Here's a traditional style of kayaking mitts from Greenland which are called aaqqatit. I found a photo from the British Museum website, with a description of these sealskin mitts in their collection. The mitts are distinct in that they have two thumbs. No, Greenlanders do NOT have two-thumbed hands! This design allows a padder to turn a mitt around if it becomes too slippery.
|This photo is from the British Museum website|
This two-thumbed style of mitt is well-suited to cold water paddlesports, and to fishermen on the North Sea, who traditionally wore a version knitted of wool. The style also makes a lot of sense to anyone who has ever worn mitts or gloves while working outdoors. For one thing, the mitt on your dominant hand wears out much more quickly than the other mitt. For another, it's far too easy to lose one of a pair. And when you live out in the boonies there is no handy store like Ocean River Sports or Capitol Iron just around the corner for picking up a new pair. The upshot is, any outdoor worker ends up with a few odd gloves or mitts.