Traveling the Land - Unit 4 TRAVELING THE LAND BACKGROUND Traveling the Land Seasonal Travel....

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Transcript of Traveling the Land - Unit 4 TRAVELING THE LAND BACKGROUND Traveling the Land Seasonal Travel....

  • Traveling the Land

    Unit 4

    Qimmuksit

    [ Dog ]

  • OUTLINETRAVELING THE LANDUnit 4

    PolarHusky.com© NOMADS Online Classroom Expeditions Arctic Transect 2004 Curriculum1

    Overview: Imagine your life without planes, trains or automobiles...motor boats, bikes or skateboards. The Inuit lived without all of these and still managed to travel large distances to reach hunting grounds, fishing areas and other places where important resources were located. Students recreate travel by dogsled, kayak and foot while sharpening navigation, first aid and other survival skills.

    Trail Report: Report 04

    Chat Topic: Travel

    Subject Areas: Art Health Language Arts Physical Education Science Social Studies

    Skills: - brainstorming - mapping - observing - comparing/contrasting - writing - discussing - hiking - snowshoeing - canoeing - reflecting - assessing danger - evaluating - researching

    National Standards: Civics Economics English Foreign Language Geography Health Mathematics Physical Education Science Technology Theater US History World History Visual Arts

    Concepts:

    1. Traditional travel methods of the Inuit were dictated by the seasons.

    2. First aid and safety are important skills in any survival situation. 3. Navigation is considered an art and has changed drastically over

    time. 4. Fast and efficient travel is a necessary component for living in a

    global society.

    Table of Contents

    Background Information Seasonal Travel .............................................................. 2 Traveling with the Polar Huskies.......................................... 2

    On the Trail 4-1 Experience: Natural Navigation ...................................... 5 4-2 Explore: Past vs. Present.............................................. 7 4-3 Expand: Fresh Air....................................................... 9

    First Aid, Survival and Safety 4-4 Experience: Backpack First Aid Kit ................................11 4-5 Explore: Survive Alive ...............................................12 4-6 Expand: A-B-C ........................................................14

    Extension Ideas.................................................................16

    The Science of Navigation ....................................................17

    Online Chat 04 – Travel .......................................................19

    Questions for the Team .......................................................20

    Student Pages/Teacher Notes................................................21

    References and Resources....................................................28

  • BACKGROUNDTRAVELING THE LANDUnit 4

    Traveling the Land

    Seasonal Travel. Traditionally, the Inuit lived in small groups of related families. Communities were located close to important seasonal hunting grounds. Living and surviving meant traveling to find and harvest animals. Families moved inland in the fall to hunt caribou. Later, during freeze up, they fished for arctic char. Seal hunting was done in winter and spring along coastal areas and summer meant finding bird eggs.

    Unique to the Inuit was the kayak (qayaq). These were traditionally made using a frame of driftwood covered with skins from bearded seals sewn tightly together. Kayaks were used to hunt caribou on inland lakes and rivers, and seals, walrus and whales on the ocean. They were the primary means of water travel; however, when families and all their possessions were transported, an Umiaq, or large open boat, was used. These were covered with tougher walrus skin.

    The Komatik (qamutik) was also somewhat unique to the Inuit although other arctic people also used sleds during winter. Komatiks were constructed from whatever materials were available at the time, but most often out of driftwood, bones and caribou antlers. One account recalled runners constructed using frozen fish wrapped in sealskin (Peplinski). Regardless of construction, runners were covered with a moss-dirt mixture that eventually froze solid. Water was sprayed from the mouth of the person constructing the sled on top of the runners and then smoothed over with polar bear skin. The process was repeated until a thick layer of ice covered the runners. Even today, Komatiks are lashed together rather than nailed or screw. This allows the sled to bend and flex over rough ice and uneven terrain.

    Dogs were an essential part of Inuit survival. Like a spear or a knife, Inuit dogs were viewed more as a tool to be used rather than as a companion. In winter and spring, small teams of two to five dogs were attached to komatiks. Traditionally, dogs were hooked in a “fan hitch” where each dog was connected to the komatik by an individual trace at an equal distance. In summer and fall, dogs were also responsible for carrying equipment and tools to hunting and fishing grounds.

    For the Inuit traveling on the land, distance was measured in time. However, the time it took to travel to a specific location could vary depending on the season as well as the weather and food availability. Therefore, the Inuit conceptualized the land they traveled on not from an aerial perspective, like our modern maps, but rather, as a series of linear points connected by the time it took to reach them. They also created stone figures called Inukshuks to mark their routes.

    Many Inuit travel methods today reflect traditional methods and the roles of seasons and climate. People still travel on the land to hunt, fish and see new places. Spring is often a time when families leave home to travel and camp out in the ‘country’. Some people continue to use dog teams as well. In fact, by law, the hunting of polar bears can only be done by dogsled. During the winter, however, Skidoos (snowmobiles) are used as a main mode of transportation. Umiaqs and kayaks have been replaced by modern boats with outboard motors. Even cars, trucks and ATVs have found their way into the most remote communities.

    Traveling with the Polar Huskies. The Arctic Transect 2004 team members’ preferred method of travel is the dog team. They do, of course, travel in cars, trucks and planes at various times; however, while on the trail, they rely mainly on dog and people power. Team members also use modern clothing, navigational tools, food and vitamin supplements. Unlike other expeditions, Arctic Transect 2004 explorers travel on land in order to better educate the world about culture, the environment and important social issues.

    © NOMADS Online Classroom Expeditions Arctic Transect 2004 Curriculum2 PolarHusky.com

  • BACKGROUNDTRAVELING THE LANDUnit 4

    Each sled holds between 1,000 and 1,400 pounds. It is fourteen feet long and made of wood (birch and ash), except for the slippery and durable plastic runners. The sled is lashed together instead of being bolted or nailed. This gives the sled both strength and flexibility. The sleds have to be as tough as nails, even though they are not constructed with them. Sleds commonly bounce off and smash against large rocks and gigantic ice ridges.

    The sleds are vital to the success of the expedition. They hold all of the supplies needed for the Arctic Transect 2004 expedition. One sled carries the communication equipment (specially designed to survive very cold and harsh weather) that allows team members to send trail reports, participate in online chats and send videos. Another sled carries the dog harness repair kit and radio equipment. Each sled also has emergency flares, which might be needed to contact the rest of the team in the event of trouble. Personal gear, sleeping bags, tents, and dog and people food are all divided up evenly. Each of the sleds is designed to hold enough supplies for two people for at least thirty days.

    As a rule of thumb, each Polar Husky pulls one and a half times its weight and ten dogs are hooked up to one sled. Each dog averages in weight between 90-100 pounds and wears a custom-fit harness. Attached to the back of the harness is a rope called the tugline that is connected to the mainline, which is connected to the sled. Each dog is also attached to the mainline by a neckline, helping keep the dog in its place. Within the team, each dog has a specific job.

    Leaders - very smart, understand "Gee" (right) and "Chaw" (left), keep the mainline tight when the team is stopped; listen for directions from the musher.

    Point - position right behind the leader, push leaders forward if they are slacking; may be leaders some day.

    Team - dogs in the middle of the team, steady pullers; this is the place where puppies go to be trained by the seasoned veterans.

    Wheel - position directly in front of the sled, usually the biggest and strongest; dogs who have lots of enthusiasm and are all-around hard workers.

    The Arctic Transect 2004 team travels at a Polar Husky pace. The dogs run at an average of 4-5 miles per hour. The dogs can travel much faster when pulling an empty sled; however, as team members are traveling in remote areas with few re-supply points, they must deal with very heavy loads. Consequently, Arctic Transect 2004 team members need dog teams that balance speed with strength.

    © NOMADS Online Classroom Expeditions Arctic Transect 2004 Curriculum3 PolarHusky.com

  • ON THE TRAILTRAVELING THE LANDUnit 4

    On the Trail

    For the Inuit, survival depended on locating game (no matter how far away) and returning safely home. Most often, they mentally noted landmarks to help them navigate. When familiar landmarks were nowhere to be found, the Inuit used wind, snowdri