Monday, April 21, 2014

World of the Inuit

Source: Wikipedia
Living in the Arctic, the Inuit have to use whatever limited resources they can access. Their industry relies heavily on animal hides, driftwood, and bones. They would carve tools out of bones and soapstone, and they would make knives out of walrus ivory. Their clothes and footwear are made by sewing animal skins together sewn together using needles made from animal bones and thread made from animal sinew. During the winter, oftentimes they would live in igloos, which are temporary shelters made from snow and ice. When the weather got warm enough, they would set up shelters using driftwood as a frame, and covering them with animal skins. 

Source: Wikipedia
Art played heavily into the Inuit culture and continues to do so today. Sculptures of animal and human figures are carved from ivory and bone. These sculptures depict everyday activities that the Inuit would perform, such as whaling or hunting. Today, sculptures will also be carved from softer stones such as soapstone or argillite.

The Inuit have traditionally been a hunting and fishing society. Their diet consists mainly of raw or frozen whale, fish, walrus, seal, and caribou meat. The reason for this is that the harsh temperatures prevent almost any kind of plant from growing there, especially in the winter months, so agriculture is almost nonexistent. In the summer, however, certain roots, tubers, and grasses, along with wild berries, will grow in the more southern regions of the Arctic and the Inuit will take advantage of those resources as well. One very interesting thing to note about the Inuit diet is that they still receive all of the necessary nutrients to survive and be healthy, even though 75% of their diet consists of fatty and protein-filled foods, and almost no plant matter. This is because the food is mostly eaten raw and unprocessed; a study done in the 1920's by anthropologist Vilhjalmur Stefansson found that adequate vitamin C could be obtained from eating raw meats such as ringed seal liver and whale skin.

No comments:

Post a Comment