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Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 18, 79 118 (1999) Article ID jaar.1998.0333, available online at http://www.idealibrary.

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Location and Appropriation in the Arctic: An Integrative Zooarchaeological Approach to Historic Inuit Household Economies
Anne S. Henshaw
Sociology/Anthropology, Bowdoin College, 7000 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011-8470 E-mail: Received July 24, 1997; revision received July 2, 1998; accepted August 17, 1998

Within eastern Arctic archaeology there is a long-standing tradition which views changing climatic conditions as the principle driving force behind culture change. Because of this tendency, archaeological subsistence studies often narrowly dene economy in ecological terms, typically omitting the sociocultural dimensions of human economic production. While climate in the Arctic plays an integral part of human adaptive strategies, this explanatory framework fails to account for the social forces, both internal and external, which also play an important role in human economic behavior. The purpose of this paper is to broaden existing theoretical frameworks to include these sociocultural dimensions as they apply to historic Inuit populations located on southeast Bafn Island, Canada. In this paper I propose that historic Inuit economy can best be understood through the concept of householding, one of the four forms of economic integration dened by Karl Polanyi (1994). Householding not only offers a holistic model for conceptualizing Inuit economy in its broadest theoretical terms but also offers insight into the internal mechanisms through which historic Inuit maintained their socioeconomic autonomy from the growing presence of colonial entities in

the north. The basic premise of householding is that people produce for their own use or a groups own sake (Halperin 1994: 147; Polanyi 1944: 53). According to Polanyi, householding developed as a way to coordinate capitalist and non-capitalist provisioning processes for the benet of groups at various tiers of state stratied systems. Under this paradigm, goods and services move in ways that unite different patterns of economic organization. Thus some of the dening characteristics of householding include the coordination, timing and scheduling of economic activity by people who participate in differently organized economic institutions. Economic cycles of employment, the seasonality of specic activities, the organization of labor, as well as resource storage, consumption and distribution, are all shown to be important variables in understanding this mode of integration (Halperin 1994: 145149). Householding and household-based production and exchange are not the same concepts but they do overlap in the context of Inuit economic organization. They overlap because householding, in the context of the Arctic, often involves domestic units of production and exchange associated with clusters of individual households. They differ because household0278-4165/99 $30.00
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based production and exchange, as an exclusive mode of production, has a much longer history in the Arctic, which can be traced back to ancestral Thule populations, who migrated into the region nearly 1000 years ago. Householding is a more recent phenomenon which developed over the last several centuries as Inuit entered the world economy and needed to coordinate different forms of economic integration. As a larger scale economic phenomenon, however, householding is only possible if rural economies have long term, direct access to the means of production and if extended families remain intact (Halperin 1994: 144). Thus, central to this model is the exible, yet cohesive, role kin relations play as the basis of resistance to, and independence from, the larger economic system in which they participated. These two key elements, access to resources and intact extended families, provide the basis for exploring how householding developed as a mode of economic integration on southeastern Bafn Island during the historic period. Central to the application of this model are human animal interactions, the core of Inuit economic production. Animals represent much more than food to Inuit, and an understanding of the production, distribution, consumption, storage and exchange of animals and their products traced through the ethnographic and zooarchaeological records reect not only on the nature of resource utilization but also on the strength of economic bonds within and between extended families. Specically I explore how the locational and appropriational economic movements associated with meat sharing formed an important organizational nexus for householding to develop. This conclusion is considered in light of taphonomic factors, and its signicance is interpreted in light of the role householding played in reinforcing local autonomy not only in the

context of southeast Bafn Island but in other parts of the Arctic as well. ECONOMY AND ECOLOGY DEFINED Economy and ecology form an important basis for understanding culture change but are rarely considered together as a theoretical unit. The substantivist model of economy, set forth by Karl Polanyi (1944, Karl Polanyi 1957), and recently elaborated on by Rhoda Halperin (1989, 1994), 1 presents a more holistic alternative to this disunion. Under this cross-cultural paradigm, economy is viewed as the means by which all cultural systems produce, distribute, consume, store, and exchange material goods and resources. Economy, from a substantivist perspective, moves beyond a historical formalist principles that emphasize individual behavior. Instead, human economic decision-making processes are interpreted in relation to other aspects of culture including ecology, ideology, technology, and social organization. According to Halperin (1994: 60, 210 211), Polanyi viewed economy not as a static entity, but as a dynamic, historically situated process undergoing constant transformation; the kind of dynamism that denes Inuit economy in the past and the present. Polanyi dened two analytically distinct types of economic movement which served to capture this element of time and transformation. These include: (1) locational movements dened as the spatial arrangements of resources and the movements of people across the landAlthough many anthropologists adhere to the substantivist view of economy, Rhoda Halperin has provided the rst in-depth analysis of the substantivist approach through a careful examination of the original writings of Karl Polanyi in her book Cultural economies: Past and present (1994). It is her interpretations of the substantivist approach that I use as a building block for examining hunter-gatherer economy in the north.



scape and (2) appropriational movements that refer to changes in organization and peoples access to and control over goods and resources (Halperin 1994: 50, 59; Polanyi 1957: 248). However, as Halperin (1994: 55 84) and Isaac (1990: 330 331) have clearly demonstrated, these two movements have been separated into two distinct sub-elds, ecological and economic anthropology. Ecological anthropology focuses on the locational aspects of economy. Locational movements specically include the following:
(1) Transfers from one physical space to another, involving (a) physical transfers of goods or of people from one place to another, as in movement of work crews, or (b) physical transfers of productive resources, such as tools; (2) physical changes in the material stuff of livelihood, for example in the physical condition of foodstuff (raw to cooked, whole to divided [butchery], seeds to plant); (3) energy transfers, such as the relocation of resources and storage facilities from one place to another or the relocation of a village vis-a ` -vis ecological zones. (Halperin 1994: 59)

sources on a seasonal basis and human mobility patterns, they do not account for that part of economic activity that is embedded in other cultural domains. In contrast to the ecological approach, economic anthropology often examines the appropriational aspects of economic activity at the expense of locational considerations. Appropriational movements refer to the social dimensions of economic formations and consist of organizational changes or transfer of rights in economic activity (Halperin 1994: 59). These movements are dened as the following:
Organizational changes involve the changes in the principles allocating resources or goods, e.g., a shift from communal land tenure to private property. Butchering game is a locational movement, but sharing meat is an appropriational movement . . . Transfer of rights change peoples access to and control over goods and resources. The ability to control goods and resources used in the production of surpluses to maintain large populations and the ability to acquire goods for simple and direct consumption by producers are both examples of appropriational movements (Halperin 1994: 59).

Often, ecologically oriented studies of foraging societies dene economy in terms of the energy transfers between humans and their physical environments. Optimal foraging theory provides a clear example of how locational movements are operationalized in an ecologically based anthropology (Winterhalder and Smith 1981). Based on this theory, human economic decision-making is viewed strictly in terms of calorie inputs and energy outputs within a given ecological system and appropriational movements are given little attention or ignored altogether. In general terms, ecological anthropology fails to place economic activity within a historical context and therefore neglects one of the dening elements in the substantive approach. Although locational movements are important for understanding certain aspects of economic activity, such as the relationship between the availability of re-

Much of the research in economic anthropology focuses on the distribution and exchange of goods, resources and labor between people. As Halperin (1994: 66 68) convincingly demonstrates, much of the early work in economic anthropology was non-ecological in nature and instead focused on how different economic activities were organized through various institutional arrangements such as kinship directives or class structure. The more recent Marxist-oriented economic anthropology also emphasizes institutional arrangements often at the expense of other important locational movements. In Marxist terms, the relations of production (i.e., rules of ownership and distribution process) are given greater attention in the interpretation of economic processes than are the forces of production (i.e., organization of labor and the means of pro-



ductiontechnology and land) (Halperin 1994: 74). The persistence of the ecological/economic dichotomy has been unfortunate in that the totality and dynamism of human economic formations have been lost. Although it is important to separate the spatial and organizational components of economy analytically, they are not mutually exclusive and all economic processes involve both movements. By only considering one, the diversity and dynamism inherent to any cultural system can not be fully disclosed. This is particularly true in the more recent past as new forms of economic integration were being introduced on a global scale (Wolf 1982). More recent theoretical approaches have begun to amalgamate these viewpoints. For example, historical ecology involves a diachronic examination of changing human landscapes through time (Crumley 1994). According to the landscape paradigm, all mechanisms for temporal culture continuity and change have a spatial component which manifests relations between humans and their total environment (Marquardt and Crumley 1987: 1). By their denition, humans interpret the landscape through its sociohistorical (i.e., political, legal and economic) and physical structures (i.e., climate, topography, hydrography, and geology) (Marquardt and Crumley 1987: 7). Because this conceptual framework embeds economic process within larger ecological and sociopolitical processes, it begins to approach the integrative nature of the substantive model. LOCATION AND APPROPRIATION IN THE ARCTIC Ethnographic Perspectives Ethnographies of Arctic peoples, from eastern Canada, Greenland, and Alaska, have demonstrated both a concern for lo-

cational and appropriational movements in their discussions of northern economies although rarely are the two fully integrated. While some work has tended toward the spatial and technological aspects of economy (Boas 1964; Brice-Bennett 1977; Freeman 1976; Kemp 1971; Mauss 1979; Nelson 1969; Smith 1981), much research has emphasized the social dimensions of Inuit economy as well (Balikci 1964, 1970; Bordenhorn 1988; Buijs 1993; Cassell 1988; Dahl 1989; Damas 1969a, 1969b, 1972; Ellanna 1988; Wenzel 1981; Worl 1980). In these examples, the significance of resource allocation and meat sharing are central to the discussions of integrating the organizational aspects of economy with the ecology of Inuitanimal interactions. Additionally, these studies emphasize the central role kinship plays as the organizational nexus of economic integration. Tim Ingold (1987) has also considered appropriational movements of northern hunter-gatherer economies. However, unlike other northern ethnographers, he views economy from an evolutionary perspective. Ingold (1987: 101, 113126) looks beyond subsistence as an extractive technologically determined behavior and places the economic process within a social and cognitive context. Subsistence, in Ingolds view, involves a social process, namely labor. Labor constitutes the relation required among people to successfully carry out economic activities involved in subsistence production. Ingold, in effect, raises the signicance of human hunting to a higher plane of economic integration. Humans are considered not solely as biological predators but as social beings that produce, distribute, consume, store, and exchange within an institutional (socially organized) framework. Ethnohistorical studies from the Arctic also provide insight into specic historic Inuit cultural transformations that include discussions of both locational and appro-



priational movements. The work carried out by Peter Usher (1970) on the BanksIslanders provides an excellent case in point. In this monograph Usher not only integrated biological ecology, economy, and ethnography into his analysis of the Copper Eskimo fur trapping industry but he also examined the specic historical context in which it developed. Mark Stevensons (1993, 1997) diachronic study of Kekertormiut and Umanaqjuarmiut kinship structure within the context of historical changes and interactions taking place over the last few centuries in Cumberland Sound, Bafn Island also offers a comprehensive view of the social dimensions of economic change in the north. Other ethnohistorical contributions examine the ecological and social dimensions of economic processes but rarely are the two dimensions fully integrated (Burch 1981; Ross 1975, 1979). With the exception of Jensens (1987) work on bearded seal exploitation on Greenland, Inuitanimal interactions, settlement patterns, and resource procurement are often considered separately from the social transformations occurring at the same time. Archaeological Perspectives Locational perspectives have dominated archaeological interpretations of human economic behavior in the eastern Arctic (Barry et al. 1977; Dekin 1972; Fitzhugh 1972; Jacobs 1985; Jacobs and Stenton 1985, 1990; Maxwell 1985; McCartney 1977; McCartney and Savelle 1985; Savelle 1987; McGhee 1969/1970, 1972 1978, 1996; Sabo 1991; Sabo and Jacobs 1980; Schledermann 1975, 1976, 1980; Stenton 1987, 1989, 1991). These interpretations focus primarily on the spatial ecological relationships between humans and their physical environments. Economy is often strictly viewed in terms of settlement and subsistence where activities of food procurement and the spatial distribution of sites across the landscape are em-

phasized. Many of the early studies analyzing prehistoric economy from a zooarchaeological perspective reduced such economies to a species list of animals present at a given site (Schledermann 1975; Staab 1979; Stanford 1976; Taylor 1972; Taylor and McGhee 1979). Although more recent researchers have moved beyond these descriptive studies, they also restrict their investigations to locational movements. For example, the caloric values of exploited species, the reconstructions of particular hunting strategies, and seasonality studies are the principle means used to explore prehistoric Thule and historic Inuit economies in Canada and Greenland (McCullough 1989; Meldgaard 1983; Morrison 1983; Rick 1980; Stenton 1983; Spiess 1979). Based on the collecting and foraging models proposed by Binford (1980), other more theoretically sophisticated archaeological studies also limit their examination of hunter-gatherer economies to locational movements (Savelle 1987; Stenton 1989, 1991). In these studies, Thule economy is reconstructed in spatial terms and the archaeological record serves as a platform for interpreting various patterns of logistic and residential mobility. These theories are based on ecological paradigms which present Thule economy as variations in the type and distribution of settlements across the landscape. Faunal remains from these sites are used to conrm specic site use, general resource procurement and butchery patterns (all locational movements); little attention is paid to how economic activities relate to socially organized patterns of production, distribution, and consumption. Clearly, economy is more than food and site distribution. Nonetheless, investigations into the organizational aspects of economic activity in the Arctic have been scarce, mainly due to the fact that it is difcult to trace appropriational movements in the archaeological record. Archaeological studies examining economy in more social terms, particularly during the historic pe-



FIG. 1. Approximate territory inhabited by Nugumiut in the late 19th century.

riod, have done so by relying on artifactual evidence while Inuitanimal interactions are limited to the interpretation of locational processes (Gullv 1985; Hickey 1984; Kaplan 1983; Sabo 1979; Savelle 1985). By separating the two types of data along these lines, the potential of zooarchaeological data to address appropriational issues is given a low prole. In this paper, I argue that faunal remains can make important contributions to understanding the appropriational dimension. Additionally, when combined with material culture studies, zooarchar-

chaeology becomes a powerful tool to reveal the differential responses indigenous groups have to colonial encounters. In the present study, I bring together the locational and appropriational aspects of economy by discussing the transport of seal carcasses (i.e., location) and its implications for historic Inuit meat sharing (i.e., appropriation) at three habitation sites in outer Frobisher Bay, Bafn Island, in order to trace the mechanisms through which householding developed. This paper represents the initial phase of interpretation which will be



expanded upon once artifactual analyses are complete. A HISTORY OF NUGUMIUT EUROPEAN INTERACTION ON SOUTHEAST BAFFIN ISLAND Oral historic, ethnohistoric and archaeological studies from the eastern Arctic show that InuitEuropean interactions were not monolithic, but rather a process of interaction and mutual interdependence with varying impacts across time, space, and different sectors of society (Eber 1989; Gullv 1985; Hickey 1984; ICI 1986, ICI 1988a, ICI 1988b; Jordan and Kaplan 1980; Kaplan 1985; Ross 1975, 1979; Savelle 1985). Within the sociohistorical context of Frobisher Bay Bafn Island, Inuit populations, known ethnographically as the Nugumiut, 2 maintained a great deal of economic autonomy throughout the various phases of European contact (Henshaw 1995) (Fig. 1). The history of European activity in this region spans almost 500 years, although early contact was generally sporadic while later phases of interaction between Inuit and Europeans was more intense and prolonged (Fig. 2). The early historic phase of interactions, beginning with the ill-fated Frobisher Voyages between 1576 and 1578, introduced Nugumiut for the rst time to a new universe of goods and ideas from the western world (Fitzhugh and Olin 1993). Although new trade items, such as metal and ceramics, were incorporated into Inuit tool kits, the overall impact of these short-lived voyages on Nugumiut economic movements were
2 Nugumiut were one of the seven regional Bafn Island populations identied by Boas (1888) during his expedition to Cumberland Sound in the early 1880s and by Charles Francis Hall (1864) in the 1860s when he overwintered in Cyrus Field Bay. Nugumiut territory was thought to span the areas encompassing Cyrus Field Bay as well as the upper and lower stretches of Frobisher Bay.

negligible (Gullason et al. 1993). For the next two and a half centuries contact was probably limited to trade with Hudson Bay Company trading vessels along the south coast of Meta Incognita Peninsula in Hudson Strait (Barr 1994). Intensive interaction between Nugumiut and foreign entrepreneurs did not begin until the mid-19th century with the arrival of the Euro-American whalers. Although whaling activity concentrated primarily in Cumberland Sound, Nugumiut, as with other Inuit in the region, played an instrumental role in shaping the success of the industry and considered themselves partners with many of the Euro-American whalers who worked the region (Eber 1989). During this period Nugumiut gained access to new subsistence technologies, such as rearms and whaleboats, which served to enhance their own economic pursuits (Ross 1975, 1979). However, the whaling era was not without negative impacts; European diseases spread throughout Inuit populations during this period and perhaps even earlier (Keenleyside 1990; McGhee 1994). In addition to disease Inuit seasonal rounds were disrupted during the height of the whaling period, especially during the fall caribou hunting season (Ross 1979). Nevertheless, Inuit populations remained viable enough to make conscious choices about the degree to which they participated in the whaling industry and maintained direct access to the land and its resources allowing them to pursue many of their economic activities free from direct coercion. With the slow decline of commercial marine mammal hunting and the rise of the fur trapping industry led by the Hudson Bay Company (HBC), Nugumiut acted much as they had in earlier times; they only participated in the prot-oriented enterprise as much as they needed to supply themselves with guns and ammunition. Outer Frobisher Bay, in particular, was peripheral to trapping areas, isolating


FIG. 2. Chronology of European presence on southeast Bafn Island.



Nugumiut from the policies of this powerful entity in the north. The presence of Anglican missionaries in outer Frobisher Bay had a similar effect. Because much of the missionary activity was centered in Cumberland Sound and Lake Harbor, some Nugumiut were trained as chatecists and evangelized themselves (Flemming 1956). In an effort to extend Canadian sovereignty, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) also traveled extensively in the Arctic, fanning out from their posts to outlying Inuit communities. In the 1920s and 1930s, Frobisher Bay represented a passing point for RCMP ofcers who traveled frequently between Lake Harbor and Pangnirtung. The RCMP generally felt that Inuit should be protected and encouraged not to assimilate into mainstream Canadian Society (Morrison 1974: 88). The net result of these interactions left Nugumiut extended families intact and able to circulate in and out of their subsistence based economy and the new market-oriented economy in which they were rapidly becoming embedded (Henshaw 1995; Goldring 1986; Damas 1988). Because of the peripheral nature of contact as well as the kind of attitudes and policies directed at Inuit by the Europeans themselves, the seeds of householding began to take root. The internal mechanisms which enabled householding to continue to grow revolved around not only the control and access Nugumiut maintained to the land and its resources but also through their household-based production and exchange systems which revolved around the extended family. Householding and Inuit Household-Based Production and Exchange in the Ethnographic Record The ethnographic record from this region is rich with description of household-based economic production and exchange. Although the social composition of individual

domestic units varied amongst different Inuit groups historically, on southeast Bafn Island they generally consisted of a man, a woman, their unmarried children, sometimes adopted children, and a second wife (Boas 1964; Hall 1866). Similar to other groups in the eastern Canadian Arctic, household groupings consisted of two or more nuclear families who practiced a pattern of virilocal residence (Damas 1969b). That is, fathers and sons, or male siblings, tended to co-habitate in a single locale in joint or single-family residential structures (Stevenson 1993, 1997; Hall 1866). In addition to these basic units, household clusters may have included widows and their children. Dogs also formed a component of the basic household unit and were an intergral part of Inuit economic production (Damas 1988). Betrothal and spousal exchange were often practiced within and between household groups (Boas 1964). Together, these multifamily groups formed the basic unit of production in Inuit society (Guemple 1976). During the 19th century, members of each household cluster generally traveled together on a seasonal basis to procure food, skins, conduct trade and provide labor for various foreign entrepreneurs who worked in the area. Other groupings that formed an important part of Inuit cultural integration included hunting parties, whaleboat crews, and temporary corporate camps. Similar to households, these groups persisted throughout the historic period and continue to play an important role in Inuit cultural life. Within these groupings, formalized systems of meat sharing were practiced, not only to reduce the risk of famine during periods of resource stress, but also to reinforce social bonds. Table 1 shows the various forms of meat sharing practices documented by David Damas (1972) for Inuit groups outside Frobisher Bay. Although meat sharing practices amongst the Nugumiut have never been analyzed specically, Charles Francis Hall (1866) described several village-wide seal feasting rituals


ANNE S. HENSHAW TABLE 1 Copper Inuit, Netslilingmiut, Iqlulingmiut, Kekertormiut, and Umanaqjuarmiut Food Sharing Practices Inuktitut term Type of sharing practice seal sharing partnerships Relationships -sharing between household clusters including kin and non-kin (Netsilik, Copper) -sharing between kindred linked by primary ties but living outside household cluster (Igloolik) -sharing within joint family residences outside seal sharing partners (Copper) -sharing within household cluster (Netsilik) -sharing within household clusters (Netsilik) -sharing between team of successful hunters (Netsilik) village wide sharing (Igloolik) -hunting partners (Igloolik) -invitation of specic people to an extended family household for a meal (Igloolik, Netsilik) -sharing during periods of food shortages (Igloolik) all seasons probably during principal meal of the day (Copper) -village wide sharing of game (Kekertormiut, Umanaqjuarmiut) -restricted distribution of food between two families (Kekertormiut, Umanaqjuarmiut)

piqatigiit, niqaiturvigiit

payuktuq, payukalik

voluntary meat sharing

minnack ningiq

umiaqqatigiit akpallugit, akpaaqtauyuq

meat taken from a cache to be distributed to villagers the division of large game including polar bear, bearded seal, beluga, narwhal, and walrus the sharing of meat between whaleboat crews


communal meals


communal meals


meat sharing

when he overwintered in Cyrus Field Bay in the early 1860s. The rituals he described occurred principally during periods of resource stress. The following passage describes one such seal feast, after a period of near starvation, in a snowhouse village. The feast took place on the southwest side of Rogers Island in Cornelius Grinnell Bay in January 1861, just north of Cyrus Field Bay. As Hall recounts (1866: 208209):

The seal was taken into the igloo-the usual place for a captured seal-and the sledge, with its contents, was properly attended to. Of course the news of Ebierbings arrival with a seal spread like wildre, and in our quiet little village, consisting of three igloos, all the inhabitants with exhausted stomachs-including my own-were prepared for wide distention. The seal weighed, I should say, about 200 pounds, and was with young. According to Inuit custom, an immediate invitation was given by the successful hunters family for everyone to attend a

INUIT HOUSEHOLD ECONOMIES seal feast. This was speedily done and our igloo was soon crowded. My station was on the dais, or bed place, behind several Inuit women, but so that I could see over them and watch what was going on. The rst thing done was to consecrate the seal, the ceremony being to sprinkle water over it, when the stalwart host and his assistant proceeded to separate the blanket-that is, the blubber, with skin-from the solid meat and the skeleton of the seal. The body was then opened and the blood scooped out. This blood is considered very precious, and forms an important type of food largely consumed by Esquimaux. Next came the liver, which was cut into pieces, and distributed all around, myself getting and eating a share . . . Then followed distributing the ribs of the seal for social picking . . . Directly the feast was ended all the company dispersed. Tookoolitoo then sent around bountiful gifts of seal blubber for relamps; also some seal meat and blood. This is the usual custom among Innuits, and, undoubtedly, is a virtue to be commended. They share each others successes, and bear each others wants. Generally, if it is found that one is short of provisions, it may be known that all are. When one has a supply, all have.


This is just one of many feasts Hall attended while traveling among Inuit. Although the account does lack specic details regarding the nature of food distribution (i.e., which parts were given to whom, etc.), some pieces of information can be gleaned from his description. Based on these and other accounts of seal feasting during periods of food shortages, Nugumiut meat sharing, at least under these circumstances, appear to have been villagewide. Meat was distributed in the hut of the successful hunter not necessarily that of the leader. A woman, in this case Tookoolitoo, was also responsible for dividing up the remainder of the meat and blubber after the initial feasting was completed. 3 The feasting described by Hall appears most similar to the nirryaktuqtuq, or commuThe orthography of personal names and placenames followed here is after C. F. Halls original spelling as it appeared in his 1866 publication.

nal meals, described amongst Netsilingmiut and Iqlulingmiut groups. Although most of the sharing Hall described was done with the immediate household cluster, meat was also distributed to family members located in other areas. For example, after seal meat had been divided amongst the families on Rogers Island, Unarng, a successful hunter and camp leader, took a portion of the meat to his mother Ookijoxy-Ninoo and his sisters living near the whaling vessel George Henry 4 in Cyrus Field Bay (Hall 1866). Thus, meat sharing served as a way not only to reduce risks from famine but also to reinforce social ties and group solidarity. This system of meat sharing often took place concurrently with a system of meat exchange between Inuit and the EuroAmerican whalers living in proximity to them. Nugumiut not only brought fresh meat to the George Henry but also took crew into their camps to help prevent scurvy. For example, when the George Henry had to spend an unplanned winter in Cyrus Field Bay in 1862, Captain Budington sent several of his crew to the winter Nugumiut camp on Oopungnewing (also known as Willows Island located in Countess of Warwick Sound) to survive the threats of scurvy and possible starvation (Hall 1866: 225). Ethnographically documented meat sharing practices demonstrate an important means through which Nugumiut kinship relations served to integrate various levels of economic activity including resource allocation within Inuit groups and Europeans. These relationships were important not only for reinforcing ties between extended family members but also could have provided an anchor through which Inuit groups could differentiate themselves from the Others with whom they were interacting.
4 George Henry was the whaling vessel Hall traveled with to the Arctic (Captain S. O. Buddington).



FIG. 3. Location of historic Inuit habitation sites excavated between 1991 and 1992 by the Meta Incognita Project in Frobisher Bay, Bafn Island.

While the ethnographic record is rich with description it does not provide the kind of temporal depth needed to monitor the development of householding through time. The archaeological record affords usthis diachronic perspective. In outer Frobisher Bay individual habitation structures excavated as part of the present study date to periods not well documented in the ethnographic record and therefore can be used to help ll in some of these important time gaps. If householding took hold on southeast Bafn Island, I would expect householdlevel production to emphasize the procurement of animals important to their means of livelihood (such as ringed seal) and not necessarily animals important to European interests, and that resource exchange and distribution, in particular meat sharing practices, would continue as an important form of economic integration.

Zooarchaeological Evidence for Householding The faunal results described in this study are based on assemblages recovered from three historic Inuit habitation sites in outer Frobisher Bay, Bafn Island (Fig. 3). A total of thirteen habitations were excavated over the course of two summer eld seasons. 5 Two general time
Each structure was excavated in 2 2 m units with trowels. All structures were completely excavated, with the exception of wall features. Excavation proceeded following the natural stratigraphy and occupation levels evident within each habitation. All excavated materials were screened through one quarter inch mesh. One to two kilogram soil samples were collected from each natural layer and from organic rich areas, such as hearth deposits, in order to sample for smaller fauna, entomological specimens and soil pH testing. Faunal remains were collected within each quadrant of the 2 2 m units by feature and level designation. Articulated elements and bone concentrations were collected together within the unit and labeled with an identication



periods of historic Inuit habitation were identied in the region, including: (1) protohistoric Inuit (ca. 1300 1850 A.D.) characterized by intermittent contact between Inuit and early European explorers; and (2) late historic Inuit (ca. 1850 1930 A.D.) 6 which consisted of prolonged intense interaction between Inuit and the triad furtrappers/traders, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and missionaries who worked in the region. Although the chronological precision in dating these sites, especially during the protohistoric period, limits our ability to address the nature of Inuit economic transformations in accordance with specic contact situations, it can be used to distinguish, in general terms, two very different time periods of interaction. Kamaiyuk. Kamaiyuk is located approximately three kilometers northeast of Kodlunarn Island, on the southern tip of a small rocky peninsula on the west side of Napoleon Bay in Countess of Warwick Sound (Fig. 4). The site makes an ideal location for access to marine resources and is in proximity to a polynya currently located in the outer reaches of Frobisher Bay. On the site are 12 visible cultural features which overlay rich Paleoeskimo midden deposits. The main features include three large bilobate semi-subterranean structures, one single lobe semisubterranean structure, two half-eroded semi-subterranean structures on the northeast bank of the site, ve heavily constructed tent rings and one cobble stone cache. Kamaiyuk represents the largest protohistoric Inuit site in Countess
number. Large whale bones were photographed and mapped but not collected. Both house deposits and exterior features, such as middens and caches, were tested. Unfortunately few exterior middens were located, and excavations focused primarily on interior house deposits (some of which may represent post occupational debris). 6 Dates are based on both 14C and ceramic materials recovered from the sites.

of Warwick Sound. Based on ceramics and beads recovered from the site as well as C 14 dates, Kamaiyuk was occupied sometime between AD 1300 to 1850 (Henshaw 1995: Table 2). Although faunal preservation was generally very good, soil pH at the site was fairly acidic and ranged from 4.1 to 5.0. In addition, erosional forces from the sea in combination with land submergence destroyed entrance tunnels as well as some house fronts and exterior midden deposits at the site. Kuyait. Kuyait is situated on a sage meadow enclave at the southwestern entrance of Wiswell Inlet and is located approximately 12 km northwest of Countess of Warwick Sound (Fig. 5). The site is also just a few hundred meters from a modern outpost camp currently inhabited by Inuit from the town of Iqaluit. The site consists of 12 visible structures on the ground surface which overlay rich Paleoeskimo midden deposits. The features include: nine semi-subterranean dwellings with heavy stone and sod wall construction, three qarmats similar to type d/e as dened by Stenton (1989: 156), two tent rings, three caches, and a wooden box burial which was not disturbed by our excavations. At higher elevations (100 m) northwest of the site three other caches were identied, in addition to a stone fox trap, all of which had extensive lichen cover. In 1990, we tested the site and identied several cultural components ranging from Dorset to historic Inuit times. Between 1991 and 1992 we excavated ve structures (Houses 3, 5, 8, 11, and 12) representing several temporal phases of historic Inuit occupation. House 3 was represented by both pre-contact and historic period occupations, but due to soliuction processes which destroyed much of the architectural integrity of the house and a poor sample size, faunal remains from this structure were not included in this analysis. House 5 included two distinct occupations: (1) a protohistoric Inuit occupation dating as early as the mid15th century, and (2) a later historic occupa-



FIG. 4. Site plan for Kamaiyuk.

INUIT HOUSEHOLD ECONOMIES TABLE 2 %MUI/RF Spearmans Rho Correlation Coefcients Site Kamaiyuk Kamaiyuk Kamaiyuk Kamaiyuk Kuyait Kuyait Kuyait Kuyait Kuyait Kussejeerarkjuan Kussejeerarkjuan Kussejeerarkjuan House 1 2 3 4 11 12 8 5 (Thule) 5 (Hist Inuit) 2 3 6 rs 0.1 0.144 0.164 0.191 0.2 0.236 0.103 0.182 0.182 0.236 0.228 0.046


tion dating approximately to the 1920s. Houses 11 and 12, both qarmat, date to a similar time frame as the historic occupation of House 5. House 8, a large bilobate semi-subterranean structure, dates approximately between AD 1850 and 1900. A combination of land submergence, coastal erosion and soliuction have caused deterioration of habitation features and their associated midden deposits. Bone preservation was highly variable at the site with soil pH reading between 4.4 and 5.3. Faunal material recovered from late historic qarmat structures was in stable condition but bone cortexes were heavily pitted due to the acidic soils. The prehistoric Thule and late historic Inuit assemblages were in fair to poor condition. Kussejeerarkjuan. Kussejeerarkjuan is located on the west side of the entrance to Diana Bay, two kilometers northwest of Kodlunarn Island in Countess of Warwick Sound (Fig. 6). The area was tested in 1990 and returned to in 1992 for excavation because of its rich late 19th/early 20th century material culture and good faunal preservation. Kussejeerarkjuan is situated in an open sage meadow facing west, with a large lake system and two large caribou drives located several hundred meters up a steep embankment to its north. The site is in an ideal location for access to inland

caribou resources. Kussejeerarkjuan consists of at least 26 cultural features all visible on the ground surface including 11 qarmats, 10 standard stone line tent rings similar to type b dened by Stenton (1989: 156), four caches, and one box hearth feature. No Paleoeskimo artifactual remains were recovered from this site, making it one of the few single component historic Inuit sites in the area. During the 1992 eld season we excavated three of the habitation structures, two qarmat (Houses 2 and 3) and one tent ring (House 6) all of which date sometime between 1910 and 1930. Exterior midden deposits were tested, but little bone was recovered. Faunal preservation at the site was good, although due to the short occupation span of these structures, the total number of bones recovered from these excavations was less than in the large semi-subterranean structures at Kuyait and Kamaiyuk. Seasonality of Occupation and Resource Procurement Based on increment analyses conducted on caribou molars and ringed seal incisors evidence of both summer and winter/ spring season kills were revealed at all three sites (Henshaw 1995: Tables 10 and 11). Structures which show evidence of both summer and winter kill could either reect multiple seasons in which these habitations may have been occupied or the delayed consumption of resources stored during the summer and fall months. At the very least we can infer from these data that each of the sites was inhabited during the winter and/or spring and perhaps other seasons as well. In addition to the season of occupation, incremental analyses of ringed seal canines were used to shed light on Nugumiut hunting practices. Specically, the results indicate an extensive use of the oe-edge habitat in the procurement of marine mammals. Modern ringed seal population stud-


FIG. 5. Site plan for Kuayit.


FIG. 6. Site plan for Kussejeerarkjuan.




ies show that different age classes segregate between the oe-edge and landfast ice habitats (juveniles concentrate primarily along the oe-edge and mature and yearling seals congregate in the landfast ice) (Smith 1973, 1987). The tooth section analyses from each of the three sites revealed that juveniles were captured during winter (Henshaw 1995: Fig. 35), thus conrming the oe-edge habitat as an important and predictable environmental feature upon which Nugumiut relied. Evidence of other open-water species, such as bearded seals and walrus, also potentially further reinforce the importance of this oe-edge habitat for the economies of outer Frobisher Bay residents. Together, the seasonality data reveal that this region offered a resource rich and predictable environment on which Nugumiut could depend. Seal Transport and Consumption A total of 20,399 bone fragments were recovered from the Kamaiyuk, Kuyait, and Kussejeerarkjuan, excavated in outer Frobisher bay. Kuyait yielded the greatest number of bone (8,857), followed by Kamaiyuk (8,627), and Kussejeerarkjuan (2,915). From these three sites 6351 specimens were identied to genus and/or species representing 31.1% of the total assemblage. Only bone fragments from specic proveniences (e.g., oor deposits and wall middens) were included in the study. Bone recovered from old wall sod and recent sod matrices were not included unless they were associated with more recently occupied qarmat 7 structures. The unit of analysis employed in this study was the household and faunal remains were quantied using three standard measures: NISP (Number of Identied
7 Qarmaq are above-ground features characterized by lighter construction than the more substantial Thule semi-subterranean houses. Qarmaq have low exterior walls and shallow interiors. Entrance passages are less than a meter in length and are also shallow. They are typically associated with the historic period.

Specimens), MNI (minimum number of individuals) and RF (relative frequency). 8 Figure 7 shows the relative percentage of non-cetacean mammalian families represented throughout the periods represented in outer Frobisher Bay. Small Phocids are the most abundant taxon, throughout the different periods identied (ranging from 47.4 to 61.2%). Based on the total NISP counted within the small Phocids, ringed seal occur most frequently and range from 85 to 89.1% (Fig. 8). Even today, the ringed seal continues to be the most economically important Phocid species harvested by Inuit in this region. The frequencies of seal elements recovered within households contexts excavated at the three sites are plotted in Figs. 9, 10, and 11. Clearly, appendicular elements (i.e., the forelimbs and hindlimbs) are found in greater proportions relative to axial elements (i.e., the vertebral column and skull) with the exception of the
There are many ways to quantify faunal remains from archaeological sites; each with its own inherent set of biases which vary according to the specic research questions being addressed (Grayson 1984; Ringrose 1993; Lyman 1994a). Problems associated with NISP are that it under represents animals that might not reach the site whole, namely in this study, large sea mammals, such as walruses and whales, which are often butchered out on the sea ice. Phocid taxonomic abundancies are based on NISP counts because of the small number of elements which can be used to distinguish the different species and because these animals are believed to have been brought back whole to individual households. MNI values are represented by the maximum RF for each taxon and are used to avoid counting the same individual twice. RF values are derived by dividing the total number of bones (TNB) from a given element category (i.e., for longbones distal, proximal, shaft, whole), by the number of times they occur naturally in the skeleton. Age and side are not considered in calculating the RFs for this analysis. In the present study, faunal remains are aggregated according to individual household deposits which are believed to represent chronologically distinct dispositional episodes. All quantication analyses were conducted using a slightly modied version of Quattobone, a software program developed by Tom McGovern and Tom Amorosi (1988).



FIG. 7. Chronological comparison of faunal remains recovered from outer Frobisher Bay. Percentage frequencies are based on MNI values calculated for each of the species (Protohistoric MNI 116; Late Historic Inuit MNI 113).

head and sacrum. A remarkable feature of these data is the similarity of element frequencies between the sites. At face value these data suggest that Inuit culled and transported certain elements back to households. However, as I show below, this interpretation is not supported when meat utility indices and taphonomic processes are considered. Meat utility indices. Lyman et al. (1992) created a meat utility index (MUI), in which Phocid esh weight per associated skeletal part is reected. The study is important as it allows archaeologists to interpret element frequency data in relation to the meat value of certain body parts found in the archaeological record.

Lyman et al. (1992: 532) used four seals to calculate these indices, including three harp seals and one hooded seal, all similar in size and anatomy to the Phocids analyzed in this study. 9 Based on their results, ribs were found to have the greatest meat utility. In general, other axial parts were found to have greater meat utility relative to appendicular elements. To account for the rider effect (Binford 1978) in which certain low utility bones are brought along with high util9 Recent utility indices calculated by Marc Diab (1998) on ringed seals reveal that meat utility indices for this species are strongly correlated with the analyses conducted by Lyman et al., (1992).



FIG. 8. Breakdown of small Phocids species recovered from each site. Percentage frequencies are based on NISP values (Prothistoric Inuit NISP 100; Historic Inuit NISP 211). MNI not calculated due to the few number of elements that can be identied to the species level.

ity bones during the butchery process, Lyman et al. (1992: 537) developed the modied meat utility index (MMUI). The MMUI inates certain low meat utility elements to higher values because they are given a meat weight that represents the average of their weight plus the higher utility element with which they are articulated (Lyman et al. 1992: 540). Therefore, in the MMUI, certain elements such as the femur, sternum, scapula and thoracic vertebrae are given elevated meat values relative to the standard meat utility index. In a study of contemporary Inuit hunters in Clyde River, NWT, Whitridge (1992: 3) reported that heavier ringed seals were divided up into four large butchery units at the kill sites before transport, ethnographically validating the importance of MMUI ethnographically.

In Figs. 12, 13, and 14 archaeological seal element frequency data from outer Frobisher Bay are plotted in relation to these utility indices. Ribs were not included in the analysis because only proximal ends were identied to genus, and therefore would not reect their true presence in the archaeological record. Figure 12 shows no correlation between element frequency (derived from RF calculations) and %MUI at Kamaiyuk (the exclusion of ribs could help explain this nding), but reveals a statistically signicant negative correlation between element frequency and its associated %MMUI. Figures 13 and 14 show a similar pattern in late historic contexts at Kuyait and Kussejeerarkjuan (except at Kuyait, House 8). Following Lyman et al. (1992: 534), a Spearmans rho (r s ) correlation coefcient is used to



FIG. 9. Element frequencies of Phocidae remains from Kamaiyuk (KfDe-5). The numbers in parentheses refer to the sum of RF for each house (H1 House 1, etc).

FIG. 10. Element frequencies of Phocidae remains from Kuyait (KfDf-2). The numbers in parentheses refer to the sum of RF for each house (P.H. Protohistoric Occupation; L.H. Late Historic occupation).



FIG. 11. Element frequencies of Phocidae remains from Kussejeerarkjuan (KeDe-7). The numbers in parentheses refer to the sum of RF for each house.

interpret seal skeletal part frequency in relation to these indices because such data only provides ordinal scale resolution, even though it is presented in interval scale terms. The correlation coefcients and tests of signicance (P chi square) from these data appear in Tables 2 and 3. This pattern is similar to the reverse utility strategy (Binford 1978; Lyman 1992b: 8) found in other eastern Canadian Arctic habitation sites (Lyman et al., 1992: 544 547). Traditionally, archaeologists have assumed that this type of assemblage represents a place where animals were killed, as elements with low meat value are found more frequently than those with a high meat value (Binford 1978). More recent data on contemporary hunting practices of hunter-gatherers in Africa, however, have also shown that a similar pattern occurs when large carcasses are carried long distances back to

habitation areas by foot (Bunn et al. 1988; Marshall and Pilgram 1990). Because these assemblages came from habitation sites, I suggest that both high and low meat utility elements were transported from kill sites, and that butchery of the whole animal was taking place in the households. This assertion is supported by bothcontemporary and historic ethnographic observations which describe dismemberment taking place within household contexts (Boas 1964; Nelson 1969; Van de Velde 1976; EA Smith 1991). For example, Whitridges (1992: 2) study of contemporary Inuit hunters showed that 14 of 23 (61%) of the ringed seals caught were taken home whole. Boas reported similar patterns during the time he spent in Cumberland Sound. As Boas describes (1964: 154),
While hunting they usually open the seals caught early in the morning, to take out a piece of the esh or liver, which they eat raw for lunch.



FIG. 12. Kamaiyuk seal element frequency plotted in relation to (a) MUI (r s 0.155) and (b) MMUI (r s 0.736, P 0.012).

The cut is then temporarily fastened until the nal dressing of the animal [is done] at home.

Other, larger sea mammals, such as whales and walrus, were generally pro-

cessed at kill sites, in most cases on the sea ice (Hall 1866: 500). Although Boas (1964: 114) observed that walrus carcasses were sometimes butchered at kill sites



FIG. 13. Kuyait seal element frequency plotted in relation to (a) MUI (r s 0.182) and (b) MMUI (r s 0.8, P 0.007).

into as many parts as there were partners in the hunt; . . . every [walrus] part being rolled up in a piece of skin and carried home in it. If butchery of whole seals was

taking place in the houses what can explain the variation we see in element part frequency from these sites? In a recent review by Marc Diab (1998: 2), a wide ar-



FIG. 14. Kussejeerarkjuan seal element frequency plotted in relation to (a) MUI (r s 0.164) and (b) MMUI (r s 0.764; P 0.015).

ray of mechanisms could account for this discrepancy ranging from age, sex, and taxonomic differences in esh to bone weight ratios to the structured cultural

rules of meat and blubber distribution practices. In this study, three taphonomic factors are examined to account for this apparent inconsistency: (1) cultural prac-


ANNE S. HENSHAW TABLE 3 %MMUI/RF Spearmans Rho Correlation Coefcients and Tests of Signicance Site House 1 2 3 4 11 12 8 5 (Thule) 5 (Hist Inuit) 2 3 6 rs 0.648 0.702 0.664 0.673 0.818 0.764 0.653 0.691 0.773 0.764 0.720 0.621 P 0.001 0.008 0.004 0.001 0.018 0.002 0.001 0.001 0.021 0.002 0.001 0.001

Kamaiyuk Kamaiyuk Kamaiyuk Kamaiyuk Kuyait Kuyait Kuyait Kuyait Kuyait Kussejeerarkjuan Kussejeerarkjuan Kussejeerarkjuan

tices revolving around carcass treatment; (2) poor bone preservation, and (3) bone loss from dog scavenging and feeding behavior (Lyman et al. 1992: 547; for other archaeological contexts see Lyman 1985, 1992b). Treatment of carcass. Based on ethnographic data, the treatment of carcasses by Inuit is inuenced by several factors, some of which include the size of the animal, the transport mechanism utilized, dog feeding practices (discussed later), raw material production, food taboo rituals, food preferences and meat sharing practices. As already discussed, because of the small size of ringed seals, carcasses were generally brought home whole. Therefore, some of these other factors must have played a role in the seal element frequency patterns reected in these sites. Food taboo rituals and food preference could have inuenced these patterns although specic data relating these factors to the sites under investigation have not been fully analyzed, although they have been investigated in other similar cultural contexts (see Woollett 1991; Diab 1998). In the present study, meat-sharing practices both within and between differ-

ent households are thought to hold the most important implications for interpreting element frequency data and meat utility indexes. If carcasses were divided and shared between households then one would might expect element frequencies to show a random pattern as various elements would have been transported out of their initial household contexts and moved to adjacent households after dismemberment. Such a pattern would depend on the contemporaneity of structures, duration of occupation and the specic kinds of meat sharing practices in place at the time. The element frequency data from the habitation sites in outer Frobisher Bay are not random and instead show remarkable uniformity suggesting meat may have been shared only within individual households. This uniformity however does not explain why certain elements are found in such high proportions versus others. Considering the acidic nature of the soils in which these assemblages were recovered, preservational bias may in part account for this discrepancy. Poor bone preservation. Lyman (1994b) and Chambers (1992) addressed the taphonomic processes related to bone preservation by measuring the density of sealbone using photon densitometry. In their analysis, bone mineral density is measured by the absorption of a photon beam of known strength as it passes through a selected part of a bone, and is quantied as g/cm 3 (Lyman 1994b: 238). Based on their analysis, one can predict that lower density bone with less structural integrity is less likely to be preserved than high density bone. The results of their studies show that seal skeletal parts have differing densities. In order to correlate the seal meat utility indices of skeletal parts (often represented by complex bone with variable densities) with specic density values, I chose the scan site nearest the average

INUIT HOUSEHOLD ECONOMIES TABLE 4 Density of Scan Sites Chosen for Correlation between Utility Indices and Bone Density Corresponding utility element class THOR LUM CERV FEM RIB SCAP PELV HUM RAD/UL TIB/FI HEAD


Scan site TH2 LU1 AX1 FE6 RI2 SP1 IL2 HU3 RA1 FI5 DN2

Density 0.37 0.38 0.56 0.57 0.50 0.49 0.63 0.57 0.63 0.76 0.84

bones observed in relation to lower density axial bones, with the exception of the head, suggests that preservation was a signicant factor inuencing the survivorship of certain elements. Dog feeding practices. What can explain the element frequencies in the other houses where poor preservation can not be correlated with element frequency? Both contemporary and historic descriptions of Inuit dog feeding practices reveal that the axial elements of sea mammal carcasses, both large and small, were also commonly fed to dogs. As Boas (1964: 109) observed,
The ippers are cut off at the joints, and thus the whole skin is drawn off in a single piece, in dressing the animal the natives open the belly and rst scoop out the blood, then the entrails are taken out, the ribs are separated from the breastbone and from the vertebrae, the fore ippers (with the shoulders and the hind ippers) are taken out, the only part remaining being the head, the spinal column, and the rump bone. Generally, these are not eaten, but are used for dog food.

value for that element (Lyman 1994: Tables 7.6, 7.7; Chambers 1992) (Table 4). When the density of bone is plotted versus %MUI and %MMUI (Fig. 15), no correlation exists between density and the %MUI (r s .027; P .697), but a negative correlation does exist between bone density and the %MMUI (although not statistically signicant at the .05 level; r s .061; P .093). Thus, in general, lower utility bones tend to have a higher density than high utility bones. In the case of seals, the lower utility appendicular skeleton has a greater chance of survivorship in the archaeological record than the higher utility axial skeleton. When bone density is plotted against archaeological seal element frequency a weak but positive correlation is shown for 9 of the 12 houses included in this study (Table 5). In these houses, bones with lower density tend to be found in fewer numbers than those with higher densities. In light of these ndings, one can better interpret the patterns of variation in seal element frequency observed in the houses from these sites (Figs. 9, 10, and 11). The higher representation of high density appendicular

Thus, the low presentation of axial elements can also be explained by the presence of dogs at these sites, particularly at Kamiyuk where the MNI for them ranges from 9 to 29% of the identied non-cetacean mammal remains (Fig. 7). Trace buckles associated with dog sleds were also recovered from Kamaiyuk and Kuyait which lend support to the use of dogs at these sites. Surprisingly, chewed bone is represented in only small proportions (see Table 6). However, Boas (1888: 564) describes that dogs were fed generally outside habitation areas, a place where little bone was preserved in the sites excavated in outer Frobisher Bay. Another factor that could account for the low representation of chewed bone in the assemblages is that dogs could have been eating entire bones. Also, it is not clear whether chew marks would show up on bone if only soft tissue were eaten by dogs (Kent



FIG. 15. Scatter plot of bone density versus (a) %MUI and (b) %MMUI.

1981). Therefore, dogs may have had a signicant impact on these assemblages but due to the nature of Inuit dog feeding practices and dog chewing behavior,

such factors are invisible in the archaeological record. Based on data documenting the effects of preservational bias, dog feeding prac-



tices and the implication the uniformity of element frequency data have for meat-sharing practices, I conclude that Inuit brought back whole seal carcasses to individual household contexts and subsequently divided the meat. If this were not the case and Inuit brought only high utility elements back to habitation areas, then fewer seal remains would have been recovered overall and low utility elements would have been absent or found in much lower frequencies relative to high utility bones. In fact, considering the small size of seals and the ability of Inuit to transportcarcasses using kayaks and qamutiik (sleds),this conclusion is further supported. Additionally, ethnographic descriptions of gender roles in traditional Inuit society help reinforce this interpretation. The division of labor amongst historic Inuit groups, although complimentary, was clearly separated along gender lines (Guemple 1986). For example, although women did not normally go on hunting trips, they were in charge of meat distribution once carcasses had been brought back to habitation areas. It follows then that the butchering of meat would take place within household contexts at least during the winter months as ethnographic records describe (Boas 1964: 154). Bearded seal element frequencies show no marked differences from those
TABLE 5 Weak but Positive Correlations RF/Bulk Density Site Kamaiyuk Kamaiyuk Kamaiyuk Kuyait Kuyait Kuyait Kussejeerarkjuan Kussejeerarkjuan Kussejeerarkjuan House 2 3 4 11 12 5 (Hist Inuit) 2 3 6 rs 0.534 0.440 0.502 0.539 0.517 0.453 0.606 0.433 0.393 P 0.019 0.018 0.043 0.011 0.004 0.074 0.001 0.021 0.038

TABLE 6 Percentage of Chewed Bone Based on the Presence or Absence of Chew Marks on Bird, Hare, Fox, Dog/ Wolf, Caribou, Polar Bear, Seals, Walrus, Whale, and Unidentied Bone Site Kamaiyuk Kamaiyuk Kamaiyuk Kamaiyuk Kuyait Kuyait Kuyait Kuyait Kussejeerarkjuan Kussejeerarkjuan Kussejeerarkjuan Tikkoon House 1 2 3 4 11 12 5 8 2 3 6 17 % TNB chewed 0.54% 0.66% 0.09% 0.00% 1.80% 0.42% 0.49% 1.98% 2.22% 1.76% 0.92% 0.00%

Note. TNB indicates the total number of bones.

patterns observed for the smaller Phocids (Henshaw 1995), although these data are less robust. Nonetheless, if the similarity of element frequencies is consistent for all the Phocidae regardless of size, these data suggest that both species were transported whole. 10 The supposition that whole seal carcasses were brought back to habitation structures suggests that appropriational decisions regarding meat distribution took place within the household. These appropriational decisions are important when considering Inuit social and economic formations in outer Frobisher Bay. I argue that Inuit kinship bonds as they relate to this form of subsistence behavior,
As other data suggests, bearded seal may have been divided into more manageable transport units at kill sites (Lyman 1992a: 258). In a study by Lyman (1992a), the butchery of seal species of markedly different sizes along the Oregon Coast may have differed only in relation to the logistics involved in dividing meat into conveniently sized units for transport and consumption. An analysis of butchery could shed light on this issue but was not conducted in this study due to the poor preservational state of the assemblage.


ANNE S. HENSHAW TABLE 7 Total Numbers of Astragali, Calcanei, and Pelves Used in Matching Analysis Total astragali 7 6 1 11 9 29 14 29 1 16 46 Total calcanei 1 3 2 9 6 22 9 20 3 7 32 Total pelves 5 9 12 4 19 25 11 20 2 11 39

even during late historic times, remained the basis of cultural cohesion in Inuit society. The household formed the organizational nexus for afrming and reafrming social relations that facilitated economic autonomy. Element pairing analysis. Other preliminary ndings attempting to trace Inuit meat sharing practices through element pairing lend some support to these interpretations. The purpose of the analysis was to match individual pairs of Phoca sp. astraguli and pelves within and between households from outer Frobisher Bay on an intra and inter site basis. This type of analysis is similar to other studies conducted on land mammal species from a variety of cultural contexts (Enloe and David 1992; Zeder 1993; Zeder and Arter 1996). The elements used in the matching analysis were chosen based on data relating to their individual meat utility values (Lyman et al. 1992), ethnographic descriptions on dismemberment and distribution practices among various Inuit groups (Balikci 1964, Balikci 1970; Birkett-Smith 1924; Damas 1963, 1972; Holtved 1967; Van de Velde 1956, 1976), and the distinctive morphological characteristics of each element (Glew 1994). Based on these three criteria, the elements initially chosen included the pelves, astragali and calcanei. Using the modern Phoca sp. collection from the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University, three complete skeletons of Phoca vitulina were chosen to examine the morphological distinctiveness of each element (our sample size was limited by the availability of skeletons in the collection). Elements from each of the faunal assemblages were sorted by site, size, side, and preservational status (Table 7). Pairing was conducted by assessing the degree of morphological symmetry between specimens. Each specimen was compared to all other individual specimens from a

Site KeDe-7

House 2 3 6 1 2 3 4 5 8 11 12



given element class regardless of whether a previous match was thought to have been made. Blind testing was conducted for each of the element classes. Based on the experimental nature of the study, the results of the analysis raised more questions than they answered. Only three positive matches were made from the entire collection that both examiners agreed upon. House 3 at Kamaiyuk contained pairs of both astragali and pelves (Plates 1 and 2), and the historic levels of House 5 at Kuyait contained a pair of astragali (Plate 1). Because all three of these matches were found within households (and not between households), the results lend some support to the inference that butchery and meat distribution also took place in household units. Why were so few matches made either within or between households? Several factors could account for this discrepancy. Although distinct morphological characteristics were easily identied in the modern Phoca vitulina collection, determining the similarities of morphological characteristics became a fairly subjective assessment in archaeological specimens where poor preservation prevented the identication of certain diagnostic traits.



PLATE 1. Astragali matched within House 3 at Kamaiyuk (upper pair) and House 5 (historic levels) at Kuyait (lower pair).

For this reason, calcanei were quickly dropped as an element that could be condently matched. Metric analyses of a robust sample of modern specimens may help reduce this degree of subjectivity. Another reason so few matches were made may be attributed to the fact that household deposits could represent midden material, which accumulated after the abandonment of the structure (Glew 1994: 9). While this may be true for House 8 at Kuyait, where mid-19th century historic materials were recovered from a Thulelike large bi-lobate semi-subterranean structure, it is not likely the case for historic qarmat structures. Also, as Park (1997) has argued, we can not assume that individual structures within large village sites were occupied contemporaneously.

Various preservational biases, including poor bone preservation and the erosion of exterior midden deposits, also probably hampered our ability to make positive matches. Despite the few pairs that were identied, it is interesting to note that the matches came from within and not between different households, perhaps reinforcing the notion that meat sharing took place at an extremely localized level. Some may interpret these ndings to suggest that the Nugumiut inhabitants of these sites were not practicing the kind of meat sharing relationships well documented for other Inuit groups (Table 1). On the contrary, I suggest that only one extended family may have been occupying any one of these sites at a given time (i.e., the structures may not be contemporaneous



PLATE 2. A pair of pelves matched within House 3 at Kamaiyuk.

and therefore sharing would only be expected to occur within households). If this were the case, the population of outer Frobisher Bay must have been very low throughout the historic period. Although the results of this analysis are not conclusive, they are instructive and hold important implications for future research. With good faunal preservation and a combination of metric and morphological analyses, the applicability of this method in addressing appropriational issues could improve greatly. The importance of such studies should not be underestimated, as they offer a unique way for zooarchaeologists to move beyond basic locational reconstructions and esh out the richness of economic activity in the past.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION Nugumiut economic transformations can not be reduced to simple continuity/ change ideational constructs. Rather, these transformations must be considered as a form of economic integration which is neither traditional nor modern but a strategy used by Nugumiut to accommodate the social and economic changes they were experiencing. I have argued that this form of economic integration can best be understood through the concept of householding which embodies the holistic nature of human economic production. By tracing the development of householding through both the zooarchaeological and ethnographic records, Nugumiut economic independence was seen to have persisted,



and even thrived, during a period of unprecedented change. Nugumiut were able to successfully move in and out of different forms of economic integration without losing the foundation of their own economic livelihood. Several factors identied in this study help explain how such a form of economic integration could develop. Not only were Nugumiut peripheral to foreign enclaves of activity on southeast Bafn Island, but the nature of foreign policies and attitudes toward Nugumiut enabled them to participate in the world economy on their own terms. Because of this marginality, Inuit also enjoyed a greater freedom to choose those aspects of European culture that they themselves found benecial. As Nugumiut maintained direct access to the means of production and to kinship labor, they were also able to pursue economic activities relatively free of any foreign intervention. The householding model presented here parallels the interpretation of all-native communities described by Damas (1988) for the contact-traditional era in the eastern Arctic. In his study, Damas (1988) nds that Inuit, especially during the period when trappers, missionaries and RCMP ofcers represented the principle agents of change in the north, exhibit a great deal of local autonomy from outside groups. Corresponding environmental data showthat Nugumiut autonomy was also reinforced by local environmental conditions that supported rich marine resources on a year-round basis (Henshaw 1995). Environmental data have shown that the resource rich polynya, an invariant part of the environmental landscape in outer Frobisher Bay, provided Nugumiut with a certain sense of predictability in an ever-changing and variable climate. In this sense, outer Frobisher Bay represented a kind of refugia both environmentally and culturally. This pattern

continues today, as many of the outpost residents who live in outer Frobisher Bay utilize this resource-rich territory to hunt marine and terrestrial resources and live a lifestyle that promotes their own social and economic independence. The determination that householding developed and helped to coordinate various forms of economic integration may not be a surprise to many as Inuit household composition, formation and organization have been intensively studied in the Arctic. What is interesting is that this form of socioeconomic integration (as reected through faunal remains) became reinforced despite the changing contexts of interaction that occurred with the arrival of Europeans. When zooarchaeological data is combined with artifactual data, it will be interesting to see whether or not this kind of resiliency is noted within the material culture recovered from these sites. What kinds of goods were Nugumiut acquiring? How were they being used and in what contexts? One might expect in light of the zooarchaeological data that as raw materials and manufactured items entered Nugumiut households they may have been used and interpreted in ways that reinforced their unique way of life. Based on the faunal and ethnohistorical evidence presented here, how do Nugumiut compare with other mobile hunter-gatherer groups in the Arctic who were also peripheral to contact? How unique is Nugumiut householding compared with other strategies used by northern groups to accommodate change? To what extent did Nugumiut persist as a set of independent households or part of larger Inuit cultural entity? It is difcult to compare the results of this research to other archaeological studies in the Arctic, as few researchers have directly explored the economic aspects of colonial encounters through the analysis of faunal remains. Although



based on artifactual and ethnohistorical studies, other northern groups in the eastern Arctic did demonstrate a similar kind of economic independence by actively participating in trade relations with foreign groups that beneted their own economic desires and needs. For example, the presence of Dutch whalers on west Greenland in the 18th century served to reinforce an elaborate Eskimo exchange network already in place in that area and without disrupting Eskimo traditional settlement patterns and hunting strategies (Gullv 1985). In contrast, on the nearby Labrador coast, Susan Kaplan (1983, 1985) showed how Inuit population increase and a long standing European presence in the area between the 16th and 18th centuries had signicant impacts on Inuit settlement locations and hunting strategies as the acquisition and control of European goods became central to their economic and political life. Stephen Loring (1992), in a study of Innu cultural transformations over the past 2000 years in interior Labrador and Quebec, revealed how Naskapi-Montagnais groups reproduced and sustained their group identity during periods of interaction with European groups through being exible and by maintaining direct access to territory, resources and exchange networks through time. What about indigenous groups in the western Arctic? Much of what is known in the western Arctic is based largely on ethnohistorical studies and contemporary ethnographies. Along the north slope of Alaska, contact was, in large part, dominated by the 19th Euro-American Whaling industry. In this region, Inupiat, similar to Nugumiut, played an active role in the overall success of the industry. Furthermore, the Inupiat whaling tradition today continues as an important appropriational activity used to reinforce social ties within communities

(Burch 1987; Spencer 1959;Worl 1980; Ellanna 1988; Cassell 1988). Another major foreign player was Russia, whose mercantilist and religious activities were largely concentrated in the western sub-Arctic beginning in the 18th century. The nature of interactions Russians had with local populations are just recently beginning to unfold in the archaeological and ethnohistorical literature (Crowell 1992, 1997; McCartney et al. 1991; Woodhouse-Beyer 1998). In contrast to Nugumiut, Aleuts and Koniags experienced colonial policies that served to undermine much of their economic independence. In this context then, independent householding may not have had the opportunity to evolve in this region to the extent it has in other areas. One of the most important implications the householding concept holds for Arctic archaeology and anthropology is that it emphasizes the internal mechanisms through which Inuit adapted to changing circumstances and lays an important foundation through which the totality of economic production, both location and appropriation, can be conceptualized and applied in a wide array of cultural contexts. Without a doubt, Inuit were not passive victims but active participants in creating and recreating their culture in ways that enabled them to reinforce a distinct cultural identity in the past and no doubt as they will continue to do into the future. REFERENCES CITED
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