Quaqtaq: Modernity and Identity in an Inuit Community
How, in a world that is drastically changing, can the Inuit preserve their identity? Louis-Jacques Dorais explores this question in Quaqtaq, the first ethnography of a contemporary Canadian Inuit community to be published in over twenty-five years.
The community of Quaqtaq is a small village on Hudson Strait where hunting and gathering are still the mainstays of life. In this description of Quaqtaq, based on data collected over a thirty-year period, we get a glimpse of its early cultural history, its development into a settled community, and its present realities. Dorais identifies three principal manifestations of local identity - kinship, religion, and language - that persist despite the brutal intrusion of modernity. He concludes by examining the role politics and education have played in the relationship between Quaqtaq and the outside world.
Quaqtaq is a unique and important study that will be of interest to scholars, administrators, and citizens of Inuit and other native communities.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 160 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.4in x 9.0in
'One of the most important tasks of anthropologists is to demonstrate that other peoples and other cultures than one's own have histories, and that continuities link today's situation with the past. Louis-Jacques Dorais' book is a persuasive and excellent account of the meaning of being "modern" in a small Inuit community.'
'The virtue of this book lies in its approachability and its close reading of community relations ... The use of Inuit terms to label and discuss some elements of these processes is perhaps the book's most undersold strength.'
'Dorais provides a very interesting and timely discussion of the evolution and continuity of identity ... This brief, readable, modestly presented book adds much to the growing literature on identity, politics, and culture.'
'The abundant bibliography, the well-selected drawings in the text, and the photographic addition on the sect of the Israelites, are the worthy support to an essay of sure merits.'
Ernesta Cerulli, Anthropos
'This study provides a useful compilation and analysis/synthesis of field notes dating back to 1965, when the author began his research on Quaqtaq.'
Canadian Book Review Annual
Author InformationLouis-Jacques Dorais is Professor of Anthropology, Université Laval, and is editor of Études/Inuit/Studies.
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