From Caribou to Sinew

As promised, here are some of the objects from the Inuit collection I photographed last week.

Inuit bear and spear game

Inuit bear and spear game

Inuit harpoon hooks and sewing tools.

Inuit harpoon hooks and sewing tools.

Inuit fish and spear games

Inuit fish and spear games

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!

Inuit games sketch

Inuit games sketch

Bow Drill sketch

Bow Drill sketch

Canoe stone sketch

Canoe stone sketch

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?

Inuit sinew

Inuit sinew

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!

Inuit Doll

Inuit Doll

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Collections, Learning, Tales of The Tundra. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s