Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

 

Boots

kamitqiutik “short boots”
Language: Qawiaraq Iñupiaq

Almost like water boots, [worn] in summertime. Summertime boots had no fur on them. There were no shoes or rubbers long ago. Even for summertime they sewed boots.

—Anna Etageak, 2001

This is a pair of waterproof summer boots designed for wet ground, rainy summer weather, and boating. The upper parts are made of scraped, winter-tanned seal hide. The seal skin was soaked in urine to remove oils and then bleached white through prolonged exposure to freezing cold air. The soles of these boots are made from the tough hide of a bearded seal.

Culture: Iñupiaq
Region: Norton Sound, Alaska
Village: Unalakleet
Object Category: Clothing
Dimensions: Length 30cm
Accession Date: 1879
Source: E. W. Nelson (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E038771