Thursday, April 7, 2011

World Wednesday

In today's World Wednesday (which i will try to finish and have published on Wednesday, not Thursday in the wee hours of the morning) we will meet the Kalaallit Nunaat a.k.a the Greenland Inuit.

According to the website, 'the ancient web', which is a great online resource for information about peoples of the world,'The Inuit are the aboriginal inhabitants of the North American Arctic, from Bering Strait to East Greenland, a distance of over 6000 kilometers. As well as Arctic Canada, Inuit also live in northern Alaska and Greenland, and have close relatives in Russia'. In specific reference to the Kalaallit Nunaat, they state that 'The Thule are the prehistoric ancestors of the Inuit who now live in northern Labrador. (The name comes from a small community in northwestern Greenland where the culture was first classified.) Thule culture appears to have grown out of an exchange of ideas, and perhaps peoples, from the Bering Sea and the north coast of Alaska just before about 1000 years ago. Many archaeologists believe that around 1000 years ago, as the climate of the earth warmed, leads opened up in the ice of the Beaufort Sea and Amundsen Gulf allowing these north Alaskan people to follow bowhead whales eastward in the summer.
The Thule culture, as archaeologists would call it, rapidly spread out across the Canadian Arctic and eventually to Greenland and Labrador. Members of the Thule culture developed a remarkable technology to deal with the Arctic. In a region where Europeans and their descendants have never been able to live without outside assistance, the Thule people flourished'.
Inuit in general and the Kalaallit Nunaat in particular had very interesting and elaborate system of governance and common law. As theirs is predominately and oral culture, the 'laws' were passed down the form of myths, stories, and fables. To the western observer, it often seemed that no laws existed. Yet the traditional way of setting rules or codes of conduct was as follows:
  • maligait refers to what has to be followed
  • piqujait refers to what has to be done
  • tirigusuusiit refers to what has to be avoided
Since the sense of community, family and mutual interdependence between different nations were intact, there seems to have been no need for more 'western' or severe forms of laws.

 ~some links for further information are:

~Inuit women: their powerful spirit in a century of change

 Whoops, ok, World Wednesday, will again be posted in the wee hours of Thursday morning. This is what happens when you start researching something after having put babies to sleep, and cleaned up for the day. better luck next time.......

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