The Remarkable Alaska’s Indigenous People Snow Goggles


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The Arctic’s Inuit and Yupik peoples, having thrived in its severe conditions, invented snow goggles to protect against snow’s blinding glare.

These goggles, made from materials like driftwood, bone, and ivory, had narrow horizontal slits to limit light and improve vision. Designed to prevent condensation and remain durable, the goggles’ significance wasn’t merely functional but cultural. Beyond shielding the eyes, they symbolized the indigenous groups’ adaptability, became a canvas for artistic expression, and encapsulated personal tales. These artifacts, which have historical references dating back 2,000 years, intrigued Arctic visitors from the 18th century onwards, eventually influencing snow eyewear globally. Through snow goggles, the Inuit and Yupik’s innovation has left a lasting impact on the world.

h/t: rarehistoricalphotos

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