Sunday, December 14, 2008

Kayak, part 1.0, the Historians: Preface, Franz Boaz

Franz Boas dressed in traditional Groenland hunting costume, courtesy the American Philosophical Society.

 On a trip to the Arctic,photo Franz Boas, courtesy American Philosophical Society


Franz Boas is referred to as the father of American Anthropology. There is a collection of his papers at the American Philosophical Society. My brother, John worked there in the past and so I am familiar with the organization, and have "borrowed" some photographs from their collection. In 1883 he journeyed from Germany to Baffin Island and spent the next year living with and studying the Inuit of Cumberland Bay. The results of his research are published inFranz Boas among the Inuit of Baffin Island, 1883-1884: Journals and Letters. His research includes information on the indigenous boats he found in use by the Baffin Islanders. His studies, quite interestingly in such a harsh environment, led him to believe that cultural factors were dominant over enviromental ones in shaping the be havior of human societies. More kayak gathering is included in another book, The Central Eskimo.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Nice post!!! Very interesting photos.