Sealing has been a necessity on the Great Northern Peninsula. It is still practiced today and with it continues traditional seal skin boot making. The Great Northern Peninsula Craft Producers in Shoal Cove East has added more modern garment items to appeal to today’s fashion, while continuing to produce traditional bark tanned sealskin boots.
During my last visit, I was greatly impressed by the creativity displayed by the inventor of these boot sleeves, which attaches to a woman’s long boot, giving it wide appeal. This product is made for easy cleaning, flexibility to use fur or not, as well as replace the boot when the bottom wears, giving the owner greater return on investment. These boot sleeves are custom-made and retail for $200 + applicable shipping and taxes.
I purchased seal skin bow tie ($24 + HST), which I look forward to wearing at functions and work in the near future. This makes a great conversation piece at a dinner or evening event. People may want to place orders for wedding parties. They also make the wide and skinny neck ties.
This local not-for-profit is keeping tradition alive, modernizing its product line and also creating much-needed local employment in the region. They strive to make seal product more affordable to the everyday person. Supporting local business is key to building a stronger and more vibrant local rural economy.
Live Rural NL –Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA The Straits-White Bay North
On January 30, 2011 I finally got the opportuntiy to use my Christmas snowshoes.
I decided to take the trails on the Deep Cove Ski Club. It was a nice afternoon with lots of powder on the ground.
I was proudly wearing my sealskin boots to keep me warm. These were the last skins my father barked before he past away. My sealskin boots have been around for 12 years now. They are certainly part of our heritage and culture that links back to pre-industrial revolution, in which seal fat was rendered and used for oil lamps, the meat provided nourishment to a population that lived in a harsh island environment and the skin was used for boots and clothing. They were a necessity. In the photo above, I am stopping to make a snow angel. Sometimes it is nice to have a big kid moment and really enjoy life.
I snowshoed extensively for a beginner, only by accident. My friend who accompanied me, she supposedly knew the trail. We ended up walking a big loop, of nearly 10 kms. It was certainly a fun day, despite getting side tracked. An outdoor adventure with a great friend, exercise and sunshine, what more could anyone want?
A world of activity can be found just off the Viking Trail (Route 430) at Deep Cove Ski Club. Bring your skis or snowshoes – Come and enjoy the winter tourism season in Northern Newfoundland.
Live Rural NL 0
- Will I need my new Snowshoes for Winter 2011? (liveruralnl.com)