Kinship Systems of the Inuit Culture

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RUNNING HEAD: INUIT CULTURE 1

Kinship Systems of the Inuit Culture
Marcus Sims
Ant 101
Instructor Geoff Wood
Aug 12, 2012

INUIT CULTURE2
Kinship Systems of the Inuit Culture
The Inuit people live in the harsh conditions of the Arctic region of North America. Once referred to commonly as “Eskimos,” Inuit’s are spread out in different regions across the Arctic. As a foraging culture, the Inuit’s live and operate in wide range of terrains as they forage and hunt. This paper will explore the traditional kinship systems of the Inuit people and contrast them with similar systems used by the American Culture.

The Inuit people live in multi-family bands, typically about 25-50 people. Laird, B. & Nowak, P. (2012). Across Canada, there are many different Inuit bands. There are Western Arctic Inuit’s, Copper, Caribou, Nestilik, Quebec, Labrador, Igloolik, and Baffin Island Inuit. Findlay, H.,Sajecky, A., & Bremer, M. (2007). These bands will vary in size throughout the year, as seasonal climate and hunting conditions change. A typical family within the band is composed of a mother, father and their children. This is known as a “nuclear family.” Laird, B. & Nowak, P. (2012). This nuclear family is much like a typical family in America. Man, INUIT CULTURE3

woman and children. These families will join other families and together they will form bands. The size of which will depend on the “carrying capacity” of their environment. Laird, B. & Nowak, P. (2012). Now we will analyze a couple of aspects of Inuit kinship systems and contrast them with systems used in modern American society. The winter months are long in the far north, and securing enough food for everyone is of utmost importance. In order to maximize their hunting efforts, the Inuit’s will form large bands in order to hunt animals such as seal. These large bands come together in a process known as fusion....
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