ANTH 3690 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Franz Boas, Baffin Island

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(cid:862)eski(cid:373)o(cid:863) i(cid:374) the ca(cid:374)adia(cid:374) ar(cid:272)ti(cid:272: came to do two things: map the uncharted coastline, and indulge his new interest; the study of culture. The work he did up there changed the direction of his own life and the way we think of cultures and ourselves: collect material on these people and study the language and social patterns of the eskimo. While charting the coastline on baffin islands he also tried to study the different groups of eskimo found there. Diaries provided an insight on the traditions and hardships boas had to deal with. Detailed knowledge of the landscape intrigued him: eskimos maps were so good that every point could be recognized, exhibit a thorough knowledge of the area around their culture (directions and cardinal points) Boas was told the eskimo were determined by their environment but he found the opposite: saw how much they depended on the environment but also how much he depended on them.

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