Sunday, January 13, 2019

Inuit Games

Whenever we visit my son, Dan, in Traverse City, I make a point of visiting the Dennos Museum at Northwestern Michigan College.  There often are interesting loan exhibitions but I am drawn to the galleries devoted to the museum’s Inuit Collections which consist of mostly sculpture and prints.

The Dennos has built a serious Inuit Collection and there is always work by Inuit artists on view. The Inuit live in the Canadian Arctic and used to be known as Eskimos. When we were at the museum this time there was a show within the installation of prints showing Inuit Games appropriately called, “Game On”. 

Why do we play games?  Naturally, it is because we enjoy them, and they are challenging.  Outdoor games are also good for your health, barring injury, but there is a more important reason for the Inuit.  They live in the very harsh arctic climate and need to be in excellent shape to survive.

Let’s begin with a game that is not necessarily played outside.  This lithograph from the Museum’s own collection is called “The Wishing Bone Game”,1987, by Andrew Qappik.  Games often have different rules depending on their origins.  Here three teens use small pointed seal bones to construct a diagram of an igloo with food stashes.  Depending how the bones land one player can take bones from the other’s stash and the one who loses all their bones first loses the game.


A stone cut and stencil print by Napachie Pootoogook is simply called “Eskimo Family Playing Ball”, 1961.  The artist is illustrating one of many ball games the Inuit created or adapted over generations.  This game is a modification of Lacrosse, invented by aboriginal peoples south of the Arctic Circle.  Players use a sealskin racket to catch and throw a small, stuffed ball made from animal skin.  I think we might call the game racket ball but note that here the players may use two rackets simultaneously.


Some games are more difficult than others and can become harder as the game goes on. So it is with hi-kick ball.  In this stonecut and stencil print, “High Kick”, 1984,  the artists Agnes Nanogak Goose and Harry Egutak collaborated to show the game at its zenith.  The idea is that the players try to kick a ball from a standing or lying position.  Each time one succeeds the ball is raised a bit higher.  Unfortunately, I could not find the image I saw at one time where ladies are gathered in a second story window raising the ball and clearly giggling as they dangle the ball out the window just out of reach of the players!


As usual, I like to keep the best, or maybe in this case the worst for close to the end.  I don’t know of similar games in the world today.  This is the ear pull and its close cousin the cheek pull.  This print of the former is by A. Karpik & Josea Maniapik, 1979.  The traditional Inuit game tests the competitors' ability to endure pain.  In some circles, American Football might be thought to fall into this category!  In the ear pull, two competitors kneel or sit facing each other, their legs straddled and interlocked. A two-foot-long loop of string, similar to a thick, waxed dental floss, is looped behind their ears, connecting right ear to right ear, or left to left. The competitors then pull upon the opposing ear using their own ear until the cord comes free or one player quits from the pain. The game has been omitted from some Arctic sports competitions due to safety concerns and the squeamishness of spectators; the event can cause bleeding and competitors sometimes require stitches.  When will we follow suit re football and boxing?


You have probably heard the saying, “don’t send a hungry man grocery shopping.”  He is bound to buy food he doesn’t need and shouldn’t eat.  Same goes for a writer with much of a blank page.  I want to illustrate another print I wish to share. Though it doesn’t depict a game, it will end us on a happier note.  The stencil print by Mabel Nigiyok and her children, Lucy and Louie, called “Asking for Help,” 1994, illustrates the life lesson that no one succeeds on their own without help.  You can see a dancer singing and drumming surrounded by spirit figures , including a man, carried in the clouds by a bird ,and a dancing bear whose power is suggested by by his paw prints scattered throughout. Deducing that the airborne man is a shaman, a person regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of good and evil spirits and having the ability to heal, my interpretation is that even a shaman needs help sometimes.


35 comments:

  1. Hi, I find reading this article a joy. It is extremely helpful and interesting and very much looking forward to reading more of your work.먹튀,먹튀검증,먹튀인포

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have to look for goals with essential information on given point and offer them to instructor our inclination and the article.먹튀,먹튀검증,먹튀스페셜,토토

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for sharing this information. I really like your blog post very much. You have really shared a informative and interesting blog post with people.먹튀검증,먹튀,토토먹튀

    ReplyDelete
  4. Awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work!먹튀검증,먹튀사이트,먹튀토토

    ReplyDelete
  5. Most of the time I don’t make comments on websites, but I'd like to say that this article really forced me to do so. Really nice post!먹튀,먹튀해방,먹튀사이트,안전보증

    ReplyDelete
  6. In the gaming world, there are several options to choose from when it comes to the platform the game is being played on. There are PC games, and there are console games. The difference lies within the way the game is played. http://63.250.38.187/jurusqq/

    ReplyDelete
  7. I recently found many useful information in your website especially this blog page. Among the lots of comments on your articles. Thanks for sharing. https://serverbrowse.com/

    ReplyDelete
  8. I don't know if such games are available. If not, can I download it at apkmouse

    ReplyDelete
  9. Individuals who make games through Java content for cell phones particularly arcade games clients of Java. fortnite download

    ReplyDelete
  10. These are video or PC games that reenact true circumstances under game settings. In this class, the three notable games are Racing Simulators, Flight Simulators and Sims. Doom 2016 Cheats

    ReplyDelete
  11. I should assert barely that its astounding! The blog is informational also always fabricate amazing entitys. パチスロとカジノの違いは?

    ReplyDelete
  12. idn poker apk The overall interest with Texas Holdem poker keeps on developing. The accomplishment of youthful poker players at the World Series of Poker has grabbed the eye of youngsters around the globe.download idn poker

    ReplyDelete
  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you so much for such a well-written article. It’s full of insightful information. Your point of view is the best among many without fail.For certain, It is one of the best blogs in my opinion. how to hack war robots

    ReplyDelete
  15. If you are looking for more information about flat rate locksmith Las Vegas check that right away. matka satta

    ReplyDelete
  16. This blog is so nice to me. I will keep on coming here again and again. Visit my link as well.. online casino singapore

    ReplyDelete
  17. Very good blog article. Really looking forward to read more. Keep writing.5 tips to create the best gaming experience

    ReplyDelete
  18. The estimation of this partition got apparent as designers started permitting games and retooling them into new items by making new workmanship, world formats, candy mania weapons, characters, vehicles and game guidelines with just negligible changes to the "motor" programming.

    ReplyDelete
  19. At this point you'll find out what is important, it all gives a url to the appealing page: fx마진거래

    ReplyDelete
  20. Solitaire requires minimal set up past placing cards in explicit places, and is typically played without anyone else. Solitaire is another mainstream air terminal line cat-and-mouse game. 홀덤

    ReplyDelete
  21. It has one most ideal alternative that it is effectively customizable practically every which way with all points.hunger games simulator unblocked

    ReplyDelete
  22. Many may imagine that the fever of web based games has subsided however they couldn't have been all the more off-base. https://flarefiles.com/one-piece-treasure-cruise-apk/

    ReplyDelete
  23. Disregarding a few games being blamed for out and out rough special visualizations, a very much planned game can quicken the intuition cycle by propelling, drawing in, including innovativeness and building up a meta-game i.e., social collaborations roused and upgraded inside or outside the game. Free pc games

    ReplyDelete
  24. We have an amazingly wide range of the best leather jackets for men imaginable, right here at Bagywagy. We can craft Leather Jackets as per your demand for you. Mens Bomber Jacket

    ReplyDelete
  25. This content is simply exciting and creative. I have been deciding on a institutional move and this has helped me with one aspect. albrzh

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thank you very much for this useful article. I like it. word unscrambler

    ReplyDelete
  27. As you read, there are acceptable and awful sides to gaming. I suggest you simply have some good times and be protected while gaming. There are a lot of games out there for each kind of individual and more games are as yet coming. PCGamesTorrents

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thanks for a very interesting blog. What else may I get that kind of info written in such a perfect approach? I’ve a undertaking that I am simply now operating on, and I have been at the look out for such info. businesses use a virtual office address

    ReplyDelete
  29. Departure games are turning into an energizing class of games to play today and are not to be questioned when contrasted with the absolute most famous free online games with friends ​on the Internet.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Every gamer goes through the process of buying a new video game - playing it to boredom or completion and then moving onto the next Ultimate Puzzle Game. For some, the retail value of 40 pounds (60 dollars) for most new video games makes moving onto the next game a tricky task, making gaming an expensive hobby! This article will discuss several methods of buying/getting new video games available to gamers and consider whether video game swapping sites represent the best possible value to a gamer when moving onto a new video game.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Your article was very impressive to me. It was unexpected information,but after reading it like this 카지노사이트, I found it very interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Nice to be visiting your blog once more, it has been months for me. Well this article that ive been waited for therefore long. i want this article to finish my assignment within the faculty, and 안전놀이터 has same topic together with your article. Thanks, nice share.
    What a nice comment!Nice to meet you. I live in a different country from you. Your writing will be of great help to me and to many other people living in our country. I was looking for a post like this, but I finally found 토토사이트.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Easily, the article is actually the best topic on this registry related issue. I fit in with your 먹튀검증 and will eagerly look forward to your next updates. Just saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the fantastic lucidity in your writing. I will instantly grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates

    ReplyDelete
  34. Your information was very useful to me. That's exactly what I've been looking for 메이저토토사이트!
    I think a lot of articles related to 메이저사이트 are disappearing someday. That's why it's very hard to find, but I'm very fortunate to read your writing. When you come to my site, I have collected articles related to this. My site name is .

    ReplyDelete
  35. military conflict games, PC games, different sorts of play among youngsters, and the rundown goes on. trancedance

    ReplyDelete