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  • Ingalik man holding an ice chisel in his left hand and an ice scoop in his right, used in winter fishing for cutting hole in the ice and clearing the hole of chipped ice.
  • Magnifying Glass

Ingalik man holding an ice chisel in his left hand and an ice scoop in his right, used in winter fishing for cutting hole in the ice and clearing the hole of chipped ice.
Photograph by John Wight Chapman near Anvik, about 1925.
National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution, 10455-a-3











A Diversity of Styles

Athapaskan Winter Footwear in the 20th Century

“My mother would ... tan caribou and moosehides and then smoke them, after which she would use it to sew. She would buy stroud and duffle. She would sew liners for the mukluks ... She made different types of shoes whether it was for the summer or the winter. She would make moccasins, winter mukluks, embroidered mukluks for both men and women. She would sometimes sew with quills to embroider mukluks of every kind. This was one thing she really enjoyed, she said.” Louisa Bella Ross, Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories, 1991

In the second half of the 20th century, boots made from tanned hide and fabric were a popular form of winter footwear, largely replacing moccasins with wrap-around ankle cuffs. Usually, the boot was made to fit large, so it could be worn with one or two layers of duffle (heavy cloth) liners. Styles, materials and decorative work vary according to the region, the maker, and the function for which the footwear is intended.