Arctic & Subarctic Native Art Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Man of the people
Raw meat eater
Arctic inventions/utilitarian art
Mukluk, parka, iglu, kayak, umiak, karmaq, ulu, kashim, tupik, stone/oil lamps, snow goggles, bow drill, Eskimo thimble, specialized hunting/fishing gear
Arctic carving/etching
Walrus bone and ivory, soapstone, wood, driftwood, dwarf willow
Water babies/Maymaygwashi
Mischievous spirits who live near water, have beards, little spirit people. Playful, helpful, or if not respected, could trick you, entice you into water, or steal your food out of your canoe
Story knife
Art form, used to tell stories
Cat's cradle
Game/form of recreation, used to tell stories
Common body art form for men and women, abstract designs such as spurred lines, triangles, and hatching.
Lip plug, worn in lower lip by men; ivory pins are made small to fit youngster (age 6 or 7) & made larger as get older. Prized by males, carefully carved.
Inuit afterlife
Netsilek believe that men who are good, strong hunters/providers and women with beautiful tattoos will go to a place of goodness, where one plays kickball and lives a life of leisure. Those who have been lazy, poor hunters, with no tattoos end up in the "land of the crestfallen" -- a place where they sit with bowed head, no fun, eating only butterflies.
Moon spirit; associated with fertility in women; often seen as design/motif in masks.
Giant baby spirit who despises mankind; associated with blizzards and bad weather; causes one to become lost.
Bladder dance/festival
Male honoring celebration, soul resides in bladder
Protects land animals (caribou)
Labrador Eskimo term for the Northern Lights
Controller of weather
Contrary woman
"She Down There" -- protects water creatures
Shaman/medicine/holy man "enables one to see" or "one who has eyes." Male or female healers use masks in doctoring which are destroyed/burned after healing rite.
Platform cache
Elevated wooden platform used for storage of food, supplies; if traveling & need food, can use food/supplies in cache, but must replace it (honor system).
Traveling food, used by hunters; high in protein, mixture of meat, berries, fat
Pukwis (Cree)
Ghost, skeleton-like spirit who entices you to come into the water, will pull you under the water
Spirit bear who reminds hunters to be careful and to be thankful for the food provided by the bear and his other friends, like the caribou. Spirit offerings are placed, with prayer, on a bear's skull to honor the bear and remind others of the bear's strength and power.
Creator/trickster figure; creator/destroyer, male or female, helped create the world and tries to cause disruption in the world; can be both wise and foolish; teaches lessons on how not to be; gets carried away with gluttony (Eats too much and gets kill); can trick you and can be tricked him/herself
Supernatural man-eating monster spirit, insatiable, can never get enough to eat or drink etc. Reminds people to not want or take too much of anything. Can kill it by doing something to melt his heart.
Culture hero, son of manitou (spirit) and human woman, creator/destroyer, both wise and foolish; helped create the world and tries to destroy world; teaches young "how not to be."
Segalaze (Chipewyan)
Boy hero who acquires superhuman strength & speed; does good deeds and helps the people
Saya (Beaver)
Boy lives alone on island, receives spirit help in dreams, survives winter, travels around world destroying giant animals, taught the people how to make arrows
Kliata (Kaska)
Boy gave the people bows & snowshoes, taught them how to make fishing nets from willow bark
Hunting group
Survival in an extreme environment requires hunting in cooperative groups; the best hunter is the informal leader
Everyone is equal in society; no chiefs, until later with the introduction of new governmental system
Traditional values/attributes
Patience, sharing, cooperation, modesty
"Insides" of animals; entrails, guts, intestines, liver
Types of housing
Sod & stone (thule), snow block house
Spring and autumn interseasonal housing
Ceremonial house; men's house, larger dwelling used for various special events, such as dancing, singing, song duels, healing rituals.
Circular knife, "women's" knife, basic utilitarian tool for women (and men)
Foot wear, snow boot, moccasin with high top or legging attached
Seal oil lamp
Dorset invention; made of stone (tray), using seal/whale oil & moss wick
Female Infanticide
Former practice associated with starvation, female babies killed so would not have to suffer painful death of starvation
People/hunters of the seal
The more names one has, the better spiritual protection
Clothing; knee length outer jacket, larger one for women to accommodate pregnancy and larger hood to carry newborn in
One person boat, highly prized by men
Water transportation and whale hunting; "storage or women's boat", holds more than one person, can carry bigger loads
Bow drill
Used by men for carving
Eskimo thimble
Women's cultural tool, used for sewing
Snow goggles
Carved in bone/ivory/wood by men; wards off snow blindness
Reasons for decline in Inuit populations
Disease, famine
Contemporary issues
Alcohol, suicide
Seal hunt traditional process
Place snow on seal, hunting partner & family divide meat
Seal hunt contemporary process
Wives pour water in seal's mouth to honor sacred animal
Uses for dogs
Finding holes, pulling loads, camp guards
Sharing partners
Hunting partners or co-wives (sometimes sisters, could have multiple husbands)
Inuit contact with outside
Didn't get electricity until the 60's, if they chose to settle Canada gave them houses.
Traditional leadership
Contemporary leadership
Alaskan/Canadian Brotherhood/Sisterhood
Line dance
Yupik dance movements are gestures, imitating daily activities like hunting, rowing, listening, etc, in time with music
Yupik delicacy
Blue berries, fish & flour mixture, made mainly for celebrations and community get togethers today.
Birch bark items
Mokok, canoe, dental pictographs/birch bark biting
Female art forms
Throat singing, quillwork, sewing
Male art forms
Almost exclusively worn by men, carved, painted, and adorned with things like feathers, etc. Normally made for one occasion, then destroyed. Sun & moon symbols.
Basketry/Baleen basketry
Made of baleen (from whale's mouths), baskets are weaved from this, very expensive, tourist item.
Nobles, commoners, slaves
Wood hat
Steamed bent-wood technology & painted and decorated
Song duel
Beads brought by European traders, overlay & loom
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