Inuit Wall Hangings

Margery and Courtney try their hand at sewing slippers.

Inuit Packing Dolls and other sew crafts made by local artists.

Courtney's slippers.

Sewing - the Traditional Inuit Way

By Natalie

We got to try making slippers and wall hangings one day, with the help of one of the teachers. It turned out to be a lot harder than we expected, but some of our projects ended up being recognizable. We got to take our slippers and wall hangings home as keepsakes, and our families really like them.

Background. . .

Traditionally, Inuit people were challenged to make all of their own clothes. They used caribou and seal skins to make parkas, kamiks (boots), mittens, and pants. Sinew and bone needles were used to sew the fur pieces together. Inuit girls were judged upon their skill at sewing. If a hunter got frostbite when hunting, it was the wife that was blamed for his pain. When girls were babies, mothers would rub spiders into their hands in the hope to make them good seamstresses in the future. Stitches had to be close together to make the pieces of clothing waterproof.

Once trade was established with southerners, Inuit started to use nontraditional materials like wool duffle, metal needles, scissors, and nylon thread. The students on the exchange were likely enough to use these modern materials to make their Inuit crafts.

Catherine makes a wallhanging.

Cam and Brady sewing slippers

Matt is cutting out his pattern for slippers.

Natalie is pleased with her mitt.

Rebecca is busy sewing her slippers.

Natalie and Isabelle sewing together.

Brady and Lena

Nice beard, Cam!