Arctic Heterotopias: Qariyit as Queer Spaces In Precontact Inuit Communities

Author(s): Peter Whitridge

Year: 2018


Gender and landscape have each proved to be such powerful archaeological tropes that thinking them together seems sure to yield interesting results. In the precontact Inuit world, gender and related dimensions of embodiment were key axes of spatial practice and place-based identification. Women’s and men’s activities were differently distributed across the landscape – in general, women occupying and managing domestic and near-community spaces, and men employing watercraft and dogs to operate within a wider landscape - but these varied and evolved over the lifecourse along with gendered identities themselves. Angakkuit (shamans) extended this range in every direction, to encompass ethereal and submarine realms and ambiguously queer human and nonhuman identities. The qariyit (ceremonial structures) that were the principal sites of their community performances and the points of departure for otherworldly travels constituted the heterotopic non-centers of large winter villages.

Cite this Record

Arctic Heterotopias: Qariyit as Queer Spaces In Precontact Inuit Communities. Peter Whitridge. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444709)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -169.453; min lat: 50.513 ; max long: -49.043; max lat: 72.712 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20458