NUVTTOHAT, PERFECT FOR FEET! SHOE DESIGN AS CULTURAL HERITAGE.
In: Volkskunde, driemaandelijks tijdschrift voor de studie van de volkscultuur, Special Issue on cultural heritage, 2015 (sept-dec).
Abstract The Saami, living in the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and northwestern Russia (also known as Sápmi) use the nuvttohat during winter time. The nuvttohat is a winter boot made from local available material (i.e. skin of the reindeer fur leg). The boots provide the ultimate protection from the environment while respecting the natural foot anatomy. The design project described aims at recreating the boot for another environment, i.e. to make it appropriate for new terrains. It also questions how the process of making creates knowledge (incl. tangible and intangible cultural heritage). The making of the nuvttohat is understood in the context of skills transfer (as a form of intangible cultural heritage) and learning from person to person, from one generation to another. Nuvttohat are part of the Cultural Expression of the Saami. What does it mean for design researchers that are not part of the Indigenous Saami community to make and remake boots that are part of the cultural heritage of the Saami? The article explores possible ways of dealing with (in)tangible cultural heritage.