Reignite Kameksak

I have taken out the kameksak I started before the sewing of the squirrels into a parka!

These are called, “ciuqalek” which literally translated from Yupigtun. “the one with bangs!” Not the bang when you light a firework but the bangs you have on your forehead. Yupiit, please correct me if I am wrong.

This seal is the newest piece I have ever worked, just so different from older seals I have worked.

It still has that fresh smell of the sea or the process of natural chemicals to remove the hair off the seal. It came frozen and so I placed it my freezer to keep it from drying up too much.

I do have a story to tell you about the older boot on the right based on my mother’s story she told me. When Mr. Elia Sallafie of Bethel passed away my parents received his pair of kameksak. My mom kept them for many years. I am honored to replicate them. Out of curiosity I cut the bottom to peak inside – I didn’t want to but it was already cracked from use – don’t be startled I will replace the bottom with new seal.

They will look new once I perfect the crimping.

I have one side finished and I need to start the other side.

I just need to put in the upper top with woven yarn and sew the tassels on.

This is a side project that allows for me to practice crimping seals for better quality. Quyana to Sallafie family for sharing your dad’s kameksak to my parents. Please correct me if I misinformed the story – I am open for corrections.

Piurci. Thank you ‘Quyana!’

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.