I’m sure you’re all wondering what’s happened to the blog, I promised a Part 2 for the story of Tullauhiu’s leg and I have yet to deliver!
Truthfully, I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole of research. Although I’ve discovered some interesting tidbits, I want to wait until I’ve uncovered the full story before I present it to you here.
I had some great feedback from Part 1 of this blog post, from a variety of different sources, all of which lead me in different directions. As someone who loves a good mystery I embraced these leads like any research detective would, and this has only led me further and further down the rabbit hole. The further I went, the less I felt I could blog about it until I had the facts straight.
This story entwines archaeology, oral history, and the broken trails of early record-keeping. I think it will be a fascinating tale, and I hope I will find out how we came to acquire this artefact.
In the meantime, I try to maintain my focus on what this prosthetic leg meant for Tullauhiu. The loss of a limb would be a devastating experience, and within Inuit culture this was felt even deeper. One of my colleagues mentioned that a person with a severed limb was no longer considered whole. She sent me a chapter from her MA thesis which discussed this:
“A person with a severed limb or organ is considered of a lesser kind then other human beings. Only an angakkuq, a shaman, could survive a “disarticulation”. In fact, going through such an experience was part of the shamanic rite of passage. Angakkut stood at the articulation of the terrestrial and cosmological worlds (Saladin d’Anglure 1983, 2006a; Trott 2006).” (Cloutier-Gelinas 2010:62).
Imagine then what the gift of a prosthetic leg would have meant for Tullauhiu!
After consulting with some folks, I decided that while I sort through the details of this mystery I’d leave something for Tullahuhiu to let him know I understand the importance of this artefact. Although food was suggested, I knew our conservators would not be pleased with me if I left some jerky in the storage areas. Instead I chose something else that could be of some use, a small iron file.
2010 Through Space, Time, and Otherness: A Spatial Analysis of 15th to 20th century Labrador Inuit Settlement Patterns. Unpublished MA thesis, Memorial University, St. John’s, NL.
Saladin d’Anglure, B.
1983 Ijiqqat: voyage au pays de l’invisible inuit. Etudes/Inuit/Studies 7(1): 67-83.
2006a Reflexions anthropologiques a propos d’un 3e sexe social chez les Inuit. Conjonctures, 41 (42): 177-205.
2006 “The Gender of the Bear”. Etudes/Inuit/Studies 30(1): 89-110