Disc number


Disc number

Disc numbers or ujamiit[1] in the Inuit language were used by the Government of Canada in lieu of surnames for the Inuit and were similar to dog-tags. The discs were small, made of leather, had a string attached and were supposed to be worn around the neck.

Prior to the arrival of European customs, the Inuit had no need of family names and children were given names by the elders. However, by the 1940s the record keeping requirements of outside entities such as the missions, traders and the government brought about change. In response to the government's needs they decided on the disc number system.

Disc

The discs were stamped with "Eskimo Identification Canada" around the edge and the crown in the middle. Just below the crown was the number.[2] The number was broken down into several parts, "E" for Inuit living east of Gjoa Haven and "W" for those in the west. This would be followed by a one or two digit number that indicated the area the person was from. The last set of numbers would identify the individual.[3] The discs were used in the Northwest Territories (which, at the time, included present-day Nunavut) from 1941 until 1978.[1]

Thus a young woman who was known to her relatives as "Lutaaq, Pilitaq, Palluq, or Inusiq" and had been baptised as "Annie" was under this system to become Annie E7-121.[2]

Today carvings and prints produced by Inuit artists may be seen with the disc number on them. The Inuit singer Lucie Idlout recorded a CD called E5-770, My Mother's Name in 2005.[4] For the most part Inuit today do not miss the passing of the numbers but at least one person, Zebedee Nungak, disagrees.[1]

Project Surname

In 1965 Abe Okpik was appointed to sit on the Northwest Territories Council, its first Inuk. In 1968 Simonie Michael, became the council's first elected Inuk and he declared his intention to not be known by his disc number. The Government of the NWT decided to replace the disc numbers with names and Abe Okpik was appointed to Project Surname. From 1968 - 1971 Okpik toured the NWT and northern Quebec (Nunavik) recording the preferences of people. He was to be later given the Order of Canada in part because of his work with the surnames.[5]

References

  1. ^ a b c E9-1956 by Zebedee Nungak in Inuktitut Magazine #88 2000
  2. ^ a b What's In A Name? by Ann Meekitjuk Hanson
  3. ^ katilvik.com Glossary
  4. ^ CBC - Sounds Like Canada
  5. ^ Arctic residents say farewell to the humble name-giver

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Disc-Overy — Studio album by Tinie Tempah Released 1 October 2010 …   Wikipedia

  • Number Ones (Janet Jackson album) — Number Ones / The Best Greatest hits album by Janet Jackson Released November 17, 2009 (see …   Wikipedia

  • Disc golf — Highest governing body Professional Disc Golf Association Registered players 52000+ total, 12859 current[1] …   Wikipedia

  • Number Ones (ABBA album) — Number Ones Greatest hits album by ABBA Released November 20, 2006 …   Wikipedia

  • Disc Golf Association — (DGA) is a company founded in 1976 by Ed Headrick and located in Aromas, California. They are a manufacturer of disc golf baskets for the sports of Disc Golf. The company does not have any retail stores, but rather sells disc golf courses to park …   Wikipedia

  • Disc (magazine) — Disc was a weekly British popular music magazine, published between 1958 and 1975, when it was incorporated into Record Mirror. It was also known for periods as Disc Weekly (1964–1966) and Disc and Music Echo (1966–1972). It first published on 8… …   Wikipedia

  • Number 96 (TV series) — Number 96 Title card from a 1975 episode of Number 96. Where the cliff hanger resolution that followed this shot at the start of the episode took place in one of the building s flats, the shot of the building would zoom in on that flat as the… …   Wikipedia

  • Disc brake — Close up of a disc brake on a car On automobiles, disc brakes are often located with …   Wikipedia

  • Disc Filing System — DFS Developer Acorn Computers Full name Disc Filing System Introduced 1982 (Acorn MOS) Partition identifier None Structures Directory contents Single catalogue of 31 fi …   Wikipedia

  • Disc parking — This article is about reusable discs. For single use discs, see coupon parking. European standard parking disc Disc parking is a system of allowing time restricted free parking through display of a parking disc or clock disc showing the time at… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.