Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

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That’s a spring hat, because there’s reindeer and some patches of seal fur…The cap is not too big, it just covers around the face. This looks like wolverine around the edges. We have different hats in winter, made mostly from reindeer, and it’s a longer hood to protect from wind and frostbite. That’s why I said this is a spring hat, for when it’s not too rainy, not too cold, and not too windy.

—Nicolai Ettyne, 2005

This Chukchi herder’s spring cap is made of seal and reindeer or caribou fur, with a wolverine ruff. Chukchi advisor Nicolai Etteyne said that the design is for the spring season, and that the mix of interior and coastal furs is also appropriate for that time of year. He said, “Spring is the best time to travel, because all the lakes and rivers are still frozen. They [herders] can use dog teams, or move reindeer closer to a coastal village. They trade reindeer meat and fur for walrus meat and seal skin, and fat from seal or whales.”

Culture: Eastern Siberian
Region: Northeast Siberia
Object Category: Clothing
Object Type: Hat
Dimensions: Length 30cm
Museum: National Museum of the American Indian
Museum ID Number: 245952.000