Leisure Recreation and the Arts

It is generally accepted by both Chipewyan men and women that the latter have less leisure time. While men are involved in bursts of intense work during longdistance hunts and travel, women have an unremitting schedule of daily short-distance food procurement and processing plus the bulk of domestic and childcare duties. Casual visiting between households is often a male activity, with men seeking out their current work partners (sits'eni) for relaxed conversation. Women are more likely to incorporate visits with female friends into their work activities, whether making moosehide, cleaning fish, or caring for children.

Yet many leisure activities are not gender-segregated. Card-playing parties and bingo games are a favored activity of the middle-aged and elderly which invariably include both women and men. The same is true of the community dances popular among younger men and women. The short summer season often finds entire families or groups of families traveling together to various recreational festivals and pilgrimages in other communities.

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