Based on a stonecut print by Helen Kalvak Designed by Reinhard Derreth
Thirty years ago, most Inuit pursued what to southerners seemed an exotic life. Today, the northern peoples have adopted everything from T.V. to the alarm clock. Marriage formed the core of Inuit society, although it was a marriage unlike that of European tradition. Personal survival depended on it. Domestic tasks and hunting were so onerous that one person could not do them both, yet each was critically important. Furthermore, a person might legitimately have more than one spouse. For example, a man greatly benefited from having wives in widely separated areas. His family ties assured him a cordial welcome whenever he visited. Otherwise, the local inhabitants might have regarded him as a potentially dangerous stranger or an easy victim. Inuit women butchered animals, cooked and sewed. Society valued a good seamstress because well-made clothing allowed hunters to brave the bitterest weather. While women also cared for the children, both parents gave them much affection. The young lived unrestrained lives, free from the iron hand of discipline. Nevertheless, they behaved well. As they grew older, public opinion guided their behaviour. Public opinion influenced the Inuit even more than it does most North Americans. The Inuit Shelter/Community stamps were designed by Reinhard Derreth of Vancouver and feature works of art by Inuit artists. The print "The Dance" is by Kalvak of Holman Island.
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