We generally refer to the "historic period" as the
era in Inuit art between the arrival of the Moravian missionaries in Labrador
in the 1770s and the beginning of contemporary Inuit art marked by James
Houston's visit to Nunavik in 1948. Anthropologists call this period
contact-traditional. It was a time when Inuit culture, although still
largely traditional, had changed to some degree due to the people's
contact with whalers, traders and other outsiders. The Canadian Museum
of Civilization (CMC) has a rich collection from this period as a result
of its close association with the Geological Survey of Canada.
In the interests of authenticity and respect for the original texts,
we have retained in these pages expressions that were commonly used
during the historic period, but that are no longer used today. The
terms "Eskimo" and "Native,"
for example, have today been replaced by "Inuit."
To identify original titles assigned by the photographers and
collectors themselves, we have set these in quotation marks.