Rummaging around amongst what we know about the ‘primary’ or innate emotions, one sometimes comes across reference to indigenous tribes who do not experience anger. A tribe in Polynesia, whose name I forget, and the Utkuhikhalingmiut who live in the vicinity of Gjoa Haven, Nunavut, are two of them.
We know about this trait of the Utkuhikhalingmiut because a researcher by the name of Jean Briggs lived among them for a 17 months between 1963 and 1965 and wrote a book about the experience: Never in Anger: Portrait of an Eskimo Family (1970).
A close reading reveals that the Utkuhikhalingmiut don’t express anger because they don’t feel it. They don’t express it because they fear it. They fear killing each other. And this they do (or did) from time to time.
How they don’t express anger is interesting. But you have to read the book to find out. Or read other books by Jean Briggs, particularly Utkuhikhalingmiut Eskimo Emotional Expression.
Anthropologist Jean Briggs lived with an Inuit family during the early 1960s, when she was doing research and writing about them for her doctoral thesis. When she got “angry”, they treated her as a child, because they thought that “anger” was an infantile emotion, something never expressed by Inuit adults. This experience led to many more years of research on the emotions and ideas by which Inuit lived, and how they learned and taught them.