As promised, here are some of the objects from the Inuit collection I photographed last week.
Just by sketching away, some of the objects have already given me an insight into the incredible craftsmanship and creativity that Inuit people had, in order to survive!
This piece of sinew thread (pictured below) was so fragile. When I had delicately lifted it out of its archival quality packaging, I had to find out more. Why was this kept? What’s so precious about it?
Then I found out: ‘When a hunter brings a caribou back to camp, a seamstress slices its dorsal sinews (uliut) from the back, cuts them into ribbons, then cleans them and hangs them to dry. After a day, she splits the ribbons into thin strands with her teeth or thumbnail. She can store the sinew thread (ivalu) or use it immediately to sew clothing, tents, bedding, or kayaks…..’ (Reference taken from ‘Sinews of Survival: The Living Legacy of Inuit Clothing’ by Issenman B, 1997. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press).
How resourceful can you get! It inspired me to illustrate some of the process – which I will show you next week, stay tuned to Tales of the Tundra blog posts!