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HomeNL-2012-10 Eskimo Parka

An Eskimo Parka
Early 1900's
by Dana Enos

HCC member Dana Enos spotted this canoe photo in National Geographic magazine.  The caption reads:
    "Sitting in a Nome, Alaska, photo studio in the early 1900s, an Eskimo man models a parka fashioned of walrus intestine. Impermeable when wet and easy to come by for the sea-focused people, the material was prepared by air curing, then sliced and sewn with a waterproof stitch—the same as used on watercraft, including the umiak (canoe) he’s holding. The jacket’s extra material at the hem functioned as a spray skirt when he was at sea.

    "Other innards also had uses: Bladders became water bags, guts got sewn together as
    sod-house windows, and stomachs could be stretched for tambourine drums."
A walrus intestine parka is just what a Houston paddler needs for those cold weather months.

Dana Enos