Canadian Inuit in 16th Century European Illustrations
When the 'new' world across the Atlantic began to appear and take shape on the (mental) maps of Europeans in the 16th century, illustrations depicting Indians (as imagined by Europeans) had a significant impact on what and how people in the 'old' world thought of the Americas and its inhabitants. Lately, in historical research about the Americas, there has been a strong interest in these illustrations; they are now recognized as a major element in information circulation about the new found lands. Most of these documents have, in the past, already been of interest to historians or ethnologists, but certain aspects, such as the means of the circulation of iconographic material or its importance in certain communicational contexts, have been rather neglected. The following analyses will focus on the Inuit corpus of the 16th century, which is only known to a few specialists of Canadian history but deserves greater attention because of its importance and its singularly wide-spread distribution at the time.