Living on the Land: Change Among the Inuit of Baffin Island

By John S. Matthiasson

© 1992

As recently as three decades ago most Inuit lived a lifestyle much like that of their forbearers: "living on the land," with the men hunting according to time-honoured methods and the women performing the same round of daily tasks that their grandmothers and great grandmothers had done.

Today these people typically live in settlements, some of them distinctly urban in character. Adults work for wages and use electric appliances, children listen to stereos and run about the settlement on motorbikes. As anthropologist John Matthiasson observes, "the Inuit child of today may look back in fond nostalgia on the lifestyle of his parents when they lived on the land, but he cannot return to it." Matthiasson, who has remained in contact with the Tununermiut since the 1960s, offers both a vivid picture of Inuit society as it was and an illuminating look at the nature and the extent of the enormous changes of the past thirty years.

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Product Details

  • Series: Teaching Culture: UTP Ethnographies for the Classroom
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 172 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.9in x 0.5in x 9.0in
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SKU# HE000152

  • PUBLISHED OCT 1992

    From: $25.46

    Regular Price: $29.95

    ISBN 9781442601284

Quick Overview

Matthiasson offers both a vivid picture of Inuit society as it was and an illuminating look at the nature and the extent of the enormous changes of the past thirty years.

Living on the Land: Change Among the Inuit of Baffin Island

By John S. Matthiasson

© 1992

As recently as three decades ago most Inuit lived a lifestyle much like that of their forbearers: "living on the land," with the men hunting according to time-honoured methods and the women performing the same round of daily tasks that their grandmothers and great grandmothers had done.

Today these people typically live in settlements, some of them distinctly urban in character. Adults work for wages and use electric appliances, children listen to stereos and run about the settlement on motorbikes. As anthropologist John Matthiasson observes, "the Inuit child of today may look back in fond nostalgia on the lifestyle of his parents when they lived on the land, but he cannot return to it." Matthiasson, who has remained in contact with the Tununermiut since the 1960s, offers both a vivid picture of Inuit society as it was and an illuminating look at the nature and the extent of the enormous changes of the past thirty years.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Teaching Culture: UTP Ethnographies for the Classroom
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 172 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.9in x 0.5in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    A rich cultural account... the personalized experiences and reflections of the author bring additional meaning to the case study by illustrating how perspectives on indigenous peoples are largely shaped by the dominant narrative and ideologies of the times. Overall, this is a highly readable as well as knowledgeable book.


    Norman Chance, University of Connecticut
  • Author Information

    The late John S. Matthaisson was a professor in the Anthropology Department at the University of Manitoba, specializing in the ethnography of far-north cultures.

  • Table of contents

    Acknowledgements

    Preface

    Becoming Like an Inuit

    A Whaling We Will Go

    Pre-Contact Period

    The Whaling Period

    Becoming Canadians

    A Trading Post Becomes a Settlement

    The Coming of the Bay

    A Killing Brings the Police and a Detachment

    The Coming of the Church

    Camp Life in the Contact-Traditional Period

    Aullativik in Summer and Winter

    Contact-Traditional Economics

    Sexual Roles and the Divisions of Labour

    Hunting Patterns and Territoriality

    Leadership

    Contact with the Settlement

    The Coming of the Bureaucrats

    The Euro-Canadian Community and its Divisions

    The Mittimatalikmiut

    Relations Between Tununermiut and Euro-Canadians

    A Changing Political Paradigm, and the Impact of New Statuses

    The Emergence of a New Generation of Leaders

    The Settlement Ten Years Later

    A Home in the Settlement

    The Political Scene

    Epilogue

    Changes in Identity and Politics

    The Emergence of a New Political paradigm

    A Larger Matrix - Inuit among Other Aboriginals

    The Present

    Works Cited

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