Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Inupiat Art

The Inupiat Art makes an illegal for American citizens to import any ivory or whalebone from outside of the United States. Americans citizens wouldn't be allowed to purchase any artwork that contained ivory or whalebone from Canada and have it brought or shipped back to the United States. Where the act stands now allows American citizens to purchase similiar artwork from Alaska since it is part of the United States. Exporting Inuit art sculptures contains whalebones and ivory that's from Canada to other international destinations will depend on each specific country as each has its own specific regulations.
Reference:Leung, C. (2005) Export-Import of Inuit Eskimo Art Sculpture Containing Whalebone or Ivory. http://ezinearticles.com/?Export-­-­-­Import-­of-­Inuit-­Eskimo-­Art-­Sculpture-­Containing-­Whalebone-­or-­Ivory&id=23374

What Does Inuit Mean?

In the early 1970s a national organization, the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada, was founded to protect Inuit cultural and individual rights. The organization also includes in its mandate the negotiation of land claims (including the Nunavut agreement) and the protection of the Arctic environment. Although most Inuit now live in permanent communities rather than following a more traditional, seasonally nomadic lifestyle, their distinctive culture persists in their language, family and cultural laws, attitudes, and art.
Reference: Palmowski, Jan(2004). "Inuit" A Dictionary of Contemporary World History.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Inupiat Traditional Foods

The traditional Inuit dietary staples were seal, whale, caribou, walrus, polar bear, arctic hare, fish, birds, and berries. Because they ate raw food, and every part of the animal, the Inuit did not lack vitamins, even though they had almost no vegetables to eat. With the introduction of modern Western-style food, including fast food, over the past two to three decades, the Inuit diet has changed, and not for the better. The consumption of foods rich in sugar and carbohydrates has resulted in tooth decay and other diet-related medical problems. A tradional bread, bannock, was made while trapping or living in camps. The dough could be wrapped around a stick and cooked over an open fire. A recipe for bannock that can be prepared in an oven accompanies this article.
Reference: Condon, Richard(1987). Inuit Youth and Change in the Candian Arctic New Brunswick,NJ,Rutgers University Press.

The Inupiat Ulu

The Inupiaq Ulu is an Inupiaq all-purpose knife traditionally used by women. It is utilized in applications as diverse as skinning and cleaning animals, cutting a child's hair, cutting food and, if necessary, trimming blocks of snow and ice used to build an igloo. Traditionally the ulu was made with a caribou antler, muskox horn or walrus handle and slate cutting surface, due to the lack of metal in the Arctic. The size of the ulu would tend to reflect its usage. An ulu with a 5 cm blade would be used as part of a sewing kit to cut sinew. An ulu with a 15 cm (6 in) blade would be used for general purposes. Occasionally, uluit can be found with blades as large as 30 cm (12 in). Because the rocking motion used when cutting on a plate or board with an ulu pins down the food being cut, it is also easier to use an ulu one-handed (a typical steak knife, in contrast, requires a fork).
Reference: Wikipedia Contributors(2009) Ulu.Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

Inupiaq Clothing

Eskimo women had a truly unique way of life. They had, as one book put it, "a thousand things to do". The men, who did most of the "heavy" work, could not easily live without a woman there to help him. The women's main jobs were to chew the skins to make them soft, clean and dry the men's clothing when they came in, sew new clothing (which was their main task), and take care of any children they had. During the winter the men wore a coat of fox fur. It had a hood that could completely cover the head. The women wore a similar coat made of fox fur, only they had sealskin hoods edged with fox tails. In the summer they wore a coat of sealskin, because it was much cooler. It too was edged with fox tails. The men wore a shirt underneath their coat that was made out of bird skin with the feathers turned inward. During really warm weather they would wear the shirt alone.

Inupiaq Language

The Inuit language is written in several different ways, depending on the dialect and region, but also on historical and political factors. In Greenland during the 1760s, Moravian missionaries intending to introduce Inuit peoples to Christianity through the Bible contributed to the development of an Inuktitut writing system that was based on Roman orthography. When they travelled to Labrador in the 1800s, they brought the written Inuktitut with them. The Roman alphabet-writing scheme is distinguished by its inclusion of the letter kra. The Alaskan Yupik and Inupiat, and the Siberian Yupik also adopted the system of Roman orthography. In addition, the Alaskan peoples developed their own system of hieroglyphics.

Inupiat Ritual & Identity

One leading Inupiat dancer and musician strongly emphasizes that native drumming and dancing have nothing to do with shamanism. He says that many whites think the musical event portrays the performance of a shaman. This individual insists that Inupiat music and dance serve only to entertain and provide enjoyment for all who attend. The dances do not deliberately depict particular scenes or activities, nor do they tell a story, he says. Although some songs contain actual words in the Inupiat language, most are comprised of meaningless syllable.