandic and authentic than neoprene clothing, many are opposed to replacing sealskin clothing completely. As a compromise, sealskin clothing is required for the competitions at the Championship, and neoprene clothing is allowed for all other purposes. In the Championship, not only the sport and social aspects are important. It is also seen as a festive occasion, where an important aspect is to show Greenlandic culture and tradition to a wider public. There are usually many spectators, including tourists from other countries, and media attention is high. Thus, in the Championship, where the focus is much more on the emblematic aspects of kayaking, on Greenlandicness and tradition, sealskin clothing - which is strongly associated with the 'truly Greenlandic' and with tradition - is used. For the rest of the year, there is much less public attention, and criteria such as availability, and quality and characteristics of the material are generally more important than its 'Greenlandicness'. Consequently, it is much more acceptable to use neoprene clothing. In this way, sealskin clothing is used where its symbolic aspects are most salient. Providing a strong incentive for the preservation of sealskin clothing through its use in the Championship while, at the same time, allowing the members to choose according to their own preferences for the rest of the year, this pattern of use accommodates the different goals and interests of the members. And as in this way the valuable sealskin clothing can be saved for the Championship, it eases some of the practical problems as well. As a compromise between different goals and motives, and as an adaptation to contemporary constraints and possibilities as well as to the interests of the members, this pattern of use is generally accepted. It allows the combination of'both culture and sports', and it is precisely this combination that, in the eyes of many of the members, makes the kayak clubs so attractive.

Notes This paper is based on fieldwork undertaken at the Kayak Club Nuuk in 1997-8 and 1999, including interviews conducted in 1999 with thirty-two of the club's members. Further fieldwork was carried out in summer 2001 for the British Museum, when I visited the kayak clubs in Nuuk, Qaqortoq and Nanortalik, and participated in the Kayak Championship in Nanortalik. For information on historical kayak clothing, I am drawing on interviews with H.C. Petersen and several South Greenlandic seamstresses and elders - in particular Susanne Kielsen (Narsaq), Frederikke Petrussen (Qaqortoq), and Marianne Salomonsen (Nanortalik) - in summer 2001. Mariane Petersen (Greenland National Museum and Archives, Nuuk), Rie Oldenburg (NarsaqMuseum), Georg Nyegaard (Qaqortoq Museum), Kristine Raahauge (Nanortalik Museum), and Anne Bahnson (National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen) kindly permitted me to survey the kayak clothing in their collections, which provided additional information. Information on contemporary clothing is based on observations, as well as on interviews with members of the kayak clubs in Ilulissat, Nanortalik, Nuuk, Paamiut, Qaqortoq, and Sisimiut, and with women who make such clothing for their clubs, in particular Aaninnguaq Falksen (Nuuk), Bibiane 'Arnaq' Isaken (Qaqortoq), Augustine Mathaeussen (Ilulissat), and Juliane Padilla (Sisimiut). I would like to thank all of these individuals and institutions for their hospitality and their support. 1 2




6 7 8



See Pauksztat 1999 for a history of the Kayak Club Nuuk from 1983 to 1999. While in the first years most of the active members of the Kayak Club Nuuk were Greenlandic men in their early twenties, with a few elderly men (retired kayak hunters) acting as advisers and teachers, today membership is more balanced with regard to age and gender. In 1998, the Kayak Club Nuuk had ninety-one members, almost half of them women. Two-thirds of the members were between fifteen and forty years old. Corresponding to the percentage of nonGreenlandic residents in Nuuk, about 25 per cent of the club's members were non-Greenlanders, mostly Danes living in Nuuk. The most detailed descriptions of historical Greenlandic kayak clothing are those of Birket-Smith (1924:102,181-8) and Petersen (1997:136-9). Important early sources are Egede (1926 [1741]: 101), Cranz (1995 [1765]: 183,199), and Anonymous [Henric Christopher Glahn] (1771:189-90). Glahn (1921:158) andBiilmann (1990:14-15, 16-17,42-3) provide information on materials used for kayak clothing. The idea of making kayak clothing from materials other than sealskin is not without precedent. Museum collections in Narsaq and Qaqortoq contain examples of sprayskirts made from heavy synthetic textiles and oilskins, which are associated with kayaks that probably date back to the 19505 or 19605 (Rie Oldenburg, personal communication, 26 July 2001; Georg Nyegaard, personal communication, July 2001). I interviewed thirteen women and nineteen men, all of whom participated in at least some of the club's activities. With regard to age, they approximately reflected the composition of the club's membership. Four of my interviewees were Danish. As the responses show little or no correlation with gender, age, or ethnic background, I do not distinguish between subcategories of members in the following analysis. Quotations by club members in the next section are from these interviews, translated from Greenlandic and Danish. At that time, sealskin clothing was not used for training in Nuuk. In response to another question, two other members said that they thought sealskin and neoprene clothing were equal in quality. If the garment has become dry and stiff after not having been used for a longer period of time, it is soaked with salt water first. Then, it is impregnated with seal fat, and folded up and stored in a dry and cool place for three or four days. In this way the skin can soak up the fat before the garment is softened by rubbing. Only a few members questioned the normativity of tradition.

Caribou, Reindeer and Rickrack:Some Factors Influencing Cultural Change in NorthernAlaska, 1880-1940

Cyd Martin Cyd Martin is Director of Indian Affairs and American Culture for the National Park Service in the Intermountain Region. She received her PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, in 2001. Her dissertation research focused on the negotiation of identity and tradition through contemporary Inupiaq clothing in northern Alaska.

In this paper I explore the relationship between decorative trim designs on Inupiaq parkas and multicultural contact in northern Alaska. Changes in trim styles on parkas, documented in museum collections and historic photographs, illuminate some of the factors that interacted to influence Inupiaq culture from the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries. Prior to Euro-American contact, Inupiaq1 garments shared some design elements, construction techniques, and material types with other northern indigenous cultures. The clothing of Athabascan, Yup'ik and Aleut peoples in Alaska, Siberian natives, and Canadian Inuit has some of the same attributes in part because of a common environment and access to similar materials. Inter-group trade relationships may have fostered the exchange of some ideas and designs, but individual groups generally maintained their own distinctive styles. In the midnineteenth century commercial whalers sailed north through the Bering Strait, providing a new pool of ideas and materials for Inupiaq seamstresses to draw on. In addition to introducing Western technology to northern Alaska, Euro-American whaling and trading changed the social and economic environment of the North. This changed environment created new rationales and opportunities for cultural exchange between Ifiupiat and other groups - both Native and Euro-American. Even though daily life was challenging, and finding and storing food was generally the primary focus for Eskimo people, they still took the time to decorate many of their tools and garments. Ivory implements were incised with delicate designs, wooden ladles and containers were painted, and parkas, mukluks (boots), and pants were embellished with pieced and appliqued skins, fur, and gut. Decorative garment designs were attractive and expresssed the identity of the wearer. Clothing decoration sometimes mimicked animal features, giving the wearer of the garment or the user of the tool some of the attributes of the animal or acknowledging the wearer's gratitude to the creature for giving its life to the human (Black 1994, Chaussonnet 1988). Designs used for trim on parkas and other garments were distinctive, indicating the cultural affiliation and geographic location of the wearer. Each region of the Arctic still has its individual style, often making it possible to distinguish the home community of a person simply by the pattern and trim of their parka. This combination of function, craft, and sartorial style resulted in an art form that has

flourished throughout a century and a half of contact with Euro-America and which remains a unique expression of Inupiaq culture. Parka trim on museum garments and in historic photographs illustrates the interplay of conservative and innovative forces during the early years of Western contact. Trim elements from Inupiaq parkas dating from the i88os to the 19405 are the focus of this paper. The parkas were collected from or photographed in the region of northern Alaska that extends eastward from Nome and Kotzebue Sound to the Mackenzie River Delta in western Canada. The oldest parkas that I examined are in the collections of the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa, the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City, and the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. The collections of the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, the University of Alaska Museum in Fairbanks, and the Burke Museum in Seattle include more contemporary parkas. Historical photographs and oral history interviews with Inupiaq seamstresses are other important data sources for my research. Historical Context

The advent of whaling in the Arctic Ocean north of the Bering Strait in the mid-nineteenth century changed Inupiaq lifeways. Up to that time, northern Alaska was relatively isolated from the European goods and ideas introduced by Russian and British explorers in southeastern and western Alaska and most of Canada. Protected by inclement weather, geography, and the difficulties of Arctic travel, the Inupiat had almost no contact with Westerners (Burch 1975; Ray 1975). They acquired beads, knives, and tobacco through trade with other native people, but these trade goods, isolated from the cultures that manufactured them, did not appreciably change the aboriginal lifestyle (Bockstoce 1977; VanStone 1980). In the mid-nineteenth century the incursion of the commercial whaling industry into northern Alaska transformed the social, economic, and even physical environment of Inupiaq people. The sailing ships of that era brought technologically advanced materials and tools which came hand in hand with more intangible elements of culture - ideas, values, and religion. Trade goods carried by whaling ships included knives, needles, matches, iron pots, tobacco, beads, cloth, firearms, ammunition, 121

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and rum. As whalers and traders recognized the rich trading opportunities available in the North, they brought an everincreasing variety of goods, exchanging sewing machines, scissors, saws, planes, mirrors, harmonicas, phonographs, sugar, rice, flour, and clothing for furs, ivory, and baleen (Bockstocei986). Always ready to accept more efficient or attractive material or tools, the Ifiupiat adopted many Western goods, incorporating them into their traditional activities. Pressures to adopt Western religion, language, and values accompanied these new tools and materials. Missionaries established churches and schools, insisting that Inupiaq children speak English and encouraging adults to conform to the economic and moral forms of Euro-American culture (Oswalt 1979; VanStone 1984). Along with a cash economy introduced with whaling and fur trapping came far-reaching social and economic changes. The Ifiupiat, who had previously obtained all of their food, clothing, and shelter through subsistence activities, were introduced to wage employment, which allowed them to trade for, or purchase, newly introduced and highly desirable Western goods. Furs, previously acquired on a small scale for personal use, became an important trade item. Employment of one or more family members, often the hunters, in whaling or trapping meant that the family had less native food available and was more dependent upon Western goods. Women were also employed, sewing the essential fur clothing for the Yankee whalers and traders. Wage employment, access to Western goods, and school attendance are some of the factors that aggregated people in settled villages and changed the structure and rhythm of traditional Inupiaq life. The establishment of a cash economy tied northern Alaskan Ifiupiat to an international market that had earlier been only peripheral. Once established, their connection to the wider world was irrevocable and they were drawn into the web of interconnecting world economies. In spite of this seemingly irresistible onslaught of modernity, however, Inupiaq people did not unconditionally adopt EuroAmerican culture. They accepted many of the commodities and practices of Western culture, but retained activities and traditions vital to their culture and to survival in the Arctic environment. These changes and continuities are reflected in clothing. Parkas

Before contact with Euro-Americans, the Ifiupiat constructed their garments from animal materials, including fish and bird skins, mammal skins and gut. Caribou skins make the warmest garments, since the individual hairs are hollow (see Meeks and Cartwright, this volume). In the winter two skin parkas were worn in tandem, the inner with the fur towards the wearer's skin and the outer with the fur out. Men's parkas were hip length and cut almost straight around the hem; women's were knee length or longer and had wide curving flaps in front and back. Skin trousers were worn underneath the parkas. Both male and female parkas had hoods with fur ruffs to protect the face. This sophisticated clothing system was flexible enough to retain warmth and yet allow for ventilation, protecting its wearers in Figure 1 Man wearing a caribou parka with hood roots, woman wearing a calico



the challenging conditions of the Arctic (Hatt 1969 [1914]; Stefanssoni95s). The connection between humans and animals was emphasized through clothing designs that used animal ears, tails, claws or other parts as trim or amulets. Stefansson describes how the skin from a caribou head was used: A coat should have in its making one deerskin with the head complete. This skin is used for the back of the coat. The natural shape of the skin as it is on the living deer will then give the proper form to the hood. (1914:216)

Murdoch, at Point Barrow from 1881 to 1883, observes the use of parts of animals on clothing: ... there are certain ornamental appendages which belong to the dress, but can not be considered as essential parts of any garments, like the trimmings. For instance, nearly every male in the two villages wears dangling from his back between the shoulders an ermine skin either brown or white, or an eagle's feather, which is transferred to the new garment when the old one is worn out. This is perhaps an amulet. (1892:138)

Most parkas incorporated narrow strips of wolverine fur as decorative tassels and many men wore wolverine or wolf tails attached to their belts and hanging down at the back. One of the most distinctive features of Ifiupiaq parkas is the hood roots, triangular gussets of a contrasting color set into the front of the garments. These strongly resemble walrus tusks. Nearly all northern Alaskan parkas include this detail (fig. i). It has been suggested that these animal elements are symbolic of the human connection with animals, a vital spiritual component of Inupiaq life (Chaussonnet 1988; Murdoch 1892).

Change and Responses to Outside Influences

The importance of the human- animal relationship extended into the woman's realm, influencing her behavior during the different hunting seasons by prohibiting her from sewing land animal skins during whaling or walrus hunting and vice versa (Stefansson 1914: 353). The clothing that she made was critical to the success of the hunter-both pragmatically and spiritually. In order to catch a whale the whaling captain (umialik) and his crew had to have new or newly cleaned and mended garments (Chaussonnet 1988: 212; Spencer 1959: 265). Small, regular stitches and well-made garments showed respect for the animals and encouraged them to give themselves up to the humans. Elegant parkas from the late iSoos with precise, tight stitches and painstakingly detailed decorative trim attest to the attention that seamstresses lavished on their work. Seamstresses adhered to general regional styles, but their individual interpretation of those styles made each parka a unique testament to their skill and creativity. With the introduction of Western goods in the midnineteenth century, the Ifiupiat immediately adopted some new materials and technology including cloth, thread, and, as they became practical beginning in 1856, sewing machines.2 Cotton calico and canvas were used to make covers for fur parkas. This protected the fur and made the garments last longer (Driscoll 1983: 274; Oakes 1988: 46). John Murdoch stated in 1881: 'Of late years both sexes have adopted the habit of wearing over their clothes a loose hoodless frock of cotton cloth, usually bright colored calico, especially in blustering weather, when it is useful in keeping the drifting snow out of their furs' (Murdoch 1892: in). And, in Siberia, Andreas Hovgaard on the 1878-80 voyage of the Vega observed: 'As the reindeer-skin suffers much and becomes heavy with wet, the Chukches wear an outer covering, made of gut, but in the winter generally of cotton, which they obtain from the crews of American merchant ships' (1882:121). These covers offered not only protection for the furs but also a means of varying the wardrobe. 'In snowy weather the Chukchi often pull a smock of calico over their furs in order not to get them full of snow. They love bright colors. A group of Chukchi wearing their "snow-covers" look very gay - blue, yellow, red, white, and flowered coats' (Sverdrup 1939: 28). In Alaska, these cloth covers, atikfuk in Inupiaq, generally took the form of short hooded anoraks for the men and longer hooded dress-like garments with ruffles at the bottom for women (fig. i). Trim, in the form of strips of contrasting colored fabric, decorated the hems and cuffs of these garments. In the 19505, Inupiaq seamstresses began using commercially available quilted, insulated lining material instead of caribou skin for the inner, warmth-providing layer of most parkas. This lining material was often ordered through the Sears Roebuck or Montgomery Ward catalogues.3 Seamstresses also substituted purchased mouton (commercially tanned sheepskin) for the caribou-skin lining of hunting parkas, mouton being more durable than caribou, which loses its hair when wet. Contemporary Inupiaq hunting parkas are constructed of mouton which is sewn by hand using unwaxed dental floss or artificial sinew. The covers of contemporary hunting parkas are made of canvas or heavy cotton twill and are usually white for winter hunting. Hunting parkas, although sometimes other

colors, are never red, since it is felt that red would frighten the animals.4 These parkas are made in the traditional anorak or pull-over style, which retains warmth more efficiently than a parka with a front opening. Most women's parkas and men's town parkas are lined with quilted, nylon-covered polyester insulation and a zip up the front. These parkas are covered with richly colored cotton velveteen, corduroy, or calico; men's parkas are solid colors and women's are either solid or print, generally following the fabric styles of the times. Older Inupiaq women seem to prefer larger, brighter print patterns, while younger women choose solids or smaller, more delicate prints. Vera Weber, a young seamstress in Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska, prefers small floral prints and looks for trim materials that will match and/or blend with the print. She notes that the older women in the community prefer trim colors that clash with the parka fabric. Vera was given a parka belonging to one of her aunts. The cover is made of bright lime green fabric with lizard and frog designs. Although the parka is well made and has a beautiful sunshine ruff, made by piecing sections of fur together so they form a perfectly circular ring around the face of the wearer, Vera will not wear it because she feels that it is too bright. One nearly universal element on all of the parkas is decorative trim. On the skin parkas trim was applied at any or all of a number of locations including the hem, shoulder seams, waist, hood, and along the edges of the hood roots. The most common trim design on the oldest skin parkas is a linear band made of strips of trimmed white caribou skin i to 3 cm wide, and separated by 4 mm wide welts of lingcod (fish) or other dark, hairless skin. These strips are sewn together to create alternating lines of light and dark. Tiny pieces of red yarn are sewn along the wrong side of some of the seams with the yarn ends poking through the seams to the right side of the garment, creating dots of red color spaced almost invariably 6 mm apart along the welt (fig. 2). Most parkas use yarn for this effect, but some display the linear trim design with beads or leather tabs sewn into the welt to make the dots instead of red yarn. Many of the pants,

Figure 2 Linear trim on caribou parka, c. 1888. 123

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mukluks, gloves, and caps of the same age in the museum collections exhibit this same style of trim. Geometrically patterned light and dark trim first decorated Inupiaq skin parkas in the late 18908; it is found earlier on Koryak and Chukchi garments (Hovgaard 1882:144). This trim was made by sewing small geometrically shaped pieces of white and dark brown caribou skin together to make patterned strips. These strips were placed on the parkas in the same locations as the linear trim, or were used in combination with the linear trim (fig. 3). Seamstresses incorporated non-indigenous materials such as beads, colored felt, and decorative braid into their trim designs. The many variations of this geometric trim evident in parkas in historic photographs and museum collections attest to the tireless efforts and creativity of the women who designed and sewed them. One parka from Point Hope in the Anchorage Museum of History and Art collection has pieces of skin just 5 mm square that are stitched together to form a checkerboard pattern (fig. 4). Christian Klengenberg, a trader who married Kenmek, an Inupiaq woman, comments on the fluctuating fashions in parka trim: The girls came [to a dance at Point Hope] in their best clothes; all made of skins which they had labored over and sewn during the summer for the winter styles. Of course the general shape of their garments in the Arctic does not change, but the trimmings and the colour of the ornamental furs and the way these are attached and the fancy work which goes with them do change quite a bit from winter to winter, and the women seem to know through the summer just what the most fetching mode will be for the next winter— One year the girls will be wanting still-born caribou calf that looks like seal but is darker. Another year all the trimming must be ermine, and the next dark wolf, and the next red fox, and so on. Even if their poor fathers must reach down so far south as Great Slave Lake to get what they want. Skin clothes will take all of a summer to make daintily, what with tanning, and selecting trimmings to match for mukluks and mittens and parka. (Klengenberg 1932:74)

Cloth parka covers were made from cotton drill or canvas brought by the whalers. There was little variety in the fabrics first available to the Inupiaq seamstresses, and the earliest examples of parka covers are limited to plain white drill, a coarse striped cotton, or flour sacks. The Eskimo Bulletin, a handwritten newspaper published annually in Cape Prince of Wales, includes the following observations as a fashion column: Took-twoi-na has a new pair of Safety-pin earrings. Ke-rook sports two of Dr Drigg's glass bottle-stoppers for Labrets. Kum-nruk is out in newtrowsers [sic] of the Finest Sperry"s Flour cloth. A-yar-hok has a new overcloak of the fashionable 'Dried Peaches' brand. He got the bags from a ship. (Eskimo Bulletin 1893)

As traders realized the popularity of cloth, they increased the amount and type of fabric in their inventories. Seamstresses could choose from stripes, plaids and floral prints in addition to solid colors. Records from whaling ships demonstrate the popularity of fabric and sewing-related implements for arctic trade. One ship's cargo of trade goods, bound for Plover Bay, Siberia, in 1909, included 112 yards (102.4 metres) of calico, 161 yards (147.2 metres) of denim, 482 yards (440.7 metres) of drill, i sewing-machine, 7 sewing-machine needles, 46 thimbles, 1452 yards of ticking and 14 spools of sewing-machine thread (Bodfish 1909). Although cloth parka covers were first trimmed with simple bands of fabric, Inupiaq women quickly adopted rickrack, braid, and bias tape as they became available from mail-order catalogs and mission barrels. These materials helped the seamstresses create more elaborate and individual designs. They adapted the geometric patterns that were used to trim the skin parkas to cloth and sewed them out of fabric strips and bias tape (fig. 5). These bands of geometric designs, whether made of skin or cloth, are called qupak in Inupiaq. The same trim is called 'delta trim' by Inuit and Athabascan seamstresses in Canada (Oakes 1988; Thompson 1994). Cultural Change and Parka Trim

Parka trim designs exhibit a pattern of change during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Parkas in museum collections and historic photographs reveal an elaboration of design and accompanying incorporation of non-indigenous materials. Early parkas (collected by Nelson in 1877-81 and Murdoch in 1881-2) are trimmed with the linear trim described in detail above. Beginning at the turn of the century geometric patterns appear, used in combination with linear trim. By the 19205 elaborate bands of geometric designs almost completely replace the older linear trim designs. Cloth parka covers demonstrate a similar pattern of evolving geometric designs. The simple bands of contrasting fabric along the hems and ruffles of the early covers give way to increasingly varied combinations of fabric, rickrack, and ribbon that are pieced or appliqued to form geometric bands of squares and triangles. Both fur parkas and cloth parka covers display an increase in non-indigenous elements that correlates with the increased use of geometric patterns. These changes in design, occurring after contact with EuroAmerican culture, appear to be attributable to the influence of new materials, ideas, and technologies brought by the Yankee whaling ships to northern Alaska. But there is a gap between Figure 3 Parka with linear and geometric trim. 124

Change and Responses to Outside Influences

Figure 4 (above) Geometric trim on Point Hope parka, c.1919. Figure 5 (right) Geometric trim on contemporary cloth parka.Anaktuvuk Pass.Alaska.

the first influx of ships and the changes in design - a gap that appears to span nearly fifty years, since geometric trim does not appear on Alaskan parkas until the 18905. The most likely source for the geometric designs themselves is the clothing of Siberian peoples, specifically Koryak, Chukchi, and Siberian Eskimo. Alaskan Ifiupiat were in contact with their Siberian neighbours through trade networks and trade fairs long before Euro-American contact, but they did not adopt the Siberian designs at any point during that time. Evidently, EuroAmerican influences were a critical factor in the diffusion of geometric designs from Siberia to Alaska. The initial appearance of geometric trim is well into the period of change initiated by the onset of Arctic whaling in 1848 and accelerated by fur trading and missionization.5 That geometric trim was not used on Alaskan clothing prior to the turn of the century- even though geometric designs were used in Siberia - suggests either that Inupiaq people had no interest in borrowing the Siberian designs, or that contact between Siberian peoples and northern Alaska Ifiupiat was limited enough in frequency and scope to preclude the sharing of design ideas (Bogoraz 1904; Hovgaard 1882; Jochelson 1908). While it is not possible to know what Inupiaq people thought about borrowing Siberian designs, historical records indicate that contact between Inupiaq and Siberian peoples had been an uneasy combination of hostile encounters and trade transactions. Possibly the contact through trade, often via trade networks, was limited enough to make the sharing of design ideas unlikely; more probably, Inupiaq people were not inclined to adopt the designs of people who were traditional enemies, preferring instead to maintain their distinct visual identity. Although trade between the two continents was common, the Vigilant, suspicious, distrustful, and hostile' (Ray 1975: 89) attitude between peoples of northern Alaska and Siberia was not likely to foster the appropriation of clothing designs. The simultaneous occurrence of geometric trim with nonindigenous elements such as commercial cording, decorative braids, and beads suggests that there was an increasing

acceptance of innovation in clothing design and manufacture by the end of the nineteenth century and perhaps an accompanying diminution of traditional Inupiaq-Siberian enmity. Several factors may have been instrumental in creating an atmosphere conducive to the acceptance of new ideas. Since the communication of ideas in non-literate societies is interpersonal, the key people in the receiver group must come into contact with the donors or source of the innovation. The new ideas must not be too technically complex, they must have an understandable purpose, and they must be used or displayed in a public context (Davis 1983). If, for example, Inupiaq men were the primary contact with the traders from Siberia, seamstresses would have had little or no opportunity to observe the design of Siberian clothing. Male-to-male communication would have had little influence on the diffusion of design elements that were sewn by women. This scenario is unlikely in northern Alaska, however, since various sources document entire families traveling to trade fairs at Kotzebue and the Colville River (Cantwell 1889; Stefansson 1914). Davis (1983) also notes that the acceptance of new ideas requires that the donors and receivers be socially similar. The history of hostilities between Siberian and Inupiaq people would suggest that the Alaskans would not be eager to emulate Siberian styles. It is unlikely that a group would willingly adopt the styles of their enemies. The arrival of Euro-Americans on the scene, however, changed the relationship between Siberian and Alaskan natives, placing them in a new context that was relative to Western culture rather than relative to each other. Their earlier relationship was subsumed in a newly constructed one in which they were equals, united by their common relationship with Euro-American whalers, traders, and missionaries. This parallel status created a climate in which it became acceptable for Inupiaq people to adopt Siberian ideas. Indeed, whalers and traders may have directly fostered the process by admiring the eye-catching geometric designs of the Siberian peoples and requesting Inupiaq seamstresses to utilize them on the parkas that they commissioned. Most of the parkas worn by EuroAmericans in the historic photographs are elaborately decorated. 125

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Figure 6 Reindeer and caribou parkas in reindeer fair competition, Nome, Alaska, 1915.


Another factor that probably influenced the acceptance of new ideas was the Euro-American insistence that the Eskimo people should be taught to live a 'civilized' life. By a happy coincidence, sewing, an occupation vital to Inupiaq life, was also one of the most acceptable female activities in the eyes of EuroAmerican culture. Missionaries and teachers encouraged sewing because it did not conflict with their mission to assimilate the Eskimo people into Western culture. Sewing bridged the gap between Inupiaq and Euro-American culture. The incorporation of new materials, tools, and designs was not a rejection of tradition, but was a transformation of a highly valued tradition in response to changing conditions. The introduction of reindeer herding to Alaska may have played a role in encouraging seamstresses to place geometric trim on parkas and to use reindeer skin instead of caribou. Always highly prized for garments, reindeer skins were only available to Alaskan seamstresses prior to 1892 through trade networks that brought the skins across the Bering Strait from Siberia. Reindeer were introduced to Alaska in 1892 in an attempt to give the Eskimo people gainful employment and a dependable food source (Stewart 1908; VanStone 1980). Even then, locally produced skins did not become widely available until the late 18905 because a herd-building policy initially discouraged reindeer slaughter. In 1895, actual ownership of some of the herds passed into Inupiaq hands and native people achieved more autonomy in herd management. Thus, the utilization of local animals for skins and meat became more common.6 The production of these local skins, in combination with those imported from Siberia, meant that seamstresses had access to an almost unlimited supply of the desirable white or mottled brown and white skins. Reindeer fairs, initiated in 1915, with their attendant parka competitions, created a public venue for showing off elaborately decorated garments, encouraging more creative and complicated designs (fig. 6).


This study analyses patterns of change in elements of material culture with historical documentation to illuminate the influence of specific factors in the process of acculturation. In northern Alaska the introduction of new tools, materials, and design ideas to the pre-existing clothing traditions must be viewed within the general contextual framework of accelerating cultural contact between not only the Ifiupiat and EuroAmerican peoples, but among all of the indigenous and nonindigenous people in the region. Changes in parka trim occurred as a result of the interplay of a variety of factors. That geometric trim designs seem to have diffused from Siberia to Alaska addresses only the question of the source of a new idea. How it was communicated and why it was accepted are the more substantial questions, and may only be addressed by taking into account the entire spectrum of social and economic changes that occurred in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Notes 1 'Inupiaq' is the singular and adjectival form of 'Ifiupiat'. 'Ifiupiat' means 'the real people' and is the accepted term for the Native people of north and northwest Alaska. 'Inuit' is the preferred term in Canada (Damas 1984:7). Ifiupiat have lived along the coast and in the mountains of northern Alaska, from Bering Strait east to the Mackenzie Delta, for at least 1,000 years. 2 Personal communication from Barbara Jansen, 1997, National Museum of American History, Washington, DC. For more information on the development of sewing machines, see Cooper (1976). 3 Several of the older women whom I interviewed said that from the 19405 they ordered fabric and other sewing supplies from mail-order catalogues or bought it from village stores and trading posts. Elizabeth Frantz remembers growing up in the Barter Island area: '... we start ordering fabric in 1949 or 50, when finally we start, you know, finally getting mail.' Other places had stores, as Lela Oman, an elder in Nome, comments: 'We never got anything ready-made when I was a little girl... everything had to be made, our bloomers, our dresses, our slips, everything. There's always stores, traders, they always carried the fabric. In Selawick and all over, Noorvik and everywhere, each village had a store and before I was born, right around 1898, somewhere around there, my aunt had a white man husband and they started a store at Kobuk.' 4 Interview with Vera Weber, 1997, Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska. 5 The earliest date that I can confirm for the geometric trim on a parka in Alaska is 1898. 6 I am indebted to Jim Simon for this information. See also Simon (1998) for more information about reindeer herding.

Hairnets and Fishnets:The Yup'ik Eskimo Kaapaaq in Historical Context

Molly Lee Molly Lee is Curator of Ethnology at the University of Alaska Museum of the North and Professor of Anthropology at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She is the co-author (with Gregoray A. Reinhardt) of Eskimo Architecture: Dwelling and Structure in the Early Historic Period (2003) and is working on a book on Yup'ik Eskimo coiled grass basketry.

For about a century, Yup'ik Eskimo women in villages with a Russian Orthodox presence1 in southwestern Alaska have worn a beaded hairnet known as the kaapaaq (fig. i). Deriving from the Russian word kappa, meaning 'hood', the kaapaaq is knotted out of black cotton thread by the same technique as the fish nets that women have made in this area for as long as memory records. In addition to being decorative, the kaapaaq serves the same practical purpose as hairnets everywhere, confining the hair during daily chores. Despite its long-term occurrence, however, the aesthetic and communicative dimension of the kaapaaq has thus far escaped scholarly attention.2 This paper is a preliminary effort to close that gap. Russian Orthodoxy in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Drainage

The kaapaaq may have been overlooked by researchers, but the history of Russian Orthodoxy in southwestern Alaska has not. First introduced in the Aleutian Islands in the late eighteenth century shortly after the onset of the Russian fur trade, the Orthodox Church was supported by the Imperial Crown as an instrument of Russian political, economic, and social hegemony.

By the mid-nineteenth century both the fur trade and the Orthodox faith had spread northwestward into the neighboring Yup'ik area. Russian Mission, the first Orthodox stronghold in the Yukon-Kuskokwim drainage, was founded on the lower Yukon River in 1851, and in 1860, a Russian missionary was posted briefly at Kolmakov on the Kuskokwim; however, no permanent mission was established there until 1885, when it was possibly prompted by the appearance of Moravian missionaries, who threatened the Russians' religious monopoly (Oswalt 1963: 6). Despite relatively low-key missionization, the Russian Orthodox faith was firmly entrenched in the Yup'ik area by the Alaska Purchase of 1867. Since then, neither the introduction of competing faiths nor the reduction in Russian clergy has greatly weakened its hold. Today, some 130 years after the end of Russian rule, there are Orthodox churches in at least fourteen Yup'ik villages, and Alaska Native priests trained at the Orthodox seminary in Kodiak now administer the Holy Sacrament to the faithful (Oswalt 1963: 6-7; Smith 1990: 245). Historical Dimensions of the Kaapaaq

It was in this ambience that the kaapaaq arose. The exact date is unknown, but Anesia Hoover, of Kasigluk, who was in her eighties in 2001, told me that they were first made during her mother's lifetime. The anthropological literature of the Yup'ik area supports her claim. E.W. Nelson, who collected for the Smithsonian Institution in the Yup'ik area between 1878 and 1881, makes no mention of the kaapaaq, describing only 'small fur caps... fitting snugly about the head...' for this area.3 Nelson does discuss at length, however, the sophisticated netmaking technology of the Yup'ik people and the impressive variety of their twisted-sinew nets (Nelson 1899: 33; 185-91) (fig. 2). George Gordon, who floated the Kuskokwim in 1905 and 1907, does not mention the kaapaaq either, but he notes that the cotton thread and beads essential for kaapaaq -making were abundant in Yup'ik-area trading posts at the time of his visit (Gordon 1978 [1917]). Therefore, both the technique and

Figure 1 Julia Paul of Kipnuk wearing a kaapaaq given to her by a Russian Orthodox friend, March 2000. 127

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Figure 2 Traditional Yup'ik net with detail of the mesh.

Kuskokwim drainage, although kaapaaqs are also made in the other villages with an Orthodox presence. Kaapaaqs are made of diamond-mesh netting, which was also used in the Yup'ik area for fish nets. Netting, creating a mesh out of knotted filaments, is known the world over. The basic element is the joining of two intersecting loops with a special knot, and the building up of rows of these knots to create a mesh. Elena Martin of Kasigluk materials for fcaapaaq-making were on hand by 1910 at the uses coarse #8 thread, a thin, small-eyed needle, and a net latest, or well within the lifetime of Mrs Hoover's mother. gauge made for her by her husband Nick out of the rim of a The prototype of the kaapaaq is also uncertain, but it is most plastic butter container. For making fish nets her grandmother likely Russian, Euro-American, or both. As already mentioned, would have used sinew thread, and an ivory needle and the use of beads in hair decoration4 as well as sinew net-making net gauge. technology were both long established in the Yup'ik region, but After Elena has measured out her thread using the length of the only beaded cap reported is the camataq, a bead-curtained her arm as a yardstick, she waxes it to keep it from twisting up. dance headdress which was well known for the Yup'ik area (see, She makes her beginning loop, fastens it to her sewing box for example, Gordon 1978 [1917]: 220; Fienup-Riordan 1996: for tension, and from the loop, using her needle, makes her 136; and Fitzhugh and Crowell 1988:49). It was worn on beginning row of thirty-four more, counting and carefully ceremonial occasions, and is usually associated with young measuring them with her net gauge for evenness as she goes unmarried women. (fig. 3). Without its encircling elastic thread, the completed Yup'ik women throughout the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta kaapaaq resembles a curved-ended rectangle with the today all say that the kaapaaq originated in the heavily Russian beginning and ending loops at the center of the curved ends. Orthodox villages along the Kuskokwim, and its Russian-derived Kaapaaqs are decorated with beads, which are added Yup'ik name confirms that claim. Perhaps a matrushka, or during the net-making process. This requires careful attention Orthodox priest's5 wife, introduced the hairnet6 for its hygienic and advance planning. Some younger kaapaaq -makers work merits (Lydia Black, personal communication), though priests' out their designs on graph paper first, but most older women wives in the Yup'ik area were usually Native Alaskans. reproduce them from memory. Based as they are on the mesh Alternatively, perhaps a Euro-American schoolmarm was grid, the patterns are geometric, much as they are in weaving. responsible. The first American schools opened in Alaska in Generally they are single elements such as diamonds or star the 18905, and many of the early teachers were women. During shapes distributed evenly over the part of the net covering the the Victorian era, about the time when the fcaapaaq-making back of the head so that the pattern is only visible from behind began, hairnets were fashionable among Euro-American (fig. 4). Today's patterns are more complicated than those of housewives, who wore them for their hygienic properties. twenty years ago. At the time of my fieldwork in 2001, the Less often, Victorian hairnets were decorated with beads, women were all talking about a new butterfly design devised fringe, and flowers and worn for formal occasions (Encyclopedia recently by a Kasigluk woman and now widely replicated in the Britannica 2004) • other kaapaaq -making villages (fig. 5). Bead preferences and/or availability have also changed. An example collected by Wendell Kaapaaq-making Oswalt in 1971 uses smaller round beads, fewer colors and more The four main fcaapaaq-making villages today are Kasigluk, restrained designs when compared to the lozenge-shaped and Kwethluk, Napaskiak, and Nunapitchuk, all located in the triangular beads of today (fig. 6). Another change is the

Figure 3 (right) Elena Martin wrapping thread around her gauge. February 2001.

Figure 4 (far right) Kaapaaq with star pattern. February 2001.


Change and Responses to Outside Influences

Figure 5 (left) Kaapaaq with butterfly pattern by Anesia Hoover. February 2001. Figure 6 (above) Kaapaaq made in the 1970s.

addition of rhinestones in light pink, pale blue and light gold. The question of stylistic differences among the kaapaaqmaking villages is uncertain. Kasigluk women told me that Napaskiak kaapaaqs tended to be 'bigger', probably meaning more capacious, though the samples I examined in Napaskiak were not observably larger. Today, when travel is so common and the area where the kaapaaq is made so circumscribed,7 it is more likely that the differences are individual. Certainly women from the various villages do not seem constrained by a village style, and enthusiastically borrow new designs from other places. The kaapaaq is made for local - Yup'ik - consumption. A few women have begun selling them in stores in Bethel, but normally they are given as gifts within the family or to close friends for birthdays, Saints' days, or during the Russian Orthodox Christmas holiday. A woman's first kaapaaq is usually a wedding gift from her mother-in-law. Sometimes kaapaaqs are exchanged with friends of different faiths, and as a result fcaapaaq-wearing has spread beyond the Orthodox-dominated villages, though the wedding-gift rule still applies as far as I have been able to determine. For instance, Julia Paul of Kipnuk, a

Figure 7 Kaapaaq collection of Elena Jokey, Napaskiak. February 2001.

Moravian village, every day wears a kaapaaq that was given to her by a Russian Orthodox friend from nearby Kwigillingok, where there is a small Russian Orthodox congregation (see fig. i). Theresa Moses of Toksook Bay, who is Catholic, also wearsafcaapaaq. Kaapaaqs often become family heirlooms. All four kaapaaqmakers I talked to at length, who are aged between sixty-five and eighty-five, had collections of thirty or so, lovingly folded away, some made by themselves or by mothers-in-law, daughters or sisters (fig. 7). Elena Jokey of Kasigluk, for instance, keeps her kaapaaq collection in a small red plastic tackle box (fig. 8). Many were made of old-style beads and had not been worn for years. She has kept worn-out examples because she likes the colors of beads, their patterns, or the memories they bring back of important occasions, such as the wedding of a daughter. The Kaapaaq in Anthropological Perspective

By now it is a given that human activity undertaken in cultural surroundings has both a functional and a symbolic dimension. My focus thus far has been on the functional aspects of the Figure 8 Kaapaaq collection of Elena Jokey of Napaskiak stored in plastic tool box. February 2001.


Molly Lee

kaapaaq, and I now will turn to consider briefly what the kaapaaq might be seen to communicate about the culture of the women who make them. Of particular interest are head-coverings and related customs in the Yup'ik area. Here, both traditional Yup'ik custom and Orthodox practice overlap such that it is hard to know where one begins and the other leaves off. According to Oswalt, as recently as the 19605, young girls were secluded for forty days during their first menstruation. For the first twenty days, they were expected to keep their heads covered. For forty days after re-emerging, the girls were not allowed to travel by boat or attend church services, in order to minimize the potentially negative effects of menstruation on hunting success. The extended period of taboo following the first menstruation probably took care of any irregularities in the menstrual cycle at onset. At the end of the second forty-day period, the girl chewed dry fish and spat the first mouthful into the water. She also cut off a lock of hair and tied it to a grass plant (Oswalt 1963:45), thus symbolically aligning herself with successful hunting and gathering and perhaps, also, to positively influence her own fecundity. Thereafter, the same prohibitions still applied, but only during menstruation itself. Similarly, menstruating women stayed away from church services because the contamination from the monthly period might counteract the effectiveness of the prayers offered there for successful hunting. Prayers for the return of animals are offered during religious services of most Christian denominations, undoubtedly carried over from indigenous religious practice (Hensel 1996). Similar prohibitions during menstruation are widespread throughout Eskimo/Inuit groups (for example, Saladin d'Anglure 1984:496; Buijs, this volume). Apparently, the symbolic power of the kaapaaq does not extend to the religious sphere. All women of child-bearing age wear scarves or kerchiefs to church, but the kaapaaq by itself is not considered sufficient for this purpose (Elena Martin, 2001, personal communication). Rather, its potency seems to be confined to the domestic sphere. Not all women of child-bearing age wear the kaapaaq, only those who are married or widowed. Thus it is a visible cue distinguishing the married from the unmarried. This was brought home to me forcefully when I inadvertently asked an unmarried woman to model a kaapaaq of her mother's. Embarrassed, she laughed but refused, saying: 'If I did there wouldn't be anyone inside.' The symbolic dimension of the kaapaaq becomes clearer when it is positioned in relation to the symbolic role of human hair generally. In his classic essay 'Magical Hair', Edmund Leach (1958) has argued that indigenous cultures worldwide invest human hair with special significance. Visible and malleable, hair is an ideal symbolic medium, and the hair-covered head a site where underlying notions of a collective body are made visible. It is a place where these notions can be stated, debated, and understood. Thus it is not surprising, as Leach goes on to argue, that critical moments in the human life-cycle are often marked by changes in hair dress. In Yup'ik culture, the onset of menstruation was marked by covering the head. Similarly, the kaapaaq, which is only worn after marriage, visually marks this transformed state. 'Marked


changes in hairdressing very commonly accompany the changes in sexual status that occur at puberty and marriage', Leach tells us,'... [and] these [changes]... correspond t o . . . different types of permitted sexual behaviour' (1958:153,160). Unbound hair, Leach concludes, is associated with sexual freedom, bound hair with the absence of sexual freedom (Mageo 1994:423). The symbolic restraint provided by the kaapaaq thus would seem to parallel the Yup'ik/Orthodox cultural ideal of sexual restraint after marriage. This paper is only a preliminary attempt to consider the kaapaaq within the context of Yup'ik/Orthodox culture. Many questions remain unanswered and will require extended fieldwork: the question of the kaapaaq's origin, its relationship, if any, to the beaded headdresses of long ago, its position within the wider complex of Yup'ik and Russian Orthodox marriage prohibitions, to name only a few. But it does give an indication of the richness and viability of the kaapaaq as a legitimate topic for scholarly investigation. Notes I could not have undertaken this research without the help of my friend and collaborator Annie Don. I gratefully acknowledge her assistance, and that of fcaopaaq-makers Elena Martin of Kasigluk and Elena Jokey of Napaskiak. Professors Lydia Black, Chase Hensel, and Phyllis Morrow, made valuable comments on earlier drafts of this article, and Eli Woodward assisted with the photography. 1


3 4

5 6


It is difficult to assess accurately the strength of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Yup'ik villages of the Yukon-Kuskokwim drainage past or present. During the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries it was almost never the only religious presence in any one village, and congregation size fluctuated. According to Chase Hensel, '[Today] there are no completely RO [Russian Orthodox] villages in the Y—K Delta. The usual scene is of mixed RO and Moravian, some with RO numerically dominant (Kwethluk, Upper Kalskag?, Chuathbaluk, Napasiak?), others with closer to equal numbers (Kasigluk, Nunapitchuk) or with more non-RO, or just a fewRO (Kwigillingok, Kongiganak, Tuntutuliak?, Eek?, Napaskiak, Oscarville?, Atmaulluak?, Akiak?, Akiachak?, Tuluksak, Lower Kalskag and so on up [the Kuskokwim] river), or totally mixed (Bethel, Aniak).' (Hensel: e-mail message of 19 March 2001) Other than the Yup'ik dictionary (Jacobsen 1984:180) the only reference to the term 'kaapaaq' or the article itself that I have been able to locate is in Oswalt 1972: 'It is not known precisely when... the hairnet was introduced among [Russian Orthodox women], but such nets clearly have been popular for the past forty years. Women make hairnets by knotting heavy black thread and often include different colored beads in patterned designs in the netting' (Oswalt 1972: 91). Nelson seems to have overlooked the beaded headdresses discussed later in this article. For instance, Nelson (18 9 9:58) writes that: 'south of the Yukon mouth the women are especially fond of ornamenting the pendent rolls or braids of hair by hanging bands and strings of beads upon them'. Married men are allowed to become Orthodox priests, although a bachelor who enters the priesthood is not permitted to marry thereafter. The term 'snood' is sometimes misused to refer to hairnets of the Victorian era. Crocheted, rather than knotted, of coarser, often elasticized material, the snood does not appear until the 19305. During World War II, snoods were immensely popular among female factory workers, who wore them to keep the hair from becoming caught in the machinery. Thus the proper term for describing hairnets of the Victorian era is 'net'. Kaapaaqs are also made in the heavily Russian Orthodox area around Dillingham and Nushagak. I plan a comparison of the two areas in the future.


Clothing and Art

Clothing in Inuit Art Nelson Graburn Nelson Graburn was educated at Cambridge, McGill and the University of Chicago, and he has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, since 1964. He has carried out research in twenty-two Canadian Inuit communities since 1959. His research has focused on changing family and community, the development of Inuit art, and on the transmission and representation of Inuit culture in families, schools, arts and crafts, photography and other visual media.

Clothing has always been a distinctive feature of Inuit culture, both when viewed by Inuit themselves and from the point of view of the Euro-American outsiders. For the Inuit, clothing helped define a person, self or other, in terms of age, gender, marital status, and place of origin. In addition, clothing was a measure of a woman's industry, creativity and craftsmanship, as well as of her husband's (or other male relative's) hunting abilities. Clothing has always been the major art form of Inuit women and it has been an important component of the content of Inuit graphic and sculptural arts made by both women and men. For most white visitors to the North, Inuit skin clothing was an ethnic marker of a people often considered by the outsiders as the ultimate hunters, engendering feelings of admiration for their ingenuity and craftsmanship as well as a respected otherness. In their contemporary arts, Inuit exhibit a heightened awareness of their 'ethnic' clothing, because of the contrast with the outsiders and their manufactured clothes, and because their

'traditional' clothing serves as a point of reference and identity in the face of constant and accelerating change. For instance, Pitaloosie Saila of Cape Dorset deliberately portrayed three generations of women and their typical forms of amautik (adult woman's parka) and other clothing, showing 'my great grandmother, my grandmother and my mother' in what they wore as young women (fig. i). In addition to the focus on stylistic change, the three sets of clothing are still 'ethnic markers' of Inuit womanhood. It is clothing made by the Inuit women themselves, rather than the store-bought Western clothing that would be commonly worn in most Inuit villages and towns today. Another Cape Dorset print, Kananginak's print The First Tourist (1989 edition;Graburn 19983:160), makes us doubly aware not only of the Inuit impression of the environmentally inappropriate clothing of the white man, but of the Inuit stereotype of the white man's stereotype of Inuit clothing, which takes the form of the sealskin dress that the Inuit woman wears for the visitor's camera.

Figure 1 ChangingTraditions, Pitaloosie Saila, Cape Dorset, 1992. 132

Clothing and Art

When we visit the Canadian North today, we are likely to find Inuit wearing all kinds of clothing,1 from completely manufactured imported garments, to locally made parkas using traditionally derived patterns but imported materials (wool duffel, cotton twill and drill), to traditionally styled outer garments and boots of skins from locally hunted and trapped animals. The Inuit make their own decisions about what to wear and they tend towards imported clothes in the summer and around dwellings, and more traditional, skin clothing in winter and when out hunting. On special occasions where cameras and the media are present, particularly those of political importance such as meetings of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (formerly Inuit Tapirisat), the opening of the Nunavut parliament, the circumpolar Arctic Games or the opening of an exhibition, we are likely to see many Inuit wearing special 'ceremonial' versions of their gender-appropriate traditional clothing (somewhat comparable to the 'national' costume of Greenland discussed elsewhere in this volume). However, contemporary Inuit art does not accurately reflect these situations, for the art has come to be an ethnic marker stressing both 'difference' and 'tradition' in the context of commercial transactions with outsiders. The key point is that whatever art form we consider, the artist has made a conscious and very meaningful decision about what kind of clothing, if any, they portray humans and supernatural beings wearing. Prehistory and History

Clothing has always been important in Inuit art. Even if we go back 2,000 years to Dorset art, a few figurines of humans from that time showed whether the image was clothed or not. For instance, an examination of a Dorset bone 'shaman's utensil case' from Button Point (Indian and Northern Affairs Collection #Ai OSO 61; Swinton i972b, fig. 161) shows an incised face almost enveloped by clothing which does not meet at the top, that is, we can probably learn that these 'early Eskimos' had very high collars rather than a closed parka hood. Looking at Thule figurines, we also see indications of clothing. In a small ivory armless figurine from the Coronation Gulf, the surface is elaborated with what appears to be a necklace of amulets, brief underpants and possibly kamik (tops). Lacking tattoos - and we could consider skin decoration and coiffure, like clothing, the 'culturalizing' of the human body- the figure (captioned Shaman) probably represents an adult male (Indian and Northern Affairs #Ai OSO 33; Hessel 1998:19). In such cases, the artist had to make a decision to show that body (or parts of that body) with or without clothing. The Thule era ended in the historic period of contact and trade in the Canadian North. Though the Thule Inuit did not leave a rich legacy of carved human figures, the historic and recent era showed that Inuit made small wooden (and hence less-well-preserved) figurines as dolls (or armatures) for their daughters to dress and undress.2 When in use these body forms were normally seen in skin clothes, sometimes decorated with trade beads. But nowadays these little figurines, found in old campsites or kept by Inuit, are just clothesless body-forms, usually without reference to gender or age. Carvings of this type

were probably commonly made, though perhaps not preserved, and they illustrate an Inuit genre of the clothesless figure to which we will return later (fig. 2). The historic period, terminating in the two to three generation long fairly stable fox-trapping era, saw the growth of commercial figurines made for sale or trade. The demand for souvenirs by ships' crews, traders and other visitors encouraged the production of an array of small, mostly ivory, models that appealed to white men away from home. These included models of Inuit, their 'exotic' material culture, such as igloos, harpoons, dog sleds (Hessel 1998: 22) and the fauna of their land, as well as models of the white people themselves and their material culture, such as guns, chairs, accordions, axes and the like (1998: 20). As the Inuit artists became more experienced, their figurines became more realistic, and clothing was a prominent feature of these models. The white visitors wanted souvenirs of Inuit wearing kamiks, parkas, and amautiks, but the Inuit were equally adept at making models of the white people in their characteristic clothes. In these representations the Inuit did not attempt detailed perfection, sulijuk (Graburn 19763: 52), but they emphasized the striking characteristics, the nalunaikutanga (Graburn i976b), of the ethnically significant clothing. In the case of white people's clothing, the key markers were buttons and coats that open in the front (see figs 33 and 3b) and for Inuit clothing it was their characteristic decorations (representations of the intricately sewn light and dark skin patterns, often paralleling hems). We can also learn from the carvings of this period that Inuit had started to wear clothing made of trade cloth rather than skin. And the makers were careful to represent the nalunaikutanga of such clothing, that is the ribbon, bias tape, or other forms of border decoration which substituted the traditional light and dark skin patterns. These 'markers' must have been important both to the Inuit makers and the white

Figure 2 Clothed Female Doll, Cumberland Sound, before 1900. 133

Nelson Craburn

Figure 3a Sailors: Early Carvings in Ivory and Steatite, with front opening jackets and caps. Baffin Island, pre-1930. Figure 3b This hasTouched my Life, Ovilu Tunnillie, Cape Dorset, 1991. Here Ovilu portrays the 'faceless' foster family that hosted her when she was a young girl in hospital in southern Canada. She continues the early tradition of marking their cultural identity as qaltunaat (White people) through their clothes rather than their physique.

buyers, and limit ways of representing these parallel lines included incising, coloured ink, and even paint. Yet during this same period, Inuit occasionally made models delineating the 'pure' human body, without indication of clothing or of sexual characteristics (Ivory man on chair, early twentieth century, AV-9O-O2O9). By the 1940$, the representation of Inuit in commercial figurines had become quite elaborate. Some were fitted with woollen hats or other clothing; some had detailed face and* body tattooing and even human hair (Woman's head on base, bone and human hair, Baffin Island 1952-3, Toronto Dominion Bank/IANA A 0552 i; Canadian Eskimo Arts Council 1971, fig. 379). Many were performing typical tasks such as drumming, dog sledding, using boats (qajaqs or wooden boats, not skin umiaks), and harpooning seals. During this same period, Inuit enlarged upon their traditional 'stick figure' pictures incised with lamp black on drill bows, to make realistic depictions of themselves and Arctic fauna on full-sized walrus tusks. Artists such as Pitaloosie Saila and Davidii Itulut, both of Kimmirut, Baffin Island, were so famous that walrus tusks (and other forms of ivory) were sent to them for commissions; they produced truly realistic sulijuk portrayals including clothing with all its decoration and folds, almost unmatched in any Inuit subsequent art form (Graburn 1969: cover; Hessel 1998: 92). Commercial Inuit Art, Post-Houston Developments

After James Houston's 'discovery1 of these souvenir sculptures in 1948-9, he travelled throughout much of the Canadian Arctic, and along with the Canadian Guild of Crafts, and Department of Northern Affairs and the Hudson's Bay Company, he encouraged the Canadian Inuit to produce more and larger sculptures for export to be sold in retail stores in the south 134

(Houston 1951; Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources 1955). Artists such as Davidii Itulut and Sheokjuk Oqutuk (half-brother of artists Usuituk Aibilie and the late Inuki of Cape Dorset) continued to make incised tusks and threedimensional ivory models (Boy, Sheokjuk Oqutuk, Cape Dorset 1962, IANA CD 90862 3), achieving a perfection of realism sulijuk perhaps unmatched save for the works of Happy Jack in Alaska (Ray 1961). But the volume of production far outstripped the supply of ivory, so the Inuit turned to the local soapstone from which they had traditionally made their oil lamps (qulliq) and cooking pots (ukusiq). The resulting carvings were larger and more bulky but, like the ivory souvenirs, portrayed the Inuit as they were. During this 'classic' period of soapstone carving, prominent artists such as Johnny Inukpak, and 'Fatty3 Aqiaktasuk of Inukjuak, and Aisa Qupirgualuk of Puvirnituq portrayed Inuit with great attention to their clothing, indicating the skin or bias-tape patterns by incising and, in areas with even gray-coloured stone, sometimes using soap or other materials rubbed into the incisions; in these areas artists developed an even more successful technique by polishing the finished form (with seal oil, floor wax or boot polish) and then incising the clothing patterns which stood out as greyish unpolished lines (Hessel 1998: 65). In Cape Dorset where the greenish stone is mottled, artists such as Usuituk Aibilie and Kiurak Ashoona were equally successful at denoting these nalunaikutanga by incising and cross-hatching the clothing patterns (Graburn 19763: 51, fig. 12). It is important to note that, like the ivory trade souvenirs before them, most of these arts from the late 19405 and to the early 19605 portrayed Inuit and their clothing as they actually were then. For the most part clothing was mixed, often with skin boots and mitts and cloth pants or skirts and parkas (Woman, Sugluk, 1955; Swinton i972b: fig. 67) because there was a dire shortage of caribou in the eastern Arctic at that time. A number of other genres of art developed in roughly the same period. Some Inuit were encouraged to do pencil drawings of themselves and their lives; for instance in 1964 Terry Ryan, Cape Dorset art adviser, collected drawings from northern Baffin Inuit showing their traditional activities, with their mixed clothing portrayed in some detail (Blodgett 1986). In Kuujjuarapik and Inukjuak Inuit were encouraged to make dolls or models for the tops of their grass baskets made for sale, and these dolls were often dressed in model garments of the same mixed materials typical of that period. And in Cape Dorset Peter Pitseolak taught himself to become a productive photographer of Inuit life of the 19408 and 19508 (Pitseolak and Eber 1975). Most of his

Clothing and Art

photographs show Inuit in their ordinary clothes, but some of the self-and group portraits were quite self-consciously depictions of the family's finest outfits. The early graphic prints from Cape Dorset (1958-9) and Puvirnituq (1961-2) also portrayed Inuit with both mixed clothing and sometimes completely with traditional clothing; occasionally the depictions were not detailed enough to show exactly which (Houston 1960,1967; Goetz 1977). When the communities of Holman, Baker Lake and Pangnirtung produced their print series a decade later, the regional variation in Inuit clothing became quite apparent too. As many of the drawings for the prints were made by women, the seamstresses of Inuit society, the emphasis on depicting clothing became even more important, especially in Cape Dorset and Holman, versus the more 'male' emphasis in detailed realism, sulijuk in eastern Arctic sculpture. Women's depictions, for instance those of the early Baker Lake artist Jessie Oonark, often stressed the construction patterns and the stitching of clothing more than the body form itself (Hessel 1998:163). The Art of the Past: Memories of 'Real Inuit' Life

Canadian Inuit life was changing fast by the early 19605. Nearly all Inuit had moved off the land into government-provided wooden housing in villages which had schools, nursing stations, government offices, and electricity, as well as missionaries, trading stores, and sometimes a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) presence (Graburn 1969). Except for men trapping in the winter - using the newly introduced snowmobiles - and families going fishing by motorboat in the summer, almost all life was carried out in the settled communities where most Inuit dressed in clothing made from imported textiles or bought in stores (or ordered by mail). Not only were there even more white residents in the North who, like the buying public down south, needed models of'exotic' Inuit living a visibly different lifestyle 'on the land', but a generation of Inuit grew up unacquainted with that life. Thus Inuit were making arts and crafts to show the white man (and their own children, as they told me) what it was like to live as 'real Inuit' (indeed the words inumarik or inullarik changed from primarily meaning 'adult' to 'real inuk' in the 19605 and 19705) (fig. 4). Within a few years differing by region, the preponderance of Inuit portrayals of themselves became

depictions of the past, signaled by showing them wearing traditional skin clothing (the prints of Napachie Pootoogook, Cape Dorset, are a consistent exception). Detailed portrayals of'traditional Inuit' flourished in sculptures and prints, whereas depictions of women wearing dresses or men wearing caps, as they had for many decades, almost completely disappeared. The actual disappearance of old-style clothing in real life is well illustrated by Pitaloosie Saila in fig. i, the reverse of what one sees in the arts! Many Inuit showed great concern about representing the traditional clothing correctly, especially since the actual clothing became a less common sight. For instance, Puvirnituq sculptor Davidialuk Alasuak (Saladin d'Anglure 1978) used to complain that younger Inuit had never seen really traditional clothing and therefore got it wrong in their carvings. South Baffin Island Inuit grumbled that commercially successful Iqaluit carver Davidi always portrayed Inuit with huge parka ruffs (and with flat faces), selling this stereotype to the Americans and other visitors at the Iqaluit airport and air base, but they supposed it was all right for him to get away with it because he was disabled and could neither hunt nor hold a job! In 19861 watched the women print-makers in the Povungnituk Print Shop make many variations of the colour of a man's parka to be used on the stenciled part of a Paulasi Sivuak print of a man chasing a caribou. They argued that because the caribou's horns were shown at a certain level of development, it must be have been a specific part of the summer, so a man would traditionally have been wearing a brown parka of a specific shade that they wanted to match! Inuit, led by the likes of Peter Pitsiulak, became very conscious of the customs they were losing, and many of them were portrayed repeatedly in their arts (Graburn njgSb). Many of these concerned women and clothing. We can find sculptures and prints of women preparing sealskins, stretching and scraping them on boards, stringing caribou and polar bear skins on drying frames (Hessel 1998:42), preparing sinew for sewing, sewing clothes and mitts with needles and sinew, chewing and stretching men's kamiks, and hanging clothing and skins on tent guy ropes to dry or outside igloos to freeze-dry. Sometimes we cannot tell if the skins are being prepared for clothing or for sale. Some women are shown taking sealskins or fox skins to trade. As fox trapping became less lucrative under attacks from the likes

Figure 4 Clothing Dolls, Pangnirtung Co-op, Baffin Island, 1986. Each doll is different, but taken together they accurately represent the range of Inuit-made clothing used at that time.


Nelson Graburn

of Greenpeace, it became increasingly significant as representing part of 'traditional' Inuit life (cf. the exhibition Living Arctic: Hunters of the Canadian North, at the British Museum 1987-8). Many of the sculptures of women in traditional clothing showed the amautik hood open with a small child or face inside. The opening of the amautik is conspicuously the same general rounded-triangular shape as the qulliq, the seal oil lamp (Graburn 19763:53), which had nearly gone out of daily use at this time, but which has become elevated as a symbol of Inuit womanhood or ritual occasions. Women's two- and three-dimensional arts were prominent in this 'return to the traditional', showing Inuit in their skin clothing, as they were the ones who used to make them. Inuit and Others through their Clothing

Since the 19605, the Inuit have come into contact with increasing numbers and types of non-Inuit peoples, in the North and during visits to the South, and more recently through the advent of television and videos available in most communities. Although Inuit have not been encouraged to portray white people or other races in their commercial arts, they have sometimes done so for themselves, for humour or out of anger or curiosity. Again, the people portrayed are often recognized through their clothing. In prints, RCMP have been shown in all their sartorial finery (The First Policeman I Saw, Napachie Pootoogook, 1978, in Leroux, Jackson and Freeman 1994:145); in sculptures of white people, sometimes real known individuals have been portrayed out of malice or humor, for instance the hell-raising fundamentalist Man Holding Bible (Artist unknown, Cape Dorset IANA CD OSO) 5 is shown with a buttoned sports jacket and shiny shoes. In the Eskimo Museum at Churchill, we see HM the Queen, recognizable by her (very non-Inuit) tiara, pearls, and hairstyle; in the same museum are portrayals of Jesus and other religious persons, markedly dressed and bearded in 'biblical' style (Brandson 1994:185-7; Graburn 1999:16). And in northern villages one finds in churches and Inuit houses many depictions of Jesus on the cross, recognized by his wearing a crown of thorns, a loin cloth, and a long beard (Blodgett 1984). Non-white people occur even less frequently in Inuit art. Portrayals of Indians, that is other First Nations people, are

exceedingly rare, even in regions such as Kuujjuaq and Kuujjuarapik where they live or lived side by side. Occasionally characters seen on television are copied; for instance, young Goo Putuguk made a very realistic 'orientalist' drawing of a Kung Fu character from television for the Cape Dorset Co-op in 1986. Like nearly all other 'atypical' images it was bought but 'buried' in the Co-op's vast warehouse of as yet unprinted drawings. The Human and the Non-human:Transformations

From the 19505 and into the 19805, Inuit were usually portrayed with clothing, detailed enough to recognize their gender, age, and probably region. There were some exceptions. In 1974 in Rankin Inlet I saw a sculpture by John Tiktak of a human form so rough or generalized (like some mentioned earlier) that one could hardly discern its gender or if it were clothed (cf. Brandson 1994: 74; Swinton i972b: 30). In an exhibition and competition that I organized at Puvirnituq in December 1967,1 encouraged Inuit to make models of anything they wanted, not just things they thought immediately acceptable to the white public (Trafford 1968; Swinton 19723). The top prize went to the young married man Eli Sallualuk Qirnuajuak (Sparshott 1986). He produced eleven very original works, a few of which showed humorous nudes, an old couple in sexual intercourse (missionary position), a naked old woman riding a Cyclops with a large penis, a naked bearded man (possibly a white man?) reading a hymn book and singing Vpinak unuak' (Silent Night) (Graburn 2000: fig. 7), and a couple of human/animal figurines with large, displaced sexual organs (Graburn 1980: plate 24). Other sculptures portrayed non-humans, both animal and spiritual, and their status was often marked by their clothes or lack thereof. For instance, Timoon Alariak as a teenager in Cape Dorset made a lively gorilla, probably the real animal from a movie (not King Kong) and it was not clothed. In Kuujjuaq in 19631 interviewed Dalasi Qaukai and her husband Zakariasi about traditional beliefs and they told me about the Inuragulligak ('fox person'). When I asked more questions and tried to draw it, Dalasi made a full-scale model of one to show me: it was about knee high and was clothed in fox skin all over (Nungak and Arima 1969:18-19). Traditional beliefs and origin stories were often portrayed by the men of Puvirnituq, encouraged initially by Father A.P.

Figure 5 Iqalunappa, unclothed mermaid with man, a rare experimental batik; Povungnituk Print Shop, artist and date unknown (possibly 1968). 136

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Steinmann who, unlike the Protestant missionaries, did not forbid Inuit to portray pre-Christian beliefs or nudity (Graburn 200: fig. 3). Further encouraged by anthropologists Asen Balikci and Eugene Arima, they produced sculptures and prints showing that, for instance, the Ikutajuut, the oversized 'bow drillers' who killed the giant Sikuliaksujuituk, looked and were clothed like, ordinary Inuit (Nungak and Arima 1969:14-15), though the giant himself has been portrayed as barely clothed (The Giant, print by Annie Mipigak, Puvirnituq, 1964 in Hessel 1998:159). Davidialuk portrayed the small Tunnituaquq igloodwelling creature as unclothed and less than human, consisting only of a head with tattooed breasts on its cheeks and genitals between its legs (Graburn 1980: plate 25; Nungak and Arima 1969: 38-9), with neither a body nor clothing. The important culturalizing or human-marking function of clothing is very significant in so-called 'transformation' pieces. For instance, Davidialuk produced for my 1967 exhibition a frightening scene of women, still wearing amautiks, turning into seagulls with wings while eating their children3 (Graburn 1980: plate 29). Other artworks commonly portray halfdressed human/animal combinations, or animals fully clothed, signifying their special non-animal, presumably spiritual or transformational, liminal status. However, the majority of such pieces are now made because they fetch higher prices, rather than illustrating any particular story (Graburn 2000). Prime among spiritual subjects, and especially common subjects, in the 19905 are so-called 'Sedna' figurines.4 Sedna is usually portrayed as a kind of mermaid, with a human female upper body and limbs, smooth flowing or well-braided hair, a fish or a whale's lower half, and no clothing (fig. 5) (Sedna, Aipili Qumaluk, Puvirnituq, 1979, AVgo-go-oSis; Audla, Cape Dorset 1955 in Swinton i972b: fig. 107). Such a creature is

commonly seen in the sea or offshore by today's Inuit, and is called Talilayuk ('the one with arms [upstretched, waving]') or Iqalu-nappa or qilalugak-nappa ('half-fish or half-white whale [in Nunavik dialect]'). Yet the models are always labeled 'Sedna', who is known vaguely by today's young Inuit and whites alike as the 'Sea Goddess' of the Inuit. However, we know the widespread traditional story has her as an old, angry, fully dressed woman without any fingers, unable to comb her tangled hair (and therefore in need of an Inuit shaman to soothe and smooth her, so she will relinquish to sea mammals for hunters). Only one out of many hundreds of'Sednas' refers to that story, Sedna with Hair Brush (and an unruly shock of hair) by Natar Ungalaq, 1985 (IANA #01937, NGC/MBAC-3O256; Hessel 1998: 58; Inuit Art Quarterly Cover, 8, 3:1993), and even in that one she has a whale's 'lower body3. Other portrayals show Sedna with children, with seal's feet, with beautiful hands, or even as a male! Only occasionally is she clothed, leading one to suspect that to the Inuit creators she is not really the transformed Inuit/goddess, but another kind of creature. Indeed, few works portray the relevant story: a fully clothed man on shore with a driftwood stick, pushing the mermaid person back into the waves. This is the exact story common in the eastern Arctic (Iqalunappa, by Davidialuk, Puvirnituq, in Nungak and Arima 1969: 52-3), showing that one must not touch the dangerous mermaid, but that one must help her back into the sea if she is stranded, and one will get back a reward (of manufactured items) for doing so! The Natural and the Naked

While staying with Peter Pitsiulak in 1968,1 asked him why the breasts of a large Talilayuk sculpture he had made (he did not call it Sedna) had no nipples. He replied that those were

Figure 6 (right) Humorous Naked Woman, Aisa Sivuarapuk, Puvirnituq, 1967. Figure 7 (far right) NakedWoman, Lukasi Iqaluk, Inukjuak, 1968. After Playboy photograph.


Nelson Graburn

'doctor's things' and should not be shown. So, even when portraying traditionally 'naked' beings, Protestant Inuit rarely showed nudity and never gendered details (with rare exceptions, cf. Johnny Inukpak's Breast-feeding, 1962, in Swinton i972b: 16,36; Inuit Art Quarterly Cover, summer 1990). However, encouraged by such as Father Steinmann, they occasionally showed humorous portrayal of naked women, about as far removed from Playboy visions as one can get (fig. 6). These amused everyone and sold well, so more were produced by self-confident male artists. Also in the late 19603,1 saw a very P/qybqy-style nude with larger detailed breasts in Inukjuak (fig. 7), and I asked the artist where he saw that. He said the white radiosonde operator had given him a girlie magazine and told him to 'make one like that'. Such occurrences may later have become common, for many Inuit threw off their prudishness, and started producing 'naked' women (but only topless male's torsos, for example, Davie Atchealak's sculptures of drummers, Hessel 1998: 95) for sale and export. Such pointedly nude females have become common, both as sculptures by men and occasionally even in drawings by Inuit women (cf. Pitaloosie Saila's full-breasted mermaid-like 'Sedna' drawing, at the Cape Dorset Co-op which, like Putuguk Goo's Kung Fu, was never rendered as a print for sale). With the recent rise in employment brought to Iqaluit by the new government of Nunavut, temporary workers from the south are crowding in and, flush with cash, they are demanding and buying topless or naked female figurines in the form of drum dancers, 'Sednas' or even mothers and wives, with overrealistically fully detailed breasts (sulijuluaktuk). Their saleability must have been appreciated all over because Inuit in many communities are producing ever-more exaggerated ones for sale locally and for export. However, at the same time, more artistic renderings of the human form are appearing. Uviluk Toonilik of Cape Dorset is one of the few who continues the tradition of rendering the human body with little or no gendered features or clothing. Her armless Torso 1994 (IANA #059859, NGC/MBAC 37686; Hessel 1998: 62), though recognizably female, is a smoothly compact body fully compatible with the prehistoric pinguak figures that the Thule Inuit made for their children (fig. 2). Even more perfect a depiction of the body in motion is her waist-to-calf only sculpture, rendered without hint of clothing or gendered characteristics, aptly entitled Skier (fig. 8). Uviluk Toonilik represents, perhaps, the avant garde of the evolution of Inuit art that is coming to be much more involved in the non-Inuit world of the south where many Inuit artists now live. For two decades she has depicted this non-Inuit world with its special costumes for sport and ceremony. As early as 1981 she carved a football player, with helmet, shoulder pads, and ball, about which she said 'This is the depiction of a white man, because he is not wearing a parka' (Leroux, Jackson and Freeman 1994: 230). By their clothes ye shall know them!


Figure 8 S/c/er,OviluToonili,Cape Dorset, 1994.

Notes I would like to thank my former student, Dr Mari Lyn Salvador, Prof, and Chief Curator at the Maxwell Museum, University of New Mexico, whose work with Kuna Ethnoaesthetics inspired my own later work with the Inuit, who helped me think through some aspects of this paper. I am also indebted to Sylvie Cote of the Avataq Cultural Institute, Montreal, and to Barry Pottle and Heather Campbell of the Inuit Art Section of the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, who allowed me to peruse their extensive slide collections and who later sent me copies of these slides for projection at the British Museum, and reproduction in this essay. 1




I will focus on outer garments only. It is extremely unlikely that even the most perfectly skin-dressed Inuit would today wear anything but manufactured under-garments including shirts, hats and boot linings. Perhaps more prolific were the small models of animals and birds (and sometime fish and other fauna) made for boys to practice hunting (Graburn 19763:43, fig. 9) and the very similar ivory bird figurines (tingmiujak) made for gambling games (Brandson 1994: 53; Hessel 1998:18). This is an origin story of seagulls, which explains why Inuit do not eat them: they were once Inuit cannibals who ate their children while the men were out hunting, and then flew away when the men returned. Sedna was the creature more properly known in traditional times by such names as Nuliajuk, Niqiwilik, Takanaluk, Arngnaluk, or possibly Satana (perhaps dialectically Sat'na) meaning 'down there'.

Skin Applique and Stencil Prints James Houston James Houston, author, artist and filmmaker, died in 2005. He first visited the Canadian Arctic in 1948, where he became the prime force in the recognition of Inuit art. While living at Cape Dorset, he introduced printmaking to the Inuit and helped establish the co-op. An Officer of the Order of Canada, James Houston was also a Master Designer for Steuben Glass, and well known as an author of novels, memoirs and children's books.

Fifty years ago in areas surrounding Cape Dorset, when traveling by dog team in winter and spring, wearing skin clothing was preferred. Warm fur parkas were essential. The materials used were usually caribou or sealskin, and occasionally the skins of eider ducks. Women of Cape Dorset were magnificent sinew sewers. The women were also cleverly adept at the art of skin applique, the practice of cutting silhouette forms and designs from animal hides for decorations to be sewn onto clothing or carrying bags. Using a half moon-shaped ulu (women's knife), Inuit women often invented wonderful cutout reversal designs from sealskin. There is a stunning difference in colour between the outer and the inner side of a skin. The outer side of a new skin is almost totally black and the inner, well-scraped side of the skin is almost totally white, thus making a perfect material to cut and reverse to achieve a high visual contrast. Hunters' wives sometimes cut figures from sealskin scraps, wet them on one side and placed them on the snow wall of the igloo to freeze in place. These skin pieces could be moved by hand and often served to illustrate a story. The process of preparing sealskin means that it is scraped, stretched out and dried until it is as smooth as a drumhead and stiff as parchment. Such flat, stiff sealskin can be cut with a sharp instrument to make any desired shape or design. Once, seeing this cutting, it occurred to me that paint could be brushed or stippled through the openings cut into the parchment-like sealskin to form strong, stenciled images on paper. However, it

was not until the early summer of 1958 that everything seemed to fall into place and this idea took definite form. One day, Kenojuak and her husband, Jonibo, and their sizeable young family came by boat to Cape Dorset. We met on the beach. Kenojuak was carrying a sealskin bag on her shoulder. It was not unlike other bags I had seen Inuit, both men and women, carrying. But hers had something special on it. The bag had a dark, outer sealskin image cut and sinew-sewn onto the bag itself, which was light tan in color. 'What is this?' I asked, listening carefully to hear her answer. 'Okalik isumalook kikkoyuk memuktualuk. A rabbit thinking of eating seaweed', she said in a way that she knew I would understand. A few nights later, we all went to a joyful, early summer dance. I purposely took a pencil and several rolled sheets of drawing paper and gave them to Kenojuak, asking her to make some drawings when she found the time. A few days later, after the dancers had recovered from the festivities, Kenojuak came to me with the sheets of paper. They were covered with dozens of pencil drawings of many different subjects, particularly birds. Her images often flowed together at their tips, as if they needed a linking to be a cut-out. The drawings were rolled for protection in the very piece of sealskin from which she had cut her bag design of the rabbit eating seaweed. Once more I was impressed by the stiff, parchment-like texture of the scraped sealskin. I asked Kenojuak and Osuitok to join me in an experiment. Osuitok at that time was the senior local Inuk helping to

Figure 1 Rabbit Eating Seaweed, stencil, by Kenojuak Ashevak, Cape Dorset, released in 1959.The print was made from a reverse sealskin cut into a pattern to decorate a sealskin shoulder bag. Such bags are carried by both Inuit men and women. 139

James Houston

Figure 2 Human and Animals, sealskin applique, 1956,36.5 x 20 cm. Unsigned, Cape Dorset or Kimmirut. Unfortunately the name of the woman who made this important early example of sealskin applique was not recorded.

Figure 3 Dogs See the Spirits, stencil, by KenojuakAshevak, Cape Dorset, 1960. Many Inuit, when they see a dog jump up from a sound sleep and bark, believe that the dog has seen something out of the spirit world.

Figure 4 Textile Test, stenciled birds on cotton, by Mungituk, Cape Dorset, 1959. A large version of a single bird was also made into a print series.


Clothing and Art

Figure 5 Two Men Discussing Coming Hunt, stencil, by Kavavook, Cape Dorset, 1961.This image is a remarkable visual experience. Without words, it is clear what these two men are discussing.

organize art projects of the co-operative that the hunterartists hoped to form. We walked over to the co-op's new print workshop Senlavik, a one-story, 200 square metre wooden structure recently built with some extra government building materials plus packing cases to enlarge it. A strong worktable there had been made using a sheet of heavy plywood covered with linoleum. First, we spread the sealskin over a piece of drawing paper on the workshop table. Then we rolled out some blue paint on a piece of glass. From Cape Dorset's newly built school I had borrowed some as yet unused stencil brushes. When tightly bound with tape, a brush made a mark about 3 cm in diameter. Gingerly tapping the brush into the paint until it had picked up the right amount, we then pounded the ends of the bristles through the cut-out shapes in the sealskin. By applying various pressures, we found that we could create a sense of lightness and darkness of varying degrees. When we lifted away the skin, we were all impressed with the clear reproduction of the exact image of Kenojuak's sewn work. Here was a new development that reminded me of an ancient art form similar to paleolithic images found on cave walls in Europe and America (Breuil 1952: 246-57,360-71). From that moment, this stencil process proved to be an expanded method of reproduction that grew directly out of an age-old artistic technique. Printmaking began among the people of Cape Dorset at this time in 1957-8, and since then Inuit artists in that community have continued to display their intuitive and extraordinary flashes of artistic genius. Printmaking as a method was new to Inuit, but the images and ideas they created were firmly based on their myths, legends and skill of hand. Giving out more pencils and drawing paper caused excitement. Within a few weeks, a flurry of original drawings was brought into the Senlavik and purchased. A new art and a new financial possibility had arisen. The government at all times was eager to support the idea of Inuit printmaking, and sales outlets developed in southern Canada and the United States. Once a week, the six printmakers would spread out all the drawings or hang them on the walls and decide which ones they preferred. In the early days, the women cut patterns from flat, stretched sealskins. Inuit found various ways of printing those designs in the new print shop. At first they tried bound brushes of polar bear hair, then tried paint-soaked wads, before deciding they were inadequate and settling on regular stencil brushes.

In 1958,1 used all my accumulated leave to make a trip to Japan. The Japanese embassy in Canada helped me arrange the best connections with a Japanese print master, Unichi Hiratsuka, who taught me as his only student to understand the techniques. By 1959, the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative had been fully formed and an Inuit system of printmaking developed. In Cape Dorset, the co-op developed a system of making prints that involved precisely numbered series in limited editions, first of thirty, later of fifty prints. Each print included a legend and signatures in syllables of both the artist and the printmaker. In 1959, there was the first loose-leaf catalogue, Eskimo Graphic Art. One of a number of problems that developed as the printmaking increased was that the edges of sealskin rippled and we could not devise a method of flattening them again. Also, sealskin prices were on the rise and Inuit preferred to sell the skins rather than cut them up. So another change occurred. I had brought into the Arctic a good number of sheets of plate Bristol paper suitable for drawing the illustrations in a future children's book. In Cape Dorset the sealskin stencil quickly evolved into a stencil made from this hardy type of paper covered on both sides with melted candle wax, though the cut-out technique remained the same as in sealskin applique. The change developed, as in most Arctic events, based on Inuit ingenuity and the availability of materials at hand. Hunter-printmakers in the new print shop experimented and we consulted together. Inuit members of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative thought for a period of time that they might produce stencil prints on cotton or linen. At our request, 60 metres of white fabric were sent into Cape Dorset from Montreal on the annual sealift, and this was used as the base for stenciled, multicolored images. But this process proved unsatisfactory. We next acquired a shipment of the best quality Japanese papers, and have used them for the co-op's printmaking ever since. Following Cape Dorset, the settlements of Pangnirtung, Baker Lake, Puvirnituq, and Holman have also achieved a worldwide reputation in printmaking. Their best artists gathered personal fame as they continued to develop an exciting Canadian art. Inuit prints, including many made with sealskin stencils, have recorded the real and also the mythical visions of a changing Arctic world. We might fear that these unique thoughts and images of Inuit hunters and their wives may cease to be created later in this twenty-first century, but this does not seem to be the case. The best of their present and past mystical flights into fancy will be collected, traded and auctioned, then treasured well into the future. The prints are historical reflections of human feelings, the core of the enchanting fabric of the Inuit world. 141

Clothing Portraits: Identity and Meaning in Inuit Figure

Studies from the Eastern Arctic J.C.H. King J.C.H. King is Keeper of the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas at the British Museum. His interest in Arctic clothing goes back to 1986 when he visited Igloolik for the first time to collect clothing for the 1987-8 Museum of Mankind exhibition Living Arctic.

Inuit drawings have been appreciated and collected by qallunaat (white people) for around two centuries. One of the earliest Inuit images to be widely known and appreciated is a print after a sketch by John Sackheouse, the Greenlander employed as interpreter on the expedition of Captain (later Sir) John Ross in 1818. This panoramic view depicts the first encounter between the Inughuit or Polar Inuit with Europeans (Kaalund 1983: 59). Regularly thereafter drawings were acquired on exploring expeditions, for instance, perhaps particularly in the eastern Canadian Arctic, by among others Captain (later Sir) Edward Parry. Many of these depict animals, others were maps of great

use to explorers. Some are of people. Inuit are often shown fully clothed in profile in rows, with their faces generally obscured by the projecting sides of the parka hoods; in these images great attention is given to often very varied clothing. One of the sheets of drawings from Parry's 1821-3 expedition shows six named individuals without 'personal detail' such as faces (Carpenter 1997: 85). This paper looks at two similarly organized published plates of Inuit drawings. The originals, at the moment unlocated, were created a century later in 1922, also by an Iglulingmiut artist, in this case Iqallijuq Rose Ukumaaluk (fig. i).1 Her drawings are placed in the context of interviews conducted with the artist and her friends in 1996. While the results are sometimes ambiguous, Iqallijuq's interpretation of drawings made more than seventy years earlier explains something of the meaning of a certain type of clothing portrait. Specifically, her brief comments suggest that despite the apparent lack of personal physical detail, these clothing portraits represent people. Historic Inuit Drawing

Inuit art is fairly well defined by two main category of art objects usually made for sale: stone sculpture and prints. Drawings have become of interest only more recently. Marion Jackson has outlined the importance of drawings in relationship to prints and sculpture. She regards them as the most personalized Inuit art form as the 'direct and unmediated expression of a single individual' (1987: 31). Yet drawings from the 19505 were made to be reproduced by printmaking. They were not in themselves the objects for sale to southern collectors. Inuit drawings of the 19508 and 19608 were not therefore immediately appreciated by a wide audience. They have, according to Jackson, a number of characteristics. Like other art forms drawings reflect traditional Inuit experience. But in being executed on white paper they appear out of context, with a fusion of spatial perspectives, and of combinations of spiritual and physical realities. Many have elements of repetition: Pudlo told Jackson that Inuit count 'one Figure 1 Iqallijuq Rose Ukumaaluk (1905-2000), Igloolik.The tattoos on the left arm were discussed with Paul Irngaut and Wim Rasing in 1987 (Iqalliyuq1987). 142

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one one' not 'one two three'. Jackson also makes another suggestion about drawings created after the middle of the twentieth century: those of first-generation artists are designed to convey information, while those of second and subsequent generations seem to be about aesthetics: they are drawn to be beautiful rather than simply to convey meaning (Jackson 1987). Jackson's defining principles of Inuit drawing can be usefully applied to the unique groups of Iglulingmiut (or Aivilik Iglulik) images gathered together by Edmund Carpenter and published in a clear and usable manner (Carpenter 1997). Apart from those collected by Parry already mentioned, most come from the expeditions of the whaler George Comer (1893-1912). Included are two sheets of profile figure drawings (fig. 2): a double sheet with men on the left and women on the right, and a second sheet with two women. All people are fully clothed, each man wearing a qulittaq and each woman with an amauti, all with the hoods up. To a European eye these sheets of similar figures appear almost like a cartoon strip or photographs of human movement by the Anglo-American photographer Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904). Yet close observation of the sketches of women indicate that the images generally differ, each uniquely depicting varied costumes. Also the women often seem to have full amautis, that is, there are usually children inside the parka hoods. Carpenter suggests that they represent 'corporate' or perhaps generalized figures. He says that apart from the length of the rear flap of the parka, which indicates the number of children born to the wearer and garment maker, there are no marks of'private identity5 (1997: 78). Yet close observations of the drawings reveal that all the costumes are

different in the design details, the wearing of inner or outer garments, colour contrast and fringing. Indeed it could be argued that the private and public identities of the individuals are quite specifically provided through preferences for costume details. These observations prompt further questions, especially when placed in the context of the creation of drawings. Two particular points are important: what prompted the drawings? Did Comer and earlier patrons provide pencil and paper to Inuit and ask for portraits of specific people and costume, or were the drawings volunteered without discussion? The second question relates to the gender of the artist: if Comer was interested in clothing or clothing styles, then he might well have asked a woman for drawings. The hand-eye spatial coordination required for the design of clothing is not far removed from similar skills required for accurate drawing. Iqallijuq Rose Ukumaaluk (1905-2000)

Described here are two groups of drawings by a 'great lady of Nunavut', Iqallijuq Rose Ukumaaluk, to use the words of her biographer and friend, the anthropologist Bernard Saladin d'Anglure (2000). She was born on the western shore of Hudson Bay, of Iglulingmiut heritage, and named Iqallijuq by her father, the shaman Itulliaq. Later she moved to Igloolik. Her name, of a helper spirit, comes from a mythic source, the creator of the salmonidae - the fish species which includes that great contemporary staple of Inuit winter diet, the Arctic char. In her obituary by Saladin d'Anglure (2000) details are provided not only of their various collaborative projects, but also of the films in which she took part. Most notable perhaps was that made in 1973, which describes her memories from the womb and reincarnation as her maternal grandfather. She thus provides an understanding of'one of the richest and most subtle dimensions of Inuit philosophy and system of thought' (2000: 203). In 19961 spent two weeks in Igloolik working on Inuit clothing, particularly with Leah Otak and Rachel Uyarasuk. John MacDonald, the coordinator of the Igloolik Research Centre, Nunavut Research Institute, pointed out two pages of drawings. These had been executed by Iqallijuq Rose Ukumaaluk. They had been published in one of the volumes of reports from the Fifth Thule Expedition, by the expedition leader Knud Rasmussen, entitled Intellectual Culture of the Iglulik Eskimos (Rasmussen 19303). Each is identified as a 'Drawing by the Eskimo girl Eqatlioq', that is, by Iqallijuq. In Saladin d'Anglure's account she was then aged sixteen, in 1922, and living in the camp of which the shaman Ava was chief. With her was Ava's son, Ujarak. Rasmussen noticed her 'intellectual vivacity' and asked her to 'draw for him, various types of traditional clothes in caribou' (19303: 205). I was curious as to whether Iqallijuq might remember anything further about these historic drawings, and asked to speak to her. The following information is from this interview (Iqalliyuq 1996). Iqallijuq first talked about how she began to make clothing patterns from caribou and sealskins, 'I learnt to make patterns sewing caribou and sealskins... when I learnt to sew I

Figure 2 Right side of a double sheet of Aivilik Iglulik drawings, clothing portraits, late nineteenth century, collected by George Comer. 143


Figure 3 Top half of the first Rasmussen plate with Iqallijuq's drawings, captioned by by Rasmussen as 'Types of dress from Iglulik'. Iqallujiq provided names for the four large figures.

Figure 4 (below) The bottom half of the first plate illustrates a man on the left; the figure on the right is captioned by Rasmussen 'The woman at the bottom to the right [is] from Cumberland Sound'. Iqallijuq added that she drew the image from a photograph, as Peter Pitseolak was to do later in creating prints at Cape Dorset (Eber 1998).

remembered them.' Then she described how she came to draw. I showed Iqallijuq the drawings in Rasmussen's books, and asked when they were done. She replied: You were not about to be born then. We were working for Aqattaq [the wife of Puuqsimaat, one of Rasmussen's travelling companions] from Greenland at Nagjuktuuq. We would do drawings of white men and Inuit. I started to draw these pictures of Inuit.

Later Iqallijuq explained how she had begun drawings: I started drawing [earlier] when we used to have catechism in the Catholic mission at Chesterfield Inlet. The first Inuit converts to Catholicism had a daughter and a son, so [then] we went [with them] for catechism, and learned to draw by copying anything. We got the paper and pencils from the Catholic Mission... I used to draw all kinds of drawings. My collection of drawings was quite large...

Rasmussen also provided pencil and paper. The Drawings: First Page

At the top of the plate (fig. 3) are four women in amautis, one of whom is very diminutive, and a man smoking a pipe. Underneath (fig. 4) is a man on the left and a woman on the right. All face to the left. This page or plate is captioned Types of Dress from Iglulik. The woman at the bottom to the right [is] from Cumberland Sound.' Iqallijuq was at first unable to identify the people at the top of that page. The clothing style of the four figures was familiar: 'It is the design of clothing that I was used to seeing but I don't know who they are.' The clothing of the man on the left is for an adult, indeed they seem to represent adults. Then she suggested identities for the four large figures: 'The people in the picture are Angutimmarik, Ukpingnuvissannaq, Ukpaqtuuq and Qavangat. I remember drawing it. That's who they are from what I remember They are not from this area [Igloolik] but from Sallit or Chesterfield Inlet'. The last image at the bottom right of the page is of the women from Cumberland Sound (fig. 4). This portrait of a woman is unusual in an important clothing detail: the use of suspenders attached in two places to long-legged briefs or leggings and hung, probably from a belt. Iqallijuq's commentary is detailed: 144

I drew [this picture] only from seeing [photographs]. I never saw anyone wearing [this] kind of clothing, only from pictures which my sister-in-law Pakak, Qullittalik's mother, had. I drew the picture copying it from the [photograph]. I've never seen [any] one dressed that way, sol drew it and showed it to Pakak, and asked her if it was that way and she said, that's the way it was. I asked her what this parka was and she told me it was an amauti [of a type] called an akuarjuk. Then I asked her if these were pants, and she told me that ... what I thought were pants were not, and that the [se] pants were short like briefs. She showed me and [said] that I had drawn it properly... I used to try and find out as much as I could because I grew up where there were white people around. The original was a photograph taken with a camera which I copied and drew. She told me that was the way akuarjuks were made and told me that what I had drawn was an amauti. When she started to show me, I understood more clearly. This part is to hold the lace [s] which [are] located on the calf. This part is just like a tube Pakak had told me the name of the person. She told me that the lady had been the wife of a man called Iqilaarjuk, but I forgot the name of the lady. I only saw the photograph, so I drew it, I never saw the person in [life]. I never saw the kinds of clothes she is wearing.

Clothing and Art

Figure 5 Top half of the second Rasmussen plate, captioned 'A family going visiting'. Iqallijuq identified the group as Netsilingmiut.The sled is driven by Inirnirunasuaq; his wife on the sled is Tullik, with Tasiuq in the amauti. The seated figure isTasiuq's elder brother.

Figure 6 (below) The bottom half of the second plate includes, according to Rasmussen, 'a man's dress'. Iqallijuq identified this as including a young man's parka, one without back or front flaps (bottom right).

The Drawings: Second Page

In this the artist explains that she drew a portrait from a photograph, and that she had talked over the drawing with a woman who either was already or would become her sisterin-law, Pakak. Pakak criticized the drawing for accuracy, in particularly commenting that as drawn by Iqallijuq, at least initially, the woman's parka was incorrectly depicted. It should have been an akuarjuk, a quite different style of amauti. Further, she comments on the tube-like leggings or briefs, and their system for suspension. Finally, the artist was able, as later with the scene on the komatik (sled), to identify the woman: she was the wife of Iqilaarjuk. Interestingly, Iqallijuq also emphasizes the importance of correcting a drawing that was initially wrong and of learning from white people. In this, of course, she was behaving as she would if making clothing: during the learning process girls would make and remake clothes until they were sewn exactly right.

The second drawing (fig. 5 and fig. 6) has a sledging scene at the top, figures of a man and child below and then three adults. These are captioned: 'A family going visiting. At the bottom to the left are two female types; to the right a man's dress.' While the costumes all look Iglulingmiut, Iqallijuq said that the figures were Netsilingmiut: 'This is the pattern that they use for the clothing from that region.' She identified the man driving the sled as Joe Haulli's father, and behind him is Joe Haulli's mother Tullik. In the amauti is Tasiuq or Joe Haulli (fig. 7). At the end of the sled is another son, Joe Haulli's elder brother, sitting because he had a broken back. Iqallijuq could not remember the name of the man with the broken back, but the woman in front of the dogs was his wife Arnattiaq, she suggested. 'After watching the dog team, I drew this picture from my memory. Aqattaq from Greenland and I used to draw anything. We were both young then.' Later that day, 8 May 1996, Sarah Haulli, wife of the child Tasiuq in the amauti, Joe Haulli, suggested further identifications (Haulli and Akittiq 1996). She confirmed: 'My husband was in the amauti.'' The man driving the komatik, Joe Haulli's father, was called Inirnirunasuaq. Sarah did not know the name of the man with the broken back, and did not think he had a wife. She suggested, because she knew her husband had a sister, that the woman in front was this sister (her sister-in-law) who was married to man called Qamukkaak. She thought her husband's sister's name was Inulligaajuk. At the back is an upstander made from an upside-down caribou antler (nagjuk napariaq). This was used for hanging up bags and other items. Sarah said that these people were from the Arvilijuaq region, Pelly Bay. Iqallijuq (Iqalliyuk 1996) also described the image at the bottom right of the same page: This is a young unmarried man. I remember drawing [him] but forgot [his name]. He is wearing a piece of caribou clothing called kaiwasuk because it has no frontal or a back piece which hangs down. I wanted to make copies of them so I drew their pictures but unfortunately I forgot [his] name'.

The woman at the bottom left was identified as Taruknaaq, and her husband Palluq. Iqallijuq described parts of her costume, here specifically the legging pouch which is called avalluq. 145


Figure 7 JoeTasiuq Haulli, Igloolik., 1986. He features in the amauti of his mother sitting on the sled in the top left-hand of fig. 5.

Contemporary Inuit Drawings and Prints

Iqallijuq's drawings from 1922, and their interpretation by the artist in 1996, can first be put in the context of Inuit drawings of the 19508 and 19605, and then in the context of prints. To begin with, these early images from the 18205,18905 and 19205 are not merely formal representations of clothing styles, but may equally be seen as portraits, even as portraits of people represented without faces, but nevertheless of named people, recognizable by their clothing. It could almost be said that the overwhelming importance of clothing subsumes the physical appearance of people, something that seems impossible to the Western imagination. During the 19505, Inuit graphic art in Cape Dorset, and then elsewhere, developed away from the minimalist presentation of detailed information. While some drawings may still show faceless profiles with copious costume details (Blodgett 1986: 107), Inuit prints came to celebrate a wide variety of portraiture and clothing. These possess a greater range of innovative and original styles. Yet the titles and explanations of prints and clothing seem to confirm the aestheticizing project as mentioned above by Jackson (1987). Idealized and generalized printed images are presented, instead of those of earlier drawn ones of individuals well differentiated with costume details. Further contemporary work of, for instance, PitseolakAshoona (1904-83) of Cape Dorset, includes clear clothing details, but the print captions 'Happy Family' (1963) and 'People' (1964) do not indicate whether these images are abstractions or are painted from life (Leroux etol. 1994:48,51). Images of women by Kenojuak Ashevak (b. 1927) seem even more abstract, even though they may well represent actual people, whether drawings or prints (Blodgett 1985:12,45,49). In contrast to prints, drawings by artists from North Baffin are provided with detailed captions (Blodgett 1986: 24), relating them to earlier literal ideas of representation. Fashion, Design and Population Movement

Part of the importance of Iqallijuq's commentary on her drawings lies in what she said about change, and the influences which she experienced in respect of clothing styles. The Arctic is often viewed as an immutable, unchanging place where traditionalism operates and has operated for many centuries, if not longer. Yet change, particularly associated with population movement, was a constant feature of Inuit life. Susan Rowley's study of'Population Movements in the Canadian Arctic' indicates how mobility was a vital survival strategy designed to cope with a wide variety of crises (1985). She cites numerous events which may precipitate mobility: for instance, natural ones such as landslides or earthquakes, the disappearance of animal resources and resultant famine, disease, personal rivalry, leadership crises, murder and vengeance, and the arrival of whalers such as Comer and fur trading ventures such as the Hudson's Bay Company. With each movement of people, it can be suggested that young girls, and particularly girls at the 146

beginning of their adult lives, might be influenced by new and innovatory clothing design. These might consist of both decorative ideas and practical tailoring designs. In the case of Iqallijuq, when drawing for Rasmussen, she was at exactly the point of the major development of her skills as a clothing creator. She was sixteen, living in her in-law's snow house. This is the period at which sewing ability develops and matures. Most children would learn to sew before then by making dolls' clothing and perhaps kamiks from scraps of skin. In marrying, women aided if not by their mother then by in-laws would begin to make clothes for their spouses that needed to be of the highest standard, both to ensure survival of the hunter husband and, of course, self-respect. In this context it is of great interest that Iqallijuq noted the different details of the photograph of the Baffinland portrait and costume from Cumberland Sound: she detailed the alternating light and dark lines at the edge of the parka, and worked hard with Pakak to ensure that the drawing included correct details of the amauti type, and of the strange and unusual leggings or briefs held up by suspenders. This is exactly how she would have behaved if she had been being taught how to prepare skin or finish a kamik - repeatedly redoing and improving stitches, for instance. It may be assumed that exposure to different designs in this way were usually not as dramatic as the arrival of an introduced photograph. But influences of this kind must regularly have been available to young people learning to sew. In Iqallijuq's case she was living in Chesterfield Inlet, beyond or on the outer edge of the Iglulingmiut area, open to influences from other Inuit groups, Caribou Inuit for instance and Netsilingmiut. Iqallijuq makes it entirely clear that changes such as the arrival of the missionary in Chesterfield Inlet provided opportunities for watching and learning. During the twentieth century tailoring changes, in particular, are very noticeable. These include especially alterations to the cut of stockings and the disappearance of the pouches which Iqallijuq describes.

Clothing and Art

Other simplifications occurred, particularly to the length and shapes of the flaps at the back and the front of parkas. In a sense these ideas can be described as changes of fashion, yet in an urban sense fashion suggests an impersonalized, objectified force, the antithesis of gradual alterations open to Inuit women, and other people, and selected as personal preferences. Introductions such as the arrival of glass beads to augment teeth and ivory decorations, and steel tools such as needles and cutting blades, may have precipitated fashion changes, adopted individually as they became available. Ideas of fashion and personal choice can in that sense be usefully contrasted to that of tradition, both ideas being misleadingly emphatic unless used in conjunction with each other. Inuit were and are traditional, in retaining philosophies and technologies, and of course were and are open to new ideas and new fashions, whether Christianity, tea and tobacco, or contemporary technology. Identity and Ideal Types in Two-dimensional Art

The ideas expressed by Carpenter (1997) and Rasmussen (19303) about historic Iglulingmiut drawings provide a basis for further discussion of essentializing projects. In these, ideal types are proposed and fixed in the literature without discussion. Both writers emphasize that the drawings represent types of dress, that they show corporate or general characteristics. Carpenter suggests in one caption 'Only Europeans are given identities' (Carpenter 1997: 88). Yet it seems that the subjects of these portraits, even when they could not always be named, were and

are individuals, and that in a sense the clothing is the person. In turn this relates perhaps to another aspect of clothing, the way in which clothing acts as an amuletic conveyor of meaning. Inuit people design clothing so that hunters become animal-like, with the use of ears and designs that show respect for animals. The clothing is the portrait of the individual, making them identifiable, and also expressive of the animal spirit. Ideal types of clothing are established in the literature in other ways, especially by the publication of good examples of specific costumes. In the late nineteenth century, museum publications began to publish drawings and photographs of garments collected by Boas and Turner (see Introduction, this volume). In the early twentieth century, Canadian and Danish authors provided excellent drawings of tailoring layouts, a process elaborated in the late twentieth century with the improvement of drawings of clothing designs with details of fringing, colouring and hair flow. While in a sense this process is the only one available for the publication and dissemination of knowledge, it also tends to obscure a separate reality in which abstract ideas of process, rather than single ideal exemplars of costume, should dominate knowledge of clothing. Notes i The original drawings may be in the National Museum of Denmark or the Royal Library, but were unlocated when visiting Copenhagen in 2001. Poul M0rk and Rolf Gilberg (National Museum of Denmark), Ivan Boserup (Royal Library) and Torben Ditlev (Knud Rasmussens Hus, Hundested) kindly helped with this research.


Kiana Creations: Inupiaq Parkas asWearable Art

Glenna C. Kiana Maulding Glenna C. Kiana Maulding is an Inupiaq artist known for her outerwear and beadwork. Of Inupiaq and Hawaiian ancestry, she was born in Fairbanks, Alaska (one of the first in her family to be born in hospital), and raised in Nenana and Fairbanks. She started sewing when she was seven years old, and has designed and created parkas since she was eleven. Her numerous awards include the first place and Sewers' Choice Award at the Alaska State Fair (2000), and the Fur Rondie Grande Champion Award (2002).

My name is Glenna Glair Kiana Maulding. I am named after my father, who is of Russian and German descent. My deceased mother, Minnie Kiana Morken, was Inupiaq, from the Kobuk River area, and Hawaiian. She was an award-winning skin sewer in Fairbanks and Anchorage, and a book illustrator for my aunt's and brother Chris Kiana's books. My great grandfather, Duke David Kiana, had to leave the islands of Hawaii. He escaped death with the rest of my ancestors during the occupation of the islands by coming to Alaska by way of China. When my Aunt Lela Oman (a historical writer with numerous books published about our people) and our matriarch, Esther Norton (a wellknown skin sewer and artist here in Alaska), went back to Hawaii, there was a ceremony held in their honor for the royalty returning to the islands from Alaska. My daughter, Lacie Rachel Okomailuk Kiana Maulding, is named in the old way, for her deceased Aunt Lacie. My daughter is Inupiaq from the Kobuk River area on my side of the family, along with Hawaiian, Russian and German. On her father's side Lacie is Inupiaq and Hawaiian from Wainwright, a village in north Alaska. She is an artist in her own right; Lacie does beaded earrings with matching necklaces. She started to bead when she was two years old and started selling to stores when she was ten years old. She was invited to Russia to teach at a university when she was ten years old. She has her own designs. I feel I am still learning and an infant compared to some of my contemporaries. I have had to learn the Inupiaq names for some of the sewing techniques I can perform, so please bear with me. My sister, Carolyn Ann Kiana Baumgartner, from Barrow, Alaska, has taught me our words for the items and techniques in the Barrow dialect. I have been excited about the conference, for I wanted to learn more from my elders and see what we as indigenous people are wearing, and have worn in the past. With this in mind I will begin with the first parka. The first parka is a new style of an Atigi Work Parka worn by Lacie Rachel Okomailuk Kiana Maulding (fig. i). It is not unusual for the temperatures to dip down to -70°? (-57°C) with a forty-mile-an-hour wind, putting the combined temperature to -ioo°F (-73°C). Using fur with the hairside turned to the inside helps to keep a person warm. The air is trapped between the hairs. The parka is constructed in such a way that air will circulate in the back so you will not over heat. Then when you 148

stop you won't freeze because of perspiration. The atigi has evolved over the years. There have been several different designs used since we started making these parkas out of material instead of all fur. This is a style I learned in 1981.1 completed this parka in 1983; it is what would be considered a traditional style since white contact. It is fur lined with mouton, and I made a cotton velvet cover. The paisley pattern of the print cover prompted me to use a loop trim on either side of the bias tape trim instead of rickrack. I have put the pieced bias trim, of pale green, taupe, and mauve, and part of the selvage on under an imported trim of gold on white. There are side pockets for keys and small items. The isigvik, or ruff around the hood, is made of beaver and wolf. I used a blonde wolf to go with the trims and bring out the brown colors in the patterned paisley print. This coat would be worn on cold days and can go down to -ioo°F (-73°C). This parka took me about eighty hours to make and would cost US$2,ooo.oo for time and materials. The mittens worn with the parka are rabbit lined and covered with the same material as the cover of the parka. I watched my sister, Carolyn Ann Kiana Baumgartner, make a pair of mittens for her oldest daughter using the pattern of these mittens in 1972.1 then made mittens with this same pattern for my daughter when she was two years old, in 1983. The pattern is at least 150 years old. The fur on the top of the mittens matches the beaver on the parka. They are worth about US$75.oo. The second parka (fig. 2), which I titled the Nomadic Parka, is unusual. I designed it after parkas that were worn here in Alaska when all the indigenous people wore parkas. My daughter, Lacie Rachel Okomailuk Kiana Maulding, wears this creation. I found after doing research that we wore parkas that had a scalloped edge so that we could move easily while walking and running. The lining is 2000 wind-block material which allows you to stand for half an hour in temperatures down to -io°F (-23°C). The cover is a combination of feather patterned rayon velvet and moss cotton velveteen. There are five rows of bias tape trim in bright colors drawn from the colors in the velvet. This bias tape trim is called qupak. There is gold woven into rickrack and beaver fur around the bottom of the parka and at the cuffs. The sunshine isigvik is made of mink, beaver and wolf and is curved to take the shape of the face. There are tails hanging off the front, back and sleeves of the parka. I was told

Clothing and Art

that these were put on the parka for a distraction if we met an enemy, to disguise the movement of our body. There are Russian trade beads, a gold angel, ruby beads, and ivory on the artificial sinew, which I used to tie the tails on. This parka took over 100 hours to make and is worth US$4,ooo.oo for design, time, and materials. The ruff is worth US$6oo.oo by itself. Some of the Russian trade beads are worth US$35.oo each. There are rubies made into beads and dentalium shells on this coat. In the past Aleut people would exchange two sea otter skins for each dentalium shell in trade. Only the chiefs and their family could afford to use them as decorations on their clothes or made into jewelry. The mittens were a gift from my older sister, Carolyn Ann Kiana Baumgartner. They are made from ground squirrels. They are thirty-two years old. I took them apart and repaired them and put them back together using a new trim to go around the mitten in silver and orange, which was imported from France. I

Figure 1 (below) Atigi Work Parka. Lacie Rachel Okomailuk Kiana Maulding wearing the fur-lined work parka covered in cotton velvet, trimmed in beaver with a beaver and wolf isigvik (ruff).The mittens match the cover and are lined with rabbit fur; the fur around the top of the mitten is beaver.

replaced the worn-out white fox skins at the top of the mitten with some I had in my stash. My hope was to hold the integrity of the mitten while repairing them. I cannot put a price on these. I consider them priceless due to the pattern and materials used. The ear loops worn here to complete this look have been combined with one strand I made three years ago before a fashion show in Soldotna, Alaska, and a longer strand underneath added by my friend Darlene Cheatham, an awardwinning Dene header. The first strand made by me is made out of ivory seed beads, old ivory, mastodon ivory, and Russian trade beads. The second strand is made out of garnet, opals, gold, and seed beads. The combined time to make was twelve hours and the combined price is US$675.oo. The Inupiaq word for boot is kamik or kamipiaq (real boot). The ones worn with all the parkas seen here today are made soft leather for the soles and black canvas water-repellent material for the tops, with a black and gold imported trim, and beaver around the top to finish them off. They took me about eight hours to make and are worth US$i75.oo. The floor-length Atiktuk Dress Parka worn by myself in the picture (fig. 3; see also fig. 4) is patterned rayon velvet. I was inspired to make this parka when I saw the beautiful flowers on the material. Maria Bell, the owner of Three Sisters Fabric Boutique in Anchorage, Alaska, bought this material at a fabric show with me in mind. I wanted to wear this particular parka

Figure 2 (right) Nomadic Parka, worn here by Lacie Maulding.This parka is a new style likened to the parkas worn in Alaska by indigenous people. It is made with rayon velvet with velveteen insets with bias trim to denote the area of Alaska the wearer is from.There are beaver and wolf tails hanging off the arms and shoulders. Russian trade beads and dentalium are on the artificial sinew used to tie on the fur tails.There are gold buttons which the fur tails are tied through.The sunshine isigvik is made out of mink, beaver and wolf. The gloves worn with the parka are ground squirrel with white fox trimming the top of the mitten. The boots (kamipiat) worn with the Nomadic Parka are soft sole leather, black canvas tops with imported trim, and beaver at the top. 149

Glenna C. Kiana Maulding

with evening wear and long dresses. I have matched the designs on the material so that it flows from the front into the back. The sleeves are matched to the designs on the front and back. I matched the material coming up the back of the parka into the hood, which is additionally matched in three places. The rickrack is woven gold. The bias trim is made up of gold lame, deep red, lavender, and sea-foam green bias tape sewn over the selvage of the material to pull the trim and coat together. The trim that looks like Japanese fans is imported from France. I used three inches of black beaver on the cuffs and around the bottom of the coat. All the fur is backed with black rayon velvet. The lining is a rich red silk from India, embroidered in a leaf pattern. I purposely matched the leaf design at all the seams, front to back, back and front of the lining into the hood in three places. The ruff is black mink, black beaver and black wolf. Black wolf is very rare. This parka took first place at the Alaska

Figure 3 (above) Atiktuk Dress Parka, worn by Glenna Maulding pictured here with her daughter Lacie Maulding in the Nomadic Parka.This parka is floor length, made out of rayon floral velvet with imported trim, qupaks made with bias tape and imported black beaver. The sunshine isigvik is made with black mink, black beaver and rare black wolf. The Dene dress gloves worn here are made of deerskin using a pattern centuries old. Beading on the top is done in the old way, when beads were first introduced to Alaska.The fur around the top and sides is black beaver. 150

Figure 4 (right) Atiktuk Dress Parka, held by Glenna Maulding while she was doing a presentations of her designs at Clark Middle School in Anchorage, Alaska. Glenna Maulding was an Indian Education Counselor at Clark Middle School, and currently works at West High School.

State Fair, which is held in Palmer, Alaska, and was awarded Judges Choice. This parka is worth US$2,soo.oo for materials and time. The gloves worn with this coat are Dene dress gloves made of deer skin. I hand sewed the gloves like our people used to in years past. Then I beaded only the outline of the traditional design like we used to do when beads were first introduced to our area in Alaska over 100 years ago. The beads on the gloves are five-side cut glass, in deep red, green, and black colors from Czechoslovakia. The design on the gloves is a pansy, with swirls. This is one of my own designs, which I developed after much study of gloves and mittens in museums and books written about our people. The fur at the top and sides of the design is black beaver to match the beaver on the coat. They are worth about US$250.00 for time and materials. The next parka is called Wolf Run (fig. 5). The solid material is water repellent. I chose to use a solid color, which would showcase the designs appliqued on the front and back. This parka has a wolf on the center of the back outlined with bright yellow jumbo rickrack. There is a wolf coming out of one of the pockets, which has been appliqued on with silver thread. Above the bias trim I appliqued a border of material which depicts wolves running through the trees in the wintertime. I have trimmed the parka with black beaver at the cuffs and bottom edge of the parka. The ruff is made with black beaver and black wolf. The lining is the same kind of material as Warm Windows, a light and efficient insulation material that was made to cover windows. The company producing it went out of business a few

Clothing and Art

years ago but I had some in my stash. I covered the lining with a cotton material, which pull the colors from the trim and cover. This parka recently took First Place in the Fur Rendezvous sewing contest held in February 2001 in Anchorage, Alaska. It is valued at US$i,7oo.oo for the design, time and materials. The mittens worn are the same ones used with the Nomadic Parka. The last parka (fig. 6) is a summer parka or atigi, as they call it in Inupiaq. It is rayon velvet in the pattern of roses. I reversed the material totally by accident. I was making a parka for a client and reversed some of the pieces and had to buy more material to finish her parka. I additionally bought enough to make this parka. When I showed this coat to my elders I was apologetic about the bright bold colors because I reversed the material and they assured me that it was OK to make the coat this way. This parka has puffy sleeves, something that all my designs are known for. I used the salvage when I made the bias qupak trim. I picked colors from the coat for the bias trim - orange, gold lame, and sea-foam green - which I pieced over the selvages

sewn with gold which has been made into thread. There is gold rickrack on both sides of the trim. The summer parka is below the knee in length and zips up the front. This coat can be worn outside over clothes as a coat or zipped up as a dress with leggings. These were some of the designs that I have created in the last few years. I started first learning how make the Atigi Work Parka. Once I felt comfortable making this parka design, then I started to perfect my qupak, the bias trim. After I no longer struggled to make the qupak, I started to experiment with the use of pockets, the addition of puffy sleeves instead of straight sleeves, and the use of a variety of different types of material for linings and cover combinations. I started teaching how to sew parkas in 1992 in Fairbanks, Alaska. I taught in a fabric store called Cherry Tree Fabrics. I also taught classes in Anchorage, Alaska, where I now reside, in a fabric store called Three Sisters Boutique. The owner, Maria Bell, looks for materials with me in mind for covers on parkas when she goes out to the material

Figure 5 (above) Wolf Run Parka worn by Lacie Maulding. Repellent solid cover with wolf appliqued on the center back with large yellow rickrack framing edge of applique. Wolves running through trees along with qupak bias trim around the bottom edge of the parka. Black beaver on bottom edges of parka. Black beaver and black wolf isigvik.

Figure 6 (right) Summer Parka (at/g/).This is a new style made by Glenna Maulding.The atigi is made with rose-patterned rayon velvet, qupak bias trim and gold rickrack.


Glenna C. Kiana Maulding

shows in various places in the lower forty-eight states. I first learned to do a straight standard ruff (isigvik), piecing the fur together to make a three-inch by twenty-eight inch strip (7.5 cm x 71 cm). An elder named Clara Clark taught this to me in 1983. Clara Clark, who is in her late seventies, is known for the beautiful muskrat hats she makes for both men and women. She took me to a fur broker and taught me how to tell the difference between a good fur and a fair fur by the length of the hair and the texture of the underside of the skin. She showed me the difference between last year's skins and new ones. The skin will not be white, but a little bit on the yellow side. Also you need to check and see if it still moves easily or if it crackles when touched. The skin should have long hair showing at least one and a half to three inches above the fingers at the scruff of the neck. Hopefully the long hair at the scruff of the neck means that there will be long hair like this part of the way down the back of the animal. The skin should be supple and not have any holes, and it should have all of its feet. This is what makes up a superb skin from an animal caught in its prime. This fur will make the best ruff for the parka. After I had learned how to make the standard ruff, I was taught how to make the sunshine ruff by my friend, Lillian Evans, by way of reading one of her books. Then she and her mother, Sally, talked me through the process of cutting the fur so you would have a curve and what to use for stiffener to make the isigvik stand up straight when the hood is up. Sally Hudson is a master header and skin sewer and she would talk with me and look at my work when I was done and give me tips to improve my stitches and style. She would talk to me about the cuts I would take on the animal so that I would get the best fur and not waste fur. Then she and her daughter, Lillian Evans, would tell me how the other fur could be used; for example, the beaver belly is used on the strips on the dress parka for the tails hanging down, and on the side and top of the gloves and mittens. I learned a new pattern that I had not previously been aware of when I took apart an old pair of ground-squirrel-skin mittens. I feel that it is a lost pattern. It differs in the shape and design of the thumb. The design taught to me by my sister and Clara Clark in Fairbanks had a different way of putting the thumb on, and is the same size front to back. This mitten has a different shape to the thumb facing the palm of the hand. The fur top of the


thumb is wider and wraps the thumb. This seems to give more movement in the thumb, thereby preventing the thumb from ripping away from the side seam when sewed. I am still learning how to make kamipiat (real boots). I need to learn how to sew on the hard soles that are used in the Arctic area by my Inupiaq relatives. I have watched others do it and they have explained the process, but I have yet to do it myself. I bought some hard soles and was going to start a pair, only to find out that the soles have to be kept at a cold temperature so the shape does not warp. They are dampened and wrapped up before the edge is crimped at the front and back of the sole. The bottom is made of sealskin with the hair plucked. Then they make the top of the kamipiaq using caribou legs or wolf legs. These will last through one person's life and can be handed down at the give-away ceremony when a person passes away. So I will need to buy a new pair of hard soles before I try this again. I get all my furs from indigenous people who trap in Alaska. I know that they have honored the animal in the way the animal was treated after it was trapped. We use the meat, bones, and fur of the animal. Some parts of the beaver are a delicacy when eaten, such as the beaver tail. In our culture the women made well-sewn garments that would last longer than one lifespan. This was done for tradition and family style. The clothes we wore were made for survival, which was utmost in the thoughts of our women as they constructed the items. The care that was taken in honoring the animals and the use of all parts of the animal showed them respect for giving themselves up to us for food and for our clothing. It was also our way of thanking God (for we did know there was a God before white contact) for His protection and sustenance by the animals he provided for our use. I want to thank my ancestors collectively at this time for the knowledge I was given and the tradition, which I drew upon when I made my creations. We now can mix our fabrics along with fur and use all man-made materials for linings. Our new styles have drawn from our ancestors but have started a style all of its own. Notes All my designs are in the process of being protected by copyright. I cannot copyright the traditional look, but my changes are copyrighted. Photographs of all the recent creations in figures 1-5 are by Tony Lutes. Tony Lutes is known for his wildlife photography and for his dramatic photographic presentation of scenic Alaska.


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Stefansson, Vilhjalmur. 1914. 'The Stefansson-Anderson Arctic expedition of the American Museum: preliminary ethnological report'. Anthropological Papers of the American Museum ofNaturalHistory, 14(1-2). New York: Published by order of the Trustees. . 1955. 'Clothes make the Eskimo'. Natural History, January: 32-51. Stewart, Robert Laird. 1908. Sheldon Jackson, Pathfinder and Prospector of the Missionary Vanguard in the Rocky Mountains andAlaska. New York and Chicago, IL: F.H. Revell. Strickler, Eva, andAnaoyokAlookee. 1989. InuitDolls: Reminders ofaHeritage. Toronto: Canadian Stage and Arts. Sturtevant, William C., and David B. Quinn. 1987. 'This new prey: Eskimos in Europe in 1567,1576, and 1577'. Inlndians and Europe: An Interdisciplinary Collection of Essays, ed. C.F. Feest. pp. 61-140. Aachen: Ed. Herodot, Rader Verlag Sutherland, P.D. 2000. 'The Norse and native North Americans'. In Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga, eds. W.W. Fitzhugh and E.I. Ward. pp. 238-47. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. Sveistrup, P.P. and Sune Dalgaard. 1945. 'Det Danske styre af Gr0nland 1825-1850'. Meddelelser om Gr0nland, vol. 145(1). Copenhagen: C.A. Reitzel. Sverdrup, HaraldUlrik. 1939. Among the Tundra People. La Jolla, CA: Distributed by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. Swinton, George. 19723. Eskimo Fantastic Art. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba and Gallery in. . I972b. Sculpture oftheEskimo. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart. Taylor, J. Garth. 1974. Netsilik Eskimo Material Culture: The Roald Amundsen Collectionfrom King Williamlsland. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. Teerink, B.J. 1991. Hair of'West-European Mammals. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Thalbitzer, William (ed.). 1914. 'The Ammassalik Eskimo: contributions to the ethnology of the east Greenland natives. First part, containing the ethnographical and anthropological results of G. Holm's expedition in 1883-85 and G. 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Illustrations are denoted by page numbers in italics. akutaq/akutuq 35,38,60 alder bark 31,51 Aleuts 48,49,62-3,65,127,131,149 Alutiit 49,50,63,64-5,67 amautiit in art 132,136,143,144-5,146 from: Alaska 29; Canadian Arctic 80-2,83; Greenland 86,87,109, no, 113 intellectual property rights 23,24, 25,26 amulets 65,67,109,122 anoraks, Greenland changing styles 101,102,103,104-6, no, in, 113 in museum collections 84,85,86, 87-9, 90 Qilakitsoq 70,71,72,73 Arctic char skin 49,50,52 Athabascans, clothing 35-6,49,121, 124 atMuk 34,35,122,123,124 auklets 48,63,64 avittat47,86,87,88-9,90,104,105, 106,107 badger skin 31,33 bags 49,53,54-5,5&, 63,64,139 baskets 53,55,56, 60,127 beads introduction of 15,100,102,109,147 useof:amauti 81,82; anoraks 87, 89; collars 14,46-7,101,103, 104-5,106, no, in; gloves 150; jewellery 148; kaapaaq 127, 128-9; parkas 32,33,37,38,40, 124,149; story dress and accessories 34,35-6 bear skin/intestines 44,45,46,48,97, 109 beaver skin 33,51,148,149,150,152 bedding 45,53,54,55 belts 59,60,64,65 berries 31,34,35,55 birds avian-human relationship 62-8 bills 63-4,65,66 bird skin, use of: Alaska 37,38,49, 63,64-5; Canadian Arctic 64, 80; Greenland 44,45,64,85 feathers 31,48,49,59,63,64,65 see abo auklets; cormorant skin; dovekie skin; duck skin; eagle skin/ feathers; eider skin; geese; guillemot skin/ sinew; gull skin/ sinew; loons; murre skin; ptarmigans; puffin skin/ beaks; snowy owls; swan skin blackfish skin 49,52 blouses no, in boots see footwear British Museum collection 13,17,42,46,64,84,88, 89,90 conference 19,33 burbot skin 49,51-2 calfskin 32,33,37,38 Canadian Guild of Crafts 134 caribou


hair 38,42-4,48,59 skin, use of: Alaska 28,49,122, 123-4,126; Canadian Arctic 23, 24,66,80, 81,82, 91, 92,139,145; Greenland 45,84,85,86,87-9, 90; see abo skin preparation tendons 50 see abo reindeer Caribou Inuit 18,19,80, Si, 82,146 ceremonial clothing Alaska 49,57,59-60,128 Canadian Arctic 66,133 Greenland 90,101-2,104-6,109, 110, in, 114 see abo dresses; suits; Sunday clothes; wedding clothes chewing 77,82-3 ciuqalek 38 colour 98,100-1,102,103,105,106, 123; see abo dyeing Copper Inuit 19,63,64,65,66-7 cormorant skin 49,64-5

fox skin 23,45,46,149 fur trade 122,125,127,135-6,146

dance caps 66,67 dances, clothes associated with 59-60, iii, 112; see abo dance caps;fans decoration, contemporary 31,32-3,37, 38-9,40; see also bird bills; pendants; skin applique; skin embroidery; skin mosaics; tassels; trims DegHit'an (Ingalik), clothing 49,50, 51 Department of Northern Affairs 134 dog skin 45,106 dog-sled seats 45 dolls 55,56,61,133,134,135; see abo figurines Dorset culture 18,95,97,133 dovekie skin 45,64 dresses 34,35,36,51,52, in drums 32, in, 112 drying frames 71,83 duck skin 63,64,80 durability of clothing 48,49,65,85,118 dyeing 51

hair see caribou; hairnets; seal; topknots hairnets (fcaapaaq) 127-9,130 hare skin 45,97 hats 64, 65,124,152 headdresses 34,35,59,61,128; see abo dance caps; hairnets (kaapaaq); hats; hoods; ma/agg'aayat; topknots hoods 37,38,39,49,50,109; see abo ruffs Hudson's Bay Company 134,146

eagle skin/feathers 64,65 earrings 64,148 eel skin 49,50,51,52 eider skin 45,49,64, 65,106,139 ermine skin 66 fans 31,33,59,60 fashion 15-16,24-6,100-3 felt 124 figurines 133,134,137,138; see abo dolls fishing gear 56,127,128 fish skin, clothing 49,50-1,52,57,85, 123; see abo Arctic char skin; blackfish skin; burbot skin; eel skin; salmon skin footwear bird skin 64 caribou 45,92 fish skin 49,56,57 polar bear skin 45 sealskin 45 sole linings 53,57 see abo ciuqalek; ivrucik; kamiks; kamipiat; moccasins; mukluks; shoes; socks/stockings

geese 13,63,64 gloves 35,49,92,124,150; 5ee abo mittens grass clothing 53,54-6,57,58,59,60-1 Greenlanders clothing 17-18,45,46,47; anoraks 84,85-6,87-9,90; identities expressed by 108,109-12,113-14, 118; kayak 115-17,118,119,120; national costume 14,46,47,100, 101-7,111-12,114; Norse 95-7,98 sewing techniques 70-3 see also Inughuit; Tunumiit Greenland National Museum and Archives 70,72,84,87,88,90 guillemot skin/sinew 63,64 gull skin/sinew 63,65 gut clothing 48,58,85,113 Gwitch'in, clothing 49,51,52

Iglulingmiut 18,63,64,81,142,143, 145,146,147 drawings 142,143-4,146-7 skin preparation 74-9 Indigenous Women of the Americas 26 insulation material 57-8,116,123 intellectual property 19,22,23-6,152 Inughuit 45,46, 63, 64, 95,108,116, 142 Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami 133 Inupiat dresses 15,34,35,36 gut-and bird-skin clothing 48,49, 64 parkas 18,28,29-30,121,122-6,148, I49-51,152 trim styles 121-2,123-6 ivrucik 31,57 kamiks Central Arctic 82,83 Greenland 70,72,100,103,104-7, IIO, III

kamipiat 149,152 kayak clothing 48,115-17,118,119,120 kayak clubs 115,116,117,118,119,120 kayak mats 54,55,60 kayaks 15,25,31,115,117,118-20 lamps 83,136 leggings 144,146 lemming skins 64 loons 49,63,64, 65,66,67 malagg'aayat 31 mail order catalogues 23,123 masks 16,31,32,59,60

mats, grass 53,54,56,60,61 menstruation 60,109,130 mink skin 32,33,148,150 missionaries descriptions and collections by 86, 100,101 effects of on: art 137; clothing 101, 102, iio-ii, 122; dancing 59; sewing 126 see abo Moravian church; Russian Orthodoxy mitten linings 53,57 mittens bird and fish skin 49,53,57,64 caribou skin 92 rabbit skin 23,148,149 sealskin 45,47,115,116,117,118 squirrel skin 152 5ee abo gloves; kayak clothing; mitten linings; wood shavings moccasins 35 modesty 13-14 moose 35 Moravian church 102,127,129 mouton 123,148 mukluks 28,121,124 mummies Pisissarfik (Greenland) 98 Qilakitsoq (Greenland) 18,44,70,72, 98 Uunartoq (Greenland) 98 murre skin 49,64,65 museums 50,54,56,92 collections 13,17,58,70,73,88,89, 90, 113,121 5ee abo British Museum; Greenland National Museum and Archives; National Museum of Denmark; Roald Amundsen collection; Smithsonian Institution musk ox skin 45 muskrat skin 40,152 National Museum of Denmark 17,18, 84-90,92,101 necklaces 34,35,59,61,148 needles 49,83,128,147 neoprene 115,117,118,119,120 Netsilik Inuit 18,65, 91,92,93,145,146 netting 63,127-9,130 Norse, clothing 95-8 Northwest Passage 17,90,91,92 nudity 13-4, no, 137-8 otter skin 33,37, 38,149 parkas Alaska: fish skin, bird skin and gut 16,18,48-9,50-1,52,58,64,65; grass 58; Inupiaq 28,29-31; Kiana creations 148,149-51,152; trim styles 121-2,123-6 ;Yup'ik 3i-3,37-4o Canadian Arctic 92,133,139 Greenland 45,46 see abo amautiit; anoraks; atiktuk; kayak clothing Pauktuutit 23,24,25,26 pendants 63-4,65 Peqatigiinniat 102,103 prints 132,135,137,141,142,146; see also stencil prints professional clothing in, 112 ptarmigans 63,64,65 puffin skin/beaks 49,63,64,65


Qaannat Kattuffiat 115,119; see also kayak clubs rabbit skin 23,28,29,33,39,148 reindeer 31,54,126 ribbons 101,102,104,133 Roald Amundsen collection (Museum of Cultural History at the University of Oslo) 18, 91-4,93-4 Royal Greenland Trade Department 88,95,101,102,109 ruffs 30,33,40,123,148,149-50,152 Russian Orthodoxy 127,128,129,130 salmon skin 49,50,51,52,57 scrapers 28,71,74,75, 76,77,78,83 scraping boards 71,83 sculpture 134,135,136,137,142 sea lions 48 seal hair 42,43,44 intestines 48 throat 50,117 sealskin, use of Alaska 28,37,38,149,152 Canadian Arctic 23, 80,82,83, I39-4I Greenland 45,47,112,113; anoraks 70-3,84,85,86,87; kamiks 70, 72,100,103,104-7, no, in; kayak clothing 115-6,117-8,119,120; trousers 104 see also skin preparation; waterproof properties

sewing encouragement of 28,29,30,35, 39,47,81,112,118,126,152 sewing machines 123,124 sewing techniques 50,51,52,70-3, 106,107 shamans 59, 60, 66,143 sheep skin 45,106,123,148 shirts 58,64,65,100, in shoes 92,100, in Siberia, people of 48, 64, 94,121,123, 124,125,126 Siberian sable 37 sinew see thread skin applique 139,140; see also avittat skin preparation 135 bird 49 caribou 28, 74,75~9, 93, 94 fish skin 50 gut 48 mink 33 reindeer 31 sealskin 28,45,47,70,71,105,115, 116,118,139 skirts no, in Smithsonian Institution 17,49,50,51, 64,121,127 snowy owls 28,62,63,65,67 socks/stockings 45,53,56,57,64, 92, 100 squirrel skin, use of Alaska 29,30,31,32,37,39,49,149 Greenland 98 stencil prints 139-41 stitching see sewing

stockings see socks/stockings suits in Sunday clothes 88,90,110 swan skin 37,38, 63,64 tanning 29,31,51, 94 tassels 31,32,33,37-40,122,149 textiles, use of 15 Alaska: 34,35,51,122,123,124,125, 148,149-51,152 Canadian Arctic 133,135 Greenland: Inuit 100,101-3,104-5, 109, jjo-i, 112-3; Norse 95-7, 98 see also felt; ribbons; thread; trims; yarn thimbles 28,32,83 thread cotton 50,124,127 dental floss 123 grass 50,52 gut 50,117 sinew 63; Alaska 28,49,50,52,123, 127,128; Greenland 72,88 synthetic 117 Thule culture 95,97,98,133 ties 103,110 topknots 101,102,109 trade 97-8,100-1,121-2,124-5,126 trims Alaska 121,122,123-4,125,126,148, I49-5I Canadian Arctic 133 Greenland 87,89 trousers Alaska 52,122,123-4

Canadian Arctic 92 Greenland 45,46,47,72-3,104-6, no, in see also leggings; under-breeches Tunumiit 14,45,105,108,109-13,114 ulu 25,70,71-2,74,83 under-breeches 109 walrus 37,48,98 waterproof properties of clothing 31, 43,44,45,48,49,50,115-7 wedding clothes, Greenland 47,86, 101-2,105,108 wedding gifts 39,129 West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative 141 whalers 100,121-2,124-5, !43,146 whales 39,48,50,90 willow 34-5,51,54,55 window coverings 49,54, 63 wolfskin 23,33,37,122,148,150 wolverine skin 32,33,37,38,40,122 wood shavings 116 yarn 37,89,97,123 Yupiit 63,64 clothing: fish, bird and gut 48,49, 50; grass 53,54-6,57,58,59, 60-1; masks i6;3i, 32,59,60 parkas 31-3,37-40 netting 127-9,13° zippers 33,123


Photographic Acknowledgements

Every effort has been made to trace and contact the owners of the copyright in the photographs and drawings reproduced in this book. The Editors and the Publishers apologize for any inadvertent errors and will be pleased to make the necessary amendments in future editions or reprints if contacted in writing by the copyright holders. Copyright rests with the holding institutions. Introduction la: Courtesy of a private library, ib: The British Museum, Ethno 2001 Am 18.1 a-h. © The British Museum. 2-5: Photographs by the author. © The British Museum. Dewar i: Photograph by Michelle Valberg, 2002. Harcharek i, 2: Photographs by Bill Hess. © 2004 Bill Hess, Running Dog Publications. Charles i, 2,5: Photographs by Kiyoshi Yagi. © 1994. 3: Drawing by David Williams and James Farrant after a sketch and information from Elena and Sue Charles. © The British Museum. 4: Photograph courtesy of Nicholas Charles Jr. Dayo i: Photograph by Jostens Campus Photography. Mclntyre 1-4, 6,7: Photographs by Kerry Richardson. © 1997. 5: Photograph by the author. 8: Photograph taken by Moravian Missionaries, Eek, c. 1930. Meeks / Cartwright 1-7: © The British Museum. i-3,5-7: Illustrations by the authors. 4: SEM image by the authors, with drawing by James Farrant after Teerink(i99i: 3, Fig. 2). Petrussen 1-6: Courtesy of the author. Reed i: NMNH: 3166677 Sheldon Jackson, ace. 1924. Photograph by Stephen Loring, Arctic Studies Center, NMNH. 2: NMNH: 0388177 Edward Nelson, ace. 1897. Photograph by Stephen Loring, Arctic Studies Center, NMNH. 3: Drawing by James Farrant after British Museum sewing sample (Ethno 1985 Am 19.19) .© The British Museum. 4: Collections of The Field Museum,


#13801. Photograph by the author. 5: NMNH: 55927 WilliamDall, ace. 1870. Photograph by Stephen Loring, Arctic Studies Center, NMNH. Riordan i: Ethnologisches Museum, Berlin, IVA4225. Photograph by Barry McWayne. 2: Photograph by James H. Barker. ©1976. 3: Ethnologisches Museum, Berlin, FVA4229, IVA4230, IVA4233, IVA 4434, IVA4485, IVA552I, IVA7266. Photograph by Barry McWayne. 4: Ethnologisches Museum, Berlin, IVA 5387. Photograph by Barry McWayne. 5: National Museum of the American Indian, 9/3522. 6: University of Alaska Museum of the North, UA64-o64-oon, 2002-0001, UA64-007-OO23. Photograph by Barry McWayne. 7: Photograph by Alfred Milotte, Alaska State Museum. 8: Photograph by Suzi Jones, Alaska State Council on the Arts. Krech i: Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Collection, 8832 (Ace # 28747). Reproduced with the permission of the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative, Cape Dorset, Nunavut. 2-6: The British Museum. © The British Museum. 2: Ethno 2000 Am 6.1; 3: Ethno Am 5193; 4: Ethno 1855,1126.6; 5: Ethno 1899, -.419; 6: Ethno 1903,6-15.1; 7: Ethno SL1933; 8: Ethno 1987 Am 13.i. Pedersen i: Greenland National Museum & Archives, KNK 999x14/28. 2,4,5,7: Photographs by Finn Pedersen. 3: Drawing by James Farrant after a sketch and information from Frederikke Petrussen, Gertrud Kleinschmidt and Karen and Finn Pedersen. 6: Greenland National Museum & Archives, KNK 999x53/4. Otak a: 1-16: Photographs by John MacDonald. b: Drawing by James Farrant based on information from Siporah Inuksuk. Karetak 1-9: Drawings by the author. Bahnson la, ib: The British Museum. Ethno 1990 Am 12.1. © The British Museum. 2: Worm, 1655. Photograph © The British Museum. 3: National Museum of Denmark, Lc. 187. Photograph by the author.

4: Greenland National Museums & Archives, KNK 2215 Lc. 242.1. Photograph by National Museum of Denmark. 5a, sb: The British Museum. Ethno 1212. © The British Museum. 6: Museum fur Volkerkunde, Vienna, 312. Photograph by Museum fiir Volkerkunde, Vienna. Klokkernes / Sharma 1-6: © Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo. 3a, sb: Photograph by Ann Christine Eek. 5,6: Photograph by Torunn Klokkernes. 0stergard 1-4: National Museum of Denmark. i: NM. 05674; 2: NM. 010594; 3: NM. 010593; 4: NM. 010581. 5: Greenland National Museum & Archives, GUS 1950x1902. Thuesen Photograph by Else M011er. 2: Woodcut by Rasmus Berthelsen. 3 Photograph by Lennart Larsen. National Museum of Denmark, Department of Ethnography. 1: National Museum of Denmark/ Arktisk Institut, Copenhagen. 5: Photographer unknown. 6: Photograph by John M011er. Greenland National Museum & Archives.

Pauksztat 1-4,7 The British Museum. © The British Museum, i: Ethno2ooiAmi4.i3;2:Ethno2ooi Am 14.11; 3: Ethno2ooiAmi4.i6ab; 4: Ethno 2001 Am 14.15 ab. 5,7: Photographs by the author. 6: Illustration by the author. Martin i: Lomen Family Collection, 72-71-778, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks. 2: Smithsonian NMNH 129818. Photograph by the author. 3: Smithsonian NMNH 337369. Photograph by Don Hurlbert, Smithsonian Institution. 4: Anchorage Museum of History and Art, 1996.041.003 D. Photograph by the author. 5: Photograph by the author. 6: Anchorage Museum of History and Art, 881.164.109.


Kleinschmidt i: Photograph by the author. 2: Photograph courtesy of Grethe Jensen. 3: Photographer unknown. 4: From Hansen et al. (1995:15), reproduced courtesy of Atuakkiorfik. 5: Drawing by James Farrant after Hansen et al. (1995:4) and additional information by the author. 6: Drawing by James Farrant after sketches by the author. 7, 8: The British Museum. © The British Museum. 7 top: Ethno 1979 Am 15.2c; 7 bottom: Ethno 2001 Am; 8: Ethno 2001 Am Buijs i: Photograph by W. Thalbitzer, Arktisk Institut, Copenhagen, Al 7778. 2-4: Photograph by Van Zuylen, private collection and National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden. 2: noAF. 181; 3:noAF. ici6;4:noAF. 77 5: Photograph by G. Nooter, 1968, Museon, The Hague and National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden, RMV /MUS.NR. 68-3-51-8. 6, 7: Photograph by the author, National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden. 8: FromKunak(1996:15).

Lee i: Photograph by James H. Barker. ©2000. 2: University of Alaska Museum of the North, Fairbanks, UA 70-053-0039. Photograph by Angela Linn. 3-5,7, 8: Photographs by the author. 6: University of Alaska Museum of the North, Fairbanks, UA 70-053-0056. Photograph by Angela Linn.

Graburn i: By permission of Cape Dorset Fine Arts. 2: AMNH, New York/IANA A 081900533: Collection of James A. and Alice Houston. 3b: IANACD 232891-921. 5: By permission of the Avataq Cultural Institute, AV-go-oSsg. 6,7: Photographs by the author. 8: By permission of the National Gallery of Canada (IANAS1443 / #37570). Houston i, 3,5: Courtesy of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative. King i, 7: Photographs by the author. © The British Museum. 2: Anthropology Archives, American Museum of National History, 60/28420. 3,4: Rasmussen 19303: opp. p.64. 5, 6: Rasmussen 19303: opp. p.65. Maulding 1-5: Photographs by Tony Lutes. 6: The British Museum, Ethno 2001 Am 8.1. Donated by BP. Photograph by the British Museum. © The British Museum.