"Facebook and other social media platforms are great tools to share how-to videos of how to hand-spin musk ox wool, or qiviut
; how to make a kuspuk; or how to quickly cut a pike fish with an ulu, for example," says Ganley, adding that educational apps that make use of the special characters needed to text in Alaska Native languages are helping to increase language learning.
The durable and highly insulating muskox hides were useful for bedding, and both skins and hides were used to make kamiit (boots) and parkas, while the warm qiviut
(muskox inner wool) was used inside kamiit and mitts because of its insulating properties.
& Co's new clothing and accessory range uses qiviut
, a rare by-product of the arctic musk ox, which claims to be softer than cashmere and ten times warmer than wool.
In 2012, the co-op opened its membership to include all natural fiber producers, including, but not limited to, llama, sheep, angora, mohair, cashmere, yak, buffalo and qiviut
(or musk ox wool) producers.
Underneath is a dense layer of wool called qiviut
(Ki-vee-ut) that is considered among the finest and warmest in the world.
They are insulated by thick fur called qiviut
, and they likely have the ability to direct blood away from their extremities in cold weather.
For the musk ox, called oomingmak or "bearded one" by Native Alaskans, it's all about an undercoat called qiviut
$26.95): it covers the unique art of working with qiviut
, or musk ox down, and tells how to locate it, work with it, and reproduce laces from the knitters of the Oomingmak Musk Ox producers's Co-Operative.
There is even extensive background information on the natural history of musk oxen, conservation efforts, and the fiber quality and use of their fur which is the source of Qiviut
(or musk ox down), felt by many to be the world's warmest, lightest-weight fiber and a mainstay of Alaska's native knitters.
Hidden under a muskox's sleek outer coat is a layer of softer wool called qiviut
that they shed each year.
In particular, the participation of several Indigenous co-management partners, together with their partners in industry (outfitted hunting and qiviut
marketing), vastly enriched the values and perspectives shared.
Qiveut Designs is owned by Margaret Rye, who weaves, knits, and dyes custom qiviut
garments in her Mat-Su in-home studio.