4 / 2003

Norway - Finnmark - Sealskin ladies’ shoes

Contrary to the inland Saami tribes, the seaside Saami depend for their livelihood on fishing. In the thousands of narrow inlets of the sea between cliffs and steep slopes called "fjords" especially in the northern Finnmark territory of Norway, seals are abundantly present. Sealskins are used for clothing and footwear. The sole and vamp-insert of above shoe are made of the skin of the grey seal, while the heel-quarter is made of the skin of the bearded seal. Red flannel cloth is used for lining. The instep is trimmed with arctic fox-fur. The vamp is decorated with felt dyed in the national flag colours of the Saami.

Research and text by : W.A.H.M. Habraken-Oosterhout-Holland
Illustration by : Colin Ball - Waalwijk - Holland