Old and new


Traditional Greenland costume, involving many thousands of beads and winter bleached skins, would probably take half a year to make. These wonderful women from Tasiilaq, East Greenland, are probably dressed up to celebrate Greenland’s national day, celebrated on 21st June, the day of the summer solstice. The original East Greenland costume was much plainer than this, but times have changed and now everyone has adopted the more colourful costume of West Greenland. The capes are handmade from coloured glass beads, and are quite heavy. The kamiks or boots have soles made of tough bearded seal skin, with insoles of thick grass to cushion the foot. The white legging section is made of fjord seal which has all fur scraped off and is left out on a stretcher for the winter winds to bleach pure white. The men’s hunting kamiks have an inner boot made from seal or caribou skin, and sometimes socks made of husky fur. My kamiks had a top collar made of naneq, or polar bear fur, and were made by Juliette, the most famous seamstress in the district.

Published by earldeblonville


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