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These boots are made for huntin'

Inuit hunters believed that the success of a hunt depended not only on hunting skills, but also the respect that was shown to the animals hunted. There was a division between sea and land animals in the Arctic, and certain rules were followed.

When hunting sea animals like seals, a hunter would wear boots or "kamiks" made of sealskin - not caribou skin. When hunting on land, it would be appropriate to wear boots made of caribou skin.

These taboos were adhered to in order not to offend the animals or supernatural beings, but they had a practical purpose. Boots made of sealskin were best when hunting on ice because they were warm, durable and water-resistance. Caribou skin boots got wet more easily than sealskin, but, because of the thick dense fur, they were warmer in the snow.

Although these practises are no longer followed in exactly the same way, the respect towards animals and the environment that began with those beliefs is still alive today.

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