The Fan Hitch   Volume 17, Number 1, December 2014

          Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog                                    
In This Issue....

From the Editor: Heading Out and Coming Home

Far Fur Country Documentary Projects Come to Fruition!

The Epidemiology of Rabies in the Canadian North

Okpik’s Dream en Route to Completion

Puvirnituq Snow Festival

Book Review: How to Build an Iglu and a Qamutiik

IMHO: The Best Laid Plans

Navigating This Site

Index of articles by subject

Index of back issues by volume number

Search The Fan Hitch

Articles to download and print

Ordering Ken MacRury's Thesis

Our comprehensive list of resources

Defining the Inuit Dog

Talk to The Fan Hitch

The Fan Hitch home page

Editor's/Publisher's Statement
Editor: Sue Hamilton
Webmaster: Mark Hamilton
The Fan Hitch, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog, is published four times a year. It is available at no cost online at:

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The Fan Hitch, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog.
Book Review….

How to Build an Iglu and a Qamutiik

by Solomon Awa
illustrated by Andrew Breithaupt

reviewed by Mark Hamilton

Here’s something I’ve experienced and I’m sure many of you have as well. You’re working on a project with people who are strangers to you. By the time the project is done you know all those people and even have some new friends. Reading Solomon Awa’s book, How to Build an Iglu and a Qamutiik is very much like that. By the time you’re done reading it you feel like you know quite a bit about the author and what he’s like. I’ll tell you this about him, Solomon Awa is a patient teacher seeking to share with others the traditional knowledge he was taught.

In his book Awa provides step-by-step instructions for completing the two projects in the book’s title. Each step is broken down into a series of simple tasks. His instructions are written in short, clear sentences that instill confidence in the reader. Each step in the instructions is accompanied by one of Andrew Beithaupt’s wonderfully detailed illustrations. On occasion, for added clarity, a step such as lashing of the napooks (cross-members) to the runners of the qamutiik has multiple illustrations…something those of us who struggle with anything more complicated than a granny knot are certain to appreciate. At the end of each project the author helpfully provides us with a page titled "Tips and Tricks." This was a personal favorite of mine.

How to Build an Iglu and a Qamutiik is published with parallel English and Inuktitut texts. It is 39 generously illustrated 7.25 inches x 9.25 inch pages. Although a short book, its information fully addresses the subject matter and you learn everything you need to know to be able to competently complete these two projects.

How to Build an Iglu and a Qamutiik, by Solomon Awa and illustrated by Andrew Breithaupt; 2013; ISBN 978-1-927095-31-7; published, printed and bound in Canada by Inuit owned Inhabit Media: POB 11125, Iqaluit, Nunavut X0A 1H0 and 146A Orchard View Blvd, Toronto, Ontario M4R 1C3. It can be purchased at online retailers such as

The book is identified as Volume 1 in the “Inuit Tools and Techniques Series”. Inhabit Media hopes to publish several more volumes in the series at some time in the future.

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