Inuit hunting traditions are rich in perceptions, practices and stories relating to animals and human beings. Laugrand and Oosten examine key figures such as the raven, an animal that has a central place in Inuit culture as a creator and a trickster, and qupirruit, a category consisting of insects and other small life forms. After these non-social and inedible animals, the authors discuss the dog, the companion of the hunter, and the fellow hunter, the bear, considered to resemble a human being. A discussion of the renewal of whale hunting accompanies the chapters about animals considered "prey par excellence": the caribou, the seals, and the whale, symbol of the whole. The volume concludes with a comparative analysis of the ethnographic data presented in the book.
Frederic Laugrand is Professor in the Department of Anthropology, Universite Laval and Director of the journal Anthropologie et Societes. He is the author of Mourir et Renaitre. La Reception du Christianisme par les Inuit de l'Arctique de l'Est Canadien (PUL, 2002) andco-author with Jarich Oosten of Inuit Shamanism and Christianity: Transitions and Transformations in the XXth Century (MQUP, 2009), The Ethnographical Recordings of Inuit Oral Traditions by Father Guy. Mary-Rousseliere (2010), Between Heaven and Earth. The Recollections of Felix Kupak (2012). Jarich Oosten is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Leiden University, The Netherlands. He is the author of The War of the Gods: The Social Code in Indo-European Mythology (Routledge and Kegan, 1985). He and Frederic Laugrand have co-edited books in three different series at the Nunavut Arctic College. The two have co-authored Apostle to the Inuit (University of Toronto Press, 2006), The Sea Woman (Alaska University Press, 2009) and Hardships of the Past: Recollections of Arviat Elders (2011).
List of Figures Acknowledgements Introduction Chapter 1. Theoretical Perspectives Chapter 2. The Animals and Their Environment Chapter 3. Becoming A Good Hunter Life and Death Chapter 4. The Raven, The Bringer of Light Chapter 5. Qupirruit, Masters of Life And Death Fellow Hunters Chapter 6. The Dog, Partner of The Hunter Chapter 7. The Bear, A Fellow Hunter Prey Chapter 8. The Caribou, The Lice of The Earth Chapter 9. Seals, The Offspring of The Sea Woman Chapter 10. The Whale, Representing The Whole Comparison and Conclusions Appendix I: Inuit Elders Glossary of Inuktitut Words References Index