Amauti is a woman’s traditional coat with a pouch on the back used to carry a baby, called an amaut in Inuktut. The talent, patience and skill needed to create the amauti is unmatched. Once you start cutting the skin, there is no room for error- the calculations are into millimetres. It’s not enough for a piece of clothing to be warm—it must also breathe. Perspiration can be a death sentence in the Arctic. In sub-zero temperatures, sweat-dampened clothing will cause hypothermia. A properly-made amauti lets warm air out without letting cold air in. The secret is in the stitching. It’s an art; through thousands of years of experimentation and deep, deep knowledge of the properties of these skins that Inuit managed to make these extremely well thought out constructed clothing pieces. Traditional amauti will also symbolized a woman’s phase of life. Its design and the decoration told whether the wearer was a young girl, married or a widow, if she had children and which region she was from.
This amauti was requested by my anaana (mother) when I was pregnant with my irniq (son). I carried my son in this amauti when he was a baby and I deeply proud to be Inuk.