DAWN IN ARCTIC ALASKA by Diamond Jenness


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The Canadian anthropologist, Dr. Diamond Jenness, was commissioned in 1913 by the Stefansson Expedition to collect a complete ethnograph about the Eskimos of the Arctic region. As a participant-observer he had the opportunity to live with Eskimo families and record not only facts about food, house-building, economics, family structure, but opinions about interaction on a personal level. The myths and superstitions generated by the irregularities of nature; the introduction of Christian traits brought by the white man and their eventual fusion with native religion; recreation; how the Eskimos cope with boredom and time which invariably hang heavy in the Arctic- these are some of the problems which are discussed, sometimes in relationship to Dr. Jenness, and other times as peculiar to the culture. The ethnograph as a whole is devoid of a theoretical framework. Value judgments from a European perspective sometimes insinuate themselves into what is basically a descriptive body of data. While these two criticisms may be accepted in some anthropological circles, the neat and rather literary handling of a restricted subject may attract readers other than students of anthropology.

Pub Date: May 27th, 1957
Publisher: University of Minnesota