The indigenous people of East Greenland made this sort of underwear, known as naatsit, by sewing strips of seal pelt together using a thread of reindeer or whale sinew. The naatsit above, decorated with glass beads tied onto seal-skin fringe, was made for women and worn under seal-skin trousers. Explorer Captain C. Ryder acquired the item in the southeast Greenland settlement of Ammassalik during an expedition in 1892.
According to Peter Toft, the National Museum of Denmark's Greenlandic fur clothing expert, this beaded, furry thong was intended to be displayed not just during intimate moments, but in polite company. Inside the warm homes of the Greenlandic Inuit, a naatsit "was the only thing worn even when having guests or visiting the houses of other families," says Toft. "This shocked the Danish missionaries of the 18th and 19th century, who tried to convince the Inuit to wear European linen (longer) underwear indoors. This attempt was not very successful."