I absolutely love the State, Library, Archives and Museum (SLAM)! My children and I have been patiently awaiting its opening since the State museum closed for construction in 2014. I appreciated the invitation to slow down and really look at and read about the treasures living in our new museum.
Having recently learned about the resurgence of the art of fish skin sewing I took notice of a number of pieces at the SLAM that were made in this technique. The first piece is an Eskimo fish skin ball, from St. Michael, made of dried fish skin with reinforced tanned leather seams. It’s so simple, yet ingenious at the same time.
The second fish skin piece is a pair of Yupik salmon skin boots from the Lower Yukon. I love the detail added to the seams, trim and boot tops.
Seeing these beautiful functional pieces reminded me of my curiosity about the revived art of skin sewing and led me to further investigation. Below is a great video by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History explaining the process as it is being rediscovered by several Alaskans.