Readings (due September 6)


 

 
To comment on the following readings, please first indicate your name, e-mail address, and the date of your post. Then, add your comments.

 

Example: [E. Kintz, kintz@geneseo.edu, 8/25]

 

“An Eskimo Takes a Bride”

 

 (1)

[Isobel Connors, icc2@geneseo.edu, 9/8]

 

“An Eskimo Takes a Bride”

 

1. I found the Inuit tactic of “fishing for compliments” very intriguing. In American culture, people often dislike individuals who constantly put themselves down. Surprisingly, the opposite is true for the Inuit: they must emphasize their stupidity and weakness to gain the village people’s respect.

2. The fight scene was extraordinary to read about. In some ways, I think this courtship, whereby the male and female essentially ignore each other until the “attack,” is an amplified version of American courtship. Both cultures use taciturnity to coerce a mate; however, Americans do not go sofar as to disregard one another completely. In addition, Americans, although not as prominently in today’s culture, pressure the men to make the first move, or “attack.” American women are expected to resist sexual aggression to preserve their reputations in our culture, as well. Though we may try to ostracize ourselves from Inuit culture, we are more similar than we realize.

3. The coy, esoteric way the Inuit converse is also of interest. Each social exchange must be carefully planned, as the culture places great importance on specified innuendo. In some ways, this lack of communication may hinder the Inuit’s ability to make social progress; yet these traditions are so entwined in the culture that there might not be a need to expand their correspondence.

END.

Interesting difference between our culture and theirs.  Why do you think we behave as we do?  Is our attempt to astracize ourselves from other cultures an inherent aspect of our own culture?---Tom

 

 

 (2)

[Dan McConvey dpm5 9/7]

 

“An Eskimo Takes a Bride”

 

 

I will be careful here, because I do not mean to offend anyone.

I see this as the ultimate version of “playing hard to get”.

 

  1. I think that the actual fight presents both equality and inequality amongst the Eskimo. Yes, there is inequality that the woman is ritualistically dragged from her home and beaten, but on the other hand she is also being respected for her ability to fight and thusly show her resilience and ability to survive. I find that opposed to American culture where there is an enculturated mentality that “boys are physically stronger than girls”, we see a survival-based culture where a woman can truly show her stuff and be praised for it. From a culture where bulging muscles aren’t always seen as the most endearing quality of a woman, it is almost refreshing to see a culture where the “not-so-delicate” woman is asked to fight, scratch, rip hair out, on an equal plain, with her husband-to-be.
  2. I also found it interesting to see how important skills are in the Eskimo culture. With due reason, the man’s hunting skills and the woman’s sewing skills are key factors in determining the quality of both the suitor and bride. Family lineage, social standing, and looks also play a part but the hunting and sewing skills are the things that will keep the couple alive.
  3. In the beginning of the piece Imenak notes the smudges on Arnaluk’s face as being cute. This indirectly shows how much emphasis is put on survival features. The smudges mean that Arnaluk chews on the soles of kamiks to soften them.

 

END

I agree with you that it is a refreshing view to see a culture that displays this type of female behavior as desirable.  The emphasis on the skills aspect of the culture and its influence in other areas of the culture is highly intriguing.  Are their instances of this occurence in our own culture?  If so, what are they?---Tom

 

 

(3)

 

[Shamiran Warda sw11@geneseo.edu 9/6] 

 

“An Eskimo Takes a Bride”

 
1. I found this piece very intersecting in how the Eskimo go about with their marriages. However I felt the writer could have done more to expose us to their ceremonies, such as gone more in-depth about their values and norms and how they portrayed their dignity. In addition, what were the people’s opinions on how their marriages worked. I would have loved to hear what Arnaluk thought about this whole process.
2. As I continued to read more, I happened to notice that some of these practices seen in this work are still present in various areas of the world. For instance, in majority of Middle East, the father, still to this day, choices the suitor for his daughter, regards of what and how she feels about the other person. Arranged marriage is what they have been following for years and is what many will continue to follow for years to come. I just hope my parents will not go through it with us as they did.
3. In all, I found it surprising how the women reacted to marriage proposals and how the man handled it. The thing that was most surprising was how fast Arnaluk took the new role of wife-hood. One second she is kicking and fighting back and the next she is yelling at her new husband’s dogs and sharing food with her new parents-in law. It’s just shocking how fast they adapt to their new roles

 

Great.  What would Analuk have thought?  Would she have viewed it differently than other members of the group?  The incorporation fo outside information about the Middle East definetly adds another element to your discussion.  Could her display of shouting and fighting actually be an element of the ceremony and ritual involved with courtship that you wanted to see more of?---Tom

 

 

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(Cameron Mack cfm6@geneseo.edu 9/6)

 

“An Eskimo Takes a Bride”

 

1) I agree with the several different posts that this piece seems to be more for amusement value more than anything. That is not to say that the writing was useless or not informative. It did provide somewhat of glimpse into the Eskimo lifestyle. I don't believe that it was written as a guide to Eskimo life or as something to gather research from. I did enjoy the reading, however, and found it to be quite interesting to read. Nanook was much better though.

2) I never knew that the Eskimo people had such a roundabout way of communicating. Instead of a straight forward question and answer there is an underlying meaning to what they say. This could be for these particular ceremonies, which would make more sense than anything; however, it was still a very unique way of communicating to read about. Something I did not expect from the Eskimo and a very interesting thing to read about.

3) The way in which women react to marriage proposals was very surprising to me. In most societies it would be very questionable to act in such a manner, however, the eskimo people do seem to live their lives a little different than everyone else.

 How was Nanook more interesting for you?  Do you think that our own cultures exhibits these modes of communication?  All the time or in specific circumstances?  Couldn't you last statemnet be said about all cultures?  That behavior seems abnormal to people in our culture, but it may be highly abnormal in Eskimo culture to NOT behave in that way.---Tom

 

 

 

(5)

 

[Stephanie Aquilina sma8@geneseo.edu 9/6]

 

“An Eskimo Takes a Bride”

 

1) I found the norms of interpersonal relations to be very interesting: A common behavior between a man and a woman involves the girl removing lice from the man’s head. If she eats these pesky creatures rather than throwing them into the fire, it is a sure sign of love. Relations between all people seemed to be very humble and focused on pragmatic purposes (who was needed to do what work), in order to convey underlying goals. Such conversations often involved condemning the abilities of others as a way of inviting promising circumstances (i.e. future fathers-in-law, husband/wife).

2) It was interesting to me how implicit the whole marriage process seems – men make roundabout proposals to a girl’s father and he responds with disguised dismissals, a marriage agreement between fathers is embedded in “coded” dialogue, and then when it comes time for courtship, it is like a game of chase, where shyness (to a degree) is complimented. To an outsider, everyone seems to avoid stating any intentions specifically, but yet there is a clear and mutual understanding between the people involved about what has been accepted and declined.

3) Part of a woman’s honor rests in how stubbornly she resists a marriage; the “wedding” itself is more of a ritual struggle that is consummated when her mother verbally signals the inevitability of the girl’s fate as a wife. At this point, the new wife publicly criticizes her husband’s property in order to gain praise from others. If the woman puts up a good fight and leaves the man looking physically worn and damaged, it is considered to be a mark of her distinction. END

Consumption of head lice as a sign of love?  Defineitely intriguing.  What "signs of love" in our culture could be seen as "gross" or "odd" in other cultures?  What games do we play in our culture during courtship?  I love this aspect of the culture, that women get to be fiesty and fiery on their wedding day and beat up their groom.  Fascinating isn't it?---Tom

 

 

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[Heather Warren, hrw1@geneseo.edu , 9/5]

 

“An Eskimo Takes a Bride”

 

  1. If I had not previously known that some cultures use overly critical language toward themselves as a means of expressing humility and humbleness, the language shown to be used by the Eskimo's in this story would have seemed like an extreme case of pessimism!
  2. Conversation in general between the Eskimo appears to be so vague and roundabout that I think many people today would have had no idea that anything was actually going on just by listening to the gossip and conversations. In fact, some people, if they were to carry on a conversation with an Eskimo, might eventually get frustrated with the lack of information as well as the non-acknowledgment of activities very obvious such as the fight going on between Arnaluk and Imenak.
  3. The great battle that took place between Imenak and Arnaluk was intensely interesting. It seems so completely foreign to me that the method of carrying out marriage in the Eskimo culture is for a man to kidnap the woman and the woman to fight back and show fear and reluctance toward marriage, in other words, for the bride and groom to do battle with each other. They must never want for excitement! END

 

It seems like pessimism in American society, but does Eskimo culture have an equivalent or similar concept?  Why do you suppsoe their language and social interactions are strucutred in such a way?  Do you think it hinders them to any degree?---Tom

 

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[Jennifer Ritzenthaler, jkr5@geneseo.edu, 9/5]

 

“An Eskimo Takes a Bride”

 

1. I found it interesting that the Eskimo people communicate without simply stating something but by having an underlying meaning to almost everything. Is this how they normally speak to each other or is it something that only surrounds special circumstances like a courtship?

2. This kidnap marriage reminded me of capture marriages practiced in some areas in the Himalayas; however, these ones seem like they would be much more effective and long-lasting since the man and woman in this case seemed to have real feelings for each other.

3. The way that the Eskimo people downplayed the success of people and even said negative things about them was a unique way of displaying a humorous irony since the opposite was most certainly true. I’m not sure whether this is really the case in Eskimo culture or whether it was a literary technique, but it seemed believable.

END.

You mention the Himalayan marriage system, but do nto describe it.  What about its makes it similar and different?  Where did you get this information?  (I am assuming you got it from ANTH 204 with Barb).  Do you suppose that the communication style is highly dependent upon contextual knowledge that the ethnographer is not privy to?---Tom

 

 

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[Elen De Oliveira, emd10@geneseo.edu, 9/5]

 

“An Eskimo Takes a Bride”

 

1. In earlier times in areas of our society the father also chose the suitor for his daughter, often regardless of her opinions. In this story, the submissiveness of women is also evident. The difference, however lies in the honor and praise that the woman gets for fighting marriage which is looked at, strangely, as "the terrible fate of all women." It is interesting to see how although women consider themselves " the weaker sex" they do have specific powers over their male partners.

 

2. Males, from the beginning of time, have been looked at as the higher of the sexes in most cultures. Therefore it was not surprising to see that the males had control over the women who were to be their brides (although literally taking the wife kicking and screaming from her house was a bit strange). Although in charge, they did seem to be completely dependent on women to live their lives and take care of themselves.

 

3. Humor, as many other people have mentioned, seems to be the driving force behind this story. Although the information may indeed be factual, the humor in the story makes it enjoyable and interesting to read. Everything is so matter-of- factly spoken that it leaves you wanting to read on and see if what they are saying is really true. Humor is definitely key in keeping readers interested in these kinds of readings as well as films.

Do you think the power women have over men is present in all cultures? Why do you think this idea of gender exists?  Is it biological or culturallyand socially perpetuated?  Do you think the authors story was as accurate as it was entertaining?--Tom

 

(9)

[Kaitlyn Northrop, krn3@geneseo.edu, 9-5]

 

“An Eskimo Takes a Bride”
 
1.) I thought that this story was written for more entertainment purposes than to tell the reader what actually happens in an Eskimo society. It seems likely that it was based on an actual idea but then edited for humor and content.
2.) It was interesting to me that a girl’s father is the one who gets to choose the husband, and the way that it happens is so matter-of-fact. With a few simple words, an unworthy suitor knows he is expected to leave and does so accordingly.
3.) It took me by surprise that a woman fighting against what was expected of her gained her honor. In most societies, if the woman does not do what the man says or expects, she is punished rather than rewarded.
 
-END-
Good.  How do father's or family members get rid of unworthy suitors in our culture?  Do the suitors always back down as quickly as in Eskimo culture?  I think that this seemingly mutually exclusive behavior that is displayed by the Eskimo women adds to the overall depth of the culture.  Are their seemingly contradictory behavior women in our culture exhibit that you can think of?---Tom
 
 
(10)

[Geni Beninati, gb3@geneseo.edu, 9/10]

 

“An Eskimo Takes a Bride”

 

1.   The interjection of the mother on page 323 was very interesting.   It answered my questions about why this tradition is necessary.

 

2.   I found the sentence “She was a wife already and as such had the right and duty to berate her husband’s property to win the praise of others” to be very odd.  There seems to be a theme of false modesty.

 

3.  I was impressed by the way Arnaluk held her own.

 

-end-

 What was the answer to the question?  What did she say that made it clear to you?  How does this quote show false modesty?  Explain how it is odd.  What about it impressed you?  Be specific.---Tom

 

 

 

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[Larkin Kimmerer, llk5@geneseo.edu, 9-5-07]

 

“An Eskimo Takes a Bride”

 

I really liked this story--it really embodied the "happy-go-lucky" Eskimo that Flaherty was trying to portray. The whole extended ceremony of the meetings, the courting, and the kidnapping was really funny. I liked that everyone pretended like the entire thing was not a big deal, when it was clearly the biggest thing to happen in a long time. When Otonia responded to Imerasuk's proposition, posed as "No father can possibly trust him with his daughter since she would be bound to starve", it was an indirect agreement to promise his daughter to Imenak. Everything that was said or done was done indirectly, although everyone knew what was really meant.

The idea that a woman must give "sufficient proof of her fear of marriage" was unusual, but it gained Arnaluk a great deal of honor. Even though the first paragraph of the story acknowledges that the two are in love, her refusal to consent gained her a lot of status as a wife. More than anything, this story showed the nature of the Eskimo people--always laughing and joking--that Flaherty tried to show in "Nanook."

 Why do you think the proof that she afraid is honorable?  Is it part of the society to act afraid, or is it to exhibit that she truly is afraid and that she is acknowledging her fear?  Is this an accurate depiction of the culture in your mind?  Do you think they are as merry as Flaherty and this article portrays them to be?---Tom

 

 

(12)

[Dave Roberts, dlr4@geneseo.edu, 9-5-07]

 

“An Eskimo Takes a Bride”

 

1.) This seems to be more of a work of humorous fiction set within the cultural context of the Inuit, but there is probably some validity to the story's statements about the Eskimo culture and psyche.

 

2.) Is it the true sentiment and belief of the Eskimo women that men are "pitiless brutes?" Or was the bride's mother just saying that as consession to her daughter's marriage? Did the bride truly not want to be married or was it all just an act in order to gain the respect of her people?

 

3.) The value of physical strength in Eskimo culture was emphasized in this story. Marriage arrangements were viewed less from a standpoint of "Am I in love with this man?" than "Will I starve to death if I marry this guy?"

What would these aspects that support its validity be?  Provide an example.  Could the view of "pitiless brutes" be an example of their innuedo or societal banter?  Is their evidence of a woman's strength being imporant in the culture as well?---Tom

 

 

(13)

[Skye Naslund, sjn1@geneseo.edu, 9-5-07]

 

“An Eskimo takes a Bride”

 

1-The importance of modesty in Eskimo society was clearly evident. Modesty was taken far beyond anything that would be considered reasonable in our society. Being that self-critical there is just good manors, whereas here it would make most people uncomfortable.

2-Women are given no power of their own in Eskimo society. The only power they have is through their fathers. It is the father that decides who she will marry and a girl must trust her father and hope that he will know what is best for her.

3-Women are ok with being the “weaker sex.” They gain honor by putting up a good fight against their husbands but ultimately they give in and allow the husband to control them. The fight is merely symbolic, while the domination is a reality.

 

End

Why do you think that our soceity would behave in that way?  What purpose or cultural norms perpetuate our  behavior in this manner?  Is this really proof that the women are powerless?  If the women were powerless, why would the display of resistance be necessary?  Is the domination really there?  Do the men dominate the women?  Could this 'domination' in actuality be a cultural trait for survival?---Tom

 

(14)

[Dan Lilly, djl5@geneseo.edu, 9/5]

 

“An Eskimo Takes a Bride”

 

I really liked the way everything was indirectly agreed upon. Its interesting that it could be understood by everybody. It reminded me a little bit of the practice in some tribal societies of insulting the meat, except they just kept insulting each other, as well as the food. I was also surprised at the length Arnaluk went to prove her supposed resistance to marriage. Seems like bareknuckle boxing would make for an interesting honeymoon.

Do you think that the capacity of all present to understand the indirect discussion is part of cultural contextuality?  This is an interesting game that they play isn't it?  Do Americans play any such verbal games as this?  Could sarcasm be included in this?  As for the fight during the wedding...could you imagine if we did that in our society?  The wedding pictures come back and everyone is missing teeth and have black eyes...that would make for great stories to tell the grand kids:  "Well Billy, let me tell you about your Grandma...she can't bake a pie for the life of her...but her left hook could knock out a grizzly bear!"--Tom

 

(15)

[Jonathon Baker, jlb22@geneseo.edu]

 

"An Eskimo Takes a Bride"

 

1. I wonder if the tone of the Eskimos' voices is sarcastic when they talk down about their lives to show humility or if they sound genuinely disappointed.

2. Resistance to marry is seen as honorable, even if it is well known to everyone that you are in love? Wow...

3. Seeing it as bad luck to catch a walrus so early in life certainly is a different spin on things. I never thought about how doing somthing right the first time makes others expect you to be able to repeat your success at will...and since hunting has an element of luck involved that could be bad.

Provide an example fromt he reading that made you consider your first statement.  Why do you find the marraige resistance being a display of honor to be surprising? ---Tom

 

 (16)

[Rebecca Coons, rsc2@geneseo.edu, 9/6]

 

“An Eskimo Takes a Bride”

 

-I thought it was interesting how Arnaluk tried to resist the marriage to honor her family, but the second her mother intervened she gave in. That it was all a show was an interesting take on a marriage ceremony. It makes it look as though the woman has a say in the marriage, but really she acknowledges herself as being the weaker sex and her reaction to the arranged marriage is only to show that she is afraid of being married. I wonder if this is related to the significance of purity in so many cultures regarding the woman at the time of the marriage. If Arnaluk is so afraid of marriage, her purity is guaranteed and thus the honor of her family can be upheld. Even though it was aparent that the two were in love, the show of resistance still was an important part of their marriage practices. I also noticed that the new wife goes to live with her husband's family and has to be a hostess to the family which was something we talked about waaaay back in ANTH 100.

Do you think she is actually afraid of marriage or that she is only performing as society would dictate that she behaves?  I like the question you raise about purity, that would be an interesting study to try and discover if purity played a factor.  What is it called when a woman goes to live with her husband's family?  Do you remember from waaaay back? ---Tom

 

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[Laurie Sadofsky, las22@geneseo.edu, 9/9]

 

Dagmar Freuchen “An Eskimo Takes a Bride”

 

  1. It is interesting how the actual issue of marriage is not discussed directly. Comments about the weather, dogs and hunting replace the topic of marriage even though all those involved understand. It is obvious that an understanding of the culture would be necessary in this situation.
  2. In our culture today, the fight that occurred between Imenak and Arnaluk would be taken as a sign that Arnaluk does not want to get married. It seemed as though she was completely forced into the marriage against her will. Yet in Inuit culture, this was a sign of her modesty and strength and she was praised for it.
  3. I found Arnaluk’s mothers comments to be the most noteworthy part of the reading. She enjoyed the fight between the new couple and was proud of her daughter for showing her “fear of marriage which is the terrible fate of all women. Alas resistance is of no avail. All men are pitiless brutes and the masters of our weaker sex! It has been seen once more that there is no escape” (10).

-END-

Context is everything in the realm of language interactions.  If we do not understand the cultural and situational context, we will not be able to understand the discussion at hand.  How do you think that they would view our style of marriage?  Do you think that the mother is being serious about this statement? Do you think that the Eskimo actually view women as the weaker sex?---Tom

 

 (18)

Lanh Nguyen, ltn2@geneseo.edu, 9/5

 

“An Eskimo Takes a Bride”

 

It is ridiculous to relate bloodshed and defiance to marriage and honor. Why is it that in the Eskimo culture, they view bloodshed and defiance by the female to be such honorable aspects of the marriage ritual ?

 

This reading shows that in some cultures, women are considered to be the dominant sex in a relationship. Arnaluk showed her strength, courage, honor, and bravery by withstanding Imenak's attempts to carry her off to his village. Damaged clothing and scarred faces "showed the bride's honor" and is highly looked up upon by villagers and family members.

 

The most bizarre aspect of an Eskimo's marriage was not the persuit portion, rather the final result of assimilation by the wife into her new community/home. Life went on as if Arnaluk had always been the wife of Imenak. :-| How is that possible?

 

END

Your first question could be turned around on you: why do you find this behavior ridiculous?  It is all part of your cultural background.  What is normal for us is not normal for Eskimos and vice versa. You are the first person to express that a woman's struggle is actually a sign of their dominance in the culture.  I would agree with you.  The fact that she has to be dragged off kicking and screaming made me think that her strength is being tested.  What do you think?

 

 

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[Anne Kim, ak13@geneseo.edu, 9/9]

 

“An Eskimo Takes a Bride”

 

1 The story was very interesting to read. It was new to me to discover that “beauty” is viewed differently in the Eskimo culture. It is stated, “And Arnaluk had the flattest little nose—and thus the most beautiful—of all the girls in the village”. This is contrary to American culture because noses in our culture should be upright and pointy.

 

2. It is also amusing about the customs of asking for a hand in marriage; how a woman must resist before giving her hand in marriage. It is interesting to know that this brings honor to her and her family.

 

3. In my opinion, I feel like these customs may cause confusion because one might incorrectly read between the lines. However, this is probably because I am not used to the Eskimo ways.

 

END.

Why do you think the flatness of her nose portrayed her beauty?  What aspect of the culture would make this an important feature, if any?  Great job recognizing that your confusion with the customs is because you are not Eskimo.  That is cultural relativity.---Tom

 

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[Nicole Rothman, ngr1@hotmail.com 9/9]

 

"An Eskimo Takes a Bride"

 

1. I found it interesting that gossip is a cross cultural theme, I didn't realize it was such a big part of other cultures, just as it is in our culture. They are also able to gossip even though the villages are far from each other, and they don't have the technology of phones.

2. It's interesting to learn that the weddings only take place in the summer time, not because the weather is nicer, but because it's easier to get the women out of the houses.

3. The custom of the woman resisting marriage was surprising because the resistance is to such an effect that they are physically fighting, and the women are honored for how well they resist- it was also interesting to read that when the mother of the bride decided it had been enough and voiced this, the daughter stopped and subdued to the marriage.

END

 Do you think that Eskimo gossip carries with it the same negative connotations as Amercian gossip?  How would the summer allow for the women to be more easily remove from the houses?  What factors would allow for this?  What do you think the relevance of the daughter succumbing to her mother in this way is?---Tom

 

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[Brendan Ryan, bmr4@geneseo.edu, 9/12]

 

“An Eskimo Takes a Bride”

 

I liked this article because it made explicit some of the subtle, implicit facets of inuit culture which by themselves are interesting.  What I found more interesting though was that when you start to apply it to your own culture you begin to be able to see some of the little things that make your own interactions and methods for doing things unique and even sometimes downright bizarre.  When you start to look at things that way it makes it easier to see that the differences between people aren't really as vast as they first appear.  It's just that when you're part of a culture, the small things are the things that are easiest to take for granted and to look over.  For instance, the Inuit's practice insinuation and allusion to convey their desires isn't really all that alien to American interactions.  We do it all the time when the question being asked is deemed to be a delicate one.  So while it is interesting to learn about all the different parts of an alien culture like the Inuit, the overwhelming impression that I got after reading the article is that we have to be careful not to overlook the similarities in doing so. - END -

That is what I find so interesting about the traits observed in other cultures as well, their ability to make us look at our own culture in an attempt to figure it out.  Great correlations and observations.  You took a lot from this article.---Tom

 

 

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[Dilek Canakci, dc11@geneseo.edu, 9/17]

 

“An Eskimo Takes a Bride”

 

“An Eskimo Takes a Bride” was very well written and revealed great aspects of their culture.  It clarified their marriage rules and traditions, but it also reveals the expectations that the society has on both men and women.  Men must be masculine and intelligent enough to be good hunters and women must be skilled sewers.  In relation to other cultures, it is always respectfully accepted when women resist men until their marriage is finalized.  As she is kicking and fighting back to get away from him, the respect towards her and her family increases because she does not go to the person that she loves/likes in a way that shows her positive feelings towards him.  This story definitely shows the gender division among their culture and captures the perfect example to support this issue.

Could her resistance be a display of her own strength?  If she is able to hold her own, then could it be deduced that any children she would bear a man would be strong as well?  Is this display, in actuality a method of selective selection in a reproductive sense?---Tom

 

 (23)

[Jennifer Mahoney, jrm30@geneseo.edu, 9/23]

 

"An Eskimo Takes a Bride"

 

1. In this article the Eskimos take being modest to a new level.  Not only does one have to put down their own accomplishments but they are put down by everyone else.  Though the way in which they do this did seem ridiculous at times, I feel that such modesty would prevent many fights between men caused by bragging.

2. I was surprised that they called marriage "the terrible fate of all women".  This differs greatly from most societies where women are relieved to get married because it provides them with financial security.

3. When reading this article I also wondered if the women truely didn't want to get married or if she was resisting the marriage strictly for the purpose of tradition.

Do you think that their belittling of their own qualities may have other purposes?  Could it be a way of showing humility, or a method in which they keep everyone at the same level?  Is it a preventative measure against egotism and superiority?  Is the financial security really seen in that many cultures?  Do you think that this terrible fate is actually thought of as a terrible fate, or is it part of the formaility and ritual involved in the marrige?---Tom

 

 

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Alfred Dilluvio ajd12@geneseo.edu 10/20

 

"an eskimo takes a bride"

 

1.) It is interesting that women have these notions that resistance to marriage is honorable. I dont know if that is something Inuit culture engrains in young women, but maybe the reason we find it to be so strange is because that is not how it is for our own women. Women usually get married because they want to. Inuit women feel that it "is the terrible fate of all women." But we cannot view the Inuit through our cultural lens.

 

2.) I feel like this story was more for entertainment and comedic value, than for a real ethnographic account on what goes on in Inuit marriages. The things that happen seem just too far fetched.

 

3.) It really paints a picture of Inuit women as powerless. The only way they can do things is if their father sees that it is fit to do so. But once again, we might be unique in that women in our society enjoy a great deal of freedom and mobility. We might have to accept the possiblity that we are an exception to the rule

 

Do you think that the Eskimo women truly beleive marriage to be so terrible?  Are the occurences actually so far fetched or is your reaction of them as far fetched just  a part of you cultural viewpoint?  Are they truly powerless though?  What societal, cultural, and environmental determinants of the Eskimo would lead to this being the prescribed course of action?---Tom