Drum Dances among the Inuit of Arctic Alaska
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This paper describes and explores the ceremony and ritual surrounding drum dances among Inuit tribes living in Alaska's far north. As a result of the extremely limited resources available in their environment, all parts of Inuit culture must serve a purpose, including the medium of dance. Dances, and the ceremonial drums used as accompaniment for them, are important parts of Inuit society. Drum dances are used to create and sustain important social bonds, ensure successful hunting, and as a means to "control" the often hostile realities of life in the Arctic. This paper explores the role of drum dances in Inuit social structures, ceremonies, kinship and festivals.
From the Paper:"The ceremonial drum is the traditional musical instrument of Inuit dance. (Hall 1987) Both men and women play drums during song and dance rituals. (Arctic Studies Center Website 1998) An Inuit drum consists of a large, circular frame made from the ribs of a seal or walrus or, since the nineteenth century, wood. (Hall, 1987) Drumheads are made of halibut, dog or caribou stomach, the throat of a walrus or the bladder of a seal, stretched tightly across the hoop-like frame. (Kremers 1996) Drums can be decorated with stark, painted figures representing animal spirits; others have carved ivory handles and feather or fur ornamentation around the rim, and some have no ornamentation at all."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Arctic Circle Museum of Art, Photography and Anthropology. Available http://www.Arcticcircle.uconn.edu/, September 15, 1998. The Arctic Studies Center at the Museum of History and Art in Anchorage, Alaska. Available http://www.nmnh.si.edu/Arctic , September 15, 1998.
- Carpenter, Edmund. The Eskimo Artist. In Anthropology and Art: Readings in Cross-Cultural Aesthetics. Charlotte M. Otten, Editor. Pp.163-171. Garden City, New York: The Natural History Press.
- Chenar, David. Interview (by telephone), October, 1998. Bilingual (Y'upik) tutor with the Anchorage School District. Hall, Sam. 1987 The Fourth World. New York: Vintage Books.
- Kremers, Carolyn. 1995 Place of the Pretend People: Crafts from a Yup'Ik Eskimo Village. Seattle, Washington: Alaska Northwest Books.
- Lipton, Barbara. 1977 Survival, Life and Art of the Alaskan Eskimo. New York: Newark Museum Association. Nanda, Serena and Richard Warms. 1998 Cultural Anthropology. Belmont, California: Wadsworth Publishing Company.
Cite this Term Paper:
Drum Dances among the Inuit of Arctic Alaska (2010, October 17) Retrieved September 22, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/drum-dances-among-the-inuit-of-arctic-alaska-144917/
"Drum Dances among the Inuit of Arctic Alaska" 17 October 2010. Web. 22 September. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/drum-dances-among-the-inuit-of-arctic-alaska-144917/>