Eskimo Architecture: Dwelling and Structure in the Early Historic Period

By Molly Lee

The structure of Eskimo peoples represents a different and profitable technique of dealing with some of the most serious climates humankind can inhabit. the preferred snapshot of the igloo is yet one of many many constructions tested through specialists Lee and Reinhardt within the first book-length and arctic-wide research of this impressive subject.

Lavishly illustrated with ancient and modern photos, drawings, and maps, this quantity encompasses a entire survey of the historic literature on Eskimo structure round the circumpolar north. Lee and Reinhardt additionally draw all alone broad fieldwork to give a longer comparative research of the geographic, climatic, and ethnographic features of fabric from 4 Arctic subregions: Greenland; the relevant Arctic; the Northwest Arctic and Bering Strait; and Southwest Alaska, the Bering Sea, Siberia, and the Gulf of Alaska. In an cutting edge attention of either fabric and cultural points of residing, they and the peoples they describe redefine the very which means of "architecture."

While students of the circumpolar north will welcome the meticulous learn of this benchmark learn, its transparent and fluent prose and considerable illustrations make an engrossing learn for experts and nonspecialists alike.

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Staley, Kesler E. Woodward, and 3 nameless reviewers. James W. VanStone steered on many suitable matters and subject matters, Jeanne E. Ellis produced and/or transformed a few illustrations, and Tammy Greene assisted with bibliographic enhancing. a few fabric initially seemed in a dissertation (Reinhardt 1986); the contributions towards that paintings via Wendell H. Oswalt and the remainder of Reinhardt’s Ph. D. committee (Rainer Berger, Clement W. Meighan, Murray Milne, and Frank H. Weirich) are gratefully said. xiii INTRODUCTION In each one residence [the Eskimos] have just one room. . . . One-half the floor [is] raised with wide stones . . . whereon, strewing moss, they make their nests to sleep. (George most sensible, 1577) IGLOOS AND ACCURACY increasing THE DEFINITION OF structure to incorporate THE NONPEDIGREED has opened for research a huge spectrum of the world’s construction practices, together with these of small-scale societies (Rudofsky 1964). Given the scholarly awareness paid to indigenous1 housing in different components of across the world the previous twenty years (e. g. , Bourdier and Alsayyad 1989), a accomplished appraisal of Eskimo2 dwellings is lengthy late. these outdoor the small circle of arctic experts, even if, are guaranteed to greet one of these survey with shock, if no longer dismay, for it demanding situations one in all Westerners’ so much loved misconceptions approximately Eskimos. because of the extensive dissemination of nineteenth-century bills of go back and forth between Canadian and Greenlandic Eskimos (e. g. , Boas 1888; Kane 1856; Lyon 1824; Parry 1824; Peary 1898), the snowblock “igloo” used to be cemented into our collective cognizance as a key image of Eskimo tradition. in fact, in spite of the fact that, the domical snow apartment linked to that time period (igloo, or, extra effectively within the Inuit Eskimo language, iglu, is a common time period for “house” in so much Eskimo languages) used to be outfitted via just a small minority of Eskimos. 400 years of arctic literature clarify that Eskimo structure used to be whatever yet monolithic. Entrenched even though the igloo will be within the Western mind's eye, it used to be in no way the 1st Eskimo living variety to be illustrated or defined. This honor belongs to a whimsical game of a few Greenland summer time tents decorating a map released by means of Olaus Magnus in 1539 (Oswalt 1979:21, figs. 1–2). Neither does the earliest-known written description of an Eskimo residing refer advent 1 to an igloo, yet to a transitional autumn or spring residing (qarmaq or qarmah). three In 1577, an English sailor at the Frobisher excursion wrote, From the floor upward [the Baffin Island Eskimos] construct with whale bones, for loss of bushes, which, bending one over one other, are handsomely compacted within the best jointly, and are coated over with seal skins, which, rather than tiles, fence them from the rain. In every one residence they've got just one room, having one half the ground raised with vast stones a foot larger than the opposite, whereon, strewing moss, they make their nests to sleep on. (Best 1867:138; spelling modernized) for the time being, numerous tourists have attested to the enormous edition that's the norm in Eskimo residing forms from Greenland to Siberia.

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