Generations of knowledge is passed down as grandmothers, mothers, and daughters unite to revive an Inuit artistic tradition.
The skills and knowledge necessary to make the traditional kiihimajuq kammak (crimped sole boot) had been lost in Cambridge Bay—that is, up until December 2019. The knowledge was still being carried by Ulukhaktok’s Mary Kudlak, so we brought Mary to Cambridge Bay to teach a workshop and revive the art among a group of Cambridge Bay artisans. Our Elders and apprentice artisans spent a week together with Mary, learning the art of kamik making with the goal to be able to pass on the knowledge to others. The workshop also gave us an opportunity to document and record fine-grained Inuinnaqtun terminology associated with kamik manufacture.
In February 2020, the apprentices who learned from Mary Kudlak held another workshop and taught a second group of apprentices how to make the kiihimajuq kammak, strengthening the revival of this knowledge among Inuinnait.