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Bringing Home Animals, 2nd edition

Mistissini Hunters of Northern Quebec

By Adrian Tanner
Categories: Indigenous Studies, Anthropology/ethnography, Policy And Politics, Sociology
Series: Social and Economic Studies
Series Number: 75
Paperback : 9781894725149, 368 pages, November 2014

Table of contents

Figures, Maps, and Tables 8
Foreword 10

Introduction to the Second Edition 13

Acknowledgements for the Second Edition 38

Original Preface 40

A Note on the Orthography of Iinuu/Iiyuu Words 50

Chapter 1: Mistissini 53

Chapter 2: The Ecology of Hunting 83

Chapter 3: The Process of Production 107

Chapter 4: The Organization of Social Space 136

Chapter 5: The Ritualization of Space 153

Chapter 6: Rites of Hunting Divination 176

Chapter 7: Ritual Relations Between Hunters and
Game Animals Killed 209

Chapter 8: Respect for the Animals Killed 231

Chapter 9: Mistissini Land Tenure 262

Chapter 10: Conclusion 288

Afterword: Can Anthropology Be Useful? 303

Appendix A: Photographs 321

Appendix B: Glossary of Iinuu Terms 345

Bibliography 349

Index 361

The ground-breaking anthropological study of the intricate lives of Mistissini Iinuu (Cree) hunters in Northern Quebec.


  • Short-listed, Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing 2015


Bringing Home Animals is an ethnography detailing what the author learned as a result of travelling and working with Iinuu (Cree) hunters and their families in Northern Quebec. The study was conducted from 1969–1971, and is a rich example of subsistence hunting in an Indigenous territory. The second edition revisits and updates contextual material following the construction of the James Bay hydroelectric project in the region, while preserving the original argument. Bringing Home Animals explores the way of life of the Mistissini Iinuu hunters, their understanding of and adaptation to the ecology of their hunting grounds, their subsistence-based economy and its relation to market production, their land tenure system, the impact of external agencies on them, and their rich spiritual and symbolic life, particularly the rituals that show respect for the animals before, during, and following the hunt.


“. .. breaks new ground. ”

- Edward S. Rogers, American Ethnologist

“A first-rate study. ..thought-provoking and provocative. ”

- Charles A. Bishop

“[Tanner’s] lively writing provides the reader with a very rewarding experience. ..”

- Claude Lévi-Strauss