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Isuma Inuit Studies Reader
by Gillian Robinson | Other
Registered by judysh of Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on 3/10/2009
Average 9 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by winnipegobcz): travelling

3 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by judysh at Park Theatre & Movie Cafe in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Tuesday, March 10, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 9 yrs ago (3/10/2009 UTC) at Park Theatre & Movie Cafe in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada



An excellent Canadian book, from the heart of the Inuit. I had two copies, and am keeping one. 

Journal Entry 2 by judysh from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Tuesday, March 10, 2009

10 out of 10

Stories of and from the Inuit, excellent book. 

Journal Entry 3 by Pooker3 from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Wednesday, March 11, 2009

This book has not been rated.

When I saw this book was released at our OBCZ yesterday afternoon I crossed my fingers that it would still be there by the time I was able to get there.

I took an Arctic Studies course a hundred years ago at University, largely because I wanted to pick up some Arts credits and it was offered on Saturday mornings. It was fascinating. Of course that might have had something to do with the "ambiance". At that time, I can't remember if it was due to budget cuts or just a desire to save on energy, but the heat on campus was turned down on the weekends. Turned wayyy down. The lecture hall was so cold we all kept our mitts and parkas on. Anyway I'm looking forward to reading this. Thanks Judy! 

Journal Entry 4 by Pooker3 at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Tuesday, November 01, 2016

8 out of 10

I chose this book to read this month (October, 2016) because of my mistaken reading of John Mutford's mini challenge over at the Book Mine Set. I'd thought the challenge was to read any book about the Canadian north and I immediately remembered I had this book. I hadn't realized it had been sitting on my shelf for the last 7 years though. Sorry judysh! I really had been looking forward to reading it!

However, turns out the challenge was to read a novel, not just any book. Just as well because it actually took me all month to read it and this little review is not going to be done by the 31st.

The book is made up of dozens of pieces including letters and journal entries and excerpts from other works and books many of which left me wanting. I found the excerpts too short for the most part. Although having said that, I also have to say that I found many of the early accounts by explorers and anthropologists irritating. I probably wouldn't have been irritated all those hundreds of years ago when I was taking those Arctic Studies courses. I probably would have been as fascinated as I was then when I was "studying" Canada's northern people. Today though I found the explorer's descriptions of the indigenous people somewhat repugnant. The Inuit are described as honest and generous as if that is all too quaint. Apparently their honesty was even tested when the ship's crew deliberately left items in plain view to see whether the "Eskimaux" would steal them. It occurs to me that all of the studying I've done of the peoples of the world (and as an Arts student with a sociology and anthropology focus, I did a goodly amount) has been from a European/white person's perspective. I wonder what my education might have been like if the body of knowledge I'd studied had been from the perspective of the people studied.

And this book does have that. There are interviews of and pieces by the very people this book attempts to portray. The book actually is a component of a much bigger thing, part of a "cultural kit" that includes several films about the Arctic and the people living there. included in the book are interviews of the actors in one of the films, "Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner". The film is available to watch free online for anyone interested by the way. While the actors are Inuit, most of them had not lived in the old way being depicted in the film so it was amusing to hear them say while they thought it was probably a good thing to share this story it was also bloody hard work.

Interestingly one of the excerpts in Isuma came from a book that I have fairly recently read. That being Saqiyuq by Nancy Wachowich. That book is about three generations of Inuit women, a grandma, mother, and granddaughter and the effects of residential school and coming in off the land. I enjoyed the excerpt because it reminded me how much I enjoyed the actual book. So while the excerpts in Isuma are frustratingly brief they have also prompted me to search out some of the source material.

One of the most fascinating pieces to me was one about Inuit language. I think all of us "know" there are something like 53 Inuit words for snow. Well, it appears we are all wrong. There are not 53 or any words for snow because Inuit language has no nouns! Rather the language communicates states of being (although there is no verb to be either). Wrap your head around that! Imagine trying to learn each other's language when the basic constructs are so different.

So while I found some of the excerpts frustratingly brief, it still took me a month to read the whole book and I imagine if I followed up with some of the source material, I'd be happily reading for years to come. 

Journal Entry 5 by Pooker3 at Second Cup – Graham & Edmonton in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Saturday, February 18, 2017

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Released 1 yr ago (2/18/2017 UTC) at Second Cup – Graham & Edmonton in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada


I'll take this book with me to the BC meeting today. If no takers I'll leave it on the shelf to await its next reader.

To the finder of this book:
I hope you enjoy your new read.

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Journal Entry 6 by wingwinnipegobczwing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Saturday, February 18, 2017

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This book is currently sitting on the Winnipeg Official Bookcrossing Zone bookshelf in Café d'Amour, 685 Osborne Street, Winnipeg MB.

It is waiting there for a new reader to take home, read, and release back into the wild!

Journal Entry 7 by wingwinnipegobczwing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Wednesday, June 21, 2017

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This book has left the OBCZ shelf. Hopefully it will let us know where it is and what its new reader thought of it. 

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