Lectures and Performances:
Norman Hallendy is an engaging speaker who is able to share his love of the north and and the meaning of those mysterious stone figures called inuksuit revealed to him by Inuit Elders, with whom he has had an unbroken relationship for over 30 years. Mr. Hallendy’s deep interest in how the traditional Inuit lived and perceived their environment, is central to his work. He began by conducting community based research with the Elders who once lived in the traditional hunting camps in southwest Baffin. He not only gained their confidence and respect but learned how to observe and see things around him in ways unfamiliar to many of us. He gathered ancient Inuit words and expressions and with them, developed semantic fields which he often uses to help define traditional perceptions and concepts of the material and spiritual world of his mentors.
He has lectured at Cambridge, Oxford and in several other universities. His work has drawn the attention of such notable institutions and learned societies as World Archaeological Congress, the American Anthropological Society, the Arctic Institute of North America, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Smithsonian and so on. Mr. Hallendy is known affectionately as AH-PEER-SUK-TI which means “ the inquisitive one” by his Inuit friends in southwest Baffin. He may be contacted at email@example.com
NUNANARA : The land at the centre of my heart
A beautifully illustrated journey across space and time in Canada's Arctic by Norman Hallendy. See the forces that shaped this great landscape. Witness the traces of comings and goings of a people who lived in the Arctic for over 4000 years. Enjoy this rare glimpse into one of the most fascinating places on earth and one of the youngest ecosystems
Inuksuit: Silent Messengers of the Arctic
A remarkable illustrated lecture. Be taken on a journey into the vast reaches of the Arctic. See places of power and objects of veneration. Learn about those mysterious stone figures called Inuksuit
Inuksuit, figures made of stone are among the many important objects created by the first people known to have inhabited the Arctic portions of Alaska, Arctic Canada, and Greenland. The term inuksuk (the singular of inuksuit) means to act in the capacity of a human.' It is an extension of inuk meaning a human being.
These stone figures were placed on the temporal and spiritual landscapes. Among many practical functions, they were employed as hunting and navigation aids, coordination points, indicators, and message centers. In addition to their earthly functions, certain inuksuk-like figures had spiritual connotations, and were objects of veneration, often marking the threshold of the spiritual landscape of the Inummariit the people who knew how to survive on the land living in a traditional way.
Sakka: Observing the Invisible
Some Inummariit, the Inuit who lived in the traditional manner, believed that Nuna, the earth, possessed Inua, a life force. They perceived the earth as both a place and a living being. The expression Sarqarittukuurgunga "I travel through places of vast horizons" is metaphorical. It applies to journeys made to unusual places on the temporal landscape, and to traverses through a metaphysical world.
This illuminated presentation, Observing the Invisible, is based on conversations with Elders in several Arctic communities. It draws on many Inuktitut words and expressions whose intended meanings verbalize a number of spiritual entities. We see a hauntingly beautiful landscape with its places of power and objects of veneration.
The Last Traditional Inuit Trial in Southwest Baffin Island
On August 1, 1991 an Elder from Cape Dorset, on Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, revealed a megalithic structure in the shape of circle of large, upright stones on the coast of southwest Baffin. He called the structure and the place Akitsiraqvik, and described it as a place where a powerful council met and exercised justice before the arrival of the Qallunaat - the white men.
Subsequently, another Elder living in Cape Dorset revealed an astonishing account of the last known traditional trial in southwest Baffin, which he said occurred in August 1924. Normally, the trial would have been held at Akitsiraqvik, but an unusual sense of urgency about an alleged murder, and the expected arrival of a Hudson's Bay Company supply ship at Parketuk, about nine kilometers northeast of Cape Dorset, prompted the council to hold the trial at Parketuk. These two events give us a rare glimpse into the exercise of power and resolution of conflict by the people known as the Sikusiilarmiut in traditional times.
Transformations is a penetrating look into the realm of perception of physical and metaphysical world of the Inuit who once lived in the traditional manner. The Inuktitut word ablautseneq was one of the many powerful words. Ablautseneq - implies- transformation, metamorphosis, mutation, change. From the earliest known time, the process of change in both the physical and metaphysical world was a process observed - often experienced and certainly embedded in the Inuit psyche. Many of their earliest known legends are based on the process of change in order to explain how the earth was formed, how animals and humans separated from one another and how they could revert to their primal form. Central to the Angakok's (shaman) power was his or her ability to not only change their shape into some familiar animal or terrible beast but to change another person's perception of reality in both harmful and beneficial ways.
The Shadow Makers
First performed at the Smithsonian Institution, "Shadow Makers" is a performance rather than a lecture which ventures into the world of shamanism. It is entirely based on experiences with Inuit elders in southwest Baffin and in the Keewatin.
Lectures and Perfomances given by Norman Hallendy