Annuraaq (a.k.a. annoraaq, anoraq, anorak) is a lightweight windproof and waterproof jacket which is made of thick fabric with a hood, worn over the head and not having a regular cut with a front closure. Annuraaq sleeves have cuffs with an elastic band so that wind, snow and water do not penetrate inside the sleeves. For the same purpose, there is a "drawing-down" on the hood and along the bottom of the annuraaq. Now, this type of clothing is very popular all over the world so much that almost everyone has at least one annuraaq. People of some professions are even obliged to wear them for their own safety. And for this remarkable invention called “anoraq” we should be grateful to Inuit!
The "ancestors" of modern annuraaqs were invented by the Inuit hundreds of years ago. This type of clothing was named so by the Inuit themselves, and then this word was simply borrowed, using to refer to modern annuraaqs. Inuit made annuraaqs from dense waterproof materials (skin of sea animals, fish, intestines of large animals and sea animals), but now so dense annuraaqs are rather rare. Previously, they were much denser, because Inuit used them mainly for sea hunting in order to protect themselves from getting wet and getting cold sea wind under clothes. Citizens of developed countries learned about such unusual jackets only at the beginning of the 20th century, when the word “annuraaq” itself appeared. This, of course, does not mean that the annuraaq immediately became fashionable. Before the annuraaqs became as we present them, they have come a long way.
Inuit had 2 types of annuraaq and both were used only during the sea hunt. The first type of annuraaq was made in such a way that this annuraaq would tightly cling the upper body of an Inuk, not allowing water and wind to penetrate under this clothing. Such an annuraaq was usually sewn from the skin of marine animals (usually from the skin of a seal), carefully and for a long time exfoliated this skin so that it remained elastic. The cuffs and the hood of such an annuraaq were tightly tightened so that water and wind would not fall under the annuraaq. The bottom of such an annuraaq could be tightly tightened around the waist, or it could be pulled over the top of the hole of the qajaq (a.k.a. kayak), which Inuit would sit in, and then tightly pull down to protect the lower part of the body from water and cold air. This kind of annuraaq allowed the Inuit to freely and easily qajaq (a.k.a. kayak) during sea hunting.
The second type of annuraaq was made from the intestines of large animals or marine animals. This type of annuraaq was sewn in such a way that the annuraaq would not cling the Inuit’s body tight, but, on the contrary, would be very free on an Inuit hunter. At the same time, these guts were processed for a long time and dried correctly so that this material would then remain elastic. After the Inuit wore such an annuraaq, the hood, cuffs and belt very tightly pulled down on it, and the air was blown into the annuraaq through a tube. During sea hunting, this kind of annuraaq allowed the Inuit hunter not to get wet or freeze, and not to drown if he was left behind.
It is possible to say that nowadays Inuit have a third type of annuraaq. It is already sewn from dense fabric and is used most often as part of an elegant men's suit for some kind of festive occasion. Usually, they are sewn from white dense fabric.