An examination of the impact of the commercial use of muskox underwool upon Native Alaskan villagers
AbstractThe Musk Ox Producers' Co-operative was begun in 1969 under the «Musk Ox Project», a project aimed at domesticating muskoxen and harvesting their underwool («qiviut»), which would then be handknit into garments by Native Alaskan villagers. The aim of the co-op was to provide the cash income for the villagers without disturbing the villager lifestyle. It was reasoned that by using an Arctic animal to benefit an Arctic people, the villagers could gain income without losing their Native heritage and lifestyle. By examining the past and present status of the Co-operative we can evaluate the impact that it has had on the villagers compared to these original objectives.
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