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Beyond the pale: Inuit resistance to the Moravian reconstruction of northern Labrador

Author(s): Peter Whitridge

Year: 2014

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Moravian missionaries in central and northern Labrador won growing numbers of Inuit converts during the nineteenth century, as they pursued a concerted program of economic, social and cultural reorganization aimed at establishing stable mission communities that were tightly articulated with the wider Moravian network. Inuit who declined to convert to Christianity came to be marked as dangerous hold outs, ‘heathens’ who represented a nagging moral threat to the missionary project. Archaeologically, Inuit negotiation of changing identities during this period can be seen in the layout of households and settlements. The appearance at some northern communities of radial house clusters in which dwellings backed onto each other, as distinct from groups of houses with parallel entrance tunnels, large communal houses, and isolated dwellings, is one expression of this emergent logic of resistance and cultural difference.

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Beyond the pale: Inuit resistance to the Moravian reconstruction of northern Labrador. Peter Whitridge. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437210)

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-66,05

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America