Alliance and Conflict: The World System of the Inupiaq Eskimos

Alliance and Conflict: The World System of the Inupiaq Eskimos

by Ernest S. Burch Jr., Ernest S. Burch Jr
     
 

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Alliance and Conflict combines a richly descriptive study of intersocietal relations in early nineteenth-century Northwest Alaska with a bold theoretical treatise on the structure of the world system as it might have been in ancient times. Ernest S. Burch Jr. illuminates one aspect of the traditional lives of the Iñupiaq Eskimos in unparalleled detail and depth

Overview

Alliance and Conflict combines a richly descriptive study of intersocietal relations in early nineteenth-century Northwest Alaska with a bold theoretical treatise on the structure of the world system as it might have been in ancient times. Ernest S. Burch Jr. illuminates one aspect of the traditional lives of the Iñupiaq Eskimos in unparalleled detail and depth. Basing his account on observations made by early Western explorers, interviews with Native historians, and archeological research, Burch describes the social boundaries and geographic borders formerly existing in Northwest Alaska and the various kinds of transactions that took place across them. These ranged from violence of the most brutal sort, at one extreme, to relations of peace and friendship, at the other. Burch argues that the international system he describes approximated in many respects the type of system existing all over the world before the development of agriculture. Based on that assumption, he presents a series of hypotheses about what the world system may have been like when it consisted entirely of hunter-gatherer societies and about how it became more centralized with the evolution of chiefdoms.

Accounts of specific people, places, and events add an immediate, experiential dimension to the work, complementing its theoretical apparatus and sweeping narrative scope. Provocative and comprehensive, Alliance and Conflict is a definitive look at the greater world of Native peoples of Northwest Alaska.

Ernest S. Burch Jr. is a research associate of the Arctic Studies Center, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. He is the author of The Iñupiaq Eskimo Nations of Northwest Alaska and a co-editor of Key Issues in Hunter-Gatherer Research.

Editorial Reviews

Alaska History - Patricia Partnow
"The writing is logical, consisting of carefully constructed arguments supported by concrete evidence. Burch's research and analytical methods are thorough and transparent."—Patricia Partnow, Alaska History

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803262386
Publisher:
University of Nebraska Press
Publication date:
06/28/2005
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author


Ernest S. Burch Jr. is a research associate of the Arctic Studies Center, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. He is the author of The Iñupiaq Eskimo Nations of Northwest Alaska and a co-editor of Key Issues in Hunter-Gatherer Research.

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