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Innovation and Sustainability - Research Paper - Mcelraft

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Inuit of the Artic Kinship

ANT 101: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

September 29, 2012

As we study anthropology we ask ourselves the question, what is anthropology and what is the meaning of cultural? In the studies we learn that anthropology is the study of people, their origins, and their cultures. We learned that cultural is the system of government, style of dress or even types of sexual behavior and food. So we put together the words cultural anthropology and the text tells us it is “the comparative study of human cultures with the objective of deepening our understanding of the human condition” (Laird, 2010). With all this to reflect on, this writer will discuss the kinship systems of the Inuit people and their cultural and how it affects them.
“The kinship among people is described as is a relationship between any individuals who share a genealogical origin, through biological, cultural, or historical descent. It is one of the most basic principles for organizing individuals into social groups, roles, categories, and genealogy” (Versatile, 2011).
The kinship system among the Inuit is describe as the lineal system of terminology emphasizes the nuclear family by specifically identifying mother, father, brother, and sister, while merging together all other relatives such as maternal and paternal aunts, uncles, and cousins, without differentiating among them.
An example, one's father is distinguished from his father's brother (uncle) but one's father's brother is not distinguished from his mother's brother (who is also called uncle). In addition, one calls all the sons and daughters of his aunts and uncles cousin, without distinguishing their sex or the side of the family to which they belong (Versatile, 2011).
In our society we have mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, cousins, and etc. We do connect to all our relatives and we recognized our closest such as our uncles, aunts, and cousins. We also may have a host of friends and associates.
Our lives are surrounded by people in the work places, churches and all types of different environments, but there is no bond, no kinship, or relationships. We just go about our daily lives and most of the time not caring about the other man.
Our text describes the Inuit people as foragers. “Foragers there are a continuous movement of goods through kinship ties and residential proximity, which strengthens people’s obligations to each other. The obligations to share, and the mobile lifestyle, inhibit the accumulation of individual wealth” (Laird, 2010). They lived in small communities that are mobile self-sufficient and the group is called bands.
The Inuit people live in a small ice shelter insulated with the skins of seals moving from one location to another during the change of the seasons. There are very little personal items because of the inconvenience of moving from place to place. When they move would leave an empty shell behind (Versatile, 2011). The men hunting activities would provide the popular of the food, but diets consist mostly of berries, melons, fruits and nuts.
They would share with each other, but as this writer read more about the kinship of these people it was times would get hard and they would share, however; according to the text it states, “whenever game was abundant, sharing among non-relatives was avoided, since every family was supposedly capable of obtaining the necessary catch” (Laird, 2010).
In our society people usually do pull together, when times get tough, but you still have the ones who believe that every man is for himself. However; after living in the United States, there have been times when we as a society had to pull together in order to have peace and security in our place of existence.
In conclusion the Inuit people “life considered full happiness and wellbeing, unhappiness, healing, and community and personal change. Three themes emerged as central to well-being: the family, talking/communication, and traditional Inuit cultural values and practices” (Michael, 2011). We too as a society are searching for the same characteristics in our lives happiness, wellbeing, healing and community and personal change.

References
Laird, P. a. (2010). Cultural Anthropology. San Diego, California: BridgePoint Education Inc.
Michael, J. K. (2011, December). Proquest Anthropology. Retrieved from Unikkaartuit: Meanings of Well-Being, Unhappiness, Health, and Community Change Among Inuit in Nunavut, Canada: Anthropologica, 53(1), 195-197. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/920876399?accountid=32521
Versatile, D. (2011, November 18). HubPages. Retrieved from The Kinship of the Inuit of the Artic: http://versatiled.hubpages.com/hub/The-Kinship-of-the-Inuit-of-the-Arctic…...

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