Event Details

Jan Peter Laurens Loovers to present paper on Dog-Craft

Loovers dog-craft
08 - 15 October 2015

Jan Peter Laurens Loovers will present a paper on Dog-Craft at the University of Aberdeen Department of Anthropology Seminar on 8 October 2015 from 3-5pm

Anthropology Seminar Series 
8 October 2015, 3-5pm
University of Aberdeen, Edward Wright F61

Title: Dog-craft: A history of Gwich’in and dogs in the Canadian North


In this paper I propose the notion of dog-craft and explore the expansion of the capital markets in the circumpolar North. I use the term dog-craft generically for those crafts, or things, that are related to dogs. Things that dogs carry or pull and things that they wear are included. This is pretty straightforward, for example a dog-blanket can easily be considered as a dog-craft. I want to take it one step further, however, and argue that dogs themselves have been crafted. Breeding and feeding dogs in particular ways alters the physical constitution of the dog. Through the fur trade and mineral extractions, indigenous people incorporated and improvised the use of dog teams for trapping, fishing, hunting, and gathering. This paper focuses on the Gwich’in people in the northwestern corner of Canada. I elaborate on the history of crafts related to dogs as well as to the dog themselves. In most recent times, following the disappearance of a particular type of dog – the working dog – these crafts have vanished for the greater part.


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