Eskimo Architecture: Dwelling and Structure in the Early Historic Period

Overview

The architecture of Eskimo peoples represents a diversified and successful means of coping with one of the most severe climates humankind can inhabit. The popular image of the igloo is but one of the many structures examined by experts Lee and Reinhardt in the first book-length and arctic-wide study of this remarkable subject.

Lavishly illustrated with historic and contemporary photographs, drawings, and maps, this volume includes a comprehensive survey of the historical ...

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Overview

The architecture of Eskimo peoples represents a diversified and successful means of coping with one of the most severe climates humankind can inhabit. The popular image of the igloo is but one of the many structures examined by experts Lee and Reinhardt in the first book-length and arctic-wide study of this remarkable subject.

Lavishly illustrated with historic and contemporary photographs, drawings, and maps, this volume includes a comprehensive survey of the historical literature on Eskimo architecture around the circumpolar north. Lee and Reinhardt also draw on their own extensive fieldwork to present an extended comparative analysis of the geographic, climatic, and ethnographic aspects of material from four Arctic subregions: Greenland; the Central Arctic; the Northwest Arctic and Bering Strait; and Southwest Alaska, the Bering Sea, Siberia, and the Gulf of Alaska. In an innovative consideration of both material and cultural aspects of dwelling, they and the peoples they describe redefine the very meaning of "architecture."

While scholars of the circumpolar north will welcome the meticulous research of this benchmark study, its clear and fluent prose and abundant illustrations make an engrossing read for specialists and nonspecialists alike.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Eskimos have had Western contact for more than four centuries, so it comes as a surprise that until now there has never been a full-fledged study of traditional Eskimo architecture. Lee (Univ. of Alaska) and Reinhardt (Univ. of Indianapolis), both experts in the cultures of Arctic peoples, have pooled their doctoral research to produce the first all-encompassing catalog of building types once found from Greenland to Alaska. Today's Eskimos live in Westernized houses; few examples remain of the ice, sod, rock, and animal skin dwellings of their ancestors. The authors went through the written and pictorial record extending back to the late 18th century, assembling a splendidly organized typology of winter, summer, and "transitional" dwellings, as well as various special-purpose structures that round out the repertoire of Eskimo building. Maps and 170 black-and-white photos and illustrations help bring to life a somewhat dry but highly descriptive text. As the authors intended, this survey should serve as an important springboard for future theoretical and interpretive studies of Eskimo culture. Recommended for anthropology and Native American studies collections.-David Soltesz, Cuyahoga Cty. P.L., Parma, OH Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781889963228
  • Publisher: University of Alaska Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2003
  • Series: Accounting hall of Fame Ser.
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Molly Lee is curator of ethnology at the University of Alaska Museum and professor of anthropology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Gregory A. Reinhardt is professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology, and director of archeology for the Archeology and Forensics Laboratory at the University of Indianapolis.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Introduction 1
1 Greenland 9
2 Central Arctic 35
3 Northwest Arctic and Bering Strait 73
4 Southwest Alaska, Bering Sea, Siberia, and Gulf of Alaska 119
5 Summary and Conclusions 159
Appendix 171
References 183
Names Index 203
Subject Index 206
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