Itchalik: Caribou Skin Tent

The Floor

The floor of the itchalik needed to insulate the inhabitants from the frozen ground. Women packed a rim of moss around the inside edge of the tent to block out drafts. Then they gathered willows to weave into a floor mat several inches thick. Some families who camped within the treeline used spruce boughs in the backs of their itchaliks, where their beds were laid.

In the summer, people changed the tent flooring often to keep the tent clean and fresh smelling. In the winter, the flooring was changed less often.