Some of the world’s oldest sunglasses were discovered on north Baffin Island.
Gatineau, Quebec / Ottawa, Ontario – We can credit the Eskimo or Inuit of the Arctic for the world’s first sunglasses. Often referred to as snow goggles, they were created from bone, leather or wood with small slits see through, designed to protect the eyes from snow-blindness caused by the bright spring sunlight. The first snow goggles are said to date back 2000 years to a culture known as Old Bering Sea, who lived around the west coast of Alaska and were the ancestors of the modern Inuit. The snow goggles came to Canada with the Inuit (Thule culture) about 800 years ago. This example, an artifact of the Thule people, from north Baffin, was crafted from walrus ivory and dates back to between 1200 AD and 1600 AD. They are now in the collection of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, however they are not always on display.
The oldest predecessor of the sunglasses came from the Inuits of the Arctic who traditionally wore something like snow goggles to prevent snow blindness. Made of bone or walrus ivory, these were flattened panes with long horizontal slits.
Boro Textiles – Can be seen in the perfection of imperfection
Japan’s patchwork textiles are referred to as “boro”, or ragged, both in Japan and abroad. Boro textiles are usually sewn from 19th and early 20th century rags and patches of indigo dyed cotton ( especially using Jean Cloth – indigo Cotton). The diversity of patches on any given piece is a veritable encyclopedia of hand loomed cotton indigo from old Japan. In most cases, the beautiful arrangement of patches and hand stitches is borne of necessity and happenstance, and was not planned by the maker. Imagine that boro textiles were stitched in the shadows of farmland houses, often at night by the light of one dim andon, on the laps of farm women. This unselfconscious creative process has yielded hand-made articles of soulful beauty, each of which calls upon to be seen and admired as more than the utilitarian cloth they were intended to be.