Although we have left the sunny summer days behind us, sunglasses are still an important part of everyday life. Sunglasses are also widely used in the winter season. Because in winter, especially on snowy days, sunglasses are the best way to protect your eyes from a serious eye disease called “snow blindness”! Snow blindness refers to the sudden and intense exposure of the eyes to ultraviolet rays as a result of the sun’s rays reflecting off the layer of snow and ice on the ground and directly affecting the human eye. However, wearing sunglasses to protect against snow blindness is not a new practice! The history of winter sunglasses goes back to the snowy geography of Alaska! Thousands of years ago, the Inuit, trying to survive in the harsh climate of Alaska, made an extremely interesting invention: the Inuit snow goggles!
As one of the most interesting and functional products in human history, the Inuit snow goggles not only showcase the engineering skills of the local human community thousands of years ago, but also inspire the sunglasses that are used as a very important accessory and protection today. it happens! Here’s what you need to know about Inuit snow goggles, the ancestors of modern sunglasses…
Snow goggles, called “ilgaak” in the Inuit language, are a product of the Inuit’s struggle for survival!
From Alaska to Greenland, the Inuit, living in vast and extremely harsh climates, had an exceptionally strong adaptability that enabled them to survive. They could turn almost any element of nature into a survival tool!
For the Inuit, who continued their livelihood by hunting, “vision” was of vital importance, as were many other elements. However, the fact that the regions they lived in were covered in snow for much of the year made snow blindness a serious problem for the Inuit. Here the Inuit invented snow goggles to protect against this dangerous eye disease…
The earliest examples of Inuit snow goggles appeared 2,000 years ago.
Considered the first examples of modern sunglasses, these glasses first appeared 2,000 years ago and have become one of the most functional tools in the Inuit’s struggle for survival.
The Inuit often used wood shavings, animal horns, bones, and teeth to make snow goggles.
The only tree species in Alaska’s snowy landscape, pines, reindeer bones, and walrus tusks were a staple of Inuit snow goggles. However, these goggles were “customizable”, especially for the Inuit responsible for hunting. The glasses were carefully shaped to fit the face and eyes of the person who would wear them, so they became very useful.
Snow goggles not only protected the Inuit eyes from the harmful rays of the sun, but also gave Inuit hunters clearer and sharper vision.
The goggles, which were made by discovering fine lines in the material used, greatly reduced the amount of bright sunlight reaching the eyes, allowing Inuit hunters to see more clearly over long distances. In other words, the Inuit snow goggles were an engineering marvel thousands of years ago.
Inuit snow goggles are still made using modern and traditional materials.
Today glasses are mainly used as an accessory. However, in modern times, there has also been a significant increase in the variety of materials from which Inuit glasses are made. Inuit snow goggles are now made from a variety of materials, from plastic to wood. However, you can also find traditional snow glasses made from the bones of various animals.
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