Thursday, November 5, 2009

Traditional knowledge

The Inupiat culture is enriched with an extreme amount of indigenous knowledge that has existed for thousands and thousands of years. This traditional knowledge, I believe, is unique, carefully selected, and has advanced awareness of the natural world. Random is the least of which I would describe it. My understanding of traditional knowledge is based upon opinions concluded by respected hunters, elders, and members, such as Paul Ongtooguk, of the Inupiat Society itself. 
The Inupiat knowledge is filled with insights of weather conditions, the animals being hunted for, locations to hunt, and which tools to use in the different situations. "The Inupiat society was, and is, about knowing the right time to be in the right place, with the right tools, to take advantage of a temporary abundance of resources. Such a cycle of life was, and is, dependent upon a people's careful observations of the environment and their dynamic response to changes and circumstances, " as said by Paul Ongtooguk. Careful observations are deeply rooted into traditional knowledge. Observation is needed with hunting, preparing the food that has been caught, making materials and tools, and learning the right way to live defined by Inupiat values. Inupiat values are traditionally taught through stories, songs, and dances; they can also be taught through apprenticeship. (Ongtooguk)
This knowledge is very profound and nobody describes it better than Paul Ongtoouk; "It seems obvious that any culture that has survived over thousands of years must have had a successful system of education."

Ongtooguk, P. Aspects of Traditional Inupiat Education. Retrieved November 17, 2009 from  

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