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Good Reads  Natural History  Biography, Exploration & Travel

Never in Anger Portrait of an Eskimo Family

By: Jean L Briggs(Author)
383 pages, 4 plates with b/w photos; 5 b/w illustrations, 1 b/w map
Never in Anger
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  • Never in Anger ISBN: 9780674608283 Paperback Jul 1974 Usually dispatched within 4 days
Price: £28.95
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

In the summer of 1963, anthropologist Jean Briggs journeyed to the Canadian Northwest Territories (now Nunavut) to begin a seventeen-month field study of the Utku, a small group of Inuit First Nations people who live at the mouth of the Back River, northwest of Hudson Bay. Living with a family as their "adopted" daughter – sharing their iglu during the winter and pitching her tent next to theirs in the summer – Briggs observed the emotional patterns of the Utku in the context of their daily life.

In this perceptive and highly enjoyable volume the author presents a behavioral description of the Utku through a series of vignettes of individuals interacting with members of their family and with their neighbors. Finding herself at times the object of instruction, she describes the training of the child toward achievement of the proper adult personality and the handling of deviations from this desired behavior.


Spelling and Pronunciation Note
    1. The Study
    2. The Setting
    3. Arrival
    4. The Seasons
    5. Nomadism
    6. The Society
I. Inuttiaq
    1. Dominance and Intensity
    2. Religious Leader: Assertiveness
    3. Father to Kapluna: Protective Dominance
    4. Father to His Own Children: Affection
II. Family Life: Expressions of Closeness
    1. The Inner Circle: Intimacy and Informality
    2. Men and Women: The Warmth and Luxury of Male Dominance
III. Inuttiaq’s Children
    1. Saarak: Temper and Reason in Child Nature
    2. Saarak’s Charm: Spontaneity; The Expression of Affection toward Small Children
    3. Raigili’s Charm: Mildness
    4. Raigili and Her Family: The Expression of Affection toward Older Children
    5. The Lives of Children: Sibling Relationships
    6. Raigili and Saarak: Sibling Friction
    7. Raigili’s Troubles: Hostility in Older Children
IV. Two Kin Groups: Expressions of Separateness and Hostility
V. Nilak’s Family
    1. Unpleasant People: Utku Dislike of Volatility
    2. Outsiders All: My Ambivalence toward the Disliked
    3. Loneliness and Isolation
    4. Stinginess and Greed
    5. Ostracism and Confrontation
VI. Kapluna Daughter
    1. Stranger and Guest: Graciousness
    2. Family Living: Covert Conflicts
    3. Recalcitrant Child: Open Conflict and Attempts to Educate
    4. The Fishermen: Crisis
    5. Persona Non Grata: Ostracism
    6. A Vicious Circle: Depression and Hostility
    7. Reconciliation
    1. Emotion Concepts
        Affection: unga; niviuq; aqaq; iva; huqu; naklik
        Kindness and Gratitude: hatuq; quya
        Happiness: quvia
        Ill Temper and Jealousy: huaq; ningaq; qiquq; urulu; piyuma; tuhuu; hujuujaq
        Humor: tiphi; takhaungngittuq
        Fear: kappia; iqhi; ilira; tupak
        Anxiety: huqu; ujjiq
        Shyness: kanngu
        Loneliness: hujuujaq; pai; tumak
        Evaluative Words: ihluaq; ihluit; naamak; pittau; pittiaq
        Reason: ihuma; nutaraqpaluktuq; ayuq
    2. Table of Seasonal Activities
    3. Composition of Families
    1. Eskimo Terms Other than Emotion Terms
    2. Emotion Terms
    1. The Canadian Arctic
    2. The Annual Migration Area of the Utkuhikhalingmiut: Campsites
Diagram: Inuttiaq’s Tent and Iglu

Customer Reviews


Jean L. Briggs is Professor Emerita of Anthropology at Memorial University.

By: Jean L Briggs(Author)
383 pages, 4 plates with b/w photos; 5 b/w illustrations, 1 b/w map
Media reviews

"Absorbingly and affectingly written. A remarkable book [...] one that bids to become an anthropological classic."
Publishers' Weekly

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