DER Documentary

Netsilik Eskimo Series

Netsilk Eskimos

A film series in 21 half-hour parts

Produced under grants from the National Science Foundation and the Ford Foundation (U.S.) and by Education Development Center, Inc. of Newton, MA, in association with the National Film Board of Canada.




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These films reveal the live reality of traditional Eskimo life before the European acculturation. The Netsilik Eskimos of the Pelly Bay region in the Canadian Arctic had long lived apart from other people and had depended entirely on the land and their own ingenuity to sustain life through the rigors of the Arctic year. The filming was done during the summers of 1963 and 1964 and in the late winter of 1965 under the ethnographic direction of Dr. Asen Balikci of the University of Montréal, assisted by Guy Mary-Rousseliere, O.M.I., both anthropologists of wide Arctic experience. Quentin Brown was Producer-Director, and Kevin Smith the Executive Producer for the series.

A minimum of cultural reconstruction was required during the filming; the Netsilik families readily agreed to live in the old way once more and showed considerable aptitude in recalling and representing the earlier ways of life.

All videos are in color, with the natural sounds of the region and of the Eskimos' activities but with no voice other than those of the Eskimos. The films were originally released in 1967. The effect of this film series is that of a field trip where students can observe Eskimo ways at their leisure and form their own impressions. The pace is unhurried; many of the Eskimo activities are shown in close detail. The films are useful for courses in economic anthropology, development of technology and North American aboriginal cultures, in general studies of the circumpolar culture area, as well as for high school and upper elementary grades. This series is a part of the widely used elementary social studies curriculum, Man: A Course of Study. Supplementary information is available in Asen Balikci's book entitled The Netsilik Eskimo, 1989, available through Waveland Press, Box 400, Prospect heights IL 60070 (phone 847-634-0081), which complements the films by providing significant background information to the entire series.

For study guides and resources related to this series, visit the Course Materials section of the (Hu)mans: A Course of Study website.

View more photos on www.flickr.com

The videos listed below are in chronological, not alphabetical order.

Films in the Netsilik Eskimo series:
At the Caribou Crossing Place
At the Autumn River Camp
At the Winter Sea Ice Camp
Jigging for Lake Trout
At the Spring Sea Ice Camp
Group Hunting on the Spring Ice
Stalking Seal on the Spring Ice
Building a Kayak
Fishing at the Stone Weir

Related Films
Alaskan Eskimo series
Through These Eyes
Being Innu



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