What is a ” Mukluk? It is a hearty stew, or a situation when you’re muddling through and you’re confused?
Not at all!
A Mukluk is a soft boot, traditionally made of reindeer or sealskin, originally created by aboriginal men and women in the Arctic. According to my sources, the actual term “mukluk” is Yupik, meaning the “bearded seal.” It is COLD in the Arctic, so Mukluks were designed to keep feet warm. But mukluks are also lightweight, so the hunters who wore them could move quickly and quietly, stalking their prey.
Today, the term Mukluks is used for any soft boot or slipper designed for cold weather. Modern version are often adorned with pompoms, fur, and beads, with a more rugged contemporary sole. And today’s muklucks aren’t used for stalking seals, but they are meant for walking. One company that makes gorgeous mukluks in a wide variety of styles, offering comfort, warmth and luxury, is Manitobah Mukluks. Which prompts me to digress just one more second to tell you one more fact about mukluks and Manitobah. Manitobah is a a real destination in Canada, established as a province in 1870. It is bordered by Ontario to the east, Saskatchewan to the west, and the United States to the South. It is also the home of Manitobah Mukluks, an Aboriginal-owned company producing authentic Aboriginal mukluks, moccasins and accessories.
There is a chill in the air already, and the Winter is on it’s way. If you live in a cold climate, you will find that warm footwear that is beautiful and functional, is not always easy to find. But Manitobah Mukluks connects past and present with exceptionally beautiful footwear that has it’s roots in the past, it’s high performance in the present. Trend-forecasters have already noted the mukluk as the must-have accessory this Fall/Winter 2014 . As The Advice Sisters see it mukluks have a lot to offer not just in terms of comfort, but also in terms of spirituality. They’re the more fashion forward and luxurious alternative to those (sheepskin) boots people have been clunking around town in the last couple of years. Judging from the celebrities who wear Manitobah Muklucks including Kate Moss, Megan Fox, and Beyoncé, we’re going to see a lot of moccasins and mukluks this season. .Even Yoko Ono follows Manitobah Mucklucks on Twitter.
The gorgeous tall classic suede mukluk ($299.00) in the photo above is the one I was sent to wear test. The boot is 15″ tall and it slides on your feet and over your legs like silk pajamas and feels incredibly soft. Made of genuine Cowhide Suede with Rabbit Fur and bits of beading, plus some rabbit fur pom poms, this style really does make me think of Eskimos and their unique arts and crafts. This particular style (is available in 7 different colors but black because it goes with everything.
Th detail on Manitobah Mukluks is special and also spiritual. Each pair is a little original work off art. Every Manitobah purchase helps elders and artisans keep tradition alive. And there is a spiritual component too. For example, the soles are modern, Vibram, but the treads aren’t just plain, they are designed in a tepee or a turtle design, with lots of symbolic meaning. For example, the Tepee design is described as: ” the Sky represents life-giving water falling as rain and snow. Trees to the right of the tipi represent the Woodland People. To the left are the western mountains. This is the doorway we walk through together as modern hunter-gatherers. Fire tells us our People will always survive. Prairie plains behind are home to the Great Horse and Buffalo People. The swirling Four Winds cleanse as the Sun circles our Mother Earth.”
So while you’re rocking your mukluks as a fashion statement, you’re also becoming part of tradition. Every Manitobah product comes with a Certificate of Authenticity that outlines the role of Aboriginal-owned companies within Canada’s economic landscape. It is a reminder to every Manitobah customer that they have helped to support a certified Aboriginal-owned business.
Manitobah Mukluks offers consumers a range of different mukluk styles and they have traditional mocassins, too. Mukluks will make very special holiday gifts (the holidays are right around the corner, can you believe it?). Buy them at: manitobah.ca or on Amazon.