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'Hello' and 'help'... 
18th-Apr-2006 05:14 pm
leo_kagaya
Hi. I've just found this community and thought I'd join, say 'hi' and ask for your help. I'm an english/american philology student (I'm Polish), and I'm supposed to write a bachelor paper this year. I chose to write about Inuit culture and tradition. I have some information from books but it's all theory. I know that this is a linguistic community, but I thought that if there are people here who know Inuktitut, they probably know the culture (or are Inuit themselves). I've looked for help in different places and LJ is my last hope. If anyone would want to help me, I'd really appreciate it. I have lots of questions to ask, mostly about Inuit opinion about issues that aren't clear enough for me.
I really don't want anyone to feel offended because of my European background. I just want my paper to be truthful and culturally correct.

Contact: kato_chan@poczta.onet.pl
Comments 
18th-Apr-2006 07:20 pm (UTC)
I don't speak Inuktitut and I'm not Inuk, but oddly enough, I just finished writing my "Aboriginal Peoples of the Arctic" final so seeing this post was a little...freaky. :)

Anyway, these are sites you may have tried, but I'll post them just in case.

Avataq Cultural Institute: http://www.avataq.qc.ca/
Apparently, you can contact these folks and they're very helpful if you have questions about Nunavik (northern Québec).

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami: http://www.itk.ca/ National Inuit Organization of Canada, including Nunavut, Nunatsiavut, Nunavik and the Inuvialuit territory.

Inuit Circumpolar Conference: http://www.inuitcircumpolar.com/
This is a worldwide organization that represents Inuit at the UN and tries to addresses Inuit concerns in different nations.

I just finished writing a paper on throat singing. If you want some recs for journals online, I can maybe help?

18th-Apr-2006 08:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Anything would be helpful. I think that journals would be fine, there can always be something that would be useful for me.

I've already tried to contact Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami but got no answer so far. I will try out the other two sites.

The title of my paper is more or less 'Inuit culture and it's strategies of self-representation'. I intend on mentioning soapstone sculptures, throat singing as well ;). I was also thinking about using Susan's Aglukark's music and "Atanarjuat" as examples of such representation. But I need to know the point of view of Inuit people, to make my paper complete in both aspects: the theory and the reality.

Thanks again. If you ever need anything, just ask. I'd be more than willing to return the favour. :)
18th-Apr-2006 08:38 pm (UTC)
Alas, I don't know any Inuit personally (being in Winnipeg, I know more Anishinaabeg and Cree)

Ooh, for music you should definitely check out Tanya Tagaq and Nukariik. Both are excellent examples of traditional and non-tradition throat singing. Tanya Tagaq throat sings against herself and Nukariik perform fairly traditional throat games, both changing a dynamic art.

Throat singing seems to be a traditional artform that is on the rise and very popular among young Inuit women. You could mention that while many traditions may have been lost, some remain and are gaining popularity even among non-Inuit audiences.

18th-Apr-2006 09:17 pm (UTC)
Alas, I don't know any Inuit personally...

It doesn't matter. I hope that finally I will get some help from an Inuk, or from a person of Inuit origin. You've already been very helpful. ;)

And thank you for the examples of throat singing. I've already heard a sample, I believe it was called 'Katajjaq' but I'm not sure. Last year there was a new faculty started at my university - Canadian Cultural Studies. I knew some things about Inuit people before, but I've learned a lot more during these lectures. My teacher has actually been to Canada and he brought loads of material as he came back: books, films, and some cd's with different types of First Nations' music (throat singing among others). I've never heard anything like that before, but I enjoyed every second of it... :)
18th-Apr-2006 09:54 pm (UTC)
Yes, Katajjaq is one style of throat singing, the kind that comes from Nunavik.

I'll send you my bibliography for my project via email. Maybe that will give you some leads.
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