The skin clothing from the MacFarlane Collection is an amazing record of Inuvialuit clothing styles from the mid-19th century. The clothing has been kept carefully in climate-controlled conditions by Smithsonian curators for the past 150 years and is in amazing condition. The clothing includes such items as: women’s, men’s and children’s parkas, kamiks, mitts, fur ruffs, pants, and gloves, in addition to a various types of bags, pouches, and other containers which you can view on the Collection section of this website.
"While at the Smithsonian Institution, the group had the pleasure of examining a number of clothing items made by our ancestors. What is unique about the clothing is that since they were made in the 1800s, they are adjgaat ingilraanittat, kamngit ingilraanittat and atigit ingilraanittat or real, traditional clothing (translation by Beverly Amos), including Inuvialuit gloves, mukluks and parkas! We were fortunate to have Mrs. Freda Raddi on the trip. She is an expert seamstress, using the skills she learned from her mother. Freda immediately put her knowledge to work by making patterns of the clothing out of paper and cloth. Freda took great pride in her role, as she knew that the clothing is ancient and that there are very few examples of this style of clothing. One of the objectives of the project is to take the information and share with all Inuvialuit. Seamstress Heather Scott is currently making patterns of several of the skin clothing pieces to share with Inuvialuit seamstresses. By making clothing patterns and examining the stitching and decorations used in the past, we are able to continue to live and share our traditional Inuvialuit heritage".
More information about patterns for the Inuvialuit clothing will be added at a later date. In the meantime, a pattern for mittens can be found in the Lesson Plan 3b on this website.