Monday, November 9, 2009
Meanings and Uses
The tassels hanging from the parka have symbolic meanings. They represent the experiences of the Unangax people’s ancestors. Some tassels stand for the number of times an ancestor was shot by an arrow. Other tassels symbolize a winter story. Very old traditional parkas would usually have tassels of grey hair. The hair was from an elder who was on their deathbed. The elder gave his or her hair to a family member, by doing this the Unangax people believed that the spirit of that elder was close to them.
Unangax people wore the sax two different ways. On warm wet days saxs were used with the fur side facing out. This helped repel water. On cold drier days the fur was on the inside of the sax. By doing this, it helped insulate the body.