Arctic Cultural Adaptations

Joesph Hutchins Colton, 1873.

Joesph Hutchins Colton, 1873.

Map Legend

Yellow – Ashton – Russian Orthodox in Alaska

Red – Danielle – Alaska Native Religion and Well-being

Orange – Jana – Alaska Natives and Alcohol Use

Blue – Josie – Religious Traditions of the Scandinavian Arctic

Green – Paul – Tlingit Cultural Adaptations

The Arctic Cultural Adaptations group explores the cultures and religions of the vast circumpolar Arctic region. We will discover how European contact has predisposed changes within each chosen culture and compare and contrast the various changes within indigenous cultures both pre- and post- contact by Europeans. Our group members explore changes by the way of environment, health, healing, magic, and spirituality. By using the strategy of comparison, each page will demonstrate how each culture or religion has adapted to the influences of European colonialists and what lasting effects these adaptations have had on the identity of each population and their future generations.

The process of colonization is ongoing throughout the Arctic region and throughout the world. Indigenous cultures are forced to negotiate with the culture of the powerful majority, and these native communities must come to understand themselves within a landscape that has both spiritually and physically transformed from what they originally understood. By understanding this process of adaptation, our group, as scholars, can better understand the effects of enculturation and colonialism.

Postcolonialism focuses on changes that take place after a colonial relationship is dissolved between distinct populations, in which the colonizer justified its self-ascribed superiority over the colonized population. Postcolonialism does not mean that the effects of the colonial era automatically cease to exist. Through the anthropological study of Postcolonialism, we can examine the long-lasting legacies of colonialism such as economic and social disadvantages, loss of land, ethnocide, and loss of cultural identify.

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