Jose Angutinggurniq on Skin Qamutik in Uqalurait (2004)

There's more than one way to make a qamutiik. One is with caribou skins. When the part with the hair is still damp, freeze it. Or, wet the old skin from a tent and stuff it with frozen fish, making a beam. It's the same with musk ox skins: they wet them and rolled them up. That's how they used to make a quamutiik, using caribou legs or antlers as crossbars. They tried to make each runner exactly the same. Once the runners are made, then you shoe them with a mixture of soil and seal blubber to make them go faster. You pound the seal blubber, mix it with snow - it is called urgruq - and you put that on the runners ... When they made a qamutiik out of fish and skins they used to use caribou hoof nails for traction to prevent the quamutiik from getting too slippery. You can also use pieces of ice and stick them on the runners and try not to bang them on rocks or hard objects so they don't break off.

Jose Angutingurniq, JB

Page image

About this document ...

  • Written by: John Bennett and Susan Rowley
  • Published in: Uqalurait: An Oral History of Nunavut
  • Published by: McGill-Queen's University Press
  • Place: Montreal and Kingston
  • Date: 2004
  • Page(s): 377
Sunken ship