"Inuit Parka"This Parka was primarily used for seagoing. It was tasked with ensuring and ensuring a perfect seal to keep the fisherman / hunter dry and protected from splashing during dangerous walrus hunts from their frail craft.
This parka was made with the small intestine of bearded seal. The casings washed with water and / or urine are peeled and then scraped to keep only one layer, the submucosa. After drying, the intestines are opened to form strips about fifteen centimeters wide. With the help of tendons or vegetal fibers, the strips are arranged together to make a parka, whose shapes vary according to the sources and uses. Here, the length of this parka tells us about its first use, a garment for hunting at sea and kayaking.
Other models of gut parka can provide protection against spirits and beings used in ceremonial rituals or festive, they then address the presence of feathered ends and decorative ornaments. (We can distinguish a metaphorical aspect that is fertile in meaning, in taking the skin of the animal that is being hunted - testifying to both a respect for the animal and a spiritual dimension.)
Other similar parkas from the collections of the Musée du Quai Branly, this one could have been collected at the end of the 19th or early 20th century by Russian or European sailors. It comes from Alaska and relates to Yup'ik and Inuptiat communities.
Late nineteenth / early twentieth
Alaska Exhibition: Discovering Inuit culture - Cannes Space Miramar, 2017
120 x 58 x 23 cm - Some tears