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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site

 

Clothing from Igloolik


Child's nasaq (hood)Child's nasaq (hood)

Map showing area where Inuit ('people') inhabitMap showing area where Inuit ('people') inhabit

Map showing area where Inuit ('people') inhabitMap showing area where Inuit ('people') inhabit


In the Arctic, where temperatures are below freezing for most of the year, warm clothing is of great importance. It is vital for hunters who spend many hours outside fishing or hunting seals, walrus, whales and caribou. Traditional Inuit skin clothing is well suited to this purpose because it provides excellent insulation.

In winter, two layers of clothes were worn when hunting or travelling. The inner layer has the fur turned inwards towards the body, while the fur of the outer layer is turned outwards. Warm air is trapped between the two layers of clothing and the body, providing excellent insulation against the cold.

Today traditional skin clothing remains important to Inuit. Not only are certain kinds of traditional clothing still preferred over manufactured garments, but the making and use of clothing plays a significant role in keeping Inuit cultural values and knowledge alive. Clothing both sustains and expresses Inuit identity.

The clothing featured in this section comes from Igloolik, an Inuit community of about 1,300 people in the eastern Canadian Arctic, some 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle. It is situated in Nunavut ('our land'), the largest self-governing territory of Canada.

Other views: Map. The Inuit ('people') inhabit the shores of the North American continent around and to the north of the Arctic circle.