My grandma is Lizzie Ittinuar. She is a well-known maker of amautiit (women’s parkas) and a beader. Her hard work and dedication has really inspired me. Every time I visit her, she is working. Beading takes lots of time and patience. Over the years, she has made quite a few traditional beaded amautiit which can take years to finish. When I was in high school, I had no idea how to sew. I took a traditional sewing program taught by five elders in Iqaluit. I make more modern parkas with sealskin and I love using the amauti-style hem; it is so feminine and traditional. Everybody loves it! I also put a lot of embroidery on my coats, which is inspired by my grandmother. I looked at her beadwork and I wondered what I could do with my coats. I don’t know how to bead, so I use embroidery with floral designs. I would love to learn beading if I can ever find the time. My mother, Goretti Kakuktinniq, is also an important influence. For as long as I can remember, my mother made our clothing, mitts and parkas. She also uses a lot of embroidery and sealskin, and I love having those traditional elements incorporated into my designs.
Lizzie Ittinuar Beaded Amauti c. 1970s Cotton, wool, beads, coins and lead 163.8 × 109.9 × 10.2 cm COURTESY PEARY-MACMILLAN ARCTIC MUSEUM & ARCTIC STUDIES CENTER, BOWDOIN COLLEGE