Annie's Note: The following story was written by a sweet lady from Alberta, Canada who contacted me to weave a sash and trim piece for her very special project.
It is winter here now, cold and dry, even when the sun is shining you can feel your breath become ice as it leaves your mouth and nose. My baby is safe and warm in the pouch of our amauti. He stays awake for awhile since he has become so curious about the world and when he starts to tire, he sings and coos in my ear and I tuck him deeper into the pouch where he can sleep and feel the gentle rocking of my footsteps on the snow.
The first time I visited the far north, I saw these amazing babywearing coats that the Inuit women proudly carry their children in. I had never seen anything like this before but knew that when we had a baby, we would need an amauti. These wonderful coats are cultural property of the Inuit people and therefore no pattern is commercially available. If you are lucky enough to know an Inuit seamstress you can have one custom made. Ours was made by an Inuk woman that offers her craftsmanship online. Traditionally, the amauti are white with colourful trim and handwoven sashes but modern amautik come in many custom colours. The sashes can give the coat just a hint more individuality and are often very beautiful. We were very fortunate to find Annie, this wonderful artisan, to make ours. Every amauti is unique and it is a beautiful way to bond with your baby and experience the winter together. Sometimes when we are walking he holds onto my scarf and gurgles and giggles at people and trees as we pass. My son saw his first full moon from the pouch of our amauti, in a perfectly clear and icey night sky. He was three months old. I know we will see many more moons and many more winter walks in our special coat.
To read more about the amauti, see a photo gallery, purchase one or view a video of how to tuck your baby behind you inside an amauti, you can visit the website for Amautibaby.