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Specialized Sledge Dogs Accompanied Inuit Dispersal Across the North American Arctic
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Langsomt på Svalbard (Slowly on Svalbard)
Frossen Frihe (Frozen Freedom)
Restoring a Historic Nansen Sledge
Media Review: Kamik, an NFB documentary
IMHO: A View from Across the Divide
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Drawing by L. Robson National Film Board of Canada
As part of the National Film Board of Canada’s Unikkausivut – Sharing Our Stories seventy-five film collection, Kamik is as delightful as it is informative. Here is the NFB’s synopsis:
“This short documentary is a portrait of Ulayok Kaviok, one of the last of a generation of Inuit, born and bred on the land. Ulayok and her family, like many Inuit today, strive to balance 2 very different worlds. Her skills in making the sealskin boots called kamik may soon be lost in the cultural transformation overtaking her community. Kamik offers a glimpse of those universes and the thread one woman weaves between them.”
Ulayok (l) sews while her daughter, Elizabeth, chews skin to soften it, making it easier to sew.
Screen capture from Kamik
Just 14 minutes long, this 1989 documentary filmed in Arviat is packed with visuals: including an enthusiastic dog team hauling an open boat on a qamutiq; processing a ring and bearded seal into kamiit, and other traditional and more modern activities. Background sounds of ayaya and throat singing and drumming enhance this little gem. Watch Kamik here.
While watching this documentary, try to envision Inuit life pre-contact with outsiders: no wooden boats, no rifles, no metal cutting instruments like the ulu. Try to imagine creating a long, slender sliver of bone and then drilling a small hole in one end to create a sewing needle!