MAKING THE KIIHIMAJUQ STYLE KAMAAK
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.
These workshops were supported by Canada Council for the Arts and the Government of Nunavut.
(Top left) "Dance of the Inuinnait" during the making of Richard Finnie's film Among the Igloo Dwellers. April 1931. Credit: Richard S. Finnie / Library and Archives Canada / e002342731. (Bottom left) Havgokak (left) and Edward Nigak (right). Havgokak is singing a "pihik" (song), while Edward drum dances. Edward Nigak was Alec Taptuna's father. 1949-1950. PA-150014. (Middle) Alikumik, convalescent from paralysis after nine months' attention at the Coppermine Medical Station. June 1931. Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada / Library and Archives Canada / e010864197. (Right) Library and Archives Canada.