Evaluation of habitual activities among two Alaskan Eskimo populations based on musculoskeletal stress markers

Authors

  • Susan L. Steen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Anthropology, 13–15 Tory, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H4, Canada
    • Department of Anthropology, 13–15 Tory, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H4, Canada
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  • Robert W. Lane

    1. Department of Anthropology, PO Box 757720, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775, USA
    Current affiliation:
    1. Currently at the University of Alberta
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Abstract

The main objective of this study is to present inter- and intra-population similarities and differences based on musculoskeletal stress marker (MSM) data collected from two Alaskan Eskimo skeletal series, Golovin Bay and Nunivak Island. MSM data were collected from 104 individuals from Golovin Bay (males=47, females=57) and 134 from Nunivak Island (males=64, females=70). These two skeletal populations were analyzed using a visual reference system for recording MSMs on the skull, and upper and lower extremities. Results show that females of Golovin utilized certain muscles of mastication (e.g., pterygoid medialis and masseter) more than the females of Nunivak. Although it is widely held that Eskimo females chewed skins in the manufacture of footwear, ethnographic accounts indicate that Nunivak women did not routinely chew skins. This may account for the differences in craniofacial muscle use between the two groups. Other similarities and differences in MSM expression may be due in large part to unique subsistence strategies and habitual daily activities as practiced by Golovin Bay and Nunivak Island Eskimos. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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