moesgaard museum, de etnografiske samlinger, ethnography, collections, museum, aarhus, denmark, tuxen, shoes

In Other Shoes – Greenlandic Children’s Kamik Boots

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Europe, North America

With time, Tuxen not only ventured out worldwide to collect shoes himself – he had trusted helpers in this endeavour, like in the case of these Greenlandic kamik boots, which were provided by a rather noble figure.

As appears from Tuxen’s notes in 1957:

“Greenlandic children’s kamik boots. Bought for me in Sukkertoppen, July 1957, by architect Count Otto Danneskjold-Samsøe for the price of 15 Danish kroner. Sealskin on the inside, dogskin on the upper rim, which, according to K. Fæster shows that they are from the Southern part of Greenland, where short-haired dogs are bred for the very purpose of producing kamik boots. In Northern Greenland, these dogs are outweighed by sled dogs, so in this area kamik boots are made entirely from sealskin. These kamiks were bought in a worn state from a family for whom they had become excessive. They are untanned, like all Greenlandic skin, and “kamjutted” – this expression refers to the practice of softening the hard leather with heated iron.”

To learn more about Tuxen’s extraordinary shoe collection, se his biography here!

// Ciara Coogan


Photo: © 2007 Photo/Media Department of Moesgaard Museum

Byline portrait: © 2015 Line Beck,

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