"Combinations of seal, caribou, and other skins produce footwear that is suited for many different weather conditions."
Sally Qimmiuínaaq Webster, Baker Lake and Ottawa, 1995

Caribou Skin Clothing

Traditional styles of caribou skin clothing for women included hoods large enough to accommodate an infant.

Mary Battye, from Pangnirtung Northwest Territories, made these kamiks from caribou leg skins in 1987. Compare the dark soles of this pair of caribou skin kamiks to the white seal skin soles of the seal skin kamiks. Hair has been removed from the wind-bleached white soles, whereas the hair on the other pair has been shaved.

Seal Skin Clothing

The Inuit wear varying layers and weights of caribou or seal skin clothing and footwear in order to suit changes in climate from one season to another. Seal skin works well as protection in a summer climate of mostly wet snow, and could be effective throughout the year. Caribou-skin, a warmer and less waterproof material works well for the cold, dry, winter climate, wit Read More
"Combinations of seal, caribou, and other skins produce footwear that is suited for many different weather conditions."
Sally Qimmiuínaaq Webster, Baker Lake and Ottawa, 1995

Caribou Skin Clothing

Traditional styles of caribou skin clothing for women included hoods large enough to accommodate an infant.

Mary Battye, from Pangnirtung Northwest Territories, made these kamiks from caribou leg skins in 1987. Compare the dark soles of this pair of caribou skin kamiks to the white seal skin soles of the seal skin kamiks. Hair has been removed from the wind-bleached white soles, whereas the hair on the other pair has been shaved.

Seal Skin Clothing

The Inuit wear varying layers and weights of caribou or seal skin clothing and footwear in order to suit changes in climate from one season to another. Seal skin works well as protection in a summer climate of mostly wet snow, and could be effective throughout the year. Caribou-skin, a warmer and less waterproof material works well for the cold, dry, winter climate, with powder snow.

©The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.

Woman wearing caribou parka with child in hood

Woman wearing caribou parka with child in hood

Jill Oakes and Rick Riewe.

© Jill Oakes and Rick Riewe.


Baffinland Inuit boots

Mary Battye, from Pangnirtung Northwest Territories, made these kamiks from caribou leg skins in 1987. Compare the dark soles of this pair of caribou skin kamiks to the white seal skin soles of the seal skin kamiks. The dark hair was removed from the dark soles by shaving them. Removing both the epidermis and the hair results in a cream-coloured skin.

The Bata Shoe Museum
1987
Caribou skin and seal skin
S87.74
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Ungava Inuit boot

Ungava Inuit boot

The Bata Shoe Museum
1981
Seal skin
S82.248
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


12Esquimaux Indians of the coast of Labrador

Esquimaux Indians of the coast of Labrador, communicated by a Moravian Missionary

The Bata Shoe Museum
1812
Hand coloured etching on paper
P83.222
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Baffinland Inuit suit

This 1920s man's seal skin parka from Baffin Island was made from 29 pieces of seal skin sewn together with sinew. Mrs. Audlakiak made these kamiks in the traditional style, but they date from 1985. Notice the thick shaved bearded-seal sole, ideal for summer conditions.

The Bata Shoe Museum
1920
Seal skin
S79.623, .624, .628 and P88.157
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Baffinland Inuit Parka

This 1920s man's seal skin parka from Baffin Island was made from 29 pieces of seal skin sewn together with sinew.

The Bata Shoe Museum
1920
Seal skin
S79.624
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Baffinland Inuit pants and mittens

Seal skin kamiks and clothing are suitable protection for the activity of hunting for seals.

The Bata Shoe Museum
1920
Seal skin
S79.623, .628
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Baffinland Inuit Boots

Mrs. Audlakiak made these kamiks in the traditional style, but they date from 1985. Notice the thick shaved bearded-seal sole, which is ideal for summer conditions.

The Bata Shoe Museum
1985
Seal skin
P88.157
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

The learner will :
  • Explain how the environment influenced population (Aboriginal, French and Engilsh) in their culture, lifestyle and economy;
  • Identify the effects that resulted from interaction between Aboriginal peoples and colonizers;
  • Summarize the evolution of the shoes in Canada and involve significant changes to Canada’s development;
  • Analyze the development of Canada through the evolution of shoes.

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