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Skin Clothing from the North

Skin Clothing from the North focuses on the National Museum’s unique circumpolar collection of skin artifacts from the Inuit and Aleut in Greenland, Canada and Alaska as well as the Samii in Scandinavia and Siberian people in Russia.



This interdisciplinary research program studies the skin materials, and methods of sewing, cutting and design from both the technological and anthropological viewpoints. The focus will be on the geographical use of skin materials and on cultural values such as visual communication, the importance of women in the circumpolar cultures, and the influence of commerce on the appearance and manufacture of the clothing. The aim is to show connections between the type of skin, manufacture, sewing and design on the one hand and the circumpolar people’s way of life, geographical belonging, interaction and the influence of trade on the other hand.



The circumpolar collections comprise approx. 2000 pieces of clothing, made from the skins of mammals, birds and fish. Skin Clothing from the North introduces new research; through the use of modern techniques, the species, sewing technique and pattern design of the clothing will be revealed. Digital photos of extreme sharpness will accompany each artifact.



An international network of scientists and skin experts is being established as part of the project. The network will contribute to a discussion forum on the web and several international meetings.  A catalogue of the circumpolar skin clothing and an anthology will also be released.



Responsible:  Conservator, M.Sc.  Anne Lisbeth Schmidt


 The Project is running from 2009 until 2012


Click on the picture below and watch the movie on the documentation of Arctic skin clothing

Download the publication from the workshop "Skin Clothing from the North" held on the 26th-27th of november 2009 at the National Museum of Denmark.

Øvrige deltagere:

Museumsinspektør Pauline Knudsen

Museumsleder Anne Bahnson

Arkivar Thea Dahl Christensen

Studerende Nauja Fleischer

Fotograf Roberto Fortuna

PhD Rolf Gilberg

Konservator Birte Gottlieb

Antropolog Birte Haagen

Museumsinspektør Aviâja Rosing Jakobsen

Konserveringstekniker Eva Lilja Jensen

Lektor Karsten Jensen

PhD Torunn Klokkerness

Designer Mette Kristensen

Rektor René Larsen

Lektor Inge-Lise Lynge

Forskningsprogramleder Ulla Mannering

Centerleder Marie Louise Nosch

Museumsleder Anne Mette Olsvig

Konserveringstekniker Anette Hjelm Petersen

Enhetschef Göran Sjöberg

Forskningsleder Anne-Louise Sommer

Musumsdirektør Anne Sommer-Larsen

Afdelingsleder Søren Thuesen

Lektor Åsa Wilhemsson

Professor Eske Willerslev

Museumsdirektør Rane Willerslev