Puurtaq Project

Inuit have always been busy

The Inuit have always had something to do. It was normal life. The men hunted every day. The women cleaned and sewed. The children helped their mother and their grandparents around the igloo and the tent. They had to keep the igloo clear of snow. Young girls helped with the cleaning of animal skins. Free time was a rarity. Everyone pitched in when it was time to build qajaqs. Wood had to be collected; this was women’s work. Wood was scarce, because Nunavik is north of the tree line. Mostly, they picked up driftwood along the shore.

It was not normal to see someone being lazy. When night fell, the women were still sewing boots or clothing by the weak light of a qulliq. But they were used to it, so they could still see well, and no one wore glasses in those days. In the autumn, life for the Inuit grew harder, because the tents were growing colder and there was still not enough snow to build an igloo. People were constantly cold, especially in the morning, at that time of year.