fur parka is made of mink, beaver, calf skin, wolverine, wolf, ling cod
skin, beads and satin.
(hood cover) is called a "sunshine ruff" with the inner fur being of beaver,
the next outward is wolverine which repels frost, lastly; the outer fur
consists of approximately 50 different pieces of wolf mane to produce this
splendid coloration and "sunshine" effect. The sunshine ruff is made to
resemble the rays of the sun beaming from one's face.
front and rear of this beautiful parka has a design done in calf
skin embellished with ling cod skin representative of walrus tusks. In some
bands of Inupiat it was believed to ward off evil spirits while in other
groups it was used as a defensive design in that when threatened by a
keen-sighted polar bear, the parka could be pulled up showing the tusks,
which created a creature with big teeth to ensure the polar bear would leave
the wearer alone.
is the outline in ling cod decorative, it also keeps the outside air out.
The design in calf skin is decorative but they too sometimes were used to
tassels hanging on the front, back and sleeves are of wolverine. In the days
of old, they represented wealth. The more white fur one has on tassels and
parka, the more successful the hunter. Only the most successful of families
had a parka made from white mink or ermine.
extensive conversations with village elders and perusal of photographic
archives, the artist created this hoping it will help in the perpetuation of
Photo Gallery. By Kathleen Westlake. $7,500.00 (#1146)