Category Archives: Arctic Cultures

GREENLAND ESKIMO

#17 The Old Woman and the Cliff
     (Fridtjof Nansen, 1893)

The conceptions of good and evil in this world are exceedingly divergent. As an example, let me cite the case of the Eskimo girl who, when Niels Egede spoke to her of love of God and her neighbor, said to … Continue reading

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LABRADOR ESKIMO

#16 Respect for the Aged
     (Ernest W. Hawkes, 1914)

The aged are treated with great respect, and the word of the old men and women is final. The Eskimo say that they have lived a long time and understand things in general better. They also feel that in the … Continue reading

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ESKIMO OF BAFFIN ISLAND

#15 Tribal Life
     (Julian Bilby, 1923)

 …now the time has come to get ready for a very big annual enterprise indeed—the great deer hunt, upon which the fortunes of the tribe will turn for months. If the Eskimo lay up little store of food, they accumulate … Continue reading

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ESKIMO OF BAFFIN ISLAND

#14 Theological Questions
     (Charles Francis Hall, 1860-62)

…The Innuits believe in a heaven and a hell, though their notions as to what is to constitute their happiness or misery hereafter are varied as on meets with different communities. Tookoolito says: “My people think this way: Kood-le-par-mi-ung (heaven) … Continue reading

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HUDSON BAY INUIT

#13 The Desertion of Old Women
     (Lucian M. Turner, 1882-84)

…The dress of the Tahagmyut [Hudson Bay Inuit] differs somewhat from that of their neighbors on either side of them… …The character of their dwellings is the same as that of the other Innuit. Their manner of living and their … Continue reading

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IGLULIK ESKIMO

#12 Those Who Were Left Behind
     (Knud Rasmussen, 1921-1924)

The communism which necessarily prevails in Eskimo society in order that all can manage to exist renders it a duty for the family to care for all helpless persons; among such are reckoned fatherless children, widows or old men and … Continue reading

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IGLULIK ESKIMO

#11 Death, and Life in the Land of the Dead
     (Knud Rasmussen, 1921-24)

…No Eskimo fears death in itself, for all are convinced that it is merely the transition to a new and better form of life. But as mentioned elsewhere, there is also this mystery connected with the soul, that as soon … Continue reading

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IGLULIK ESKIMO

#10 The Moon Spirit
     (Knud Rasmussen, 1921-24)

The Moon Spirit, Aningâp or Tarqip inua, lives with his sister Seqineq in a double house (a house with two apartments but one common entrance) up in the land of the dead in the sky, the same which is called … Continue reading

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NETSILIK ESKIMO

#9 Famine; On the Treatment of the Aged
     (Knud Rasmussen, 1921-1924)

…In seasons when hunting is bad they have to move incessantly from place to place, and the winter becomes a hard one, not only for the hunters themselves but especially for all the old people. The treatment of the aged, … Continue reading

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CARIBOU ESKIMO

#8 Moral Rights, Social Obligations
     (Kaj Birket-Smith, 1921-24)

Life is harsh towards the Caribou Eskimos and old people are rare… Nor is it seldom that old people or persons suffering from a disease come to the conclusion that life is more unbearable than death and, according to Eskimo … Continue reading

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