Southern Alaska / Alaska Peninsula (not certain), Alaska, United States, North America
1838 to 1842
CHILD'S WINTER BOOTS MADE OF BLEACHED SEAL SKIN WHICH IS PUCKERED AT THE FOOT, WITH THE UPPER PART OF THE BOOT MADE OF DARKER CARIBOU SKIN WITH FUR SIDE OUT. THE BOOTS ARE DECORATED WITH FISH SKIN, POLAR BEAR AND ERMINE FUR, AND PUFFIN BEAKS. EXHIBITED MAGNIFICENT VOYAGERS, NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, 1985-86.
Illus. Fig. 207, p. 222 in Crowell, Aron, Amy F. Steffian, and Gordon L. Pullar. 2001. Looking both ways: heritage and identity of the Alutiiq people. Fairbanks, Alaska: University of Alaska Press. Identified there as probably from Alaska Peninsula. Caribou skin boots with creased soles and seal-trimmed tops. Decorative bands are made from strips of dyed sea lion esophagus, embroidered with caribou hair.
Source of the information below: Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Alaska Native Collections: Sharing Knowledge website, by Aron Crowell, entry on this artifact http://alaska.si.edu/record.asp?id=11, retrieved 9-2-2012: Boots, Sugpiaq (Alutiiq) kulusuk "pair of boots" - Language: Koniag Sugpiaq (Alaska Peninsula dialect) These delicate child-sized boots have uppers made of caribou leg skin, encircled at the top with seal fur. The neatly creased soles may be sea lion. Embroidered bands at the cuffs and on the front of each boot are composed of narrow strips of sea lion esophagus, both natural color and dyed, which has been cross-stitched with caribou hair. Decorative tassels of red-dyed skin and white fur end in puffin beaks filled with caribou hair. The boots were sewn with sinew thread.
This object is on loan to the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, from 2010 through 2022.