Caribou cowhide cotton = squinting

In replace of caribou hide – I am using cowhide for the shield and in replace of caribou hair some use cotton, in a minute you will see what I mean and by the end of this story hope you’re not squinting 😆.

I have been challenged to deal with loose hair that has to be white like cotton!  I disliked (past) dealing with the loose in all directions fur – hair more like a bad hair day with a deadline.

Tried to be creative but dissatisfied
The other day, I seen a row of white folders neatly set with black divider in between each folder and I said out loud,  “I like the set up.”  Eeee I said it out loud.  What?  I realized it have been sewing pieces of black and white.  My first line of sewing was like a nightmare, hair sticking up!  Fluffy!  I thought I should be creative!  I doubted myself and asked my friends online and they all agreed that it wasn’t it.  I am so glad I get feed back!!!

Caribou line sewn, first try
I started all over!  I just got to get through this sloppy stage hand sewing, and My uncle said, ‘sloppy is good.’  My black thread wasn’t cooperating and the caribou hair didn’t care.  I thought of wax, need something sticky or tape or just wrap it and sew it, oh lick it!  I put the caribou hairs in my mouth and smoothed it out – tasted salty and spat out a few strands – it worked!  Just like when your child’s hair on picture day, smooth it out.

Ok, I did my first line like it’s supposed to be done, not exactly!  It was like a bang cut uneven!  My friends said keep trying.  My mom said, you’ll get better and you’ll enjoy it soon.  A friend said, trial and error makes excellent learning.  I have had nothing but positive comments and they all inspire me!  I get frustrated and complain like an out of control bad hair day person!

Don’t give up-keep sewing & find the cotton

When I contemplate while sewing and writing about my experiences – I thank God that he ordered rest!  Resting is important and this summer I had a hard time resting and it is rolling over to fall.  Lately, I sit and sew to rest.

Caribou lines
I want to thank Mr. & Mrs. Hickman  owners of Alaska Precision Taxidermy for donating caribou mane for my project.  I was surprised with the generousity of shareing, as I was looking all over Fairbanks for caribou hair.  Quyana!

Black Fish Tail

Front and back tassels
As soon as I received the caribou hair, I went straight to sewing.  Out of frustration I sewed cotton string on the second try – to my surprise the caribou hair and cotton look so much alike.  I am still working on the lines as you will soon see the process and measurements.  After the squires will be the shield and then the shoulder straps.  I am calling it straps as it rests on the shoulders to the back and front – almost like suspenders.  By the time I am done with this area I should have bifocals to help me see better.

squinting selfie = self portrait
I have enjoyed the process after all 🌸
Check back again for the shields, straps, otter and wolf parts to the Qaliq.  Piurci!

Author: Nasek'taq

Alaska Native Artist. Yup'ik woman from Akiacuaq (Akiachak) Alaska. I am in the process of making a Yup'ik woman's traditional fancy parka and a child size parka made out of Arctic Ground Squirrel and other Alaskan furs.