AINA Logo
Publications

 

The ASTIS database cites the following 2 publication(s) by Norman Hallendy. Publications are listed from newest to oldest. Please tell us about publications that are not yet cited in ASTIS.


Takurluk : observing unusual things   /   Hallendy, N.
(Information north, v. 21, no. 3, Sept. 1995, p. 1-6, ill.)
References.
ASTIS record 36844.
Languages: English
Libraries: ACU

I came north in 1948 when I was 16 years old, working with mining exploration parties to make enough money to continue my education. My travels took me to most parts of the Arctic in both summer and winter. ... It wasn't until 1958 that I first beheld the southwest coast of Baffin Island. It was there that friendship would develop and grow in the company of Inuit older and much wiser than I. Many had recently "come off the land" to live in the settlement of Cape Dorset (Kinngait), and had left behind articles designed for living entirely off the land. They brought to Kinngait few material goods: perhaps a harpoon for seal hunting, a qulliq (stone lamp), often handed down through generations from mother to daughter, and other assorted articles of sentimental value. They also brought vivid memories of their traditional way of life and living perceptions of both the physical and metaphysical world which continued to exist just beyond the visible limits of their new settlement. ... Travelling with elders during my early years in the North exposed me in an intimate way to their joy when back on the land, and their respect for it. It was my akaunaarutiniapiga (great fortune) that they shared with me these perceptions, along with their words and expressions, now seldom used and in some cases no longer understood. I learned that it was not unmanly to be moved by the touch, the smell and the sounds of the land. This sensual communion, this unganaqtuq, is a "deep and total attachment to the land" often expressed in spiritual terms. ... It was not the metaphysical questions about reality that beguiled me at the onset, but more humble inquiries about the things I saw, but did not understand. Coming upon a particular scattering of large stones during my early travels, I asked my mentor Osuitok if they had any significance. He replied that I was not looking at a scattering of stones. I was looking at inuksuviniq--the remains of an ancient inuksuk placed there by his ancestors. Furthermore these remains were objects of veneration because they attached him to the memory of his ancestors. ... Among the things I have learned in the Arctic over time are names, words, and expressions associated with visible and nonvisible entities. With the exception of archaic and shamanic terms, gathering them was not too difficult. However, it was difficult to achieve an understanding of full meaning in some cases. ... A striking example of the power of words comes to mind when recalling a lesson given me many years ago on observing the invisible. I was not aware that we had arrived at an aglirnaqtuq, a place where strict Inuit customs were once observed. All I could see was a relatively clear space with a scattering of a few boulders. When I was taken from the place I stood, marked X on drawing a, to the place marked X on drawing b, the scattering of boulders no longer appeared random but suggested a formal setting. When I was given the taijaujait--the names, hence the meanings of the things I saw but could not recognize--a revered place and all its objects of veneration appeared before my very eyes, as seen in drawing c. ... In closing I offer these few observations. I never met an elder who understood the meaning of empirical reality, sacralization, scholarly research or the many terms used in learned papers claiming to explain the meaning of his or her beliefs. Attempting to gather Inuktitut equivalents for terms such as esoteric knowledge, ritual paraphernalia, cultural property and many others lurking in the current literature evoked blank stares, head scratching, and the inevitable "ah-choo"?, which means "who knows?". To young field workers interested in broadening their understanding of a unique culture and a unique place on this planet, I offer the advice given me by my mentor Osuitok many years ago: Begin learning about our things by first calling them by their right name. (Au)

T, U, V
Artifacts; History; Inuit; Inuit languages; Inukshuks; Shamanism; Social change; Socio-economic effects; Traditional knowledge; Traditional native spirituality

G0813
Baffin Island, Nunavut; Foxe Peninsula, Nunavut


Reflections, shades and shadows   /   Hallendy, N.
[S.l. : s.n.], 1982.
v, 45 p. ; 28 cm.
Loosely inserted in volume: Correspondents (3 leaves) - Types of Inukshuit (2 leaves) - Letter to Sui Gorup, Research Dept., Makivik Corp., Lachine, Quebec.
ASTIS record 68992.
Languages: English
Libraries: XQKNRC

I, like many others who have travelled and lived in the North, have been deeply impressed with the land and its people. No photographic record, no written words can adequately illustrate the Arctic experience. What appears to be a barren and hostile world is in fact filled with living things. The persistence of life is as awesome as the forces which shaped the land and move the oceans. One of the most intriguing things I discovered was meeting people who once lived off the land as did their ancestors for over 4,000 years. In a matter of a few years, many of the old Inuit who were born and grew up in hunting camps will be gone. Unlike many other cultures, they have no enduring artifacts to bury with them. While some of their legends, songs and stories will persist, the way they thought and felt about things and the way they viewed their world will perish. Letia Parr has tried to help me gain an insight into some of the thoughts and experiences of the old people in Cape Dorset. I could never have gathered the stories which follow without her help. It was important for Letia to understand not only what I was trying to learn from the older people, but also why I was interested in such things. I told her that I never use a tape recorder or write notes while listening to what is being said. The old adage, ask the right question and you will get the right answer, is not necessarily true. Quite often the answer that is given can be in response to the questions in the story-teller's mind - being, what is it that he would like to hear? I explained that we must be sure that we understand what is being said. Another very important point was that Letia was socially acceptable to the various people with whom I wanted to speak. I cannot stress the importance of this strongly enough. The best interpreter in the community would be severely handicapped if, for example, the person with whom you were talking disliked some member of the interpreter's family. In one case, I almost blundered into a situation where I was about to have a conversation with an old man who as a youth was a camp-slave to the father of the interpreter who was with me at the time. It is also very important to know or have feeling for when it is time to back off from a line of inquiry. The person with whom you are speaking may not know what is being sought or, privately, consider the conversation drifting into personal matters which are none of your business. I believe that the approach to having conversations is critical to what transpires during them. I begin by explaining what it is that I am seeking and why I am interested in the subject. There are times when I say to the person that I have heard such-and-such from so-and-so and would like to know more about the subject and ask the person if they could help me. A question that is often asked of me is "what will you do with what I tell you?" To this, I reply that I will never repeat the things you want me to keep to myself. The things which can be repeated to others will be written down as I understand them, and that is why I ask you to be patient with me during our conversation. I begin by explaining to my interpreter and the person with whom we are about to speak that we will not interrupt each other's thoughts by translation. I will say whatever I have to say, and the interpreter will then speak to me, saying "That is what I understand you to mean." Any further articulation can be made at that time, before the question or thoughts are transmitted to the listener. The same holds true for the person who is speaking to me. We have often spoken for long periods without breaks in conversation for translation. The thing we often say to one another is "I understand you to mean .... Is that so?" The reply is either yes, that is so, or no, you don't really understand what I have said, and I will try to explain it in a different way, but the meaning will remain the same. "Reflections, Shades and Shadows" is a collection of conversations with some of the elders of Cape Dorset, Pangnirtung, Holman Island and Pelly Bay. (Au)

T, N, K
Adornment; Caribou; Culture (Anthropology); Customs; Dentition; Elders; Equipment and supplies; Ethics; Hunting; Inuit; Inukshuks; Legends; Mental health and well-being; Psychology; Research; Shamanism; Social interaction; Social sciences; Social surveys; Traditional knowledge; Traditional native spirituality; Whaling

G0813, G0812
Cape Dorset (Settlement), Nunavut; Kugaaruk, Nunavut; Pangnirtung, Nunavut; Ulukhaktok, N.W.T.


Arctic Institute of North America. Records from this database may be used freely for research and educational purposes, but may not be used to create databases or publications for distribution outside your own organization without prior permission from ASTIS.