Folks Dressed Up Like Eskimos

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe helps to make the season bright, but not many people know how Eskimos dress.

Eskimos (in Canada, at least) generally prefer to be referred to as Inuit, which means "people" in Inuktitut, the language of the Inuit. Inuit have a variety of modes of dress.

This website shows you the diversity of Inuit style, so you can visualize it better, when you hear the song during this Christmas season.

Let's challenge the stereotypes! Email me your pictures at folksdresseduplikeeskimos@gmail.com

Nakurmiik!!

Joseph Flowers, Inuk from Nunatsiavut and Nunavik

Merry Christmas. Have you dressed up like Eskimos on this special day?

This is a couple of photos of me and my Dad. He’s standing in front of a statue of Guy Lafleur, who was one of the greatest hockey players of his generation, and indeed, one of the best of all time. I grew up watching my Dad watch hockey, and I eventually gained an appreciation for it, too. I remember the playoffs of 1986 when Patrick Roy starred in net for the Canadians as they took home the cup playing against Calgary. 

Dad and I have been to several Canadiens games together. He tells me that growing up as a young Inuk on the Northern Labrador coast, the Montreal Forum was like a holy land. I grew up to develop the same sense of reverence for the Montreal Canadiens and their arena. 

During the 100th anniversary celebration of the Montreal team, the team built a centennial plaza, which included this statue of Guy Lafleur. My sister and I bought Dad a commemorative brick that was laid in the centrepiece of the plaza. It says “W.H. Flowers Labradorian Fan Since 1951”

Dad and I with my Uncle Tom and my brother Jesse, have shared the pleasure of watching the Canadiens play in the Montreal Forum in 1990, when we saw them play a three game homestand against the Los Angeles Kings, the Hartford Whalers and the New York Islanders. Dad and I later saw the Canadiens play a game in the Molson Centre (as it was called then) against the New York Rangers. These are good memories, sacred memories, that I carry with me. It is a good feeling, indeed a gift, to recall these exciting times on the special day we call Christmas.

This photo was taken in June of 2012, when my dad came to Montreal to attend my graduation from McGill Law school. We have good memories of that time.

Dad wears a Nautica shirt in this photo with Walking Shorts by Eddie Bauer and old fashioned sneakers, which some people call high tops. He says the sunglasses are made by an Italian company. 

I am wearing a Makivik Corporation Hat with a beaded pin which I made while visiting the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawa:ke. I also wear a t-shirt from Le Club Chasse et Peche in Montreal, my Lacoste Glasses, my wedding ring which I got from a jeweler named Maude Lapierre in Montreal, my UNIQLO windproof jeans which, if you follow this blog closely, you’ll recall I purchased in NYC last Christmas season, and I am also carrying my lululemon zip-up top. 

There’s also a picture of the brick which my sister and I bought for Dad.

Here is a picture of a friend of mine named Pujjuut with his cousin Kandace. They describe their clothing as a “traditional Inuit Siamese style outfit”

Here is a picture of a friend of mine named Pujjuut with his cousin Kandace. They describe their clothing as a “traditional Inuit Siamese style outfit”

Tanya sent me this photo for the blog. She said the photo is by Chris King, and in the photo, she is wearing a seal skin coat and a wool knitted cat hat. 

Tanya sent me this photo for the blog. She said the photo is by Chris King, and in the photo, she is wearing a seal skin coat and a wool knitted cat hat. 

Here is a photograph of me and my wife. We went to CBC Ottawa today to film an interview for CBC Northbeat. You can watch the video here: Click to 41:40 or so. Jayne stood on the side while she watched me in the interview. It was a barrel of laughs.
Here I am wearing a suit jacket I bought at Moores in Ottawa on Bank and Laurier, along with a white shirt I got at the Moores store on Ste. Catherine street in Montreal. The seal skin tie is a custom made gift that I was honoured to receive when I graduated from law school. It was made by Mary Aitchison. My mom and my wife arranged to have it made for me for my grad day. I wear the tie during special occasions, like during my convocation and while attending events of particular importance to native people. I also wore a pair of Hilfiger jeans and a pair of Kamik brand boots I bought last year in NYC. Kamik means boot in Inuktitut. So, Boot boots, I guess. In any case, good for walking in a winter wonderland. I wasn’t concerned about the jeans and boots because on camera, you couldn’t see me from the chest down anyway.
While my wife is not an Inuk, she is dressed up in a manner similar to the way I’ve seen several Inuit women dress. And besides… she’s my wife. She is wearing a sweater from Reitmans, a pair of Gap jeans, and a t-shirt from Old Navy. And of course, she wear an infinite beauty that never fades. 

Here is a photograph of me and my wife. We went to CBC Ottawa today to film an interview for CBC Northbeat. You can watch the video here: Click to 41:40 or so. Jayne stood on the side while she watched me in the interview. It was a barrel of laughs.

Here I am wearing a suit jacket I bought at Moores in Ottawa on Bank and Laurier, along with a white shirt I got at the Moores store on Ste. Catherine street in Montreal. The seal skin tie is a custom made gift that I was honoured to receive when I graduated from law school. It was made by Mary Aitchison. My mom and my wife arranged to have it made for me for my grad day. I wear the tie during special occasions, like during my convocation and while attending events of particular importance to native people. I also wore a pair of Hilfiger jeans and a pair of Kamik brand boots I bought last year in NYC. Kamik means boot in Inuktitut. So, Boot boots, I guess. In any case, good for walking in a winter wonderland. I wasn’t concerned about the jeans and boots because on camera, you couldn’t see me from the chest down anyway.

While my wife is not an Inuk, she is dressed up in a manner similar to the way I’ve seen several Inuit women dress. And besides… she’s my wife. She is wearing a sweater from Reitmans, a pair of Gap jeans, and a t-shirt from Old Navy. And of course, she wear an infinite beauty that never fades. 

My friend Byron, who interviewed me about this blog for CBC Labrador, sent me this picture. He describes it as follows: In this picture, I’m dressed up as a quarter Eskimo, and my daughter Mila is dressed up like a 1/8th Eskimo.  She is also dressed up like a Māori.  We have matching French-Irish-German-Cree overtones to our style of dress as well.  I’m wearing an Old Navy performance fleece, A North Face windbreaker, a quick-drying toque in the style of those preferred by the Canadian Forces, and a handsome red beard.  Mila is wearing a Chewbacca costume (synthetic fur).

My friend Byron, who interviewed me about this blog for CBC Labrador, sent me this picture. He describes it as follows: In this picture, I’m dressed up as a quarter Eskimo, and my daughter Mila is dressed up like a 1/8th Eskimo.  She is also dressed up like a Māori.  We have matching French-Irish-German-Cree overtones to our style of dress as well.  I’m wearing an Old Navy performance fleece, A North Face windbreaker, a quick-drying toque in the style of those preferred by the Canadian Forces, and a handsome red beard.  Mila is wearing a Chewbacca costume (synthetic fur).


This photo was taken in Inukjuak, Nunavik in March 2010.  It features Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University student, Isabella Rose Weetaluktuk.  In this photo Bella is wearing a brand new parka which she and her cousin Betsy Weetaluktuk sewed. The materials for the parka were purchased at the Inukjuak co-op store and include  commander silipak (the green heavy duty outerwear parka material), a cotton print for the trim, and commercially produced cuffs. The inner lining is a cozy wool blend, matching, green tartan.  The red fox fur was purchased from the Inukjuak hunter’s support store and the tie string was hand braided by the seamstresses.  The crochet head band was made in Clyde River, by an unnamed craftperson and the Smith goggles are designed to accommodate regular glasses.  On her feet, Isabella is sporting purple sorel boots, purchased at the Northern Store in Kuujjuaq in the early 1990’s.  In this photo Bella is standing at the side of her Anansiaq’s  (Lucy Weetaluktuk’s home) in Inukjuak, where her Uncle Eliasi had just given her a piece of frozen caribou for lunch.
This photo was taken in Inukjuak, Nunavik in March 2010.  It features Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University student, Isabella Rose Weetaluktuk.  In this photo Bella is wearing a brand new parka which she and her cousin Betsy Weetaluktuk sewed. The materials for the parka were purchased at the Inukjuak co-op store and include  commander silipak (the green heavy duty outerwear parka material), a cotton print for the trim, and commercially produced cuffs. The inner lining is a cozy wool blend, matching, green tartan.  The red fox fur was purchased from the Inukjuak hunter’s support store and the tie string was hand braided by the seamstresses.  The crochet head band was made in Clyde River, by an unnamed craftperson and the Smith goggles are designed to accommodate regular glasses.  On her feet, Isabella is sporting purple sorel boots, purchased at the Northern Store in Kuujjuaq in the early 1990’s.  In this photo Bella is standing at the side of her Anansiaq’s  (Lucy Weetaluktuk’s home) in Inukjuak, where her Uncle Eliasi had just given her a piece of frozen caribou for lunch.
Here’s a picture of my Uncle Bob. Uncle Bob is one of the funniest people I know, and I love him very much. Last year I posted a picture of Uncle Bob and I together at an art show vernissage. 
I asked Uncle for another photo for this year’s batch of blog posts. He sent me this. 
The ceramic Yogi Frog was made in China. I wear an American Eagle cap (made in Taiwan) and plaid shirt from the Columbia Sportswear Company (also made in China).

Here’s a picture of my Uncle Bob. Uncle Bob is one of the funniest people I know, and I love him very much. Last year I posted a picture of Uncle Bob and I together at an art show vernissage

I asked Uncle for another photo for this year’s batch of blog posts. He sent me this. 

The ceramic Yogi Frog was made in China. I wear an American Eagle cap (made in Taiwan) and plaid shirt from the Columbia Sportswear Company (also made in China).