Frederic Laugrand and Jarich Oosten

Hunters, Predators and Prey

Inuit Perceptions of Animals

Berghahn Books 2016

Books ReceivedBooks Received: AnthropologyBooks Received: ArtBooks Received: Native American Studies September 19, 2016

Inuit hunting traditions are rich in perceptions, practices and stories relating to animals and human beings. The authors examine key figures such as the...

Inuit hunting traditions are rich in perceptions, practices and stories relating to animals and human beings. The authors examine key figures such as the raven, an animal that has a central place in Inuit culture as a creator and a trickster, and qupirruit, a category consisting of insects and other small life forms. After these non-social and inedible animals, they discuss the dog, the companion of the hunter, and the fellow hunter, the bear, considered to resemble a human being. A discussion of the renewal of whale hunting accompanies the chapters about animals considered ‘prey par excellence’: the caribou, the seals and the whale, symbol of the whole. By giving precedence to Inuit categories such as ‘inua’ (owner) and ‘tarniq’ (shade) over European concepts such as ‘spirit ‘and ‘soul’, the book compares and contrasts human beings and animals to provide a better understanding of human-animal relationships in a hunting society.

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