"The written text is beautifully augmented by contemporary and historical photographs, as well as line drawings. This illustrative material is a major asset to the manuscript."
—Richard Nelson, PhD
Alaska Eskimo Footwear celebrates the incredible beauty and spiritual significance of the shoes and boots worn by Alaska Native peoples. Stunning photography brings the harsh and striking environment of the North alive and demonstrates how essential footwear was to Native survival. Eskimo seamstresses, dancers, and hunters explain the symbolic meaning of their traditional patterns and decorative details, helping the reader understand the ancient stories stitched into timeless designs.
For each major Alaska Eskimo group "Inupiaq, Yup'ik, Aleut, Alutiiq, St. Lawrence Islander" authors Oakes and Riewe discuss pattern, design, and techniques for skin preparation, construction, and decoration. They describe the reasons for design and decorative differences in boots used for ceremonies and dancing versus those for everyday wear and hunting, trapping, and fishing.
Developed with Eskimo seamstresses from each Alaskan region, this full-color volume features photographs from museum collections in the United States and Russia. Detailed drawings of patterns, construction techniques, and decorative details illustrate the complexity of this ancient art and provide readers with guidance in identifying regional styles. A tribute to an exquisite art and the women who practice it, Alaska Eskimo Footwear brings the beauty of the North to life.