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Inuit Kinship and Naming Customs

Traditionally, Inuit do not call each other by their given names. Instead, they refer to each other using a system of kinship and family terms, known as tuqurausiit (turk-thlo-raw-seet). Calling each other by kinship terms is a way to show respect and foster closeness within families. Children were named after their elders and ancestors, ensuring a long and healthy life.

As more and more Inuit refer to each other by their English first names, rather than their traditional kinship terms, the tradition of tuqurausiit is slowly disappearing. This book presents interviews with four Inuit elders from Baffin Region, Nunavut, about how names were chosen, the importance of using kinship terms, and how the practice of tuqurausiit has changed over the years. Inuit Kinship and Naming Customs helps to preserve the knowledge of this tradition for younger generations, both Inuit and non-Inuit.