From Placelessness to Place: An Ethnographer's Experience of Growing to Know Places at Sea

in Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology
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Abstract

How do we come to know the places we inhabit? What do places mean to us? What associations do we make with them? As an ethnographer and outsider I have grown, in a small way, to know places at sea along the northwest coast of Hudson Bay. In this paper I explore my growth into that knowledge, and how the sea became transformed from a blank space to a place filled with memory and association. I compare my short experience with that of local Inuit, who make use of the sea on a daily basis. Where and how do Inuit learn about places at sea? And how important are those places in their use of and movement through their marine environment?

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