Susan Malutin Receives Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from UAA

For more than 30 years, Susan Malutin has been at the forefront of revitalizing Alutiiq culture and art in Alaska. Her journey into animal skin sewing came from her husband’s request for a fur hat after bringing home a sea otter pelt. Her first garment sent her on a decades-long journey to study the history, craft, and art of sewing animal skins and fur to design heritage pieces in the style and tradition of the Alutiiq people.

Her journey was not easy as the tradition of animal skin sewing had been lost through the generations and she relied on elders’ recollections of their mothers’ and grandmothers’ techniques for sewing. Mrs. Malutin spent years studying archival pieces from museums in Alaska to the Smithsonian, painstakingly deconstructing garments to examine their stitching, design, and artwork. Her dedication to learning and sharing her craft has rekindled the tradition of Alutiiq animal skin sewing in Kodiak.

In part, for her dedication to reawakening and revitalizing skin sewing in the traditional forms of the Alutiiq people, and generously sharing her creativity, artistry, and culture in a Alaska and beyond, UAA is proud to bestow an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters on Susan Malutin.