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Hunting Caribou Walrus seal Summer:

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1 Hunting Caribou Walrus seal Summer:
The Inuit were mainly hunters, and they relied heavily on the animals of the Arctic for most of there needs. The Inuit were skilled hunters and were able to catch food year-round, even during the harsh and long winters. Each season of hunting was different, so depending on the season they would hunt for different animals. Summer: Summers were spent fishing and hunting caribou in the interior regions of the Arctic and hunting seal and walrus along the coasts. One of the most important animals to the Inuit was the caribou. The Inuit used all parts of the caribou in their everyday lives.

2 Summer hunting The caribou meat was used for food and their thick and warm skins were more commonly used for jackets, gloves and parkas. Summers were also spent fishing for Arctic Char, whitefish and trout. Deer, musk ox and bear were also hunted in the summer. Polar bears were caught for their hide. Their meat is poisonous to eat! Musk ox

3 Winter hunting Hunting and fishing was harder during the winter months because of the thick ice and snow that blanketed the Arctic, but the Inuit were still able to find food. Winters were spent seal hunting and ice fishing. In the interior regions, they also hunted caribou. Seals were the main source of food during the winter months. Hunters would wait, sometime for hours, at a seal's breathing holes in the ice, then kill them with a harpoon when they came up for a breath. Fishing was a little different. When a fish appeared below an Inuit he would strike downwards with a fishing spear (or kokiwog) which would grasp hold of the fish. The kokiwog has flexible arms made from the horns of a musk ox so the fish, once speared and retrieved, can easily be released.

4 hunting Some sea mammals, like whales, seals, walruses, beluga whales and narwhals were hunted in the open water in both winter and summer. Whenever the Inuit saw one, they would try to kill it for food. Some sea mammals that were hunted for and what they were used for: Seal: meat to eat and skin for water proofing Walrus: ivory (tusks) for knives and art, and meat (mostly for the dogs to eat) Beluga Whales: skin for water proofing, food like muktuk (outer skin plus the blubber) Narwhal: ivory for spears, meat for dogs to eat Some land animals that were hunted: caribou, musk oxen, arctic fox, polar bear, arctic hare, arctic birds.

5 Inuit tools Inuit stone knife ulu knife Ivory harpoon heads
Most tools that the Inuit used were made out of stone or parts of animals, like bone, ivory, antlers, teeth, and horns. When fishing, the Inuit attached sealskin floats to their harpoons (with lines). These lines stopped the animal from sinking after it was speared. Most harpoon heads (the sharp part) were made out of ivory from walrus tusks or whalebone. To catch fish they also used fishing lines, nets, and three-pronged spears. For hunting, the Inuit used spears, bow and arrows, clubs and stone traps. The Inuit used knives for cutting meat, snow and ice. A special knife that the Inuit used was called an 'ulu'. Ulus were used for skinning animals, preparing the animal skins, and for butchering.

6 Inuit Food Dried caribou Frozen meat cut by a saw (modern photo) Frozen raw caribou known as ‘quak’ If you were an Inuit, meat was the main source of food. There were no Inuit vegetarians!! The Inuit had several ways of preparing their meat and fish to eat. The first way was to cook the meat and eat it fresh. This was not very common because of the shortage of fuel (like wood) for cooking. The second way was to dry the meat as a way to preserve it, similar to beef jerky that we can buy. The last and most common way was to eat the meat raw, including birds! Frozen raw caribou was called ‘quak’.

7 More Inuit food Eggs Raw fish Dried fish eaten with Rancid (rotten) Seal blubber In the absence of trees, birds build nests on the ground. The eggs could be collected easily by the Inuit and eaten raw. This was done generally only in the early part of the nesting season. Birds that had eggs taken from their nests early in the nesting season will lay another egg in its place. This made sure that no bird species becomes endangered. Some fish that was dried to be eaten later had to be remoistened. The Inuit used rotten seal blubber for this! The dried fish would be soaked in the blubber and then chewed heavily before it could be swallowed. Yummm!!

8 More Inuit food Inuit woman picking berries Raw seal liver
Although the Arctic summers were short, wild plants did produce berries. The Inuit gathered wild blueberries and raspberries to add to their diet. This short time of fresh berries was a welcomed treat! With their diet being mostly meat, you might question how the Inuit avoided getting scurvy which is a shortage of vitamin C. Most vitamin C comes from fresh Citrus fruits (oranges) and other vegetables. However, there is another source of vitamin C….. Raw Seal Liver! Raw seal liver was a special treat to the Inuit. Once a seal was killed, it was usually slit open on the spot, the liver was located, removed, and still warm and steaming, was hungrily eaten by all….Yumm!! Inuit woman picking berries Raw seal liver

9 More Inuit food Muktuk drying muktuk bannock Another favourite food for the Inuit was Muktuk. Muktuk is made from the skin and blubber of the Bowhead Whale, although the beluga whale and the narwhal are also used. It is usually eaten raw. Early explorers of the Arctic region brought the Inuit’s first taste of flour and lard. To this day, this combination, called bannock, is fried and eaten. Dried berries can be added for flavour.

10 Inuit water transportation
Kayaks and seal skin spray skirt Two sided paddle The Inuit people made two types of boats: the kayak and the umiak. Kayaks were small, lightweight boats mainly used for hunting. Kayaks were one-person wood frame boats covered with sealskin. They were built to be lightweight and easy to paddle and maneuver in the water. A sealskin spray skirt was wrapped around the occupant's waist to prevent water from entering the boat. A kayak was paddled with a long two sided paddle. The sealskin skirt kept the Inuit dry, but it also secured the Inuit inside the kayak. If one ever capsized, they would be trapped upside down under the frigid water unable to get out. Death by drowning or by cold water would be only minutes away. Was there a quick way out of this situation?

11 Eskimo Role The Inuit invented an ingenious and life-saving technique of righting a kayak in seconds after being capsized. It became so famous, the technique was called the Eskimo Roll by the Europeans who first saw it performed, and it is still called that today. There are many ways of doing an Eskimo roll, but all of them require a few basic steps to do. When upside down, both the movement of the paddle and the body position of the kayaker must work together. Even when a person is told how to do this maneuver, only experienced kayakers who practice a lot can perform this technique quickly and efficiently.

12 Umiaks Umiaks were large, open boats mainly used for travel. Umiaks were open, wooden, skin-covered boats. They were larger than kayaks, 7-10 m long and 2.5 m wide, and could carry between 10 and 15 people. They were generally used to move from camp to camp and to hunt larger sea mammals, like whales. Usually the women did the rowing, while the men steered the boat. In the summer, travelling on the land was done on foot.

13 Winter Transportation
crampon When the Inuit first arrived in the Arctic area, they came with their dogs. The dogs were not pets, yet they performed many important tasks, like scaring away bears and locating breathing holes of seals. By far the most important task they had was as a pack animal working as a team and pulling the heavy sled which the Inuit called a Uniek. When wood was scarce (as it is in most Inuit regions), the Inuit uniek was made out of walrus bones. As the dogs pulled the sled, the Inuit would run behind, jumping on the back of the sled every once in awhile for a rest. The Inuit would also make and wear bone crampons on the bottom of their boots to give extra grip when travelling on the ice.

14 Inuit Religion The Inuit believed in animism: all living and non-living things had a spirit. That included people, animals, inanimate objects, and forces of nature. When a spirit died, it continued living in a different world - the spirit world. The only people who had enough power to control the spirits were the powerful religious leaders called the Shamans. Shamans used charms and dances as a means to communicate with the spirit world (similar to the Haida). Shamans also wore carved masks-mostly representing animals - while performing their rituals. It was believed that masks had powers that enabled them to communicate with the spirits. To get back on the good side of Spirits, the Shamans would make suggestions. They would suggest offering gifts to the spirits, moving away, and sometimes they would fine the person for breaking the rules and angering the spirits.

15 Bad weather, illnesses, and a bad hunt were all blamed on angry spirits.
There were certain guidelines that the Inuit were supposed to follow to make the spirits happy. They had rituals for hunting and eating food to deal with the spirits that lived in the animals. They had to pay a deep respect to the spirit of the animals that they hunted, so that the spirit would reappeared in another animal that could sacrifice its life for the Inuit again. If they did not pay their respects to the spirit, the spirit would reappear as a harmful spirit.

16 Rules to keep the spirits happy.
Here are rules that needed to be followed in order to appease the spirits: Women were not allowed to sew caribou skins inside igloos on sea ice during the winter. Do not eat sea mammal and land mammal meat at the same meal. A knife used for killing whales had to be wrapped in sealskin, not caribou skin. After killing a seal, melted snow had to be dripped into its mouth to quench the spirit's thirst. Save the bladder of the hunted animals because the belief was that the animal’s spirit was found inside.

17 Sedna, goddess of the sea
A stone carving of Sedna throwing a beluga whale. One of the most important spirits in Inuit culture was Sedna, the Goddess of the Sea. She lived at the bottom of the ocean and controlled the seal, whales and other sea animals. The belief was that if Inuit made her happy, she would continue to provide them with food. If there was a bad season of hunting and food was scarce, it was thought that Sedna was upset, and that she was stopping the animals from being hunted by the Inuit.

18 Music and Dancing The main instrument of Inuit ceremonies and dances was the shallow, one-sided drum. Most drums were made from caribou skin or walrus stomach or bladder stretched over a wooden hoop. Drum dances usually occurred inside large igloos with up to 60 people. Some dances were religious in nature, while others welcomed travellers or celebrated a successful hunt. Throat singing is performed by two women in competition using different odd sounds made in their throats and chests by breathing in and breathing out. One woman would start by setting a short rhythmic pattern, then the other woman would set her own pattern. It isn’t suppose to sound like the North American version of singing…and it doesn’t! The sounds are more like animal sounds than singing. It is also very hard to do!

19 Throat singing was not meant to be singing to the Inuit
Throat singing was not meant to be singing to the Inuit. It was suppose to be more of a breathing game invented by the Inuit women while the men were out hunting. The loser of the game was the woman who ran out of breath first or the one who started laughing first. The rules stated that the women had to be close to each other and face and stare at each other. Some women even held on to each other to make sure the other woman didn’t back away or look away. It is still practiced today, but it is more of a demonstration than an actual contest.

20 Inuit Art Whale bone and soapstone Carvings Walrus tusk carving
Inuit art played an important role in their culture. They used resources that were available to them, such as parts of animals (bones, antlers, ivory, teeth), stone, and driftwood. Carvings: Carvings were made out of stone, bone, and ivory (from walruses and whales). Most of their carvings were of Arctic animals, people, or spirits. Most masks were made out of driftwood or whalebone. Masks were used in ceremonial dances. Whale Bone carving

21 Inukshuk: Although not really meant to be Inuit art, the Inukshuk has become one of the most recognizable symbols of the Inuit people and of the Arctic. For us today, the Inukshuk has become a symbol of the Arctic and of Canada. To the Inuit, they represent a more basic and humble purpose. Originally, the Inukshuk was one large stone turned up on its side. It was meant to be a marker for future travellers. The Arctic ground has few obvious markers, so the Inukshuk was a way to communicate direction or location to others. Later, the Inukshuks became larger and began to resemble a human form. The word Inukshuk means ‘something which performs the function of a person.’

22 Inuit clothing inner pants for a man Parka
Clothing of the Inuit people was mostly made out of animal skins and furs. They usually wore many layers of clothing as protection from the cold weather. Caribou skin was the most common choice for clothing because it provided good insulation and was relatively light. Usually the Inuit wore clothing with two layers of caribou skin: an inner layer with the fur facing the skin, and an outer layer with the fur facing out. The Inuit people also made clothing from other animal skins, including dog, squirrel, marmot, fox, wolf, polar bear, bird skin, feathers, and sealskin. They sometimes used sea mammal intestines instead of hides, because they provided more resistance to water.

23 An Inuit woman carrying her Baby in her Amautis
An Inuit woman carrying her Baby in her Amautis. Snow goggles used to prevent Snow blindness on sunny days. Mittens were usually made out of caribou or sealskin, and were sometimes layered. Men and women both wore layered pants to add extra protection against the cold. Clothing was custom made to fit each individual person, which helped keep cold air out at the neck, waist, and wrists. Snow goggles, made from caribou antlers, provided protection from the cold, but more importantly protection from snow blindness. They reduced the amount of light coming into the eye, especially on sunny days with new snow. Men and women both wore outer coats called 'parkas' Most parkas were made out of caribou hair and skin, but they used other skins too. When parkas were made out of bird skin, the feathers were also used as added insulation. Women wore special large-hooded parkas called 'Amautis'. The large hood was used to carry babies and young children.

24 Children's clothing was made of soft skin of younger animals.
For the first couple of years, the children would stay in the large hood of their mother's amautis (jacket) When they were 2-3 years old they start wearing 'atajuqs' or combination suits. A combination suit is a piece of fur made into one suit with a hood, pants, mittens, and boots. During the winter, it was very important for the Inuit to keep their feet warm, so they wore up to four layers of footwear. Typically they wore three layers on their feet: a boot stocking, a sealskin boot (mukluk), and a fur slipper.

25 Inuit Games Inuit games were mainly played by the youth. They were meant to built the physical and mental skills needed for hunting and survival in the Arctic. The games required very little or no equipment to play. The different games stressed physical strength, endurance, agility, and the tolerance of pain. A few examples of traditional games include: One-Foot High Kick and Two-Foot High Kick In the high kick, a target (such as a bone or a piece of fur) is suspended at a height. A player begins in a standing position, with both feet together, and jumps up to kick the hanging target with one foot, landing on the same foot that kicked the target. The player must maintain his/her balance on landing.  It is the same rules with using two feet.

26 Alaskan High Kick The Alaskan High Kick is similar to the One- and Two-Foot High Kick in that the objective is to kick a hanging target. However, in this game, the player holds one foot with one hand, balances on the other hand, and then extends the other leg up to kick the target balancing on the other hand. Knuckle Hop In this game, the player takes a push-up position but with his hands making fists. In this position, all body weight is placed on the knuckles and toes. The player bounces forward on his fists and toes. The player who goes the farthest distance wins. It is painful and the winner often has bloody knuckles.

27 Ear Pull This game tests competitors’ ability to endure pain. Two players sit on the floor facing each other. A loop of leather cord is strung between two of the players’ ears. Players then use their ear to pull on the cord until the cord comes free or the other player quits from the pain. This event can cause bleeding and some players require stitches after they are done. Some Arctic competitions have removed this event due to safety concerns. Blanket Toss The blanket toss originated as a way for hunters to be able to see across the open land for caribou. Today, it is always conducted for entertainment. Thirty or more people form a circle, holding the edges of a large skin or blanket, and toss a person into the air as high as possible. The object is for the thrown person to maintain balance and return to the blanket without falling over.

28 Leg Wrestling The goal of leg wrestling is to roll your opponent over while you stay flat on the floor. To do this, two competitors lay side-by-side on a mat with their heads pointed in opposite directions. They hook their arms together. The game begins with both players lifting their legs three times together. On the third lift, their legs catch above the knee. The first person to flip their opponent wins.  The Musk Ox Push Both contestants get down on the floor on their hands and knees in an area marked for the contest. The contestants line up facing each other and lower their heads towards the floor. Each of the contestants press their head against the other's shoulder. When the judge says go, they both push forward and try to shove their contestant out-of-bounds. The contestants may only use their hands for crawling, and their hands and knees must stay on the floor.

29 The Mouth Pull Two players stand beside each other and wrap their arms around each other's shoulder, hooking the index finger into the other's mouth. Each player pulls until the loser yields to the other. The Head Pull In the head pull, two opponents face each other with a strap or band around both of their heads. The object is to try to pull your opponent across a center line or to force your opponent’s head down so the strap comes off.

30 Reverse head pull One version of the head pull is to have the opponents face back to back with a string around their head and noses. The winner is the one who can endure the pain the most. This has got to hurt!

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