Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day 18: Inu

My day off was a trip to the mouth of the Churchill River:

Two beluga whales or Qilalugaq

Harbour Seal playing near shore

Common Eiders on an ice float being swept into the bay

Raven being attacked by Arctic Tern after predating their nests.

And also a stop in at the Eskimo Museum:

It is called the Eskimo Museum, but as the invading white people recently learned, "eskimo" is a derogatory term meaning "makers of snowshoes," "speakers of a foreign tongue," and the Ojibwa form of "raw meat eaters" or "one who eats raw."

So the self-designation is a little different. Inuit means "the people" referring to all the indigenous arctic people. Inuk refers to one individual, Inuuk refers to two individuals. Then there is further breakdown of the self-designations depending on location. In Western Canadian Arctic, the singular is Inuvialuk and the plural for the people is Inuvialuit. The root, "Inu" means life!

Wunderkammer! Everything from a full Qajaq (kayak) to
a narwal tusk, a stuffed polar bear to soapstone and antler

The stories that accompany the sculptures are so short and pointed. For example:
Mythical Bird that Helped a Man
This mythical bird was so large and strong that it could carry a man. Once, a man was running away from people trying to kill him. He came to a river that he could not cross but the bird carried him across it and he escaped.
As told by Therese Arnasivik Tabo

Another sculpture I saw was labeled, young polar bear meets young birds for first time. So this is the story I came up with:

Young Bear: first polar bear I have seen this year, but he
doesn't quite count.

Young Bear that meets Young Bird
The young bear walked away from his mother and met young bird. Young bear had never seen a bird. Young bird had never seen a bear. Young bear sniffed young bird curiously and startled back when young bird ruffled and shook his feathers. Then young bear pawed the soft feathers like he would his brother. 
As told by Kaleigh Eichel

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