1 / 2004

Alaska - Ladies' boot with polar bearskin upper

This boot with glass-beaded cuffs is made by the Inuvialuit-Eskimo tribe of the most north-eastern part of Alaska. The Canadian Copper-Inuit, as well as the Alaska Inuipat and Yuit tribes, also make boots of cloth, caribou-, seal-, or other skin, like polar bear, with hard pre-formed boat-shaped pleated sealskin soles. The skins most often used by tribes to make boots however, are seal and caribou. Sealskin is water-resistant, making it ideal for boots worn in wet conditions. Animal skin in general is porous and allows body vapours to escape, reducing the amount of moisture collected inside boots.

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