Living on the Edge: Inughuit Women and Geography of Contact
Keywords:Inughuit, Robert E. Peary, George Wardwell, Floeberg Beach, Cape Sheridan, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, women, pibloktoq, ‘Arctic hysteria’
The women of northwestern Greenland experienced contact with Euro-American men in multiple ways and in a variety of geographical contexts. Together the archaeological record and unpublished historical documents reveal the complexities of these situations and women’s responses to them. Archaeological and documentary data from two early 20th-century contact situations at Iita in northwestern Greenland and Floeberg Beach on Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, highlight the varied nature of women’s responses to contact and the ways in which interaction with newcomers affected them individually and collectively. The women’s responses varied over time and across space. They responded to both the stresses and the opportunities of contact with resilience and resistance, acceptance and rejection, depending on circumstances.