Home >> Arctic Biodiversity >> Stretched seal skin
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Uploaded on Monday 21 Feb 2011 by Lawrence Hislop

Stretched seal skin

Year: 2010
From collection: Arctic Biodiversity
Taken by: Lawrence Hislop
Seal skin is lightweight and water resistant and has been used for centuries by Inuits for the production of clothing and boots, called Kamiks. Young Ringed Seals are preferred for making boot legs, while the tougher skin of older seals is used for the soles. Once removed from the seal, skins must be treated immediately to have the fat and inner skin-layers removed with a traditional moon-shaped knife. Sealskins are then pegged to the ground or lashed to a wooden frame such as this for stretching and drying. Traditionally (though not so much anymore) the soles for Kamiks had to be chewed for softening, a process that was both long and arduous as well as bad for the teeth...
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