Clarissa Rizal: Alaska Native Artist Blog

Accentuating Tlingit Traditions

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Bogs in Alaskan Bogs

September 8th, 2013 by Clarissa

Childrens’ “Bogs” at the beach

I cannot remember the first time I saw those colorful, clunky, rubber boots called “Bogs” but for sure it was up in Juneau, the rain country.  The brand name of Bogs most likely comes from the fact that these boots are worn where there’s an unlimited supply of water; that would be Southeast Alaska!  There are even Bogs for children, even itty bitty children who are just able to walk, and of course, once little ones learn how to walk, they are vulnerable to wet weather just like we are, but even more so because they are closer to the puddles since they are shorter; see?

Little kid’s bogs next to the latest in Bog style; I call it “Spider Woman’s Bogs!”

I have never desired to wear Bogs – they are too colorful, too bulky and too heavy and I don’t want to be wearing something that suggests that there must be a lot of wet weather.  Let’s say I am in denial of all the rain in Southeast Alaska!  I won’t wear a raincoat; have never owned one.  I won’t use an umbrella; though I’ll use one in Colorado, and I’ve never worn those brown rubber boots that everyone else has worn in Southeast Alaska for at least 50 years!  Nope, not me.

Wore my bogs while blue berry picking up a mountainside in Haines, Alaska

But then one day, I walked into Shoefly shoe store in Juneau and there were these weird-looking, up-to-the-knee boots with a herring-bone pattern; they came in red and black.  I was actually in the market for a pair of “normal” shoes since all I have are either boots or sandals, nothing in between.  Oh well, I tried on these boots and they are like waterproof, thinly-insulated, high-top moccasins!  So dang comfortable that there’s no such thing as “breaking them in.”  I bought them specifically for the wet weather on beaches, in the woods, up the trails, rocky pathways and of course, in the bogs!  That’s right.  These are the truly remarkable, light-weight, stylish “Bogs in Alaska Bogs!”

“Spider Woman Bogs” fishing in Hoonah, Alaska

Go get yourself a pair at $110.  They have inspired me to get my muscles back into shape because I just love walking in them.  They’ve got good grip for boat decks, keep you feet dry no matter what, and golly, I’ve been mistaken for Spider Woman on occasion, and I kinda like being incognito for awhile!

“Spider Woman’s bogs” amongst the skunk cabbage while on the way to nagoon berry patch

In the back of the truck riding through the Hoonah mountain side looking for more berries – notice the bag of blueberries at the left foot of “Spider Woman’s bogs”…

 

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