"Triangle-shaped patterns are used in many communities. When I see a design that I like, I think about how I want to make it on my own kamiks."
Judith Akpalial, Arviat, 1986

Reading the Design

In some cultural groups, designs on the kamiks identify whether the wearer is a man or woman, and the group he or she belongs to.

This selection of kamiks from the Eastern Arctic Ungava culture belonged to a man, woman, girl, and boy. Even though they came from different geographical communities, traditionally the man’s and boy’s kamiks have vertical patterns on the shaft, whereas the woman’s and girl’s have horizontal ones.

haring Patterns and Styles

"Patterns are shared at gatherings - and boots themselves are exchanged as gifts between school friends. In this way, some regional styles have spread across the Arctic."
as told in Inuktitut by Ulayok Kaviok, an Arviat elder, 1985-87

To make a pair of kamiks, the pattern pieces for both feet have to fit on the animal skins so that the markings on the skins match. The four pieces in this pattern are the sole, vamp, shaft, and cuff for a winter boot.

The Bata Shoe Museum

©The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.

Teachers' Centre Home Page | Find Learning Resources & Lesson Plans