|Hunting Tradition in a Changing World: Yup’ik Lives in Alaska Today|
Mar 20, 2015
Adapting Brian Deer - Week #5
Week #5 - March 16-20, 2015
One of the great things about the Brian Deer Classification Plan is that there isn’t one strict category for each book. A book about the Cree and their land in Quebec might go under History & Culture – Cree – Quebec, or might be more suitable in Title and Land History – Quebec, with a Cree cutter code following it. Whichever one we chose would be correct, but we want to be as accurate as possible to the topic of the book as possible. Some books are very clear, but others take a little bit of investigation to pin down what they are really about.
When I came across Hunting Tradition in a Changing World: Yup’ik Lives in Alaska Today, it seemed very simple: this one would go under Nature & Ecological Knowledge – Traditional Hunting – Inuit, wouldn’t it? The back cover at first seemed to agree, explaining that the Yup’it today continue to engage in traditional hunting methods. However, “hunting” in the next paragraph was used as a metaphor for Yup’ik men and women searching for their history for the survival of their cultural identity. Would this book then be under Roles & Relationships – Indigenous Identity – Inuit? The Contents page and the Library of Congress subject headings it had been assigned did not help clarify anything for me, so I turned to a chapter and started reading. The chapter was about the non-Yup’ik author’s experience of receiving a name in the community. Anthropologists tend to squeeze their own experiences into their books, turning the focus away from a people’s own experience of their traditions and their identities to make it more of a “scientific” test of a culture that is not the author’s own.
So I decided it was best suited to Anthropology – Social and Cultural – Ethnography and Ethnology – Inuit.
Thank goodness the next book was more straightforward: Cultural Identity and Ethnicity in the Pacific was classified under Roles & Relationships – Indigenous Identity – Oceania. Easy!