Essay about Inuit: Family and Inuit

Submitted By cmckinney1971
Words: 610
Pages: 3

Inuit Hunter’s Gatherers and Kinship Systems

ANT 101

The Inuit of the Arctic region are hunter gatherers. The vast majority of their food stores and supplies are gained through hunting. In the summer months their diet is supplemented with berries and roots. The Inuit survive in one of the harshest and most inhospitable climates in the world. Due to this their kinship system they practices many things which are not acceptable in modern western society. The Inuit are truly an example of survival of the fittest. One cultural practice is geronticide. When an elderly person is no longer able to assist the band and has become a burden on the rest of the family the elderly person is left behind to die when the band moves. Infanticide is also practiced by the Inuit. This is the practice of killing a baby as part of population control. This is practiced when a baby is born with deformities, or when children are born to close together. While western society sees this as barbaric and possibly murder. The Inuit perceive this as a necessity. A child with birth defects is going to take time, attention, medical care and other necessities the Inuit’s lifestyle do not have. Attempting to raise this child makes the entire family at risk. Children born to close together put added stress on the family unit. The mother may not be able to sustain her or the children. This may lead to the death of the younger child, the older child, the mother or any combination thus affecting the entire band. The Inuit are a fission and fusion society. Meaning in the winter months they form larger bands of multiple families. Families grouping usually number around fifteen band to together. They hunt seal and participate in ceremonies with one another. This is the process of fusion. In the summer months the larger bands separate into smaller groups. The process of fission allows the Inuit to hunt smaller game and follow migration patters of game and fish. There are multiple reasons why this process is practiced. The larger bands make hunting seals easier, allowing for a better harvest. The larger bands are also able to practice multiple religious and spiritual ceremonies. This allows young adults to meet and create relationships with the opposite sex which may result in marriage. By doing this the kinship band continues to remain healthy with