Portraits of Alaskan Inuit captured by the Lomen Bros studio, 1900-1930

These photographs, taken by the Lowman family, capture the indigenous Yupik Eskimos and prophets of the Gold Rush in Alaska during the early decades of the 20th century.

The term "Eskimo" is used for Arctic Alaskans, including the Inupiak, Yupik, and Alutiq peoples in Alaska. Linguists now believe that "Eskimo" is derived from an Ojibwa word meaning "net snowshoes."

In Canada the term "Inuit" is used instead of "Eskimo", but most Alaskans use the name "Eskimo", especially because "Inuit" refers only to the Inupiat of northern Alaska, the Inuit of Canada, and the Kalalit of Greenland. Refers. And it is not a word in the Yupik languages ​​of Alaska and Siberia.

Nowadays, in Canada and Greenland, Eskimos are widely considered derogatory and offensive, and have been replaced overall by the Inuit. The preferred term is Inuit in the Central Arctic of Canada, and Inuit in the Eastern Canadian Arctic. The language is often referred to as Inuktitut, although other local designations are also used.

According to various studies, the Eskimo people have lived in the Bering Strait region as an identifiable culture for at least 4,000 to 6,000 years.

Culturally, traditional Inuit life was fully adapted to an extremely cold ice- and icy environment in which vegetable foods were almost non-existent, trees were scarce, and caribou, seals, walruses, and various whales, seabirds, and fish were the main food source.

The Inuit used harpoons to kill seals, which they hunted either on ice or by kayak – from a man's vessels covered with skin. Whales were hunted using a large boat called the Umiak (Umiak or Umiyat).

In the summer most Inuit families hunted caribou and other land animals with a bow and arrow. Dogsleds were the original means of transportation on land. Inuit clothing was made from caribou fur, which provided protection from the extreme cold.

Most Inuit are either in ice-block houses commonly referred to as igloos (igloos or igluvigax depending on the dialect) or in semi-subterranean houses built of stone or sod on wooden or whalebone structures.

In the summer many Inuit lived in tents made of animal skin. Their basic social and economic unit was the nuclear family, and their belief system was animistic.

The Lowman family was originally from Minnesota and in 1903 they relocated to Nome, Alaska. Within a few years, the family owned a clothing store, pharmacy, stationery store, meatpacking, shipping company, a local photography studio, and the Lowman Reindeer Corporation.

The Lowmans regularly purchased the Lowman Brothers Company to reissue negatives of several other photographers under the studio name. His photographs focused on a variety of topics related to Phnom and the surrounding areas, including Phnom mining operations, businesses in Phnom, dog teams, ships and boats, aviation, the prospect of transient gold miners making their claims, and the whole of Alaska and Canada. includes indigenous communities.

In September 1934, a fire destroyed his studio with 25,000–30,000 negatives and 50,000 commercial prints. Around 3,000 negatives were rescued.

The Lowman family invested in the purchase of reindeer herds, and between 1920–1929, they established a vast structure of slaughterhouses and processing facilities, still achieving success with the crossbreeding of caribou and reindeer.

They then dominated the export market of reindeer meat and skins to the United States, making competition inevitable for Inuit small farmers.

However, the Lowman meatpacking business collapsed in 1937 when Congress mandated the return of all Alaska reindeer herds under the control of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

1 comment:

Powered by Blogger.