Copper and Caribou Inuit skin clothing production

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Oakes, Jill E.
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Historical and contemporary skin clothing production procedures used by Caribou and Copper Inuit are described with great detail. A comparison of construction methods used by Inuit in Coppermine, Bathurst Inlet, Cambridge Bay and Eskimo Point provided the basis for study. In addition, a comparison between Paallirmiut and Ahiarmiut (two groups of Caribou Inuit living in Eskimo Point) was recorded. This study is a written presentation of information collected from experienced Inuit seamstresses using participant-observation methodology. Detailed information on caribou skin selection and preparation; pattern development methods using eye, hand and string measurements; cutting, fitting and alteration techniques were collected. An analysis of skin clothing construction methods and usage of skin clothing revealed social, economic and physical factors influencing Inuit fashion production. Variations illustrate social interactions with others, individual creativity, varying lifestyles, changes in sociocultural environments, group identity, prestige, acceptance of traditional dress norms and adoption of new materials. The findings and discussion may be valuable to home economics teachers, curators, folklorists, ethnologists, northern educators, applied anthropologists, artisans, historians and skin conservators.