Fur fashion showcased at Cama-i

Trisha Patton of Bethel models a beautifully made squirrel parka at the 2017 Cama-i Fur Fashion Show.

by K.J. Lincoln

Fans enjoyed the Fur Fashion Show at Cama-i this year, which has made it’s way back to the stage after many years courtesy of the Kuskokwim Campus and interested community members.

The show featured the parkas made by students taking the Fur Parka Sewing Class with instructors Mary Anaver of Kipnuk and Eula David of Bethel, which is sponsored by the Kuskokwim Campus. Some of the parkas were in various stages of completion, but all were beautifully and skillfully made.

The students have been meeting and making their parkas since last October. Renowned artist and fur sewer Chuna McIntyre, originally of Eek, came to the first class as a guest lecturer. He was at this year’s Cama-i Festival to host a Regalia Workshop and to also announce the parkas at the fashion show.

Four of the parkas shown were made by McIntyre. The qaliq parka was modeled by Trisha Patton. Holly modeled an atkupiaq nunurralek, and Chanel Simon modeled the white qaggluni atkupiaq along with a camataq headdress.

Several community members also modeled their beautiful parkas. Sharon Samuelson wore an alngalek parka made by Brenda Fox of Kipnuk. Dolly Boney and her daughters Payton and Riley wore the parkas made by Grandma Herman of Mekoryuk.

Ayaprun Phillips, the 6 year old granddaughter of Agnes Pete Phillips wore her grandmother’s traditionally made childhood parka. Special guest from North Pole, Janie Snyder, showed her cloth parka with wolverine ruff.

And as a finale, Miss Cama-i 2016 Piiyuuk Olivia Shields showed her beautiful sealskin sleeveless dress and mukluks that she made herself with her grandmother’s instruction.

All the models gathered on stage and lined up for pictures, inspiring all fur sewers to continue making traditional Yup’ik clothing.