vrijdag 29 juni 2012

Eskimo Psychogeography IV


Tom Lowenstein, anthropologist and poet, writes about the "Inupiaq grasp of encircling space" in his wonderful book "Ancient Land: Sacred Whale" (1993). The map is not all too good in the original source but click to enlarge and you can make out more of the detail. In combination with the quote below you will understand why this makes addition four to the Eskimo Psychogeography series.  
In 1892, a year after he arrived in Tikigaq, the missionary John Driggs made an influenntial convert. This was the shaman Anaqulutuq, a shaman, a great dancer and, that rare thing for Inuit, completely bald. Anaqulutuq was also a draughtsman, and for Dr Driggs, he drew the outline map shown here. Like all Tikigaq men the shaman was a hunter. To hunt is to travel; and to travel is to measure distance and calculate trajectories of motion over moving surfaces. Travel in the Arctic, where the ice, light and wind conditions are in constant change, depends on a super-sharp awareness of surrounding space and comprehension of the interplay of force and angle. Thus the faculty that could calculate the direction of harpoon strike from shifting ice at a seal moving against the current in twilight in a cross-wind could, with little mental hardship, construct for itself mental maps of varied and complex geographic features.  
SOURCE

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