Inuit Tuilli or Woman’s Inner Parka, ca. 1925, Nunavut
This finely crafted and elaborately beaded Inuit tuilli, or woman’s inner parka, was made from caribou skin for the mother of a newborn baby. The mother kept her baby protected from the harsh Arctic weather in the warmth of her parka by carrying the baby in a special carrying pouch at the back of the parka. As European exploration and trade intensified in the 19th century, brightly colored glass beads, referred to as sapangat (“precious stones”), became more widely available and were used elaborately to decorate tuilli.
This object is one of 137 million artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian’s collection. This object is featured in the Heye Center’s new, permanent exhibition “Infinity of Nations: Art and History in the Collections of the National Museum of the American Indian.”
For more info: http://blog.nmai.si.edu/main/an-infinity-of-nations/.