Orientation Systems of the North Pacific Rim

Michael Fortescue

Orientation Systems of the North Pacific Rim
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Michael Fortescue

Distributed for Museum Tusculanum Press

138 pages | 6 3/4 x 9 3/4 | © 2011
Paper $43.00 ISBN: 9788763535687 Published July 2011 NFS UK, IRELAND, AND SCANDINAVIA
Orientation Systems of the North Pacific Rim is an extension of the author?s earlier volume Eskimo Orientation Systems (also published in the series Monographs on Greenland | Meddelelser om Grønland, Man & Society, 1988). This time it covers all the contiguous languages ? and cultures ? across the northern Pacific rim from Vancouver Island in Canada to Hokkaido in northern Japan, plus the adjacent Arctic coasts of Alaska and Chukotka. These form a testing ground for recent theories concerning the nature and classification of orientation systems and their shared ?frames of reference?, in particular the many varieties of ?landmark? systems typifying the Arctic and sub-Arctic. Despite the wide variety of languages spoken here (all of them endangered), there is much in common as regards their overlapping geographical settings and the ways in which terms for orientation within the microcosm (the house) and within the macrocosm (the surrounding environment) mesh throughout the region. This is illustrated with numerous maps and diagrams, from both coastal and inland sites. Attention is paid to ambiguities and anomalies within the systems revealed by the data, as these may be clues to pre-historic movements of the populations concerned ? from a riverine setting to the coast, from the coast to inland, or more complex successive displacements. Cultural factors over and beyond environmental determinism are discussed within this broad context.


1. Introduction
2. The Wakashan family: coast vs. inlet
3. Tsimshianic: riverine and coastal
4. Haida: an isolated “large island” system
5. Alaskan Na-Dene
6. Eskimo orientation revisited
7. Aleut: an archipelagoan system
8. Chukotian systems: nomadic vs. sedentary
9. Eskimo-Chukchi interaction at Bering Strait
10. Nomadic and riverine neighbours of the Chukotians
11. Nivkh: fishers and hunters of the lower Amur—and beyond
12. Of fire and water
13. Conclusions

Appendix 1: The languages of the survey
Appendix 2: Directional affixes and clitics in the languages of the Northwest Coast

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