Upside Down: Seasons Among the Nunamiut

Margaret B. Blackman, Author University of Nebraska Press $27.95 (206p) ISBN 978-0-8032-1335-7
Evocative and introspective, the essays in this remarkable collection recall an anthropologist's visits to northern Alaska's Anaktuvuk Pass: a small Native American settlement""cradled by the gray shale mountains that rise around it, verdant in the moment of summer, pristinely white in the deep freeze of winter."" Over the past two decades, Blackman traveled to the Pass about a dozen times to conduct oral history and research projects among the Nunamiut Eskimos. In this book, however, she leaves the""impersonal, omniscient voice"" of academics behind in order to give a more intimate view of her experiences with Anaktuvuk and its residents. Her prose is correspondingly more fluid and, on occasion, even refreshingly poetic. Some essays, like""Picking Berries"" and""Masks,"" discuss Nunamiut customs; others, like""Remembering Susie Paneak,"" pay tribute to particular individuals. Throughout the volume, Blackman draws comparisons between the lives of the Nunamiut and her own life in New York. For example, Nunamiut diets are affected by""fluctuations in the size of the western arctic caribou herd""--even their dogs are trained to withstand hunger, Blackman remarks--while her own diet in New York is so steady that her daughter, Meryn, can toss her home-packed school lunch in the wastebasket in a gesture of teenage rebellion. Judiciously placed observations like these help establish a context for Blackman's fieldwork, and allow readers to sympathize not only with the Nunamiut Eskimos, but also with the diligent anthropologist who wanted to learn more about them.
Reviewed on: 03/01/2004
Release date: 03/01/2004
Show other formats
FORMATS
Open Ebook - 978-1-280-37427-2
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.