XIV CLOTHING

PEOPLE seem inclined to think of the Arctic as a region where one piles on endless garments, yet old Utoyak who has bucked the northern blizzards for nearly seventy years concentrates her entire clothing into two pieces. From the waist down one garment of caribou fur is made to take the place of what in the well-dressed American woman would be the step-ins, slip, dress, stockings, and shoes. The second garment is a tunic of caribou fur replacing the shirt, dress, coat, hat, and scarf. When she is out on the trail she does have to add moccasins as a sort of overshoe, and gloves to protect her hands. But practically all she has to do when she gets dressed is to jump into the lower garment and pull the upper one over her head.

This upper garment is really the most important piece of apparel among all the clothing of the Arctic. It is not particularly associated with race, sex, or age, for it is worn by every Eskimo and white, every man and woman, every adult and child in the entire region. It is called the parky.1

The parky is a loose-fitting garment which is slipped over the head and comes down about to the knees. It has the dual advantage over most white clothing that there are no open

____________________
1
This word is usually spelled parka, but I am spelling it the way it is always pronounced.

-144-

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Arctic Village
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgment vii
  • Contents ix
  • Illustrations xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I the Background 11
  • Geography 13
  • Climate 19
  • Iii History 29
  • Part II the People 45
  • Iv the Whites 47
  • V an Evening at the Roadhouse 57
  • Vi the Eskimos 72
  • Vii an Evening at Big Jim's 83
  • Viii Eskimo Biographies 88
  • Part III the Economic Life 99
  • Ix Labor 101
  • X Capital 117
  • Xii the Advent of the Mechanical 132
  • Xiii Food 138
  • Xiv Clothing 144
  • Xv Shelter 151
  • Xvi the Quest for Gold 156
  • Xvii Living off the Country 164
  • Xviii Financial Summary 176
  • Part IV the Communal Life 185
  • Xix Law and Law Enforcement 187
  • Xx Voluntary Communal Responsibility 198
  • Xxi Sickness and Health 204
  • Xxii the Hazardous Koyukuk 214
  • Xxiii Quarrels and Unpopularity 222
  • Xxiv Inter-Racial Relations 230
  • Xxv Children and Education 238
  • Part V the Sexual Life 247
  • Xxvi Marriage 249
  • Xxvii Promiscuity and Taboos 264
  • Xxviii Chickens 273
  • Part VI the Recreational Life 283
  • Xxix White Conversation 285
  • Xxx Eskimo Conversation 297
  • Xxxi Dancing 305
  • Xxxii the Arts 315
  • Part VII Koyukuk Philosophy 327
  • Xxxiii the History of the World 329
  • Xxxiv Medicine Men and the Supernatural 340
  • Xxxv Christianity Among the Eskimos 352
  • Xxxvi the Religion of the Whites 358
  • Xxxvii White Happiness 364
  • Conclusion 373
  • Appendix 381
  • General Index 383
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