Contact with Explorers

Explorers Introduction

Explorers began showing up in ever increasing numbers in places where little or no European contact had occurred. This was particularly true of the Central Arctic coast. Inuit here were afraid of the Europeans in their huge ships and tended to avoid them and view them from a distance. Inuit who had encountered Europeans, primarily near Repulse Bay, Igloolik and along the Baffin Island coasts sought out explorer's ships to engage in what trade they could. However, these ships, unlike whalers, were less interested in trading goods and were not well equipped for trade. They often did not have anyone on board to communicate in Inuktitut and they were intent on their destinations while the weather held. Stories of both groups are well articulated and passed down in the oral histories of Inuit from these areas.


There is also evidence of how Inuit found and made use of items left behind by these explorers and items remain on the land which Inuit obviously regarded as useless. This evidence can be found in the changing contents of the Inuit packs.

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