Prof. Geoff Wood
The Inuit are a band of people that live in or around artic areas. They are mainly found in
Canada, Greenland, Serbia and Alaska. They normally have a populations of around 60 to 300
people. This band of people usually have a series of camps or settlements. These settlements
are made up of one household or several households combined together.
These arrangements can be compared to what is going on in my life today. I live in one
household with my sister. She is married and she has 3 children at home. My sister and her
husband make most household decisions. I only make make decisions while they are not
at home. We also share all the chores and the food. This is much like the Inuit household.
The Intuit household usually contains parents and their children. They may also
grandparents, newly married children and relatives. Both men and women make most of the
decisions in the household. Men make the decisions when it concerns anything to do with life
and death situations. This includes group movement and economic decisions.
Camps with several homes always pick a leader. This leader is usually picked based on how
much seniority he has and his experience. If there is more than one answer to a question or a
problem, this leader usually solves the problem. This keeps fighting down, law and order and
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... of high emotion and drama, triggered by an adrenaline rush, make decisions they might need to regret later. Gamblers, guided (or, ... too strong in suggesting that all those who make decisions based on emotion are poor decision-makers, it may be warranted to discuss ... logic are complements to each other, and facilitate the decision making process. Decisions made on the basis of logic alone may not ...
their society in check (Richard Effland, nd).
The Inuit people also had what they called a Shaman. This is the religious leader of the camp
or settlement. The Shaman also assumed a leadership position. This was mostly because the
Shawman was considered a sacred person. One who could control people over fear of their
religion. Sometimes the people of the band would actually be in debt to him or her. This occurred
because the Shawman did a favor for them, or did some kind of ritual for protection (Richard
The religion of the Inuit is based on spirits. They belive that their camps and their
environment are possessed with super natural beings. There were 3 kinds of supernatural
beings. They are personal souls, name souls and ghosts. They also believe that animals had
souls also. The Shawman is a very important part of their life and a very important spiritual
The Inuits are very spiritual and their religion controls a large part of their life. I am also very
spiritual. I belive in one God. I am Pentecostal and we belive that god is everywhere and that
gods spirt comes down and blesses us. We don’t belive in ghosts but we do believe in the after
The pastor of my church could be compared to the Shawman. He does have some power over
what we say or do in our lives. He gives us spiritual guidance and we do go to him to help us
make the right spiritual decisions in our lives. He will also pray for us and come to our home
when needed to bless our house. I also feel in debt to him when he does things for me or my
family. I feel i must help him in order to receive gifts from God.
Their life and their environment is very harsh. They live in the artic surrounded by sea and
ice. Most of the artic land consists of permafrost. This is very thick and limits the growth of
plants and the draining of good water. The surrounding environment is very harsh and barren.
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The Inuit people use all their raw materials available. They use snow, ice, skin bone and
stone. They also use ivory and wood. The wood and ivory they obtain is distributed evenly
and used vary sparingly. These items are rarely found and they are considered precious.They
used these products to make tools and make their homes(Richard Effland, nd).
Most of us today consider certain material precious and w buy or use them sparingly. One
example is diamonds. I like diamond rings but when i buy them its usually a ring or a necklace.
I can only buy one at a time. so i put them up an wear them only for certain occasions. So i baby
it or consider it precious to me. I wear and use this resource very sparingly because it hard for me
to come up with the money to get it. It basically operates off the same principle. The only big
difference is we might not share them with others. If we do its usually with our relatives or
close friends. This sharing is much like the Inuits. They did share with distant relatives, partners
and close relatives.
We build homes with materials from our environment. We also also make tools from our
environment. We log our woods to make building material for our homes. We do use diamond
material for drill bit tips. We use sand to make glass for windows. All this is very similar to
what the Inuit People do. They use the material they have to build their homes.
Their homes ere made up of both parents. We call this a bilateral family. The Kinship comes
from both mother and father. The Inuits Kinship is mostly stressed on the fathers side. There is
also a rule where after marriage you most live with the parents for a certain period of time. This
allows the new couple to gain experience about marriage and family living. This also allows the
new son-in law to become a better hunter. He must go out hunting with him and he will learn
more about where to hunt to find food and gain better hunting skills.
This type of kinship allows mostly male dominance. The males tend to be the leaders,
providers and decision makers. One group of men living in one area for a long period of time.
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Each male member knows the area where they live and knows where the best hunting ground is.
The also know where they can gather the materials the need to make houses, tools and the food
they need to survive.
This is also a big plus for the women in the Inuits Society. They can gather the ice, wood and
other material needed without looking for it. When the men go hunting they are locating and
remembering where everything is. They will go home and tell the women where to look. This
isures the womens safety and means less work for them (Richard Effland, nd.).
The men also know where the other camps are within their social circle. This means that they
know where their relatives are. They can send their women out to other camps to find what
is needed. This keeps them safe and makes everyone be able to socialize with their neighbors.
They also can get their needs taken care of such as marriage and sharing items or food when
times are rough.
Not only do Inuits share with each other but they have sharing with what they call Partners.
Partners are close friends living near their camps. These are their friends that they would trust
and love. These partners have been known to be able to share their wives and husbands and even
kill those who step on their toes (Richard Effland, nd.).
Most every hunter had a number of sharing partners. These partners always got a certain
part of the meat and blubber of the seals that were caught. names were put on the meat and each
person got the meat buy their name. Sharing partners were picked during early child hood. This
way each person hunter with their partners and learned how to hunt together. These partners
were know as Kinship.
Kinship partners were not ever close relatives. It was required that they be distant relatives or
non relation. This was set up because the Inuits relatives already share food, shelter and etc.
They also need their close kin to rely on in times of trouble close to home and help with trouble
in their close nit family life.
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The Inuit Society is a very close net society. They really on each other and share food,
clothing and shelter. They have learned to adapt and share everything in their environment. The
develop relationships with their relatives and partners. I belive this is much like what we are
forced to do today. We as families have become very close due to economic conditions in todays
Effland, Richard.(nd).THE ARTIC PEOPLE: INUIT:Retrieved from Mesa Community College: http://www.mesacc.edu/dept/d10/asb/anthro2003/lifeways/inuit/intro.html