Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

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Grass socks

piniġluk “pair of grass socks”
Language: Qawiaraq Iñupiaq

Qipipłuu, ililgaaqłuu, qipiragałuu grass-sak malguk, like qipsraq. Taimana makua piliagurut. (Twist it, after you put it, twisting two strands of grass at a time, like [twisting] sinew. They are made that way.) You have to wet the grasses first, so they won’t break easily.

—Anna Etageak, 2001

Woven grass socks were worn inside skin boots to have warm, dry feet. Additional layers of insulation could be added, such as fur socks, wool socks, and bottom pads of folded grass. At night, socks and boot pads were hung by the oil lamp to dry.

Culture: Iñupiaq
Region: Norton Sound, Alaska
Object Category: Clothing
Dimensions: Length 30cm
Accession Date: 1910
Source: U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Education (transfer)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E260720