||Making Kamiks - Tools Made for a Woman’s Hand
In the process of outfitting their families, Inuit women prepared the skins through various stages, and constructed skin garments and boots by hand. The ulu is their most valued tool, and is often made to fit their own hands. Its various shapes and sizes serve different cutting and scraping functions. Other tools serve to scrape, soften, and work the skins. Inuit still make and use these tools today, although they sometimes buy them, or use modern rather than natural materials.
"I use one type of scraper for softening caribou skins and another type for seal skins. When I was little I started playing with scrapers and tools by practicing on skins."
Quqshuun, Gjoa Haven 1986
"You need a sharp ulu for taking blubber and hair off seal skins. It takes a lot of time to re-sharpen an ulu if someone has let it get in bad shape."
Katherine Kopak, Arviat, 1986
"Straight scrapers are used to press out the excess water and fat from seal hair after washing the skin."
Elisapee Alooloo, Arctic bay, 1984