Polar region


The man was the family’s provider. In the winter, he hunted on the sea ice, waiting long hours at breathing holes for seals to appear. In the summer, he hunted caribou, small game and marine mammals. Hunters would take great pleasure in telling tales about their hunting exploits.

When her husband returned from the hunt, the woman was responsible for cutting up the carcass and sharing it among the family and neighbours, saving the blubber for use in the lamp, cooking the meat, and cutting, scraping and chewing the hide to soften it for sewing. To do this, she used an "ulu", or crescent-shaped knife, and scrapers.

The Inuit also fished, cutting a hole in the ice if necessary. When spring came, they would build weirs to trap the Arctic char swimming upstream to spawn, and the whole family would help catch them.

[peinture #07020]
Cutting and Dividing Up a Seal
Cutting and dividing up the seal is the women's job. They follow a traditional process known as pikatigiit.
Book illustration, pen, on Letraset paper
Credit: Frédéric Back and Libre Expression
More Info