Published on August 18, 2014 by Amy
Wedding ceremonies are different in virtually every culture, with some lasting for days, some having specific rules about what you can eat and others incorporating traditional ideas about the significance of colors and flowers. The Inuit, by contrast, have set themselves apart by having no traditional wedding celebrations at all.
dna testing, dna ancestry testing, ancestry, genealogy, indian genealogy records, paternity testing, turquoise jewelry, native american jewelry
The Inuit, also known as Eskimos, live in Arctic areas of Alaska, northern Canada, Siberia and Greenland. The name Eskimo was given to them by the Abnaki Indians and means “eaters of raw flesh,” but today most prefer to be called Inuit, which simply means “people” in their language. They are considered Native Americans or First People, but they are closely related to Asia’s Mongolians and share more physical and cultural characteristics with them than with the Native Americans found in the continental United States.
Until quite recently, the Inuit didn’t have any wedding ceremonies or marriage contracts within their culture. Stories tell of grooms “kidnapping” willing brides as part of the event, but generally, the Inuit had very loose traditions surrounding marriage. The marriages were typically arranged by parents — sometimes while the bride and/or groom was just days old — and the unions might even be temporary, lasting for one or two hunting seasons. Usually, women were married as soon as they reached puberty, and the men married once they were able to hunt and provide for the family.
Although the older Inuit traditions didn’t include wedding ceremonies, the Inuit have, in recent years, started planning more traditional Christian weddings. Their populations had largely been isolated because of their location, but starting in the mid-1900s, more permanent towns were created in the Arctic for either military or mining endeavors. With the establishment of new populations and increased contact with the outer world, many Inuit were Christianized, and they now celebrate the more typical Christian weddings found throughout North America.
As part of a Christian wedding, the bride and groom normally exchange vows. Although the author of the poem below is unknown, it is attributed to the Inuit, according to GreatDreams.com.
Eskimo Love Song
You are my husband, you are my wife
My feet shall run because of you
My feet dance because of you
My heart shall beat because of you
My eyes see because of you
My mind thinks because of you
And I shall love because of you