caribou hide

10

Another Finnish tradition in the more rural areas is to gather in a Kota Hut. I was obsessed with how perfect these would be back home in the rainy NW and I plan to build one someday as part of my dream cabin. The huts are a year round gathering place to cook on a wood fire and then eat, drink, and talk in the warm shelter. The various tiers of cast iron allowed for a stew to slow cook, coffee to brew, direct grilling, or indirect smoking. A wood fire cooking dream. We enjoyed this dish that included wild salmon, foraged local mushroom salad and homemade rye bread sitting on a caribou hide. Photographed for @airbnb

I spent 12 days on an archipelago with a group of 11 people. We were the only ones on the main island, with the only transportation being canoes and our legs. There were no bathrooms or showers. 

This was the most liberating experience of my life.

Pictured is a caribou and hiding in the background are our canoes. The fog was wicked on this day, and those trees slay me every time.

9

Some of my shoes, part 2.

I do want to share a cute story about the moccasins, though.  My mom made them for me. She took a course at the Tree of Peace with Elders here, and beaded the design and picked the fur and got help putting the pieces together with Alice, a lovely Elder who my mom kept up a relationship with after the course was over. When I went away to school in Scotland, I didn’t bring them with me, because I wasn’t sure what the rules were with respect to fur and hide, and wanted to play it safe. When I came home post-Master’s degree and put these on to ward against the cold tile of the floor in my parents’ house, they had gone from “a little too big” to “holy crap, what SIZE are these?” It turns out my mom put them on when she missed me, and her size nines stretched out the caribou hide so my size sevens were a little swamped.  And I wouldn’t change it for the world.