Snow gog­gles

Tales and Trea­sures from the rich legacy of the Hud­son’s Bay Com­pany

Canada's History - - TRADING POST -

Snow gog­gles were de­signed to re­duce the amount of sun­light re­flect­ing off the snow, pre­vent­ing snow blind­ness when out­doors. Snow blind­ness is es­sen­tially sun­burn of the eyes, and vi­sion can be af­fected for a few days if pre­cau­tions are not taken. Many Inuit groups made snow gog­gles to com­bat this is­sue, some­times out of bone, ivory, or, like the ones shown, wood. Imag­ine trav­el­ling across the snow-cov­ered tun­dra on a bright day with­out sun­glasses, and you can see why snow gog­gles were in­vented. The small slits re­duce the field of vi­sion and the amount of ul­tra­vi­o­let ra­di­a­tion that reaches the eyes. Lit­tle is known about these early twen­ti­eth-cen­tury gog­gles, though the record sug­gests that they are from the Cari­bou Inuit in Nu­navut. — Amelia Fay, cu­ra­tor of the HBC Col­lec­tion at the Man­i­toba Mu­seum

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