Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

 
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Boots

piñiqqak “pair of short summer boots”
Language: North Slope Iñupiaq

Also called:
kammak “pair of boots”
Language: North Slope Iñupiaq

When you start the sewing, you have to chew the inside of the atuŋak [boot sole]. After you do that, you have to bite it with your teeth.

—Jane Brower, 2002

These waterproof boots have uppers made of sealskin dyed with alder bark; tops and straps made of winter-bleached seal; and soles made from young bearded seal hide. The soles were chewed to soften the leather. Children traditionally wore this type of boot for Nalukataq, the “blanket toss” festival held to celebrate successful spring whaling.

Culture: Iñupiaq
Region: Northwest Alaska
Object Category: Clothing
Dimensions: Length 30cm
Accession Date: 1931
Source: Victor J. Evans (donor)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E359020