Resource Details

Identifier:IN000K2012
Title Kinikmi sigum qanuq ilitaavut (Wales Inupiaq Sea Ice Dictionary)
Description:In the Alaskan community of Kingigin (population 165), also known as Wales, more than seventy-five indigenous terms for types of sea ice and ice conditions were recorded in 2007–2008 in the local Kingikmiut dialect of the Inupiaq language. In addition, over 30 terms were collected for various biological and cultural realities associated with the sea ice and ice hunting. Winton Weaypuk, Jr., a boat captain and a speaker of the Kingikmiut dialect, led the effort to collect local ice terms, documented elders’ knowledge about ice, and took over 100 photos of various ice-related activities in the Wales area, as illustrations to the dictionary. Collecting indigenous words for sea ice in Wales was a part of the SIKU (Sea Ice Knowledge and Use) international project. For the SIKU project, over 30 local ice vocabularies were collected in indigenous communities in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Chukotka, Russia. The Wales Inupiaq Sea Ice Dictionary is the first to be published in full, with comments and illustrations. Special sections in the book written by project participants (Weyapuk, Krupnik, Anungazuk, Eicken, and Druckenmiller) tell how the Kingikmiut ice ‘dictionary’ was prepared; how indigenous sea ice nomenclatures can be analyzed, and what we learned from compiling indigenous terms for ice in Wales, Alaska and beyond. The book is also illustrated by historical black-and-white photographs taken in Wales in 1922 by biologist Alfred M. Bailey, now in the collection of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Bailey’s photos with comments by today’s experts show how the environment and people’s life in Wales have changed over the past eighty years. Traditional words for ice, illustrations of local ice forms, Inupiaq explanations and English translations of ice types and conditions presented in the book will be of help to Wales students, educators, young hunters, so that the knowledge possessed by elders is preserved for future generations. Inupiaq knowledge about sea ice environment is also an insightful window to polar scientists, students, educators, and media specialists into indigenous people’s vision of Arctic climate change.
Citation Arctic Studies Center, 2012
Contributors Weyapuk, Winton, Jr. (compiler)
Krupnik, I. I. (compiler)
Date2012
Type Text
Subject Language(s) Inupiaq
LingType lexicon


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