Kuspuks and Parkys: Symbols of Alaskan Identity | INDIE ALASKA

Alaskans all have their own taste when it comes to fashion, but one style in particular has grown in popularity throughout the years.

Sheila Ezelle absolutely loves making custom kuspuks (Qaspeks) for the summer and parkys for the winter. Every parky that she makes she excitedly thinks to herself, “My – this is the best parky I have ever made!”

For the past 35 years she has owned her grandmother’s business “Laura Wright’s Alaskan Parkys;” which was originally founded in 1947. Throughout time, the popularity of this traditional Alaska Native, multi-use, casual outfit has increased and has become a symbol of Alaskan identity.

Video and Story: Shiri Segal

Music by Firstcom Music

Archival footage supplied by Internet Archive (at archive.org) in association with Prelinger Archives

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Shiri joined Alaska Public Media in January 2018.  Before joining AKPM, she worked as a News Production Assistant for Anchorage’s ABC/FOX/CW affiliate for six years.  Outside of work, she enjoys painting, metal clay jewelry, thrift shopping, hanging out with family/friends and traveling. Shiri is an avid traveler has been to a couple different places in Europe, Israel and Japan. She has also resided in a few of the aforementioned. She enjoys research on cultural topics and is learning several different languages including Japanese, Korean, Hebrew and, in addition, historical languages such as Medieval English and Latin.