1st Edition

People, Places, and Practices in the Arctic Anthropological Perspectives on Representation

Edited By Cunera Buijs, Kim van Dam, Frédéric Laugrand Copyright 2023
    384 Pages 67 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    384 Pages 67 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This collection follows anthropological perspectives on peoples (Canadian Inuit, Norwegian Sámi, Yupiit from Alaska, and Inuit from Greenland), places, and practices in the Circumpolar North from colonial times to our post-modern era. This volume brings together fresh perspectives on theoretical concepts, colonial/imperial descriptions, collaborative work of non-Indigenous and Indigenous researchers, as well as articles written by representatives of Indigenous cultures from an inside perspective. The scope of the book ranges from contributions based on unpublished primary sources, missionary journals, and fairly unknown early Indigenous sources and publications, to those based on more recent Indigenous testimonies and anthropological fieldwork, museum exhibitions, and (self)representations in the fields of fashion, marketing, and the arts.

    The aim of this volume is to explore the making of representations for and/or by Circumpolar North peoples. The authors follow what representations have been created in the past and in some cases continue to be created in the present, and the Indigenous employment of representations that has continuity with the past and also goes beyond "traditional" utilization. By studying these representations, we gain a better understanding of the dynamics of a society and its interaction with other cultures, notably in the context of the dominant culture’s efforts to assimilate Indigenous people and erase their story. People’s ideas about themselves and of "the Other" are never static, not even if they share the same cultural background. This is even more the case in the contact zone of the intercultural arena. Images of "the Other" vary according to time and place, and perceptions of "others" are continuously readjusted from both sides in intercultural encounters.

    This volume has been prepared by the Research Group Circumpolar Cultures (RGCC) which is based in the Netherlands. Its members conduct research on social and cultural change focusing on topics that are of interest to the Indigenous peoples of the Arctic. The RGCC builds on a long tradition in Arctic studies in the Netherlands (Nico Tinbergen, Geert van den Steenhoven, Gerti Nooter, and Jarich Oosten) and can rely on rich Arctic collections of artefacts and photographs in anthropological museums and extensive library collections. The expertise of the RGCC in Arctic studies is internationally acknowledged by academics as well as circumpolar peoples.


    0. Cunera Buijs, Kim van Dam, Frédéric Laugrand

    1. Theoretical discourses

    1.1. The Anthropological Discourse and Outsiders’ Representations

    Selma van Londen

    1.2. Representations and Indigenous Voices

    Barbara Helen Miller, Cunera Buijs, Kim van Dam,

    2. Early outsiders’ views: colonial and imperial narratives

    2.1. "The Best Among all Heathen": Representations of the Greenlanders in Manuscripts of Moravian Pioneers (1733-1737)

    Thea Olsthoorn

    2.2. Conjurors and Devoted Christians in the Frozen Wastes. Images of Inuit and Narratives by Reverend S.M. Steward in the Ungava District (1899-1924)

    Frédéric Laugrand

    3. Navigating between cultures: cultural brokers and anthropologists

    3.1. From Coincidence to Compelling Cooperation: Johan Turi, Emilie Demant Hatt and Hjalmar Lundbohm

    Nellejet Zorgdrager

    3.2. Presentation and Representation: Johan Turi and Muitalus Sámiid birra

    Nellejet Zorgdrager

    3.3. Encounters: Reflections on Anthropology, Matters of Representation, and the Role of Cultural Brokers

    Willem C.E. Rasing

    4. Picturing Indigenous cultures: museum representations

    4.1. Meeting of Representations – the Case of the Sámi identity representation in museums in Northern Norway

    Charlotte de Jong

    4.2. From Tormented Romanticism to Loving Diversity. Representing Indigenous Arctic Cultures in the National Museum of World Cultures

    Cunera Buijs and Julie Edel Hardenberg

    4.3. Artistic Representations of Inuit by Inuit: From Past to Present

    Lisa Koperqualuk

    5. Practices: markets, media and representations

    5.1. Conflicting Markers on the Market: Representations of Reindeer Meat Leading to Provocation, Protest and Withdrawal

    Rozan van Klaveren

    5.2. Nuuk City Relates to the World – The Greenlandic Fashion Influencers on Social Media

    Rosannguaq Rossen

    6. On place and belonging

    6.1. Sámi Children Collect Cloudberries Guided by Place Names

    Barbara Helen Miller and Sigvald Persen

    6.2. Life Histories of Sámi Fishermen and Communities

    Sigvald Persen, Barbara Helen Miller and Mark Stewart Dolson

    7. Epilogue

    7.1. ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together’. Yup'ik Elders Working Together With One Mind

    Ann Fienup-Riordan


    Cunera Buijs is Anthropologist and Curator of the Arctic in the National Museum of World Cultures and connected to the Research Center for Material Culture in Leiden, Netherlands.

    Kim van Dam is Cultural Geographer and Senior Researcher and Lecturer at Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen and affiliated with the Arctic Centre and the Canadian Studies Centre, University of Groningen, Netherlands.

    Frédéric Laugrand is Professor at Université catholique de Louvain and Director of the Laboratoire d’études prospectives (LAAP), Belgium.