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Gut parka

imarnin “gut parka, gut rain parka; spray cover for kayak”
Language: Central Yup'ik

Anuqliqan taugaam wani qailiqan ciqertaryugngakakut augkug imkut qasperek allukek. (Only when it’s windy and wavy and it is splashing do we put on the seal gut rain parka.)

—John Phillip, Sr., 2002

Parkas made from cleaned and dried seal intestines are light, strong, and waterproof. The hood and sleeves have drawstrings to keep out leaks and the bottom of the parka could be tied around a kayak cockpit to prevent waves and rain from coming in. In rough waves a kayaker’s life literally depended on the protection of his gut parka, which was tough enough to withstand a capsize and roll without leaking. The bottom of this parka is cut straight across in a man’s style, whereas a woman’s garment would be rounded on the bottom and vented up the sides.

Culture: Yup’ik
Region: Nelson Island, Alaska
Object Category: Clothing
Dimensions: Length 119cm
Accession Date: 1987
Source: Ann Fienup-Riordan (donor)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E424209