Monday, December 3, 2007

Eskimo Architecture

Molly Lee and Gregory A. Reinhardt Foreword by Andrew Tooyak Jr. (2003) Eskimo Architecture: Dwelling And Structure In The Early Historic Period

In this book the authors have collected pictures of their ancestors and other families throughout Alaska and in the Northern Hemisphere in the early historic period. Most of the pictures inform the reader of how the structure of their houses were made and what they needed to provide the family in order to live successfully. Each chapter describes the living conditions and space required in different regions of the world. The authors inform the reader about subsistent lifestyles, their settlements, mobility, and Energy Requirements. Looking through this book you can note that there are cultural differences based on their living arrangements such as who lived with who, great hunters, children becoming adults, and ceremonial gatherings.
This is a very interesting book to read if you are interested in learning about houses in Alaska. It is good to learn how people lived in different regions of Alaska especially if you are from Alaska and know nothing about the Native people who lived in the 18th century and early 19th century. I think that it is most interesting to learn that they didnt need much to build their houses all they needed was things that were around them at the time and dense snow. Their houses were very insulated and it seemed as if they can live in any temperature or climate.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Arctic Roots

I lived in Barrow nine years of my life, and much has changed since I have moved. It makes me wonder how much has changed in just 50 years. For this assignment I wanted to research pictures that were taken in Barrow years ago. This Barrow Sod House picture was very interesting and I thought I could learn a lot of information of the people who once lived there before electricity was made as well as other technologies. Living in houses that were simple and small because the Inupiaq people were dealing with unlimited resources; since they lived on the tundra there are no trees therefore any building materials had to be taken from other areas further south or picked up as driftwood from the ocean.

This picture was taken between 1939 and 1959 in Barrow Alaska. During this time there were a lot of scientists and anthropologists who wanted to study the land, the Inupiaq Eskimo's and the way they lived. This photograph is part of the Ward W. Wells collection and the photographer was interested in the architecture of this house as well as the Kuspuks that they are wearing. Today there are no houses found like this one, they were torn or burnt down by the late 1980s and early 90's. I think that it is important to keep photographs like this one to remember what life was like living in those days.