Traditional Inuvialuit clothing had no pockets. Instead, small bags or pouches were used for carrying items such as sewing implements, tobacco, and tinder, flint and steel for making fire. These bags often were exquisitely made by piecing together contrasting pieces of skin and decorating them with fringes and beads. Pouches like the one shown here typically were used to hold tobacco.
No community interpretations provided
Émile Petitot illustrated an Inuvialuit 'sac á tabac’ (tobacco pouch) which is similar to pouches in the MacFarlane Collection in his 1879 publication, ‘De l’origine asiatique des Indiens de l’Amérique arctique’ (Les Missions Catholiques de Lyon, 1879, Vol. XI).
Based on what he observed in the early 1900s, Vilhjalmur Stefansson wrote: "The real fire bag of the Eskimo, containing matches and a pocket knife, etc., besides tobacco, but formerly the flint, steel and tinder, is called īgnĕn [...] Telemayun or Tlamayun, is a bag for tobacco only." (‘Stefansson-Anderson Arctic Expedition’. Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History, v. 14. New York: AMS Press. 1914, p. 169)