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Title: The Central Eskimo - Sixth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the - Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1884-1885, - Government Printing Office, Washington, 1888, pages 399-670
Author: Boas, Franz
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Central Eskimo - Sixth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the - Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1884-1885, - Government Printing Office, Washington, 1888, pages 399-670" ***

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generously made available by the Bibliothèque nationale
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transcribed by the PG Finale Team.

[Transcriber’s Notes:

This text uses characters that require UTF-8 (Unicode) file encoding,

  χ (Greek chi, see below)
  ā ē ī ō ū (long vowels)
  œ (“oe” ligature)
  ⅔ (only in Figure captions)

All but χ are rare.

If any of these characters do not display properly--in particular,
if a diacritic does not appear directly above its letter--or if the
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make sure your text reader’s “character set” or “file encoding” is set
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last resort, use the Latin-1 version of the file instead.

Parenthetical question marks (?) are in the original. Italics are shown
conventionally with _lines_. In the Glossary (only) small capitals are
shown with #marks#.

Orthography is explained early in the article. Modern (ICI) forms should
be deducible from Boas’s spellings. These are based on Kleinschmidt,
but with q in place of ĸ (kra). Note that long vowels are rarely marked,
except in the Glossary and in figure captions. Words are often written
with nasalized finals: n for t sometimes, ng for k almost always,
irn (only) for iq. Medial q is usually written χ (chi), representing
the fricative pronunciation: “Eχaluin” and similar.

Missing punctuation in Figure captions and the Glossary has been
silently supplied. Other typographical errors are listed at the end of
the e-text.]

  Smithsonian Institution----Bureau Of Ethnology.





  Introduction                                                   409
    Authorities quoted                                           410
    Orthography                                                  413
    Geography of Northeastern America                            414
  Distribution of the tribes                                     419
    General observations                                         419
    Baffin Land                                                  421
      The Sikosuilarmiut                                         421
      The Akuliarmiut                                            421
      The Qaumauangmiut                                          421
      The Nugumiut                                               422
      The Oqomiut                                                424
      The Padlimiut and the Akudnirmiut                          440
      The Aggomiut                                               442
      The Iglulirmiut                                            444
      The Pilingmiut                                             444
      The Sagdlirmiut                                            444
    Western shore of Hudson Bay                                  444
      The Aivillirmiut                                           445
      The Kinipetu or Agutit                                     450
      The Sagdlirmiut of Southampton Island                      451
      The Sinimiut                                               451
    Boothia Felix and Back River                                 452
      The Netchillirmiut                                         452
      The Ugjulirmiut                                            458
      The Ukusiksalirmiut                                        458
    Smith Sound                                                  459
      The natives of Ellesmere Land                              459
      The North Greenlanders                                     460
  Influence of geographical conditions upon the distribution
          of the settlements                                     460
  Trade and intercourse between the tribes                       462
  List of the Central Eskimo tribes                              470
  Hunting and fishing                                            471
    Seal, walrus, and whale hunting                              471
    Deer, musk ox, and bear hunting                              501
    Hunting of small game                                        510
    Fishing                                                      513
  Manufactures                                                   516
    Making leather and preparing skins                           516
    Sundry implements                                            523
  Transportation by boats and sledges                            527
    The boat                                                     527
    The sledge and dogs                                          529
  Habitations and dress                                          539
    The house                                                    539
    Clothing, dressing of the hair, and tattooing                554
  Social and religious life                                      561
    Domestic occupations and amusements                          561
    Visiting                                                     574
    Social customs in summer                                     576
    Social order and laws                                        578
    Religious ideas and the angakunirn (priesthood)              583
      Sedna and the fulmar                                       583
      The tornait and the angakut                                591
      The flight to the moon                                     598
      Kadlu the thunderer                                        600
    Feasts, religious and secular                                600
    Customs and regulations concerning birth, sickness,
          and death                                              609
  Tales and traditions                                           615
    Ititaujang                                                   615
    The emigration of the Sagdlirmiut                            618
    Kalopaling                                                   620
    The Uissuit                                                  621
    Kiviung                                                      621
    Origin of the narwhal                                        625
    The visitor                                                  627
    The fugitive women                                           628
    Qaudjaqdjuq                                                  628
       I. Story of the three brothers                            628
      II. Qaudjaqdjuq                                            630
    Igimarasugdjuqdjuaq the cannibal                             633
    The Tornit                                                   634
    The woman and the spirit of the singing house                636
    The constellation Udleqdjun                                  636
    Origin of the Adlet and of the Qadlunait                     637
    The great flood                                              637
    Inugpaqdjuqdjualung                                          638
    The bear story                                               638
    Sundry tales                                                 639
      The owl and the raven                                      641
    Comparison between Baffin Land traditions and those of
          other tribes                                           641
  Science and the arts                                           643
    Geography and navigation                                     643
    Poetry and music                                             648
      Merrymaking among the Tornit                               649
      The lemming’s song                                         649
      Arlum pissinga (the killer’s song)                         650
          I. Summer song                                         653
         II. The returning hunter                                653
        III. Song of the Tornit                                  653
         IV. Song of the Inuit traveling to Nettilling           653
          V. Oχaitoq’s song                                      654
         VI. Utitiaq’s song                                      654
        VII. Song                                                654
       VIII. Song                                                654
         IX. Song of the Tornit                                  654
          X. The fox and the woman                               655
         XI. The raven’s song                                    655
        XII. Song of a Padlimio                                  655
       XIII. Ititaujang’s song                                   655
        XIV. Playing at ball                                     656
         XV. Playing at ball                                     657
    XVI-XIX. Extracts                                        657-658
  Glossary                                                       659
    Eskimo words used, with derivations and significations       659
    Eskimo geographical names used, with English
          significations                                         662
  Appendix                                                       667



  PLATE II. Map showing in detail the geographical divisions
              of territory occupied by the Eskimo tribes of
              Northeastern America                               (*)
              1. Oqo and Akudnirn.
              2. Frobisher Bay.
              3. Eclipse Sound and Admiralty Inlet.
              4. Repulse Bay and Lyon Inlet.
              5. Boothia Isthmus and King William Land.
       III. Map of the territory occupied by the Eskimo tribes
              of North America, showing the boundaries           (*)
        IV. Map of Cumberland Peninsula, drawn by Aranin,
              a Saumingmio                                       643
         V. Eskimo drawings                                      648
        VI. Eskimo drawings                                      650
       VII. Eskimo drawings                                      651
      VIII. Eskimo carvings                                      652
        IX. Eskimo carvings                                      653
         X. Modern implements                                    654

    [* In pocket at end of volume.]

  FIG. 390. Harpoon from Alaska                                  472
       391. Modern unang or sealing harpoon                      472
       392. Old style naulang or harpoon head                    473
       393. Modern naulang or harpoon head                       473
       394. Qilertuang or leather strap and clasps for holding
              coiled up harpoon lines                            474
       395. Siatko or harpoon head of the Iglulirmiut            475
       396. Siatko found at Exeter Sound                         475
       397. Eskimo in the act of striking a seal                 476
       398. Tutareang or buckle                                  477
       399. Eskimo awaiting return of seal to blowhole           478
       400. Tuputang or ivory plugs for closing wounds           479
       401. Wooden case for plugs                                480
       402. Another form of plug                                 480
       403. Qanging for fastening thong to jaw of seal           480
       404. Qanging in form of a seal                            481
       405. Qanging in form of a button                          481
       406. Qanging serving for both toggle and handle           481
       407. Qidjarung or whirl for harpoon line                  481
       408. Simpler form of whirl                                481
       409. Old pattern of hook for drawing out captured seal    483
       410. Seal hook of bear’s claw                             483
       411. Modern form of seal hook                             483
       412. Eskimo approaching seal                              484
       413. Frame of a kayak or hunting boat                     486
       414. Kayak with covering of skin                          487
       415. Model of a Repulse Bay kayak                         487
       416. Sirmijaung or scraper for kayak                      488
       417. Large kayak harpoon for seal and walrus              488
       418. Tikagung or support for the hand                     488
       419. Qatirn or ivory head of harpoon shaft                489
       420. Manner of attaching the two principal parts
              of the harpoon                                     489
       421. Tokang or harpoon head in sheath                     489
       422. Tokang or harpoon head taken from a whale in
              Cumberland Sound                                   490
       423. Ancient tokang or harpoon head                       491
       424. Teliqbing, which is fastened to harpoon line         492
       425. Qatilik or spear                                     492
       426. Avautang or sealskin float                           492
       427. Different styles of poviutang or pipe for
              inflating the float                                493
       428. Agdliaq or spear for small seals                     494
       429. Agdliaq points                                       494
       430. Spear heads                                          495
       431. Large spear head                                     495
       432. Anguvigang or lance                                  496
       433. Nuirn or bird spear                                  496
       434. Nuqsang or throwing board                            496
       435. Sealing at the edge of the ice                       498
       436. Model of sakurpāng´ or whaling harpoon               500
       437. Niu´tang, with floats                                500
       438. Wooden bow from Iglulik                              502
       439. Wooden bow from Cumberland Sound                     502
       440. Bows of reindeer antlers                             503
       441. Bow of antlers, with central part cut off straight,
              from Pelly Bay                                     503
       442. Arrows with bone heads                               504
       443. Arrows with metal heads                              504
       444. Arrowhead from Boothia                               505
       445. Showing attachment of arrowhead vertically and
              parallel to shank                                  505
       446. Various forms of arrowhead                           506
       447. Socket of spear handle from Alaska                   506
       448. Slate arrowhead                                      506
       449. Flint arrowheads from old graves                     507
       450. Various styles of quiver                             507
       451. Quiver handles                                       508
       452. Whalebone nooses for catching waterfowl              511
       453. Kakivang or salmon spear                             512
       454. Ivory fish used as bait in spearing salmon           513
       455. Quqartaun for stringing fish                         514
       456. Salmon hook                                          515
       457. Salmon hook                                          515
       458. Bait used in fishing with hooks                      516
       459. Butcher’s knife with bone handle                     516
       460. Pana or knife for dissecting game                    517
       461. Form of ulo now in use                               518
       462. Old ulo with top of handle broken off, from
              Cape Broughton, Davis Strait                       518
       463. Fragment of an ulo blade of slate                    518
       464. Ulo handle from recent grave                         518
       465. Modern tesirqun or scraper                           519
       466. Old style of tesirqun or scraper                     519
       467. Seligoung or scraper used for softening skins        520
       468. Old stone scrapers found in graves                   521
       469. Stretcher for lines                                  522
       470. Ivory needle                                         523
       471. Ivory needle-case from Cumberland Sound              523
       472. Common pattern of needle-case                        523
       473. Tikiq or thimble                                     524
       474. Instrument for straightening bones                   525
       475. Drill for working in ivory and bone                  525
       476. Driftwood used in kindling fire                      526
       477. Eskimo graver’s tool                                 526
       478. Framework of Eskimo boat                             527
       479. Kiglo or post                                        527
       480. Umiaq or skin boat                                   528
       481. Umiaq or skin boat                                   528
       482. Qamuting or sledge                                   529
       483. Sledge shoe                                          530
       484. Clasp for fastening traces to sledge                 531
       485. Artistic form of clasp for fastening traces
              to sledge                                          531
       486. Uqsirn, for fastening traces to pitu                 532
       487. Ano or dog harness                                   532
       488. Sadniriaq or clasp                                   532
       489. Tube for drinking                                    535
       490. Various styles of snow knife                         539
       491. Ground plan of snow house of Davis Strait tribes     541
       492. Snow house of Davis Strait, sections                 542
       493. Section and interior of snow house                   543
       494. Ukusik or soapstone kettle                           545
       495. Plan of double snow house                            546
       496. Plan of Iglulik house                                547
       497. Plan of Hudson Bay house                             547
       498. Plan and sections of qarmang or stone house          548
       499. Plan of large qarmang or stone house                 549
       500. Plan of stone house in Anarnitung, Cumberland Sound  549
       501. Plan of group of stone houses in Pangnirtung,
              Cumberland Sound                                   550
       502. Plan and sections of qarmang or house made of
              whale ribs                                         550
       503. Storehouse in Ukiadliving                            551
       504. Plan and sections of tupiq or tent of
              Cumberland Sound                                   551
       505. Plan and sections of tupiq or tent of Pond Bay       553
       506. Plan and sections of double winter tent,
              Cumberland Sound                                   553
       507. Qaturang or boot ornament                            554
       508. Woman’s jacket                                       555
       509. Ivory beads for women’s jackets                      555
       510. Girdle buckles                                       556
       511. Infant’s clothing                                    557
       512. Child’s clothing                                     557
       513. Ivory combs                                          559
       514. Buckles                                              560
       515. Manner of tattooing face and wearing hair            561
       516. Manner of tattooing legs and hands                   561
       517. Forks                                                563
       518. Ladle of musk ox horn                                563
       519. Skull used in the game ajegaung                      565
       520. Ivory carving representing head of fox, used in
              the game ajegaung                                  565
       521. Ivory carvings representing polar bear, used in
              the game ajegaung                                  566
       522. Figures used in playing tingmiujang, a game
              similar to dice                                    567
       523. Game of nuglutang                                    568
       524. The sāketān or roulette                              569
       525. Ajarorpoq or cat’s cradle                            569
       526. Ball                                                 570
       527. Dolls in dress of the Oqomiut                        571
       528. Dolls in dress of the Akudnirmiut                    571
       529. Modern snow goggles, of wood                         576
       530. Old form of snow goggles, of ivory                   576
       531. Diagram showing interior of qaggi or singing
              house among eastern tribes                         600
       532. Plan of Hudson Bay qaggi or singing house            601
       533. Kilaut or drum                                       602
       534. Plans of remains of supposed qaggi or
              singing houses                                     603
       535. Qailertetang, a masked figure                        606
       536. Model of lamp from a grave in Cumberland Sound       613
       537. Qaudjaqdjuq is maltreated by his enemies             631
       538. The man in the moon comes down to help Qaudjaqdjuq   631
       539. The man in the moon whipping Qaudjaqdjuq             632
       540. Qaudjaqdjuq has become Qaudjuqdjuaq                  632
       541. Qaudjuqdjuaq killing his enemies                     633
       542. Tumiujang, or lamp of the Tornit                     634
       543. Cumberland Sound and Frobisher Bay, drawn by Itu,
              a Nugumio                                          644
       544. Cumberland Sound and Frobisher Bay, drawn by
              Sunapignang, an Oqomio                             645
       545. Cumberland Sound, drawn by Itu, a Nugumio            646
       546. Peninsula of Qivitung, drawn by Angutuqdjuaq,
              a Padlimio                                         647


By Dr. Franz Boas


The following account of the Central Eskimo contains chiefly the results
of the author’s own observations and collections made during a journey
to Cumberland Sound and Davis Strait, supplemented by extracts from the
reports of other travelers. The geographical results of this journey
have been published in a separate volume.[1] A few traditions which were
considered unsuitable for publication by the Bureau of Ethnology may be
found in the Verhandlungen der Berliner Gesellschaft für Anthropologie,
Ethnologie und Urgeschichte, 1887. The linguistic material collected
during the journey will be published separately.

Owing to unfortunate circumstances, the larger portion of the author’s
collections could not be brought home, and it has therefore been
necessary, in preparing this paper, to make use of those made by C. F.
Hall, 1860-1862 and 1865-1869; W. Mintzer, 1873-’74, and L. Kumlien,
1877-’78. Through the kindness of Professor Otis T. Mason, I was allowed
to make ample use of the collections of the National Museum and have
attached its numbers to the specimens figured. The author’s collection
is deposited in the Museum für Völkerkunde at Berlin. I am indebted to
the American Museum of Natural History; to Mr. Appleton Sturgis, of New
York; to Captain John O. Spicer, of Groton, Conn.; and to Mrs. Adams,
of Washington, D.C., for several figures drawn from specimens in their

    [Footnote 1: Baffin-Land. Geographische Ergebnisse einer in den
    Jahren 1883 und 1884 ausgeführten Forschungsreise. Von Dr. Franz
    Boas. (Ergänzungsheft No. 80 zu »Petermanns Mitteilungen«.) Gotha:


In citing the various authorities, I have used abbreviations as
indicated at the end of titles in the following list of works consulted:

  De | Martini | Forbisseri | Angli navigati | one in regiones occi
  | dentis et septen | trionis | Narratio historica, | Ex Gallico
  sermone in La | tinum translata | per | D. Joan. Tho. Freigivm. |
  [Design.] | Cum gratia & privilegio Imperiali, ciↄ. iↄ. xxc.
  [Colophon:] Noribergæ | Imprimebatur, in officina Ca | tharinæ
  Gerlachin, & Hære | dum Iohannis Mon | tani. Anno ciↄ iↄ xxc.
  (Cited, Frobisher.)

  A | voyage of discovery, | made under the orders of the Admiralty
  | in | His Majesty’s ships | Isabella and Alexander, | for the
  purpose of | exploring Baffin’s Bay, | and inquiring into the
  probability of a | north-west passage. | By John Ross, K.S.
  Captain Royal Navy. | London: | John Murray, Albemarle-street. |
  1819. (Cited, Ross I.)

  Journal | of a voyage for the discovery of a | north-west passage
  | from the Atlantic to the Pacific; | performed in the years
  1819-20, | in His Majesty’s ships | Hecla and Griper, | under the
  orders of | William Edward Parry, R.N., F.R.S., | and commander of
  the expedition. | With an appendix, containing the scientific |
  and other observations. | Published by authority of the lords
  commissioners | of the admiralty. | London: | John Murray, |
  publisher to the admiralty, and board of longitude. | 1821.
  (Cited, Parry I.)

  Journal | of a | second voyage for the discovery of a | north-west
  passage | from the Atlantic to the Pacific; | performed in the
  years 1821-22-23, | in His Majesty’s ships | Fury and Hecla, |
  under the orders of | Captain William Edward Parry, R.N., F.R.S.,
  | and commander of the expedition. | Illustrated by numerous
  plates. | Published by authority of the lords commissioners | of
  the admiralty. | London: | John Murray, | publisher to the
  admiralty, and board of longitude. | 1824. (Cited, Parry II.)

  The | private journal | of | Captain G. F. Lyon, | of H.M.S.
  Hecla, | during | the recent voyage of discovery under | Captain
  Parry. | With a map and plates. | London: | John Murray,
  Albemarle-Street. | 1824. (Cited, Lyon.)

  A | brief narrative | of | an unsuccessful attempt | to reach |
  Repulse Bay, | through | Sir Thomas Rowe’s “Welcome,” | in | His
  Majesty’s ship Griper, | in the year | 1824. | By Captain G. F.
  Lyon, R.N. | With a chart and engravings. | London: | John Murray,
  Albemarle street. | 1825. (Cited, Lyon, Attempt to reach Repulse

  Narrative | of a | second voyage in search of | a | north-west
  passage, | and of a | residence in the Arctic regions | during the
  years 1829, 1830, 1831, 1832, 1833. | By | Sir John Ross, C.B.,
  K.S.A., K.C.S., &c. &c. | captain in the Royal Navy. | Including
  the reports of | Commander, now Captain, James Clark Ross, R.N.,
  F.R.S., F.L.S., &c. | and | The Discovery of the Northern Magnetic
  Pole. | London: | A. W. Webster, 156, Regent street. | 1835.
  (Cited, Ross II.)

  A narrative | of some passages in the history of | Eenoolooapik, |
  a young Esquimaux who was brought to Britain in 1839, in the ship
  “Neptune” | of Aberdeen. | An account of the | discovery of
  Hogarth’s Sound: | remarks on the northern whale fishery, | and
  suggestions for its improvement, &c. &c. | By Alexander M’Donald,
  L.R.C.S.E. | Member of Cuvieran Natural History Society of
  Edinburgh. | Edinburgh: Fraser & Co. | And J. Hogg, 116 Nicolson
  Street, | 1841. (Cited, Eenoolooapik.)

  Narrative | of | the discoveries | on | the north coast of
  America; | effected by the | officers of the Hudson’s Bay Company
  | during the years 1836-39. | By Thomas Simpson, esq. | London: |
  Richard Bentley, New Burlington Street. | Publisher in Ordinary to
  Her Majesty | 1843. | (Cited, Dease and Simpson.)

  Narrative | of an | expedition to the shores | of | the Arctic sea
  | in 1846 and 1847. | By John Rae, | Hudson Bay Company’s service,
  commander of the expedition.| With maps. | London: | T. & W.
  Boone, 29, New Pond Street. | 1850. (Cited, Rae I.)

  Further papers | relative to the Recent Arctic expeditions | in
  search of | Dr. John Franklin, | and the crews of | H.M.S.
  “Erebus” and “Terror.” | Presented to both houses of Parliament by
  command of Her Majesty, | January, 1855. London: | Printed by
  George Edward Eyre and William Spottiswoode, | Printers to the
  Queen’s most excellent Majesty. | For Her Majesty’s stationery
  office. | 1855. (Cited, Rae II.)

  Same volume: Observations on the Western Esquimaux and the country
  they inhabit; from Notes taken during two years at Point Barrow,
  by Mr. John Simpson, Surgeon R.N., Her Majesty’s Discovery Ship
  “Plover.” (Cited, Simpson.)

  The voyage of the ‘Fox’ in the Arctic seas. | A narrative | of the
  | discovery of the fate | of | Sir John Franklin | and | his
  companions. | By Captain M’Clintock, R.N., LL.D. | honorary member
  Royal Dublin Society. | [Portrait.] | With maps and illustrations.
  | London: | John Murray, Albemarle street, | publisher to the
  admiralty. | 1859. (Cited, M’Clintock.)

  Life with the Esquimaux: | a narrative of Arctic experience in
  search of | survivors of Sir John Franklin’s | Expedition. | By |
  Captain Charles Francis Hall, | of the whaling barque “George
  Henry,” | From May 29, 1860, to September 13, 1862. | Popular
  Edition. | With Maps, | Coloured illustrations, and one hundred
  wood cuts. | London: | Sampson Low, son, and Marston, | Milton
  House, Ludgate Hill. | 1865. (Cited, Hall I.)

  Tales and traditions | of the | Eskimo | with a sketch of | their
  habits, religion, language | and other peculiarities | by | Dr
  Henry Rink | knight of Dannebrog | Director of the Royal Greenland
  board of trade, and | formerly Royal Inspector of South Greenland |
  author of ‘Grönland geographik og | statistick beckrevest,’ etc. |
  Translated from the Danish by the author | Edited by | Dr Robert
  Brown | F.L.S., F.R.G.S. | author of ‘The races of mankind,’ etc. |
  With numerous illustrations, drawn and | engraved by Eskimo |
  William Blackwood and Sons | Edinburgh and London | 1875. | All
  rights reserved. (Cited, Rink.)

  Eskimoiske | Eventyr og Sagn | oversatte | efter de indfødte
  fortælleres opskrifter | og meddelelser | af | H. Rink, |
  inspektør i Sydgrønland. | Kjøbenhavn. | C. A. Reitzels Boghandel.
  | Louis Kleins Bogtrykkeri. | 1866. (Cited, Rink, Eventyr og

  Eskimoiske | Eventyr og Sagn. | Supplement | indeholdende | et
  Tillæg om Eskimoerne | af | H. Rink. | Kjøbenhavn. | C. A.
  Reitzels Boghandel. | Louis Kleins Bogtrykkeri. | 1871. (Cited,
  Rink, Eventyr og Sagn, Supplement.)

  Narrative | of the | second Arctic expedition | made by | Charles
  F. Hall: | his voyage to Repulse Bay, sledge journeys to the
  Straits [_sic_] of Fury | and Hecla and to King William’s Land, |
  and | residence among the Eskimos during the years 1864-’69. |
  Edited under the orders of the Hon. Secretary of the Navy, | by |
  Prof. J. E. Nourse, U.S.N. | U.S. Naval Observatory, | 1879. |
  Trübner & Co., | Nos. 57 and 59 Ludgate Hill, | London. (Cited,
  Hall II.)

  Als Eskimo unter den Eskimos. | Eine Schilderung der Erlebnisse |
  der | Schwatka’schen Franklin-Aufsuchungs-Expedition | in den
  Jahren 1878-80. | Von | Heinrich W. Klutschak, | Zeichner und
  Geometer der Expedition. | Mit 3 Karten, 12 Vollbildern und
  zahlreichen in den Text gedruckten Illustrationen | nach den
  Skizzen des Verfassers. | Wien. Pest. Leipzig. | A. Hartleben’s
  Verlag. | 1881. | Alle Rechte vorbehalten. (Cited, Klutschak.)

  Schwatka’s Search | sledging in the Arctic in quest of | the
  Franklin records | By | William H. Gilder | second in command |
  with maps and illustrations | London | Sampson Low, Marston,
  Searle, and Rivington | Crown Buildings, 188, Fleet Street. | All
  rights reserved. (Cited, Gilder.)

  Eskimoisches Wörterbuch, | gesammelt | von den Missionaren | in |
  Labrador, | revidirt und herausgegeben | von | Friedrich Erdmann.
  | Budissin, | gedruckt bei Ernst Moritz Monse. | 1864. (Cited,
  Wörterbuch des Labradordialectes.)

  David Cranz | Historie | von | Grönland | enthaltend | Die
  Beschreibung des Landes und | der Einwohner &c. | insbesondere |
  die | Geschichte | der dortigen | Mission der | Evangelischen |
  Brüder | zu | Neu-Herrnhut | und | Lichtenfels. | Mit acht
  Kupfertafeln und einem Register. | Barby bey Heinrich Detlef
  Ebers, und in Leipzig | in Commission bey Weidmanns Erben und
  Reich. | 1765. (Cited, Cranz.)

  Bruchstükke | eines Tagebuches, | gehalten in | Grönland | in den
  Jahren 1770 bis 1778 | von Hans Egede Saabye, | vormaligem
  ordinierten Missionar in den Destrikten Claushavn | und
  Christianshaab, jetzigem Prediger zu Udbye | im Stifte Füthnen. |
  Aus dem Dänischen übersetzt | von | G. Fries, | beabschiedigtem
  königlich dänischen Capitaine. | Mit einer Vorrede des
  Uebersetzers, | enthaltend einige Nachrichten von der Lebensweise
  der | Grönländer, der Mission in Grönland, samt andern damit |
  verwandten Gegenständen, und einer Karte | über Grönland. Hamburg.
  | Bey Perthes und Besser. | 1817. (Cited, Egede.)

  Baffin-Land. | Geographische Ergebnisse | einer | in den Jahren
  1883 und 1884 ausgeführten Forschungsreise. | Von | Dr. Franz
  Boas. | Mit zwei Karten und neun Skizzen im Text. |
  (Ergänzungsheft No. 80 zu »Petermanns Mitteilungen«.) | Gotha:
  Justus Perthes. | 1885. (Cited, Baffin-Land.)

  Die Amerikanische | Nordpol-Expedition | von | Emil Bessels. | Mit
  zahlreiche Illustrationen in Holzschnitt, Diagrammen und | einer
  Karte in Farbendruck. | Leipzig. | Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann. |
  1879. (Cited, Bessels.)

  Contributions | to the | Natural History of | Arctic America, |
  made in connection with | the Howgate Polar expedition, 1877-’78,
  | by | Ludwig Kumlien, | Naturalist of the expedition. |
  Washington: | Government Printing Office. | 1879.

  Report | of the | Hudson’s Bay expedition, | under the command of
  | Lieut. A. R. Gordon, R.N., | 1884.

  Traditions indiennes | du | Canada nord-ouest | par Émile Petitot
  | Ancien missionnaire. | Paris | Maisonneuve frères et Ch.
  Leclerc, | 25, Quai Voltaire, | 1886.

The following is a list of the papers published by the author on the
results of his journey to Baffin Land and of studies connected with it.
The ethnological remarks contained in these brief communications have
been embodied in the present paper. The method of spelling in the first
publications differs from that applied in the present paper. It was
decided to use the latter after a conference with Dr. H. Rink.

  “Reiseberichte aus Baffin-Land.” Berliner Tageblatt, August 4,
  October 28, November 4, November 25. 1883; September 28, October
  19, November 2, November 9, November 16, November 23, December 28,
  1884; January 4, April 3, April 27, 1885.

  “Unter dem Polarkreise.” New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung, February 1,
  February 22, March 2, 1885.

  “The configuration of Ellesmere Land.” Science, February 27, 1885.

  “A journey in Cumberland Sound and on the west shore of Davis
  Strait in 1883 and 1884, with map.” Bull. Am. Geogr. Soc., pp.
  241-272, 1884.

  “Die Wohnsitze und Wanderungen der Baffin-Land Eskimos.” Deutsche
  geogr. Blätter, p. 31, 1885.

  “Cumberland Sound and its Esquimaux.” Popular Science Monthly, p.
  768, May, 1885.

  “Die Eskimos des Baffin-Landes.” Verh. des V. deutschen
  Geographentags zu Hamburg. Berlin, 1885.

  “Reise im Baffinlande, 1883 und 1884.” Verh. der Ges. für Erdkunde
  zu Berlin, 1885, Nos. 5, 6.

  “Die Sagen der Baffin-Land Eskimos.” Verh. der Berlin, anthrop.
  Gesellschaft, 1885, p. 161.

  “The Eskimo of Baffin Land.” Transactions of the Anthropological
  Society of Washington, Vol. 3, pp. 95-102.

  “Sammlung aus Baffin-Land.” Original Mittheilungen aus der ethnol.
  Abtheilung der Kgl. Museen zu Berlin, 1886, p. 131.


In the spelling of Eskimo words the author has adhered as closely as
possible to Kleinschmidt’s orthography, as he did not deem it proper to
introduce a linguistic alphabet after so much has been published in
another and almost sufficient one.

Accents and lengths have been marked where it seemed to be desirable. In
quotations Eskimo words are spelled according to this system where it is
possible to recognize their meaning and derivation. In other cases the
original spelling of the authors has been retained. The alphabet used in
this paper is as follows:


       a--a in father.
       e--ey in they.
       i--ee in feel.
       o--o in nose.
       u--oo in pool.
      au--ow in how.
      ai--i in hide.


       q--a hard, guttural sound (Kleinschmidt’s ĸ).
       r--the German guttural r.
      rn--a guttural and nasal r.
       χ--the German ch in Buch; Scotch ch in loch.
       g--English g in go.
       k--English k.
      ng--English ng in during.
       b--English b.
       p--English p.
       v--pronounced with the lips only.
       f--pronounced with the lips only.
       m--English m.
       d--English d.
       t--English t.
       s--English s in soul.
       n--English n.
   (g)dl--ḏ of Lepsius’s standard alphabet.
  (g)dtl--ṯ of Lepsius’s standard alphabet.
       l--English l.
       j--German j in jung; English y.
      ss--š of Lepsius’s standard alphabet, sounding between s and sh.


    [Footnote 2: A glossary of Eskimo geographic terms will be found
    on p. 662]

The Eskimo inhabit almost the whole extent of the coast of Arctic
America. A large part of this country is occupied by the Central Eskimo,
one of the great groups into which that people is divided. They live in
the northeastern part of the continent and on the eastern islands of the
Arctic-American Archipelago. In Smith Sound they inhabit the most
northern countries visited by man and their remains are even found at
its northern outlet. The southern and western boundaries of this
district are the countries about Fort Churchill, the middle part of Back
River, and the coast west of Adelaide Peninsula. Along the whole extent
of this line they are the neighbors of Indian tribes, with whom they are
generally on very bad terms, a mutual distrust existing between the two

The geography of the whole country is known only in outline, and a great
portion of it awaits its explorer. Following is a sketch of what is
known about it, so far as it is of importance to the ethnologist.

The vast basin of Hudson Bay separates two large portions of the
American continent: Labrador and the region of the large Arctic rivers.
The southern shore of the bay is inhabited by Indian tribes who
interrupt the communication between the Eskimo of both regions. Hudson
Bay, however, has the character of a true mediterranean sea, the
northern parts of its opposite shores being connected by a number of
islands and peninsulas. The low and narrow Rae Isthmus, which presents
an easy passage to the Arctic Ocean, unites Melville Peninsula to the
main body of the continent. From this peninsula Baffin Land stretches
out toward the north of Labrador, with only two narrow channels
intervening: Fury and Hecla Strait and Hudson Strait. Another chain of
islands, formed by the parts of Southampton Island and Mansfield Island,
stretches from Repulse Bay to the northwest point of Labrador, but the
distances between the islands and the roughness of the sea prevent

On the western part of the continent the great bays, Chesterfield Inlet
and Wager River, are of importance, as they allow the Eskimo, though
they are a coast people, to penetrate into the interior of the
continent. A narrow isthmus separates the head of the bays from the
lakes of Back River. At Coronation Bay the latter approaches the Arctic
Ocean very closely, and it is probable that the coast west of Adelaide
Peninsula, which is skirted by innumerable islands, is indented by deep
inlets extending towards the lakes of Back River. Thus communication
between the Arctic Ocean and Hudson Bay is facilitated by this large
river, which yields an abundant supply of fish. From Wager River an
isthmus leads to its estuary.

Boothia Felix, the most northern peninsula of the continent, is united
to it by two narrow isthmuses, the former extending from Pelly Bay to
Shepherd Bay, the latter from Lord Mayor Bay to Spence Bay. It is
separated from North Somerset by the narrow Bellot Strait. Farther west
Adelaide Peninsula and King William Land form the continuation of the
continent toward the western extremity of Boothia, thus outlining a
spacious bay sheltered from the currents and the pack ice of Melville
Sound and the adjoining bays. The eastern sides of Boothia and North
Somerset and the western coasts of Melville Peninsula and Baffin Land
form a gulf similar to Fox Basin.

Farther north, between Baffin Land and Greenland, North Devon and
Ellesmere Land are situated. Thus Baffin Land forms a connecting link
for three regions inhabited by Eskimo: the Hudson Bay Territory,
Labrador, and Greenland.

The orography of the western coast of Hudson Bay is little known. Most
of this coast seems to form a hilly land, consisting generally of
granite. Between Wager River and Chesterfield Inlet it rises to a chain
of hills of about one thousand feet in height, extending to a plateau
farther north. Another chain seems to stretch in a northeasterly
direction from Back River to the source of Hayes River. West of Back
River Silurian strata prevail. The granite hills form a favorite haunt
for the musk ox and reindeer.

Melville Peninsula consists chiefly of a chain of granite hills, sloping
down to a Silurian plain in the eastern part of the peninsula. The
northeastern part of Baffin Land is formed by a high chain of mountains
stretching from Lancaster Sound to Cape Mercy. Long fjords and deep
valleys divide them into many groups. Bylot Island, which stands high
out of the sea, is separated from the mainland by Pond Bay and Eclipse
Sound. The next group stretches from Pond Bay to the fjord of
Anaulereë´ling. Farther to the southeast the groups are smaller, and in
Home Bay they are separated by wide valleys, particularly near
Eχalualuin, a large fjord on the southern side of that bay.

From this fjord an enormous highland, which I named Penny Highland,
extends as far as Cumberland Sound, being terminated by the narrow
valley of Pangnirtung. The eastern boundary runs through the fjords
Maktartudjennaq and Narpaing to Nedluqseaq and Nudlung. In the interior
it may extend to about fifteen miles east of Issortuqdjuaq, the most
northern fjord of Cumberland Sound. The whole of the vast highland is
covered by an ice cap sending forth numerous glaciers in every
direction. In Pangnirtung and on Davis Strait they reach the level of
the sea.

Penny Highland, which forms the main body of Cumberland Peninsula, has
attached to it a few mountain groups of moderate extent: the peninsula
of Nudlung and the highland of Eχalualuin and that of Qivitung.

Farther southeast, between the valleys of Pangnirtung and
Kingnait-Padli, is situated the highland of Kingnait, with sharp peaks
emerging from the ice cap which covers the lower parts of the plateau.
The rest of Cumberland Peninsula is formed by the highland of Saumia,
which much resembles that of Kingnait. Near Cape Mercy the ice covered
highland slopes down to a hilly region, which falls abruptly to the sea.

The southern parts of this range of mountains are composed of gneiss and
granite. It may be that Silurian strata occur in some places, but they
have not yet been found anywhere in situ. The northern parts are too
imperfectly known to enable us to form an idea of their geological

The mountains just described slope down to a hilly region, which farther
to the west levels off to a plain. The hills are composed of granite,
the plains of Silurian limestone, which extends from Prince Regent Inlet
to the head of Frobisher Bay.

The peninsula between Cumberland Sound and Frobisher Bay is formed by a
plateau, which slopes down gradually to the northwest. It is drained by
a great river flowing into Auqardneling, a fjord on the western shore of
Cumberland Sound. Near Lake Nettilling the country is very low, the
level of the lake being only forty feet above that of the sea. Here the
watershed between Cumberland Sound and Fox Basin closely approaches the
eastern shore, coming within five miles of the head of Nettilling Fjord.
It is formed by a narrow neck of land about a quarter of a mile wide and
sixty-five feet above the level of the sea.

From Eskimo reports I conclude that the plateau of Nugumiut, as we may
call the peninsula between Frobisher Bay and Cumberland Sound, is
comparatively level. Only a single mountain south of Qasigidjen (Bear
Sound) rises into the region of eternal snow.

The peninsula between Frobisher Bay and Hudson Strait is formed by a
granite highland, the Meta Incognita of Queen Elizabeth. It is covered
with ice and sends a few glaciers into the sea. Farther west, near
Lesseps Bay and White Bear Sound, the country becomes lower. The narrow
isthmus leading from Hudson Strait to Amaqdjuaq cannot be very high, as
the Eskimo carry their kayaks to the lake, which I believe is about two
hundred feet above the level of the sea.

Last of all I have to mention the highlands of King Cape. The rest of
the land is taken up by a vast plain in which two large lakes are
situated; the southern, Amaqdjuaq, empties by a short river into Lake
Nettilling, whence the long and wide Koukdjuaq runs to the shallow sea.
From observations made by Captain Spicer, of Groton, Conn., and
information obtained from the Eskimo, we learn that the whole of the
eastern part of Fox Basin is extremely shallow and that there are many
low islands scattered about in those parts of the sea. The plains of
Baffin Land, Fox Basin, and the eastern half of Melville Peninsula may
be considered a wide basin of Silurian strata bordered by granitic
elevations on every side.

Besides the configuration of the land, the extent of the land ice formed
during the winter is of vital importance to the inhabitants of the
Arctic region, because during the greater part of the year it affords
the only means of communication between the tribes, and because in
winter the seal, which constitutes the principal food of the Eskimo,
takes to those parts of the coast where extensive floes are formed.
Therefore the state of the ice regulates the distribution of the natives
during the greater part of the year and must be considered in studying
the habits of the Eskimo. The extent of the land ice principally depends
on the configuration of the land and the strength of the currents. On a
shore exposed to a strong current an extensive floe can only be formed
where projecting points of land form deep bays. We find the distribution
of ice regulated in accordance with this fact all around the shores of
the Arctic Ocean.

The strong current setting out of Lancaster Sound and Smith Sound
generally prevents ice from forming under the steep cliffs of the land.
Sometimes the pack ice of the sounds is stopped and freezes together
into rough floes; a smooth plain is never formed. By far the largest
land floe is formed from Bylot Island to Cape Dyer (Okan). In Home Bay
it extends to a distance of about eighty miles from the mainland. The
formation of this floe is favored by a number of shoals which extend
from the peninsulas of Cape Eglinton (Aqojang), Cape Aston
(Niaqonaujang), and Qivitung, for the large floes drifting south are
stopped by the icebergs aground on these banks. The greater part of the
floe is very rough, smooth ice prevailing only in the bays.

The strong southerly current passing through the narrowest part of Davis
Strait between Cape Walsingham (Idjuk) and Holsteinborg breaks up the
ice all along the shore from Cape Dyer to Cape Walsingham, Exeter Sound
alone being covered by a larger floe. The bay between Cape Mickleham
(Nuvuktirpang) and Cape Mercy is well covered with ice, which extends to
the islands farthest out toward the sea.

Near Cape Mercy the strong tides caused by Cumberland Sound prevent the
ice from consolidating in the entrance of the gulf. As the sound widens
greatly behind the narrow passage formed by Nuvukdjuaq and Qaχodluin,
the tide sets in with great force. For this reason the floe never
extends beyond that narrow entrance. Often the head of the open water
runs from Qeqerten to Nuvujen, and instances are known where it even
reaches the line of Pujetung-Umanaq.

The southwestern shore of Cumberland Sound from Qaχodluin to Cape
Brevoort (Qeqertuqdjuaq) is always washed by water, because a strong
current, which often breaks up the ice of Field and Grinnell Bay (the
bays of Ukadliq and Nugumiut), sets along the coast.

The floe seldom extends to Lady Franklin and Monumental Islands
(Kitigtung and Taχolidjuin), but usually runs from point to point,
compelling the natives to pass across the land in order to reach the
floe of the neighboring bay. Most of the time the edge of the floe
covering Frobisher Bay extends to a line from Countess of Warwick Sound
(Tuarpukdjuaq) to about fifteen miles southeast of Gabriel Island
(Qeqertuqdjuaq), whence it runs south to Kingnait. Sometimes
Aqbirsiarbing (Cape True) is the most eastern point inclosed by the ice.
A dangerous current sets through the strait between Resolution Island
(Tudjaqdjuaq) and the mainland, forming whirlpools which menace every
ship that attempts the passage.

Hudson Strait never freezes over. The greater part of the year it is
filled with an immense pack which never consolidates into a continuous
floe. As there are no large bays along the northern shore of that
strait, no land floes of great importance are formed. Only the Bay of
Qaumauang, North Bay, and Behm Bay (the bay of Quaiirnang and that east
of Akuliaq) are covered with floes which are of importance to the
natives. The bays east of Akuliaq and the large fjords of that region
form a comparatively large body of ice.

Probably no land ice is formed between King Cape (Nuvukdjuaq) and the
northern parts of Fox Basin. According to Parry and the reports of the
natives, Fury and Hecla Strait and the bay which forms its eastern
outlet are covered by land ice which is connected with the floe of the
bays of Fox Basin as far as Piling.

In Hudson Bay there are very few places in which the land ice extends to
a considerable distance from the shore. Neither Frozen Strait nor Rowe’s
Welcome freezes over, each being kept open by the swiftly running tides.
The most extensive floes are formed in Repulse Bay, Wager Bay, and
Chesterfield Inlet.

The drifting ice of the Gulf of Boothia never consolidates and even
Committee Bay is rarely covered by a smooth land floe. Pelly Bay and the
sea on the east coast of Boothia as far as Victoria Harbor (Tikeraqdjuq)
freeze over, since they are sheltered by numerous islands. Still larger
is the sheet of ice which covers the bay formed by the estuary of Back
River, King William Land, and Boothia. The western shore of this
peninsula farther north is skirted by a border of land ice the extent of
which is unknown.

It is a remarkable fact that, although the extreme western and eastern
parts of the country abound with extensive floes, the Hudson Bay region
and the Gulf of Boothia are almost devoid of them.

This brief sketch will enable one to understand the geographical
distribution and the migrations of the Eskimo tribes who inhabit this



The mode of life of all the Eskimo tribes of Northeastern America is
very uniform; therefore it is desirable to make a few general
observations on the subject before entering into a detailed description
of each tribe. All depends upon the distribution of food at the
different seasons. The migrations or the accessibility of the game
compel the natives to move their habitations from time to time, and
hence the distribution of the villages depends, to a great extent, upon
that of the animals which supply them with food.

As the inhospitable country does not produce vegetation to an extent
sufficient to sustain life in its human inhabitants, they are forced to
depend entirely upon animal food. In Arctic America the abundance of
seals found in all parts of the sea enables man to withstand the
inclemency of the climate and the sterility of the soil. The skins of
seals furnish the material for summer garments and for the tent; their
flesh is almost the only food, and their blubber the indispensable fuel
during the long dark winter. Scarcely less important is the deer, of
whose heavy skin the winter garments are made, and these enable the
Eskimo to brave the storms and the cold of winter.

That the mode of life of the Eskimo depends wholly on the distribution
of these animals will therefore be apparent, for, as already observed,
they regulate their dwelling places in accordance with the migrations of
the latter from place to place in search of food.

When the constraint of winter is broken the natives leave their old
habitations. The warm rays of the sun melt the roofs of their snow
houses, the strong vaults which afforded shelter and comfortable warmth
during the long cold winter begin to break down, and new houses must be
built. They therefore exchange the solid snow houses for light tents,
which are very small and poor, until a sufficient number of sealskins
for better structures is secured.

As at this time seals are found in abundance everywhere, basking in the
warm sunshine and enjoying the beginning of the spring, a great supply
is easily secured. As the season advances food becomes more plentiful,
and with the breaking up of the rivers and ponds the salmon leave the
latter and descend to the sea. About this time the Eskimo establish
their settlements at the head of the fjords, where salmon are easily
caught in the shallow rivers. In July the snow, which has covered the
land for nine months, has melted away and the natives undertake hunting
trips inland, in order to obtain the precious skins of the reindeer and
the meat of the fawns, which is always highly prized. With the breaking
up of the ice the variety of food is further increased by the arrival of
the walrus and the ground and harp seals, which leave the country during
the winter. Birds are also found in abundance, and no cares afflict the

Before the sea begins to freeze over again the Eskimo return from deer
hunting and gather at places where there are the best chances for
obtaining food in the autumn. A few weeks are spent in making short
excursions near the settlements, as longer journeys would be too
dangerous during this tempestuous season. The colder it grows the more
the natives are confined to their huts and the more they become
dependent on the seal. While in summer shrubs of various kinds are
available for cooking purposes, in winter blubber affords the only fuel
for cooking and for heating their huts.

At last the smaller bays are sufficiently frozen to permit a new way of
pursuing the game. The hunters visit the edge of the newly formed floe
in order to shoot the seals, which are secured by the harpoon.

The process of freezing goes on quickly and the floating pieces of ice
begin to consolidate. Only a few holes are now found, in places where
icebergs, moved by the tides or the strong currents, prevent the sea
from freezing. During a short time these openings form the favorite
hunting ground of the natives. Though the walrus and the ground seal
migrate to the edge of the floe as soon as the ice begins to form, the
common seal (_Pagomys fœtidus_) remains, and this is always the
principal food of the natives. In the autumn the fjords and the narrow
channels between the islands are its favorite haunt; later in the season
it resorts to the sea, frequently appearing at the surface through
breathing holes, which it scratches in the ice. As winter comes on it is
hunted by the Eskimo at these holes.

The foregoing observations will serve as a preliminary to the
description of the distribution of the tribes of Northeastern America.
The object of this section is to treat of the immediate relations
between the country and its inhabitants, and a detailed account of their
habits will be found in subsequent pages.

  *  *  *

According to Dr. H. Rink, the Inuit race may be divided into five
groups: the Greenlanders; the central tribes of Smith Sound, Baffin
Land, the west shore of Hudson Bay, the Back River region, and Boothia;
the Labradorians, on the shores of that peninsula; the Mackenzie tribes
of the central parts of the north shore of America; and the tribes of
Alaska. I am somewhat in doubt whether the central tribes and those of
Labrador differ enough to justify a separate classification, as the
natives of both shores of Hudson Strait seem to be closely related.
A decisive answer on the division of these tribes may be postponed until
the publication of Lucien M. Turner’s excellent observations and
collections, which were made at Fort Chimo.


_The Sikosuilarmiut._--I shall begin with the enumeration of the tribes
in the southwestern part of Baffin Land. This country is inhabited by
the Sikosuilarmiut, i.e., the inhabitants of the shore without an ice
floe. They are settled in two places: Nurata, east of King Cape, and
Sikosuilaq, within the peninsula (or island?) which projects east of
King Cape. The large fjords Sarbaq and Sarbausirn, which belong to their
territory, are known to me only by a description which I received in
Cumberland Sound. In summer they visit the upper parts of this long
fjord to hunt deer on the plains which reach to the shore of Fox Basin.
Probably they do not extend their migrations very far to the north or
northeast; otherwise, they would reach Lakes Amaqdjuaq and Nettilling,
the region about the latter being the hunting ground of the natives of
Cumberland Sound.

I know of only a single meeting between the Eskimo visiting Lake
Nettilling and others who are supposed to have come from Hudson Strait.
It occurred in 1883 south of the lake.

_The Akuliarmiut._--This tribe is settled on the northern shore of
Hudson Strait. Their winter resort lies west of Qeqertuqdjuaq (Parry’s
North Bluff). In summer they travel through White Bear Sound or Lesseps
Bay to Lake Amaqdjuaq, which they reach after crossing a neck of land
about ten miles in width. The exact direction of the road cannot be
ascertained, as the position of their starting point, which is called
Tuniqten, is doubtful. Crossing a short portage they ascend to Lake
Amitoq, whence on a second portage they pass the watershed between Lake
Amaqdjuaq and Hudson Strait. From the small Lake Mingong a brook runs
into Sioreling and thence into Lake Amaqdjuaq (Baffin-Land, p. 67). On
the southern shore of the large lake they erect their summer tents.
Farther east, in North Bay, there is another winter residence of the
same tribe. Unfortunately, I cannot specify the place of this
settlement, which is called Quaiirnang.

_The Qaumauangmiut._--East of the Akuliarmiut live the Eskimo so
frequently met near Middle Savage Islands. Their principal residence is
near Lake Qaumauang, from which they take their name Qaumauangmiut. My
investigations concerning these tribes were much embarrassed by the want
of trustworthy charts. If charts are tolerably well delineated, the
Eskimo understand the meaning of every point and island and can give
detailed accounts of the situation of the settlements and the migrations
of the inhabitants.

Between Sikosuilaq and Akuliaq but a moderate amount of intercourse is
kept up, as the settlements are separated by a wide and uninhabited
stretch of land. Notwithstanding this many members of one tribe are
found to have settled among the other. An American whaling station which
was established in Akuliaq a few years ago may have had some influence
upon the distribution and the life of these tribes. The greater
importance of Akuliaq, however, cannot be ascribed to the presence of
the whalers alone, as a few harbors near Sikosuilaq are also frequently
visited by them. The whalers report that there are about fifty
inhabitants in Sikosuilaq, about two hundred in Akuliaq, and farther
east fifty more. Thus the population of the north shore of Hudson Strait
probably amounts to three hundred in all.

The Qaumauangmiut are probably closely related to the Nugumiut of
Frobisher Bay.

_The Nugumiut._--I can give a somewhat more detailed description of this
tribe, among the families of which Hall passed the winters of 1860-’61
and 1861-’62 (Hall I). Unfortunately, he does not give any coherent
account of their life, only meager information being furnished in the
record of his journeys. Besides, generalizations cannot be made from his
two years’ experience. My own observations in Cumberland Sound may serve
as a complement to those of Hall. As he gives only a few native names of
places, it is sometimes difficult to ascertain the exact position of the
localities to which he alludes.

According to Hall and my own inquiries four places are inhabited by this
tribe almost every winter: Tornait (Jones Cape of Hall), about
thirty-five miles above Bear Sound, in Frobisher Bay; Operdniving and
Tuarpukdjuaq, in Countess of Warwick Sound; Nugumiut, in (Cyrus W.)
Field Bay; and Ukadliq, in (Cornell) Grinnell Bay. As these bays open
into Davis Strait the formation of the ice is retarded and its extent
diminished, and consequently some peculiarities in the arrangement of
the life of the Eskimo are observed here. The only occupation of the
Nugumiut and the inhabitants of Ukadliq is sealing with the harpoon on
the floe of the inner parts of the bay. Near Ukadliq the tide holes east
and west of Allen Island abound with seals. In winter, when the seals
take to the open ice, the village of this group of families is
established near Roger’s Island, where the floe of the bay forms the
hunting ground of the natives.

During the autumn the Nugumiut stay in Field Bay. The women are then
busy preparing the deerskins; for, on account of the requirements of
their religion, the walrus hunt cannot be begun until the deerskins
which were taken in summer have been worked up for use. As soon as this
is done they travel across Bayard Taylor Pass (so called by Hall) to
Frobisher Bay, and in the latter half of December or in the beginning of
January settle on Operdniving or on Tuarpukdjuaq in company with the
natives who stay here during the fall. In Cumberland Sound I learned
that this changing of the habitations takes place almost regularly and
that sometimes the settlement is moved to Aqbirsiarbing (Cape True) if
the bay is frozen over beyond Operdniving. In traveling to Aqbirsiarbing
the tide holes of Ikerassaqdjuaq (Lupton Channel) are avoided by using
the pass of Chappell Inlet. Here and in Tornait the natives go sealing
on the ice or walrusing at the edge of the floe, which in most cases is
not very far off.

About the latter half of March part of the Eskimo begin to travel up
Frobisher Bay. In the middle of April, 1862, Hall found a settlement on
Qeqertuqdjuaq (Gabriel Island), from which island the floe edge was
visited and young seals were caught in the narrow channels between the
numerous islands. Towards the end of the month a portion of the natives
went farther to the northwest in pursuit of the basking seals (I, p.
470), intending to reach the head of the bay in July. Hall found summer
habitations at Ukadliq (I, p. 468); on Field Bay (p. 296); and on
Frobisher Bay at Agdlinartung (p. 308), Opera Glass Point (p. 341),
Waddell Bay (p. 341), and Nuvuktualung, on the southern point of Beecher
Peninsula (p. 348).

A very important hunting ground of the inhabitants of Tiniqdjuarbiusirn
(Frobisher Bay), of which I received some detailed accounts, is Lake
Amaqdjuaq. In the foregoing remarks on the Akuliaq tribe I described the
course which leads from Hudson Strait to the lake. Another route is
followed in traveling from the head of Frobisher Bay to Lake Amaqdjuaq,
a distance of about fifty miles. Probably the men leave Sylvia Grinnell
River and ascend to Lake Amartung, from which lake a brook runs westward
to Lake Amaqdjuaq (Baffin-Land, p. 68). The women take a different route
and arrive at Aqbeniling after a tramp of six days, near a small bay
called Metja. Here the summer huts are erected and birds and deer are
killed in abundance.

The facility in reaching the lake from Hudson Strait and Frobisher Bay
is a very important consideration, as the Akuliarmiut and the Nugumiut
meet here, and thus an immediate intercourse between the tribes is
opened. The inhabitants of Hudson Strait leave Tuniqten in spring,
arrive at the head of Frobisher Bay in the fall, and after the formation
of the ice reach the Nugumiut settlements by means of sledges. When Hall
wintered in Field Bay a traveling party of Sikosuilarmiut which had
accomplished the distance from King Cape in one year arrived there
(I, p. 267).

Another route, which is practicable only for boats, connects Qaumauang
with Nugumiut. It leads along the shore of Hudson Strait. The traveler
sails through the dangerous passage between Tudjaqdjuaq (Resolution
Island) and the mainland and crosses Frobisher Bay either at its
entrance or in the shelter of the group of islands farther up the bay.

In their intercourse with the Nugumiut, the inhabitants of Cumberland
Sound generally follow the long coast between Ukadliq and Naujateling,
passing through the numerous sounds formed by long, narrow islands.
I can describe this region from personal observations.

_The Oqomiut._--The Eskimo of Davis Strait call the tribes of Cumberland
Sound and Saumia by the name of Oqomiut. The whole of the land from
Prince Regent Inlet to the plateau of Nugumiut is divided by the Eskimo
into three parts, Aggo, Akudnirn, and Oqo--i.e., the weather side, the
center, and the lee side--and accordingly the tribes are called the
Aggomiut, Akudnirmiut, and Oqomiut.

Unquestionably the whole of Cumberland Sound and the coast of Davis
Strait from Cape Mercy to Exeter Sound belong to the Oqo of the Northern
Eskimo. Farther north, the inhabitants of Padli extend their migrations
from Qarmaqdjuin to Qivitung. These people occupy an intermediate
position between the Akudnirmiut and the Oqomiut, having easy
communication with both, and consequently it is doubtful to which they
belong, so that the determination of the boundary between Oqo and
Akudnirn remains arbitrary. In regard to their customs and from the
position of the land, however, they may be more properly joined to the
Akudnirmiut, of whom they would form a subdivision.

The names Oqo, Akudnirn, and Aggo must not be understood as respectively
meaning a region strictly limited: they denote rather directions and the
intervals between the localities situated in these directions. In asking
for the position of Oqo one would be directed southeast, as this is
considered the lee side; in the same way, if asking for Aggo, one would
be directed to the shore of Prince Regent Inlet, the farthest land in
the northwest, the weather side. In Cumberland Sound the natives of
Iglulik are considered Aggomiut, while in Pond Bay they are known as a
separate tribe. In the southern parts the whole of the northern region
is comprised in the name Aggo; in the north Oqo means the whole of the
southeastern regions.

Formerly, the Oqomiut were divided into four subtribes: the
Talirpingmiut, on the west shore of Cumberland Sound; the Qinguamiut,
at the head of it; the Kingnaitmiut, on the east shore; and the
Saumingmiut, on the southeastern slope of the highland of Saumia. The
names are derived from the districts which they inhabit, respectively.
As the head of every fjord is called “qingua” (its head), the upper part
of the large Cumberland Sound is also so named. The Qingua region may be
limited by Imigen on the western shore and Ussualung on the eastern
shore, though the name is applied to a region farther north; indeed, the
name covers the whole district at the head of the sound. In looking from
the head to the entrance of the sound the coasts are called according to
their position: the southwestern Talirpia, i.e., its right one, and the
northeastern Saumia, i.e., its left one; between Saumia and Qingua the
highland Kingnait, i.e., the higher land as compared to the opposite
shore, is situated.

Although at the present time this division is hardly justifiable, the
names of these four tribes are often mentioned on the shore of Davis
Strait. Their old settlements are still inhabited, but their separate
tribal identity is gone, a fact which is due as well to the diminution
in their numbers as to the influence of the whalers visiting them.

In my opinion a great difference between these tribes never existed.
Undoubtedly they were groups of families confined to a certain district
and connected by a common life. Such a community could more easily
develop as long as the number of individuals was a large one. When the
whalers first wintered in Cumberland Sound the population may have
amounted to about 1,500. In 1840, when Penny discovered the sound, he
met 40 Eskimo in Anarnitung (Eenoolooapik, p. 91). The greater number of
the inhabitants were at the head of the fjords fishing for salmon,
others were whaling in Issortuqdjuaq, and some were inland on a deer
hunting expedition. The whole number at that time probably amounted to
200. A few years later the Kingnaitmiut of Qeqerten were able to man
eighteen whaleboats. Assuming five oarsmen and one harpooner to each
boat, the steersman being furnished by the whalers, and for each man one
wife and two children, we have in all about 400 individuals. The
inhabitants of Nettilling Fjord may have numbered as many, and 100 are
said to have lived in Imigen. Penny found in Ugjuktung about 30
individuals who belonged to the Saumingmiut and had come thither from
Davis Strait. Accordingly I estimate the whole tribe at 150 individuals.
On the southwestern coast of the sound between Nuvujen and Naujateling a
large number of natives were reported. They lived in three settlements
and numbered about 600. These estimates are not absolutely reliable,
as they are compiled largely from hearsay and conjecture. Many of the
natives being away in the summer, at the time when these estimates were
made, accuracy in their preparation was impossible. From inquiries which
were made among American whalers who had visited this sound since 1851,
the population of Qeqerten must have been larger than that of any of the
settlements contiguous to the sound. The estimation is the more
difficult as a few settlements were sometimes deserted; for instance,
Ukiadliving, in Saumia, and Qarmaqdjuin (Exeter Bay). Probably eight
settlements, with a population of 200 inhabitants each--i.e., 1,600 in
the sound--would be about the true number in 1840. At first I was
inclined to believe in the existence of a larger number, but from later
reports I should consider this number too large rather than too small.
Since that time the population has diminished at a terrible rate. In
1857 Warmow, a Moravian missionary who accompanied Penny, estimated it
at 300. If this was correct, the rapid diminution must have occurred
during the first years after the rediscovery of the sound. In December,
1883, the Talirpingmiut numbered 86 individuals, the Qinguamiut 60, the
Kingnaitmiut 82, the Saumingmiut 17; total, 245. These were distributed
in eight settlements. Beginning with the most southern settlement, the
Talirpingmiut lived in Umanaqtuaq, Idjorituaqtuin, Nuvujen, and
Qarussuit; the Qinguamiut, in Imigen and Anarnitung; the Kingnaitmiut,
in Qeqerten; the Saumingmiut, in Ukiadliving. Accordingly the population
of the settlements numbered as follows:

  M. Men
  W. Women
  B. Boys
  G. Girls
  WM Widowers
  WW Widows

                 | Married. |          Unmarried.         |
  Name of the    |----|-----|----|----|----|----|----|----| Total.
  settlement.    | M. |  W. | WM | WW | M. | W. | B. | G. |
                 |    |     |    |    |    |    |    |    |
  Naujateling    |  6 |   6 |  1 |  - |  - |  1 |  3 |  3 |   20
  Idjorituaqtuin |  3 |   3 |  - |  1 |  1 |  - |  2 |  1 |   11
  Nuvujen        |  8 |   8 |  1 |  2 |  1 |  - |  4 |  2 |   26
  Qarussuit      | 10 |  10 |  - |  2 |  - |  - |  2 |  5 |   29
  Imigen         |  6 |   6 |  - |  - |  - |  - |  4 |  1 |   17
  Anarnitung     | 12 |  12 |  1 |  1 |  1 |  - |  8 |  8 |   43
  Qeqerten       | 26 |  26 |  - |  6 |  4 |  - |  9 |  1 |   82
  Ukiadliving    |  6 |   6 |  - |  1 |  - |  1 |  2 |  1 |   17
  Padli          | 11 |  13 |  2 |  2 |  1 |  - |  7 |  7 |   43
  Akudnirn       |  8 |  12 |  - |  - |  2 |  - |   (18)  |   40
      Total      | 96 | 102 |  5 | 15 | 10 |  2 |   (98)  |  328

I have included in the foregoing table the inhabitants of Davis Strait
and may add that the Nugumiut number about 80, the Eskimo of Pond Bay
about 50 (?), those of Admiralty Inlet 200, and of Iglulik about 150.
The total number of inhabitants of Baffin Land thus ranges between 1,000
and 1,100.

The reason for the rapid diminution in the population of this country is
undoubtedly to be found in the diseases which have been taken thither by
the whalers. Of all these, syphilis has made the greatest ravages among
the natives. Of other diseases I am unable to give a full account and
can only refer to those which came under my observation during the year
that I passed in this region. In Qeqerten a man died of cancer of the
rectum, two women of pneumonia, and five children of diphtheria, this
disease being first brought into the country in 1883. In Anarnitung I
knew of the death of two women and one child. On the west shore a number
of children died of diphtheria, while the health of the adults was good.
In the year 1883-’84 I heard of two births, one occurring in Qeqerten,
the other in Padli. At Qarussuit and Anarnitung there were two

The opinion that the Eskimo are dying out on account of an insufficient
supply of food is erroneous, for, even though the natives slaughter the
seals without discrimination or forethought, they do not kill enough to
cause any considerable diminution in numbers. The whalers do not hunt
the seal to any extent, and when one realizes how small the population
of the country is and how vast the territory in which the seal lives it
is easy to understand that famine or want cannot arise, as a rule, from
the cutting off of the natural food supply. In fact, in the spring
enormous numbers of seals may be seen together basking in the sun or
swimming in the water.

The causes of the famines which occur somewhat frequently among the
Eskimo must be sought in another direction. Pressing need often prevails
if in the latter part of the autumn the formation of the floe is
retarded; for in that case hunters are not able either to go hunting in
boats or to procure the necessary food at the edge of the floe, as new
ice is attached to its more solid parts and the seals do not yet open
their breathing holes. Such was the case at Niaqonaujang, on Davis
Strait, in the fall of 1883. Gales of wind following in quick succession
broke the floe. The new ice which had formed immediately prevented the
natives from sealing, and in November and December a famine visited the
settlement. Very soon the supply of blubber was exhausted, and being
unable to feed the dogs the inhabitants were obliged to kill them one
after another and to live upon their frozen carcasses. Only two dogs
survived these months of need and starvation. Consequently the hunting
season was a very poor one, since the natives missed the services of
their dogs, which scent the breathing holes, and could not leave their
settlement for any great distance.

In winter a long spell of bad weather occasions privation, since the
hunters are then prevented from leaving the huts. If by chance some one
should happen to die during this time, famine is inevitable, for a
strict law forbids the performance of any kind of work during the days
of mourning. When this time is over, however, or at the beginning of
good weather, an ample supply is quickly secured. I do not know of any
cases of famine arising from the absolute want of game, but only from
the impossibility of reaching it.

Sometimes traveling parties that are not acquainted with the nature of
the country which they visit are in want of food. For instance, a large
company, consisting of three boat crews, were starved on the eastern
shore of Fox Basin, their boats being crushed by the heavy ice and the
game they expected to find in abundance having left the region
altogether. On one of the numerous islands of Nettilling a number of
women and children perished, as the men, who had been deer hunting, were
unable to find their way back to the place in which they had erected
their huts.

Another case of starvation is frequently mentioned by the Eskimo. Some
families who were traveling from Akuliaq to Nugumiut passed the isthmus
between Hudson Strait and Frobisher Bay. When, after a long and tedious
journey, they had reached the sea, the men left their families near
Qairoliktung and descended with their kayaks to Nugumiut in order to
borrow some boats in which they could bring their families to the
settlements. On the way they were detained by stormy weather, and
meanwhile the families were starved and resorted to cannibalism. One
woman especially, by the name of Megaujang, who ate all her children,
was always mentioned with horror.

Generally food is plentiful between the months of April and October and
an ample supply may be secured without extraordinary exertion. During
the winter sealing is more difficult, but sufficiently successful to
prevent any want, except in the case of continuous bad weather.

I shall now proceed to a description of the single settlements of
Cumberland Sound. Separated from the Nugumiut by a long and uninhabited
stretch of land we find the settlement of Naujateling, the most southern
one of the Talirpingmiut. In the fall the natives erect their huts on
the mainland or on an island near it, as the seal, at this season,
resort to the narrow channels and to the fjords. Besides, the shelter
which is afforded by the islands against the frequent gales is an
important consideration, and in these protected waters the natives can
manage their frail boats, which would not live for a moment in the
tempestuous open sea. Later in the season the ice consolidates in the
shelter of the islands, while beyond the bays and channels drifting
floes fill the sea.

After the consolidation of the pack ice the natives move their huts to
the sea. They leave Naujateling about December and move to Umanaqtuaq.
I do not know exactly where they live if the water reaches that island.
Should this happen, the floe between Qaχodluin, Umanaqtuaq, and
Idjorituaqtuin would offer a productive hunting ground.

About the middle of March the season for hunting the young seal opens.
The hunt is prosecuted with much energy over the entire extent of
Cumberland Sound, because the white coat of the young animal is of prime
importance for the inner garments. The pregnant females take to the
rough ice, where deep snowbanks have been formed by the winter gales,
and dig large excavations, in which parturition takes place. Another
favorite place is the ground ice on gradually declining shores, where
large caves are found between the broken pieces of ice. Therefore the
fjords and islands which offer a long coast line furnish a good hunting
ground, and in the latter part of March and in April the Eskimo either
visit these regions or the floes of rough ice. At such times they
sometimes live for a long period on the ice of the open sea in order to
be nearer to their hunting ground. As the success of the hunt depends on
the extent of ice visited, the Eskimo scatter over a large area, almost
every one traveling over a separate tract.

At this time the winter settlements are almost totally broken up. Some
of the natives of Naujateling go bear hunting instead of “young
sealing,” but only a few polar bears lose their way into Cumberland
Sound. They are generally found within a few miles of the floe edge, and
even if the water reaches pretty far up the sound they do not travel
beyond Qaχodluin and Miliqdjuaq, nor does the pack ice carry them far up
the sound in summer. On one occasion, in the year 1880, three bears were
seen near Qeqerten, about five years earlier one was killed in Qingua,
and almost twenty years earlier another one near Anarnitung. Every
occurrence of this kind is considered an event of such importance that
it is talked about for years afterwards. I myself saw bear tracks in
Kouaqdjuaq in March, 1884, and also at Miliqdjuaq. In February a bear
was killed between Kautaq and Naujateling.

If the water washes the foot of the cliffs between Kautaq and Sulung,
the Eskimo cross the isthmus which lies between Ijelirtung, the eastern
branch of Qasigidjen, and Qaχodluin Bay on a sledge road and hunt among
the islands that are scattered along the shore south of Qaχodluin. In
summer they visit the same region on their hunting excursions.

The principal summer settlements are at the head of Qasigidjen and
Kangertlung Fjords, which are situated near Idjorituaqtuin and

From here they ascend the plateau of Nugumiut and hunt on the level
highlands. I think it takes them but a day to travel to the top of the
plateau. They travel from Qasigidjen to Agdlinartung, a fjord of
Frobisher Bay, whence the Nugumiut ascend the highland. Another route
leads from Kangertlung to Eχaluin, near the head of Frobisher Bay.

Farther up the sound we find the winter settlement of Idjorituaqtuin.
The same relation exists between this place and Qimissung as between
Umanaqtuaq and Naujateling. On Qimissung, which lies near the mainland,
the natives gather in the fall after returning from deer hunting, and
only move to Idjorituaqtuin after the freezing up of the sea. Deer are
hunted inland, the summer settlements being at the head of one of the
numerous fjords of the west shore. Favorite places are Kangertlung,
which is also visited by the Naujateling Eskimo; Eχaluin, which can be
reached from Kangertlung by a short overland road; Auqardneling; and
Utiqimitung, at the entrance of Nettilling Fjord. A large river, which,
according to Eskimo reports, runs through the greater part of the
peninsula, empties into Auqardneling. As it is very deep and wide it
cannot be crossed without a vessel of some character, and thus it puts a
stop to the migrations from Kangertlung and Eχaluin. In traveling from
Kangertlung to Frobisher Bay the river must be crossed. To accomplish
this the natives fill a deerskin with shrubs, sew it up, and float
themselves across. Only the road leading from Qasigidjen to Frobisher
Bay avoids the river.

North of Idjorituaqtuin we find the winter settlement of Nuvujen with
the fall settlement, Nuvujalung, a high cliff at the entrance of
Nettilling Fjord, belonging to it.

By far the most interesting branch of the Talirpingmiut are the
inhabitants of Nettilling Fjord. Among all the tribes of Baffin Land
this one claims particular attention, as it is the only one whose
residence is not limited to the seashore. From Greenland to the mouth of
the Mackenzie only two Eskimo tribes are known who do not live all the
year round on the coast of the sea. These are the Talirpingmiut and the
Kinipetu of Chesterfield Inlet. Back and Anderson and Stewart say that
the latter tribe spend a great part of the year at the lakes of Back

Formerly the Talirpingmiut had three or four settlements on Lake
Nettilling: at Tikeraqdjung, near the south point of the lake; at the
outlet of Koukdjuaq, on the left bank of the river, opposite to
Nikosiving Island; at Qarmang; and probably a fourth one, on the north
shore. As the lake abounds with seals, they could live here at all
seasons. Its western part seems to have been particularly fitted for
winter stations. In the winter of 1877-’78, three families staid near
Koukdjuaq without encountering any considerable difficulty in procuring
food. This was the last time that natives passed the winter at the lake;
the greater portion of the tribe may have retreated to Nettilling Fjord
about twenty years ago.

Though the Eskimo assert that the discovery of Lake Nettilling is of
recent date, naming two men, Kadlu and Sagmu, as those who first reached
it, this assertion is not trustworthy, for with them almost every
historical tradition is supposed to have originated a comparatively
short time ago. I was told, for instance, that an event which is the
subject of the tale Igimarasugdjuqdjuaq the cannibal occurred at the
beginning of this century, and yet the tradition is told almost word for
word in Greenland and in Labrador.

Just so with Kadlu and Sagmu. According to the assertion of the natives
the lake was discovered by the generation before the last--i.e., about
1810--and yet an old woman about seventy-five years of age told me that
her grandfather when a young man, starting from Nettilling, had visited
Iglulik and that he had lived on the lake. The customs and habits of the
Eskimo would have led to the discovery of the lake very soon after the
first visit to Cumberland Sound, and no doubt their attention was then
called to the abundance of game in this region.

The greater part of the natives spent the winter in Nettilling Fjord,
starting on their way inland about the beginning of May, and returning
to the sea about December. I suppose that cases in which men spent their
whole life on the lake were exceptional, for they are referred to by the
natives as remarkable events. For instance, a man called Neqsiang, who
had two wives, lived on a small island near Koukdjuaq and never
descended to Cumberland Sound. A few times only he is said to have sent
his son to barter with the Talirpingmiut of Nettilling Fjord. He came to
Qarussuit in the spring, but returned after a short stay. It may be
remarked here that the total absence of salt does not prevent the
natives from staying on Lake Nettilling.

About 1850 the mode of life of the Talirpingmiut was as follows: In
November they gathered in Isoa, the easternmost bay of the lake,
descended toward the sea, and lived during the following months at the
entrance of Nettilling Fjord. There they lived in the same manner as the
other Oqomiut, pursuing the seals at their breathing holes. In the
spring they hunted young seals; but, when the other natives began to
prepare for whaling, they traveled on sledges westward. They avoided the
large tide holes of the long fjord by making use of a few passes.
Although the fjord is impassable in spring, a safe road leads along its
northern shore to its northern branch, Kangertlukdjuaq, where the water
hole Sarbaqdualung may be avoided by crossing the land at Tunukutang.
In the spring large water holes are formed near Neqemiarbing and at the
entrance of Audnerbing, compelling travelers to pass over the island
which separates the two passages of Sarbaqdualung. The pass Tunukutang,
which is used in winter, consists of a steep and narrow neck of land,
which separates a small lake from Kangertlukdjuaq, and a short and
winding river, the outlet of the lake. The second tide hole of the fjord
may be passed by the branches Qasigidjen and Sarbaqdjukulu and the
adjoining flat isthmus. The holes of Qognung, yet farther up the fjord,
do not hinder the natives, as they do not occupy the whole width of the

At length they reached Kangia, and from here a chain of small lakes was
ascended, the watershed Ujaraqdjuin was crossed, and finally they
arrived at Amitoq. Cairns are everywhere erected on prominent points for
way marks. After they had come to Lake Nettilling, they rested a short
time at Isoa, where the skin boats and the necessary household goods had
been left the preceding fall. These were lashed upon the sledges and
then they traveled as quickly as possible to the west. After following
the southeastern shore to Tikeraqdjuaq they crossed the lake to a point
near Tikeraqdjung, whence they went along the southern shore of the
lake, reaching Koukdjuaq in about a fortnight. Here their tents were
established on the left bank of the river, opposite to Nikosiving, where
they staid until the breaking up of the ice. Then the men descended the
river in their kayaks. Four days they followed the coast, passing the
bay of Aggirtijung before they reached Qudjitariaq, a long and deep
river, which they ascended. For a few weeks they hunted deer among the
lakes of this region, which is called Majoraridjen, and then slowly
turned southward. At last, about the latter half of August, they reached
Qarmang, where at the beginning of summer the women and old men had
arrived in their large boats. Here the whole party stopped until the
lake was frozen up. Then they returned on sledges to Isoa and to the

It would be very interesting to learn how far the natives formerly
extended their migrations along the shore of Fox Basin and whether a
regular intercourse existed between Iglulik and Cumberland Sound.
According to reports of some old Eskimo, who had themselves passed the
winter on the lake, there was always a small settlement at Qarmang. From
here the shore of Fox Basin was reached with great ease. If, however,
the route through Koukdjuaq had to be taken, a long, roundabout way was
necessary. According to all reports, even in olden times expeditions to
Iglulik were very rare. It is said that one was made about 1750 by a
party under the leadership of an Eskimo, Makulu. About 1800 another
party left, in which Kotuko assumed the leadership. About these a more
detailed account exists. With a few boats and four kayaks they left
Nettilling and followed the coast. Alone in his kayak, Kotuko visited
Sagdlirn, an island east of Iglulik, but he did not see any people,
as they were on a hunting excursion. He found one hut and a large dog.
There were a great number of deerskins and walrus tusks, which proved
the existence of an abundance of game. He returned, but on account of
the prevailing fog could scarcely find his kayak. The absence of the
party is said to have lasted three years.

About 1820 another party left for Iglulik, among whom two women, Amaroq
and Sigjeriaq, were the most prominent. When they returned, after an
absence of three years, they praised the country (Piling), where they
had spent some time, as a land of plenty and abundance, and by these
tales, in 1835, induced three boat crews to leave Nettilling in order to
visit this happy land. They were grievously disappointed and after many
misfortunes they perished on the narrow isthmus of Ipiuting. Their
bodies were found by the Iglulik Eskimo, who related that the poor
fellows had resorted to cannibalism. Among those who perished was a
sister of the famous Hannah (Taqulitu), the companion of Hall in his
travels in the Arctic. I must mention here that Hall, in 1868, met a
native at Iglulik who was said to belong to Cumberland Sound. As,
however, in Iglulik Cumberland Sound and Davis Strait are often
confounded, I am inclined to think he was a native of the latter region.

From these facts it appears that a regular intercourse between the
tribes along the shore of Fox Basin never existed, though formerly
interviews were more frequent than they are at present. Since the last
mentioned expedition no Eskimo has visited Piling, nor have any gone by
the way of Lake Nettilling to Iglulik. Accordingly the ideas of the
Oqomiut about that region are very indefinite. An old man was the only
person whom I could find who knew Iglulik by name and remembered Ingnirn
and Piling, two places which had been inhabited by many Eskimo. He
mentioned another inhabited region beyond Iglulik, Augpalugtijung, which
I was not able to identify. It was described as a large peninsula.

It is worth remarking that the Talirpingmiut seem never to have traveled
over the country south of Koukdjuaq. I have not even heard mentioned a
single hunting excursion made in this direction.

In the foregoing paragraphs I have described the mode of life of the
greater part of the Talirpingmiut. Still another part staid in
Cumberland Sound until the ice had gone and went away in the latter half
of July. The passage through the rapids of the fjords was very
dangerous, as in the whirlpools and overfalls the bulky boats were
easily capsized. Therefore the changing of the tides had to be
considered in order to effect a safe passage. The men preferred carrying
the kayaks over the passes in order to avoid the dangers imminent to
their frail crafts. Even up to this day tradition tells of a disaster
which happened when the stubborn owner of a boat, against the warning of
his friends, tried to pass Sarbaqdualung when the spring tide was
running swiftly. The boat was upset and the crew were drowned, with the
exception of one woman, who was saved on a bundle of deerskins.

From Kangia boats had to be carried over the portages Igpirto,
Igpirtousirn, and Ujaraqdjuin. The rapids of Angmartung were also
avoided by a portage over the level bottom of the valley. After passing
Taquirbing, Lake Nettilling was reached, on the shore of which the huts
were erected. In the fall the party returned before the beginning of the
cold season. It has been already mentioned that only a few of the
natives staid at the lake during the entire year, and even among these
there were some who descended to the sea in March to take part in the
young sealing, for the skins of the young seal cannot be altogether
replaced by deerskins.

At the present time it is exceptional for any one to remain inland
during the entire year. There may be seals enough in the lake to prevent
hunger or starvation, but they are taken much more easily from the sea.
In case of a lack of blubber, deer’s marrow may be used for fuel. It is
probable that the high mortality of recent years has induced the Eskimo
to band together more closely than they formerly did and to adopt the
plan of returning to Nettilling Fjord at the beginning of winter. In the
fall the boats and other articles which are of no use in winter are left
in Isoa, and some time is spent in Kangia, where snow houses are built.
Here the kayaks are left, and in December, when the sealing begins to be
more successful near the sound, the Eskimo turn to the entrance of
Nettilling Fjord, where Tininiqdjuaq and Neqemiarbing are favorite
places. Seals are hunted there with the harpoon in the same way as in
the other settlements or Sarbaqdualung is visited for the purpose of
shooting seals which frequent the tide holes. This, however, is not a
favorite way of hunting, as the ice near the tide holes is very rough
and treacherous.

In March and April young seals are caught on the shores of the numerous
islands between Tininiqdjuaq and Nuvujalung, and at the same time the
old settlements are left, as large water holes begin to appear.
Qarussuit and Qingaseareang are the favorite places about this time of
the year.

As soon as the young sealing is finished the hunt of the basking seal is
opened, which is very successful here. Nowhere else did I see such large
numbers of animals enjoying the warmth of the sun as in Nettilling
Fjord. In April, when on the east shore scarcely any dared to leave the
water, hundreds might be seen here. By the first of May all the natives
have procured a sufficient number of sealskins for their summer dress,
the skins being then in the best condition, as the first moulting has
just occurred. This done, they eagerly prepare for the journey to the

The natives start in the first week of May, and in two or three days
arrive at Kangia, whence they reach Isoa in one day’s journey. Following
the southern shore of Lake Nettilling they sleep the first night on
Tikeraqdjuausirn, the second on the island Manirigtung, near
Tikeraqdjuaq, and five days after leaving Qarussuit arrive at
Tikeraqdjung, where they settle for the summer. As numerous deer are
found in this region, they live without any care or trouble. Very soon
after their arrival the birds return. While moulting great quantities of
these are caught. The geese are so abundant here that they are fed to
the dogs. Many deer are caught while passing the deep river which runs
from Lake Amaqdjuaq to Lake Nettilling. Frequently they visit the
southern plains, which are filled with lakes and lakelets. Sometimes
they go as far as Amaqdjuaq, which, as the older natives report, was
formerly a summer settlement.

In the river whose outlet is near Padli salmon are caught in abundance.
In this district the Talirpingmiut stay until the eastern part of the
lake is frozen over.

In the shelter of the islands the floe is more quickly formed than in
the open water of the western part, and in November the natives return
by sledges to Isoa.

As they take with them heavy loads of deerskins they make very slow
progress and generally arrive at their place of destination after six
days of traveling. Sometimes they make a short trip to Isoa in March or
April to hunt deer or to look for the things which were left behind in
Kangia and Isoa at the time of their last departure.

Besides the Talirpingmiut quite a number of Cumberland Sound natives
visit the lake by means of boats. They cross the sound after the
breaking up of the ice and go to Nettilling, carrying the boats over the
portages between Kangia and Isoa. As the Talirpingmiut have no boats
they stay at Tikeraqdjuaq; the other natives, however, sometimes change
their habitations and even visit Qarmang and the north shore of the
lake. These journeys, however, are rare, for in the eastern part an
inexhaustible supply of food may be obtained; therefore long excursions
are quite unnecessary. At the beginning of October the boats leave the
lake and the natives return to the fall settlements in the sound.

Nettilling Fjord, with its numerous islands, forms the northern boundary
of Talirpia. Farther north we come to Qingua, the head of Tiniqdjuarbing
(Cumberland Sound). It extends from Imigen to Ussualung. The winter
settlement on the island of Imigen is situated in the midst of one of
the best winter hunting grounds, for the southern portion of the island,
on which the huts are erected, projects far out into the sea. The hunt
is often rendered somewhat difficult by the rough ice which is due to
the strong currents between Pujetung, Imigen, and Nettilling Fjord.
Towards spring the natives sometimes resort to a place yet nearer the
open sea, the largest island of the Pujetung group. Young seals are
caught near Imigen, at the Kilauting Islands, and in Qaggilortung. This
district, however, cannot be visited every year, as almost every spring
the whole area west of a line from Imigen to Anarnitung is covered with
very deep and soft snow, which prevents the Eskimo from using their dog
sledges. When this condition prevails the natives settle on the sea ice
between Augpalugtung and Imigen, or a little farther north, and remain
there from the middle of March until the latter part of April.

These natives go deer hunting either to Issortuqdjuaq--where they live
at Eχaluaqdjuin, Sirmiling, or Midlurieling--or to Eχaluqdjuaq, near
Ussualung, where they hunt in the hilly land adjoining the ice-covered
Penny Plateau. As the land farther northwest is said to consist of
irregular hills and disconnected valleys, the skins and the meat of the
killed deer would have to be carried up and down hills before the
settlement was reached. Therefore the natives dislike hunting in this
part of the country.

Eχaluaqdjuin and Eχaluqdjuaq, as is denoted by the names, are productive
salmon rivers. In starting from the former and ascending a narrow
valley, Lake Eχoleaqdjuin is reached, whence a pass leads to the valley
adjoining Eχaluaqdjuin. Taking another road the long Lake Imeraqdjuaq is
reached, which borders upon the glaciers of the highland. From here,
after a four days’ tramp following a large river, the traveler comes to
Midlurieling. From Issortuqdjuaq a narrow isthmus offering a good
sledging road is used in visiting the head of Qaggilortung. Another
route, which is suitable only for foot passengers, leads by a chain of
lakes to the head of Kangertlukdjuaq. It is not necessary to enumerate
the overland routes in this district, as numerous valleys permit the
traveler to pass from the east to the west and from the south to the
north. In the fall the natives resort to Saunirtung or to
Saunirtuqdjuaq, two islands northwest of Imigen, where they stay until
January, when they return to the sea.

The second settlement of the Qinguamiut is Anarnitung, at the northern
entrance of Qaggilortung. The small island and the neighboring point of
Igdlungajung are, next to Qeqerten, the seat of the most important
settlement of Cumberland Sound. On the southern and eastern declivity of
the low hills which form this island are a number of very old stone
foundations (see p. 549), such as are found everywhere on the Arctic
shores of North America (Baffin-Land, p. 77).

If the ice in the upper parts of the sound is smooth, families belonging
to this community settle on Kilauting, the largest island of a group
running from northwest to southeast a few miles north of Imigen. Here
they go sealing with the harpoon. If the ice, however, is rough (as it
happened to be during my stay in Cumberland Sound), they remain in
Anarnitung, whence some go to the water holes at the entrance of
Issortuqdjuaq and shoot the blowing seals, while others go hunting on
the ice near Anarnitung.

During the young sealing season they almost always leave the island. The
favorite resort at this season is Sakiaqdjung, near Manituling, in
Qaggilortung, but heavy snowfalls often compel them to exchange this
region for the open sea. If they insist upon stopping there, snowshoes
are used as the only means of traveling in the deep and soft snow. In
1878, when the Florence wintered in Anarnitung Harbor, the greater part
of the natives remained near the ship; but her presence is accountable
for this exception, as some of the families were in her service and
others staid near her in order to barter seals, skins, &c.

Of some importance are the passes leading around the numerous water
holes at the head of Cumberland Sound. The narrow island of Nudnirn,
which separates Sarbuqdjuaq from Putukin, offers a good passage by way
of a deep valley. Should the passage be made in a mild winter or in
spring, when the water holes of Sarbuqdjuaq have enlarged, they must
avoid the latter by passing over the inconvenient isthmus of
Itidliaping, west of the steep cliff Naujan.

In spring the tide holes of Kangidliuta extend over the passage between
that island and Surosirn, preventing sledges from passing to
Issortuqdjuaq or to Tessiujang. Then Qaχodlualung is crossed by the way
of Naqoreang or the more southerly Tappitariaq, which leads into the
sound near Siegtung. Both passes are very inconvenient. From Tessiujang,
Issortuqdjuaq may be reached by the fjords Ugjuktung and Itijareling and
by the adjoining passes.

Lastly, I have to mention the road formerly used by the natives of
Anarnitung in traveling to Nettilling. They crossed the entrance of
Qaggilortung and ascended Tarrionitung, whence they came by the Lakes
Qamusiojodlang and Irtiujang to Missirtung, in Nettilling Fjord, thus
avoiding a much longer journey around the large peninsula projecting to
the eastward. A similar pass farther east connects Tornait and

The ruins of a third settlement of the Qinguamiut are found at Tulukan
on Qeqertelung.

The next subtribe to be treated is the Kingnaitmiut, who are now located
exclusively upon Qeqerten. Formerly they lived in several places--for
instance, near Pangnirtung and on Miliaqdjuin--but for a long time they
have gathered on Qeqerten, as two whaling stations are established here,
many natives being in the service of the whalers. The island is the
largest settlement of the sound. It is a favorite resort during the fall
and the first part of winter. In November and December, before the ice
of the sound consolidates, the ice east of the islands is the best
hunting ground. Later that west of the islands is preferred. There is
one disadvantage peculiar to Qeqerten which is not shared by the other
settlements, namely, the fohn-like winds which often blow for many days
from Kingnait Fjord with irresistible violence. These confine the
natives to their huts, though a few miles north or south calm weather
prevails. Should fair weather ensue, the snow, which has been firmly
packed by these gales, affords a good hunting ground; but if, on the
other hand, long spells of bad weather follow, want and hunger may be
the result. The young seals are eagerly pursued all about Qeqerten.

In Pangnirtung and in the little valley Niutang, in Kingnait, well up in
these fjords, are the ruins of two large, ancient settlements. The
conditions which formerly enabled the natives to live here will be
mentioned later.

The Kingnaitmiut go deer hunting to Kitingujang, at the head of Kingnait
Fjord; to Nirdlirn, in the bay behind Augpalugtung and Sednirun; to
Pangnirtung; or to the more southern fjords Eχaluaqdjuin and

I shall describe the districts occupied by the Kingnaitmiut,
Saumingmiut, and Padlimiut together, as they all bear a uniform

From Nirdlirn the mountains of Ussualung or the highland near Ukiuqdjuaq
are visited. The same country is traveled over from Pangnirtung, where
the settlement is established either above Qordlubing or opposite
Aulitiving. The deep valley, with its numerous glaciers, adjoining
Pangnirtung and connecting Cumberland Sound and Davis Strait is rarely

The favorite place for the settlement is Kitingujang in Kingnait. In the
river which empties here many salmon are caught, and the declivities of
the neighboring highlands, which are less steep than those of
Pangnirtung, afford ample opportunity for long hunting excursions. Deer
are found on the mountains, for here they escape the mosquitoes which
swarm in the valleys. The natives do not go beyond Padli, but most of
them have been there. They often travel through the valleys of
Nerseqdjuaq and Tunussung to Pangnirtung, of Davis Strait, down the
eastern shore of which they go a considerable distance. Sometimes they
make boat excursions during the summer from Kitingujang, visiting the
brooks which empty into Kingnait Fjord, or they settle in Tornait,
whence Tupirbikdjuin in Pangnirtung is accessible by the wide valleys
surrounding Angiuqaq.

I may omit the description of the separate summer habitations farther
south, for the head of every fjord and every valley that is a means of
reaching the interior are used for erecting the tents. The interior of
the region, which is covered with ice, remains unvisited, no game being
found there. Therefore it may be said in general that the Eskimo are
limited to the peninsulas formed by the numerous fjords.

The Saumingmiut visit the southern fjords of Cumberland Peninsula, where
I have marked the settlements on the chart. Here they pursue deer and
polar bears, which frequently come down to Cape Mercy during the summer.

An important summer settlement of the Saumingmiut is Touaqdjuaq, from
which place they visit the peninsula limited by Exeter Sound and
Touaqdjuaq. An important summer station of both Saumingmiut and
Padlimiut is Qarmaqdjuin, while Eχaloaping (Durban Harbor of the
whalers), near the entrance of Padli, is visited only by the latter

The number of deer on Cumberland Peninsula is so variable that the
result of the hunt is often unsatisfactory. Although in some seasons
numerous herds are met, in others scarcely enough animals are killed to
afford a sufficient stock of skins for the winter clothing. Early in the
spring the deer pass quite regularly through Itidlirn (the lower part of
Padli Valley, between Ikaroling and Padli), in their migrations from
Narpaing to Qarmaqdjuin. I was told that in both the latter districts
many deer can be found at all times.

Lastly, I have to describe the winter settlements of the Saumingmiut.
They are in the habit of separating in the fall, part of them staying
during winter on Qeqertaujang, in Ugjuktung, and the remainder at
Ukiadliving, on Davis Strait.

Strange as it may seem, walrus are not found in the upper part of the
sound, while farther south they are abundant. Akuliaχating, east of
Qeqerten, is the most northern point that they visit. It is said that in
former times they were met with everywhere in the sound, and indeed some
of the local names give evidence of the truth of these traditions; for
instance, the name of Uglirn (which is always applied to walrus
islands), in the fjord Qaggilortung, and that of Anarnitung (a place
having a bad smell from walrus excrement), at the head of the sound.

Before Cumberland Sound begins to freeze up, the Eskimo of Ugjuktung
take walrus on the islands Uglirn, south of Qeqertaujang, and at
Qeqertaq in Anartuajuin. The animals killed during the fall are buried
under stones, and with this stock of provisions the Saumingmiut do not
suffer want during the winter. In addition, however, they go sealing at
the entrance of Ugjuktung, or travel overland to Kangertloaping,
a branch of Kouaqdjuaq, as Nuvukdjuaq is almost always washed by water
and cannot be passed in winter. The young sealing is here of little
importance, as the bears visit the fjords about this season and frighten
the animals away. In March the natives go bear hunting or move up the
sound to join the Kingnaitmiut during the time of young sealing. In the
spring the settlement is always abandoned, as most of them go to Davis
Strait and join the other part of the tribe. Crossing the country, they
travel over a pass leading from Anartuajuin to Ujaradjiraaitjung.

The favorite settlement on the east coast is Ukiadliving. There are
several stone foundations in this place which are frequently
reconstructed and used as dwellings. Here walrus are hunted in the
summer and in the fall and a great stock of provisions is laid up. In
winter the floe offers a good hunting ground for sealing and in the
spring the bears visit the land and the islands to pursue the pupping
(i.e., pregnant or parturient) seals. At the same time the she bear
brings forth her young, the meat and skin of which are highly prized.
Many old bears and cubs are killed at this season and the precious skins
are prepared for sale.

Besides the beforementioned route another and longer one leads to
Cumberland Sound. In taking this course the sledges start from
Nedluqseaq, west of Ukiadliving, and follow a river which rises in a
small lake whence the inland ice is ascended. Farther on the valley
leading to Eχaluaqdjuin and Kangertlukdjuaq is reached. This is the only
overland route on which the inland ice is crossed. Cape Mercy can be
passed by a number of short isthmuses. In the shelter of the bay formed
by the cape and Muingmang a floe is formed reaching to the foot of
Uibarun (Cape Mercy). The pass Tappitaridjen, which cuts off two
peninsulas, leads into the sound. The bays farther west are frozen up
and the projecting points are avoided by short passes. Unfortunately
this road was unknown to me during my stay in Saumia, else I could have
easily visited Cape Mercy. At last Anartuajuin is reached. The water
rarely extends to Nuvukdjuaraqdjung, the point between Anartuajuin and
Ugjuktung. It may be passed by a difficult road leading across the
peninsula. If the water extends to Iliqimisarbing a pass is used which
is ascended from Eχalualuin, in the bay of Naujaqdjuaq.

On Davis Strait a few important isthmuses must be mentioned. One is used
by the inhabitants of Ukiadliving in traveling to Exeter Sound. They
leave the sea at the head of Touaqdjuaq and by a difficult overland
route cross to the southern shore of Exeter Sound. Much of the time the
ice and snow near Udlimaulitelling make the route almost impassable in
that direction. If, therefore, this route is impracticable or that
through Touaqdjuaq is too difficult on account of the absence of snow,
the journey is postponed until late in spring, when the hummocks begin
to be leveled off and the snow becomes harder as it settles; then the
rough ice can be passed, and after reaching Ituatukan, a fjord near Cape
Walsingham, the Eskimo ascend it, so as to avoid the cape, which is
always washed by water. If snow and ice are in a suitable condition the
passage by way of Ituatukan is always preferred.

From Exeter Sound Kangertlukdjuaq, in Padli Fjord, may be reached by a
pass of short extent; but the snow is always so deep here that the
passage cannot be effected until June. The peninsulas between Padli
Fjord and Exeter Sound, which have no ice foot, can be crossed by narrow
isthmuses near the head of the bays.

Before leaving Cumberland Sound and its inhabitants, the Oqomiut,
altogether, I wish to add a few remarks on the whale fishery, which the
Eskimo formerly carried on in their bulky skin boats. They pursued the
monstrous animal in all waters with their imperfect weapons, for a
single capture supplied them with food and fuel for a long time. I do
not know with certainty whether the natives used to bring their boats to
the floe edge in the spring in order to await the arrival of the whales,
as the Scotch and American whalers do nowadays, or whether the animals
were caught only in summer. On Davis Strait the Padlimiut and the
Akudnirmiut used to erect their tents in June near the floe edge, whence
they went whaling, sending the meat, blubber, and whalebone to the main
settlement. In Cumberland Sound whales were caught in all the fjords,
particularly in Kingnait, Issortuqdjuaq, and the narrow channels of the
west shore. Therefore the Eskimo could live in the fjords during the
winter, as the provisions laid up in the fall lasted until spring. If,
therefore, there is a perceptible diminution in the supply of their food
it is due to the fact that the whale fishery has been abandoned by them
or rather has been yielded up to Europeans and Americans. It is not
probable, however, that a sufficient number of whales were ever caught
to support the entire population during the whole of the winter. The
whaling is still kept up by the Eskimo of Hudson Strait and Hudson Bay,
though only to a limited extent, owing to the visits of whaling ships
and the establishment of whaling stations.

_The Padlimiut and the Akudnirmiut._--The next tribes to be described
are the Padlimiut and the Akudnirmiut, but this may be done very
briefly, as the nature of this region is similar to that of Saumia.
A peculiarity of the Akudnirmiut is their more decided migratory
character as compared with the Oqomiut. They do not spend every winter
at the same place, as we observed that the Oqomiut do, but are more
inclined to visit, in turn, the different winter stations of their

In summer the following places are almost always inhabited: Qarmaqdjuin,
Eχaloaping in Padli Fjord, Qivitung, and Niaqonaujang. The deer hunting
season opens here at the same time as farther south, but it is much
facilitated from the fact that the ice breaks up later. The deer visit
the numerous islands scattered along the mainland and thus their
pasturing ground is easily reached. As the islands of Home Bay
constitute a good hunting ground the Eskimo sometimes settle there for a
few weeks.

The long, low peninsula Pamiujang, near Nedluqseaq, and the head of
Nudlung are the favorite summer settlements of the Padlimiut. Nudlung,
Eχalualuin, Ijelirtung, and Inugsuin are visited by the Akudnirmiut. An
abundance of deer is found along the southern part of Home Bay, where
the plains extend to the sea. It is remarkable that all along this shore
there is no island on which birds build their nests. Though fowls do not
form an important constituent of the food of the Oqomiut and the more
southern tribes, the egg islands are frequently visited. On Davis Strait
it is only by chance that ducks &c. are caught, and eggs can scarcely be
obtained. The only island which is visited by birds is Avaudjelling,
in Home Bay. In July, however, large flocks of eider ducks descend
Itirbilung Fjord and many are caught near its head. From this fjord an
overland route, which is practicable only in summer, leads to Piling,
a district on the shore of Fox Basin, which may be reached in three
days. Though the route is well known, it seems to be passing into
disuse; at least I do not know any natives who have crossed the land by
it. Another interesting road leading overland must be mentioned, namely,
the one which leads from Nudlung and Eχalualuin to Majoraridjen and
Nettilling. The former region is still visited by the Akudnirmiut, but I
know of but one family who went to Nettilling and wintered there.

As a rule, about the beginning of August the Akudnirmiut move to
Niaqonanjang in order to have an opportunity of meeting the whalers on
their way south. For the same reason the southern families gather at

As soon as the sea is frozen up, part of the natives of Qivitung move
southward and settle on Qeqertuqdjuaq, where they stay until February,
while in spring some stay here or move farther up the bay, where they
establish their huts on Qeqertaq; the rest travel to Padli Fjord and
live with the families who had passed the winter there on Padloping. As
the floe edge approaches the land here, the country is favorable for
bear hunting, which is pursued in March and April. In June the natives
move up Padli Fjord to catch salmon, which are found in enormous numbers
at Padli. A few visit Agpan, where flocks of loons nest. The natives who
intend to return to Qivitung in summer leave about the end of May or the
beginning of June.

Those who remain at Qivitung during the winter go sealing in the bay
east of the peninsula and subsist upon the product of this occupation,
as well as on the walrus meat which was stored up in the summer and
autumn. A few leave Qivitung after the consolidation of the floe and
settle on Nanuqtaqdjung, an island in Home Bay, near the northern point
of Qeqertalukdjuaq.

In the winter the Akudnirmiut of Niaqonaujang generally remove to
Ipiutelling, on the southern shore of Koukteling, and in May go farther
south, to the island Avaudjelling. In the spring they go bear hunting on
Koukteling and the peninsula of Niaqonaujang, where the she bears dig
holes in the snow banks, in which they whelp.

Though the isthmuses are of great value in facilitating the intercourse
between the separate settlements of Cumberland Sound and Davis Strait,
as their headlands are washed by water, they are not indispensable for
the tribes of Davis Strait, for the ice is passable at all points. The
low peninsulas are crossed by the natives in their travels in preference
to rounding their headlands. Thus they not only shorten their journey,
but they avoid the rough ice often found off the points.

For example, a pass leads from the western bay of Padli Fjord to
Kangertloaping, and another from Tessiujang, near Qivitung, across the
narrow and low isthmus into Home Bay. Similar passes are used in
crossing Koukteling, the peninsulas of Niaqonaujang, Aqojang, and

At Niaqonaujang I reached the limit of my travels and have only to add
reports which I obtained from other tribes and in other settlements.
River Clyde and Aqbirtijung are not always inhabited, but are visited at
irregular intervals by the Akudnirmiut, the same who usually stay at
Niaqonaujang. It is probable that Aqbirtijung and Kangertlualung are
sometimes visited by the Tununirmiut of Pond Bay.

_The Aggomiut._--I can say but little about the two subtribes of the
Aggomiut (the Tununirmiut and the Tununirusirmiut), as the reports are
scanty and the chart of the region is too incorrect to convey any exact
information. A few statements may be derived from the Eskimo charts
published by Hall (II, pp. 356 and 370). It appears that the natives
winter near the entrance of Navy Board Inlet and in the back of Eclipse
Sound. Settlements of the Tununirusirmiut at the western entrance of
Admiralty Inlet and near its head are mentioned by Hall. Besides seals
these natives also pursue the white whales and narwhals which frequent
the sound. In summer the Tununirmiut live at the entrance of Pond Bay.

Although I am not informed as to the position of the settlements, and
for this reason am unable to judge of the details of the life of the
Aggomiut, I can give the more general facts of their relations to the
neighboring tribes. Of the greatest importance is their connection with
the Iglulirmiut, for through them a regular intercourse is kept up
between the continent of America and the eastern shore of Baffin Land.
One road leads through Kangertlukdjuaq, a fjord east of Parry’s Murray
Maxwell Inlet, to the head of Anaulereëling. I received a detailed
description of this road from a native whom I met at Niaqonaujang.
Hall’s statement that this way leads to Pond Bay is very likely
erroneous, as the natives probably said that it led to Tununirn, which
comprises the whole district of Eclipse Sound and the region east of it.
It is possible that another road leads to Eχaluin, a fjord of Eclipse
Sound. Another route which is often used leads from Kangertlung, Parry’s
Gifford River, to Angmang, and farther west to Tununirusirn. This route
has already been described by Parry, who attempted to reach the north
shore of Baffin Land by it (II, p. 449). Parry’s description was
confirmed in 1869 by Hall (II, p. 356). I am somewhat doubtful whether
Fury and Hecla Strait, which is often filled with rough ice, can be
passed regularly, and whether a route leading to Tununirusirn follows
the shore of the Gulf of Boothia, as stated by some of the natives of
Davis Strait. This uncertainty did not occur to me until after I had
read Parry’s description. Communication between Tununirn and
Tununirusirn is by way of the isthmus between Kangertlung and Navy Board

The journeys of the Aggomiut are not at all confined to Baffin Land. In
favorable winters they cross Lancaster Sound, passing the small island
Uglirn, and winter on the eastern half of Tudjan (North Devon). While
here they keep up some intercourse with the inhabitants of Umingman Nuna
(Ellesmere Land).

It is said that they cross the ice covered island on sledges. In four
days they reach the northern shore, whence a long, narrow peninsula,
Nedlung, stretches toward Ellesmere Land. Through the narrow passage
which separates Tudjan from Nedlung runs a very swift tide which keeps
open a water hole throughout the winter. All around this place the ice
wastes quickly in the spring and a large basin is formed which abounds
with seals. Only that part of the peninsula which lies nearest North
Devon is high and steep, presenting a bold face. Farther north it is
rather low.

Having reached Umingman Nuna, the Eskimo who gave me this information
affirm that they fell in with a small tribe who resided on this shore.
Here they lived for some time, as there was an abundance of seals during
the whole year. Farther northwest is a large fjord, Kangertluksiaq, off
which an island is found, Qeqertakadlinang by name. The Eskimo do not
visit the land on the other side of this fjord, as bears are said to be
very numerous and large there. Though these migrations to Jones Sound do
not occur very frequently, they have by no means been discontinued. For
instance, a family which was well known to me has visited Smith Sound,
and the father of some friends of a resident of Cumberland Sound
returned about fifteen years ago from a long stay on Tudjan and Nedlung.

_The Iglulirmiut._--The last group of natives belonging to Baffin Land
are those of Iglulik. Our knowledge of this tribe is due to Parry and
Hall. As soon as the sea begins to freeze up, the natives gather on
Iglulik, where they hunt the walrus throughout the winter. According to
the position of the floe edge, Iglulik, Pingitkalik, or Uglit Islands
are the favorite settlements. Later in the winter, when new ice is
frequently attached to the floe, part of the families move to the ice
northeast of Igluling, where seals are caught with the harpoon. Another
winter settlement seems to be near Amitoq. In April young seals are
hunted in the bays and fjords, particularly in Hooper Inlet. According
to Hall the western coast of Melville Peninsula is sometimes visited
during the winter for walrusing and bear hunting (II, p. 343). An
overland route leads to this district, crossing the long Grinnell Lake
and Brevoort River, thus named by Hall (II, p. 342). As soon as the warm
season approaches the natives go deer hunting on Melville Peninsula or
more frequently on Baffin Land. From the reports of Parry and Hall and
from my own inquiries, there can be no doubt that they visit the eastern
shore of Fox Basin.

_The Pilingmiut._--Two tribes were settled on the eastern coast of Fox
Basin, the Pilingmiut and the Sagdlirmiut, who had but slight
intercourse with the Iglulirmiut. I heard both mentioned at times when
traveling along Davis Strait. According to my information I should say
that Piling is about 74° west and 69° north. From Parry’s reports it
appears that the intercourse between these tribes and Iglulik was not
very active; for, although he had staid two years at Aivillik and
Iglulik, the Pilingmiut when visiting the latter tribe did not know
anything about this fact, which was one of the greatest importance to
all the natives (II, p. 430). Sometimes the Talirpingmiut of Cumberland
Sound meet the Pilingmiut, for both tribes go deer hunting northwest of
Nettilling. I heard of one such meeting between hunting parties in that

_The Sagdlirmiut._--The information as to the Sagdlirmiut is yet more
scanty than that relating to the inhabitants of Piling. Parry learned
that Sagdlirn is about east-northeast of Iglulik (II, p. 549). The
description which I received on Davis Strait confirms this opinion, for
the direction was denoted as qaningnang, i.e., east-northeast; besides,
Sagdlirn was described as a long and narrow island.


A remarkable difference exists between the customs of the western tribes
who live on the continent of America and those of the tribes that
inhabit Baffin Land and Melville Peninsula. This is chiefly due to the
difference in the nature of their territorial surroundings and to the
presence of the musk ox, which they frequently hunt. In addition, the
tribes of the continent do not hunt the seal in the winter, laying up
instead their supply of meat and blubber in the fall. The information in
regard to two of these tribes is quite complete, as they have been
visited by explorers frequently and at all seasons. The two tribes
referred to are the Aivillirmiut, of the northwestern part of Hudson
Bay, and the Netchillirmiut of Boothia Felix. Unfortunately the
information in respect to the others, the Kinipetu or Agutit, the
Sinimiut, Ugjulirmiut, and Ukusiksalirmiut, is less complete.

_The Aivillirmiut._--In order to describe the mode of life of the
Aivillirmiut I shall give an abstract of Dr. John Rae’s observations in
1846-’47 and 1854-’55, of C. F. Hall’s life with these natives from 1864
to 1869, and of Lieut. F. Schwatka’s residence among them from 1877 to
1879. A pretty correct idea of the migrations and favorite resorts of
this tribe at the different seasons may be obtained from the journals of
these travelers.

When Rae arrived in Repulse Bay in the latter part of July, 1846, he met
with twenty-six natives who were deer hunting among the numerous lakes
of Rae Isthmus (I, pp. 35, 40, 48). Another part of the tribe had
resorted to Akugdlit, where they hunted the musk ox near Point Hargrave
(I, p. 49). Committee Bay (Akugdlit) was filled with a heavy pack about
that time, and the natives hunted walrus in their kayaks (I, p. 58).
Wherever they killed a deer or musk ox they made deposits of the meat
and carefully put up the walrus blubber in sealskin bags for use during
the winter. When, about the end of September, the deer were migrating
southward and new ice was forming on the lakes, the natives settled in
the center of that part of the country which had been their hunting
ground during the summer, in order to be near their depots. For this
reason they were well scattered all over the country, some establishing
their tents on the lakes of the isthmus, others staying on the shore of
Repulse Bay, where large deposits of deer meat and blubber had been
made. During the winter most of the natives gathered in one settlement
east of Fort Hope (near Aivillik), whence they started to bring in their
deposits. About the 20th of February they scattered all over the bay
(I, p. 91), but it is doubtful whether they did this in order to be
nearer their depots or to go sealing. In March the first deer of the
season were seen. (I, p. 93), but it was not until April that larger
herds passed Repulse Bay on their migration northward (I, p. 99). At
this time a small supply of trout was procured from Christie Lake, but
it was not sufficient for the support of the natives (I, p. 99). Caches
of venison were made and frequently visited until late in June (p. 166).
The sealing had begun in the beginning of May (p. 135), when the first
animals were seen basking on the ice. But the Eskimo were now almost
independent of their old food supply. When the salmon left the lakes and
the deer were roaming among the hills the time of plenty was at hand.
The salmon creeks were visited, deer were caught, and seals pursued on
the ice (p. 170). Although the first deer were caught in traps in May,
the principal season for deer hunting opened after the breaking up of
the ice, when they were easily taken while crossing the lakes.

When Rae wintered the second time in Repulse Bay (1854-’55) he was much
surprised to find no natives there. They had wintered farther south, and
did not come to the bay until May, 1855, when they could catch seals on
the land ice. In 1864, when Hall arrived at Wager River, Repulse Bay was
again deserted. This year of Hall’s stay in Hudson Bay is very
instructive, as we learn from his account the particulars of the
migration of the Aivillirmiut from Nuvung to Repulse Bay. The following
facts are taken from his journal:

In June, 1865, a traveling party arrived in Repulse Bay (Hall II, p.
177), where numerous deer were met with. Their tents were erected on
Uglariaq, whence seals were pursued, and they began at once to make
blubber deposits (p. 179). They were very eager to store as much
provision as possible, as there was no chance of obtaining a fresh stock
at Repulse Bay during the winter. Some of the party brought their boats
to the floe edge in order to follow the seal and walrus, which were
swimming in the water or lying on the drifting ice in great numbers,
while others preferred sledging on the land floe and shooting the
basking seals (p. 181). After the breaking up of the ice, whales were
seen, and kayaks and boats were made ready for their pursuit. In
September most of the natives returned to North Pole Lake to hunt deer
at the lower narrows (p. 202), where the meat was deposited for winter
use (p. 204).

On the 19th of October the last deer was killed (p. 205), and most of
the natives returned to the bay. They located at Naujan, the men in the
party numbering 43 (p. 216). During the winter no kind of hunt was kept
up, only a few salmon and trout being caught in the lakes (p. 210).
Towards the latter part of March the settlement was broken up and its
members scattered for the purpose of hunting and fishing (p. 227).
Salmon were caught in North Pole Lake and deer shot in the narrow passes
(p. 227). The sealing did not begin until the first of April (p. 239).
In the summer, deer, seal, walrus, and salmon were caught in great
abundance. In the following years the mode of life was about the same,
but it maybe remarked that in August the natives lived at Pitiktaujang
and afterwards went to Lyon Inlet (Maluksilaq) to hunt deer (p. 323).
Part of them returned to Repulse Bay, where walrus were caught on the
drifting ice during September. In the ensuing winter (1867-’68) 55
natives had gathered in a village about twenty miles east of Fort Hope
(p. 333), where they lived on the stores deposited during the preceding
summer. After the breaking up of the ice they succeeded in killing
several whales, which afforded an ample supply of meat and blubber
(p. 363). Subsequently, they hunted deer west of Repulse Bay (p. 364)
and near Lyon Inlet, where probably the greater part of the families had
staid since the previous year.

In November, Hall found near the head of this inlet a number of natives
who came to Repulse Bay towards the end of the year, having heard that a
whale had been taken there. By this addition the village of Repulse Bay
suddenly increased in population to 120 inhabitants (p. 369). This was
the only winter in which the natives, began sealing in January (p. 371).
In March they built their huts upon the ice and scattered early in the
spring for sealing and catching salmon.

From these reports and some more general accounts of these travelers, an
idea can be formed of the mode of life of this part of the Aivillirmiut
during the different seasons. In the spring, when the seals commence to
bask upon the ice, the tents are established on the floe of Repulse Bay,
the large winter settlements being broken up into a number of smaller
ones. During this season they begin to store away blubber, which is
carefully put into sealskin bags. Besides, reindeer are killed in the
deer passes. In July a great number of the natives leave the ice and
resort to the salmon rivers, where an abundant supply of food is
secured, but the sealing is also continued until the breaking up of the
ice. At this time of the year (i.e., in August), walrus and seal are
taken in large numbers, and thus an ample stock of provisions for winter
use is collected. In some seasons a few whales are caught and stored
away at once. In September, most of the natives move to the lakes or
rivers, particularly North Pole Lake, to hunt deer as well as the musk
ox on the hills. Other favorite localities for deer hunting are west of
Repulse Bay or near Lyon Inlet. Large deposits of venison are made, and
when the deer go south the natives settle in the center of their
summer’s hunting ground, building their snow houses on the lakes in
order to have a supply of water near at hand. About January most of them
gather in one settlement, which is established at Uglariaq, Naujan, or
Inugsulik. Those who come from Lyon Inlet do not always join the Repulse
Bay tribe, but may be identical with Parry’s Winter Island Eskimo, who
move to the bay south of Lyon Inlet in winter. They go sealing in winter
only in case of need, for the hunt seems to be unproductive, and they
subsist on the stores deposited during the preceding summer. Towards the
latter half of March the settlements are broken up and some of the
natives go to the lakes to fish for trout and salmon, while others begin
the sealing.

Another winter station of the Aivillirmiut is Akugdlit, which, however,
has never been as important as Aivillik itself. Rae found some families
here in August, 1846. They hunted the musk ox on the western shore of
the bay, and later in the season, upon the pack ice which filled the
sea, they hunted the walrus (Rae I, p. 58). They reported that the bay
was very unfavorable for any kind of chase, as it is usually filled with
closely packed ice, which prevents the visits of animals and endangers
the boats of the natives (p. 49). In July the salmon creeks of Akugdlit
(Committee Bay) were visited by these families, who extended their
hunting ground from Colville Bay to the most northern parts of Melville
Peninsula (p. 145). According to Hall a number of families live here at
times. They were in the habit of staying at Repulse Bay during the early
part of the summer and went to Akugdlit in the autumn to hunt the musk
ox and deer. In the winter they transferred their deposits of blubber
from Aivillik across the lakes to their settlement. Probably these
families returned to Repulse Bay about the first of March, at which time
their deposits were always exhausted (Hall II, p. 383). In some seasons
the natives journey much farther south, that is, to the country between
Cape Fullerton and Wager River. Klutschak’s report upon this subject,
which is extracted from his observations during Schwatka’s search for
the Franklin records, will be found tolerably correct (Deutsche
Rundschau für Geographie und Statistik, III, 1881, p. 422). The report
contains the following statement:

  In the spring of every year these Eskimo live on the land floe of
  Hudson Bay, at some distance from the point where the tides and
  winds carry the pack ice past the shore. Here is the favorite
  feeding place of the walrus, and the Eskimo confine themselves to
  the pursuit of this animal. They settle near one of the numerous
  islands situated near the shore.

Later in the season they live in tents, and the hunting of seals and
walrus is continued as long as the presence of ice permits. The greater
part of the Aivillirmiut live near Depot Island (Pikiulaq). Here, on
Cape Fullerton, and near the northern entrance of Chesterfield Inlet,
the natives deposit their stores for winter use. As soon as the ice is
gone they resort to the mainland, where deer, which descend to the shore
at this season, are hunted. When the snow begins to cover the country
they move inland, where they continue the deer hunt. In October they
settle near a deer pass or a lake which is crossed by the herds
migrating southward. In December all the deer have left the country and
the natives live upon the stores deposited in the fall. Towards the
beginning of the new year part of them return to the sea and live upon
the deposits of walrus meat or disperse over the land floe, where seals
are killed in their breathing holes. Another part take to the hills near
Chesterfield Inlet and Wager River, a favorite feeding ground for the
musk ox. They only return to the bay in March or April, to hunt seals
until the breaking up of the ice. If the supplies of walrus meat are
very abundant the Eskimo gather in one large settlement.

It appears from Klutschak’s own journal that this report is not quite
complete, and I shall therefore add those of his own observations which
seem to be important:

The natives who had hunted deer in the fall returned in December to
Depot Island, where ten inhabitants lived at that time. They hunted
walrus at the edge of the floe during the whole winter, but did not
exclusively use their old stores (Klutschak, p. 32). In summer whales
were hunted by means of kayaks, the blubber and meat being immediately
stored for future use (p. 269). It is interesting to learn that a single
family spent a whole year in the interior of the country, about two or
three days’ journey west of Depot Island, living on the flesh of the
musk ox most of the time (p. 196). He does not say what kind of fuel
they used.

In Klutschak’s chart of Hudson Bay, which is published with his essay,
a winter settlement is marked on Wager River, where the natives probably
lived on seals caught in the breathing holes.

The mode of life of this tribe, as observed by Hall during his stay
among them in 1864, differs in some material points from Klutschak’s
account. It is particularly important that Hall found them at Wager

About forty Eskimo are said to have lived in Nuvung during that year,
while others were at Depot Island. Large depots of deer meat were
scattered over the country around the settlement (Hall II, p. 76) and
were brought in by the natives one by one. In the middle of November,
after having finished the work of currying their deerskins, they
commenced the walrus hunt, but meantime they frequently fed on deer meat
from their depots (Hall II, pp. 102, 128, 132, 133). Towards the end of
February they commenced to disperse, at first moving southward in order
to be nearer the floe edge (p. 144). In the beginning of March an
advance party of natives moved to Wager River, where they intended to
catch salmon through the ice and to visit depots in that part of the
country (p. 149). In April all the former inhabitants of Nuvung had
settled on the ice of Wager River, where salmon in moderate numbers were
caught (p. 164), but the main subsistence was the seals, which were at
first watched for at the breathing holes, while later on they were
killed when basking on the ice.

As a summary of the foregoing statements, we may say that the five
principal settlements of the Aivillirmiut are Pikiulaq (Depot Island),
Nuvung and Ukusiksalik (Wager River), Aivillik (Repulse Bay), Akugdlit
(Committee Bay), and Maluksilaq (Lyon Inlet). They may be divided into
two groups, the former comprising the southern settlements, the latter
the northern ones. Every one of these settlements has certain well known
sites, which are frequented at the proper seasons.

It yet remains to describe the roads which are used in the intercourse
between these settlements. From Pikiulaq to Nuvung the natives travel by
means of sledges. In the winter of 1864-’65 two journeys were made, the
first in December, the latter in January. Besides, boats are used in
traveling along the shore in summer. Sledge journeys from Nuvung to
Ukusiksalik cannot be accomplished on the ice, as in the entrance of the
bay large water holes are formed. The sledges follow a chain of long,
narrow lakes beginning near Nuvung and running almost parallel with the
coast through a deep gorge. The bay is but a short distance beyond this
gorge. I am not acquainted with the sledge road from Nuvung to Aivillik.
Rae was visited at Fort Hope by a number of Eskimo, who came by sledges
from Nuvung in June (I, p. 169). Hall traveled with the natives in
boats, passing the narrows and following the edge of the land ice, while
the rest of the families sledged on the shore or on the land ice (II, p.
177). The principal road across Rae Isthmus leads over North Pole Lake
and is described by Rae and Hall. The latter accompanied the natives on
two sledge roads, the one leading from Sagdlua, in Haviland Bay, to
Qariaq, in Lyon Inlet, the other crossing the land farther south. I am
not sure whether a road leading from Nebarvik to Committee Bay connects
Maluksilaq with Akugdlit. It is doubtful whether the coast between
Aivillik and Gore Bay is visited by the natives.

It is remarkable that the Aivillirmiut very rarely go to Southampton
Island, though they are sometimes carried across Frozen Strait or Rowe’s
Welcome by drifting ice. Scarcely ever of their own accord do they visit
the island, which they call Sagdlirn. They know that it is inhabited,
but have very little intercourse with its people.

_The Kinipetu or Agutit._--The reports upon the Kinipetu or Agutit of
Chesterfield Inlet are very scanty as compared with those of the
beforementioned tribe. All authors agree that they differ materially in
their habits from the Aivillirmiut, and it has often been affirmed that
they scarcely ever descend to the sea. As there is, however, no other
tribe mentioned south of the Aivillirmiut besides this one and as in
every voyage to these shores, even far south of Chesterfield Inlet,
Eskimo are met with who frequently visit Fort Churchill, the most
northern station of the Hudson Bay Company, there can be no doubt that
they also visit the shore and the islands and hunt seals. Probably the
greater part of the tribe live inland from July to March, hunting deer
and the musk ox, and in winter only descend to the sea in order to
procure blubber and sealskins during the season in which these are most
easily obtained. It may be that another part stay near the head of
Chesterfield Inlet all the year round or remain in the hilly country
between the deep gulf and Back River hunting the musk ox. According to
all reports, they are rather independent of the hunt of sea animals, and
they do not even use their skins for garments (Klutschak, Deutsche
Rundschau für Geographie und Statistik, III, p. 419). For this reason
they would afford interesting material for investigation, and it is
unfortunate that no trustworthy accounts of the tribe exist. Back, on
his journey to the shores of the Arctic Ocean, found traces of the
Eskimo on the lakes of Back River, ample proof that they were in the
habit of visiting this region every summer. He found the first traces
near 107° west longitude, and farther down, at the mouth of Baillie
River. He did not see the natives whom Anderson and Stewart met in the
summer of 1855 near McKinley River and later between Pelly and Garry
Lakes. Their clothing and even the covers of their kayaks were made of
deer and musk ox skins. They observed among these natives such articles
of European make as the Hudson Bay Company used for barter and which
were traded to the most southern Eskimo tribes of Hudson Bay. Therefore
it is likely that these natives belonged to Chesterfield Inlet. This
opinion is supported by Klutschak’s remark that a native of the mouth of
Back River knew an overland route leading from the lakes at its upper
course to Chesterfield Inlet.

_The Sagdlirmiut of Southampton Island._--Before leaving the subject of
the Hudson Bay Eskimo I may mention the inhabitants of Southampton
Island, a tribe which is almost unknown and the only record of which was
obtained by Captain Lyon during the few hours which he passed among them
in 1824 (Attempt to reach Repulse Bay, p. 54). In August he found a few
families on the island south of Cape Pembroke, who were living upon
salmon which had been deposited in stone caches and who had tents made
of sealskins. A winter house was found at the same point. About 1865 an
American whaling vessel found some natives on Manico Point living in
five tents. Even then they had scarcely any iron, but used the old stone
implements; this proves the want of all communication with the natives
of the mainland. Parry found traces of Eskimo in York Bay and they have
been seen on many other parts of the island. The Hudson Bay tribes call
this tribe the Sagdlirmiut, i.e., the inhabitants of Sagdlirn, and their
knowledge about them is very scanty, as they meet very rarely and by
chance only.

_The Sinimiut._--Northwest of Hudson Bay we find a tribe in Pelly Bay.
The reports upon it are very scanty and it is difficult to find out the
extent of the district which is occupied by it. Ross did not fall in
with the tribe, and in the accounts of the Netchillirmiut on their
journey to Repulse Bay no mention is made of an intervening tribe
(II, p. 263). In April, 1847, Rae found signs of the tribe near Helen
Island, in Pelly Bay (I, p. 113). There was an abundance of seals on the
ice all around the islands (p. 111), but besides these they had large
stocks of dried musk ox and salmon (p. 124). On his second journey he
found their winter habitation on Barrow and Cameroon Lakes (II, p. 938),
and on the 20th of April he met with seventeen natives on the mainland
west of Augustus Island, among whom were five women. In traveling
farther west he fell in with a native who had been hunting the musk ox.
On the 17th of May he found twelve natives settled in the same place and
living on seal (II, p. 842).

Hall met with this tribe twice, in 1866 and in 1869. On the 28th of
April, in his first attempt to reach King William Land, he found the
Sinimiut settled near Cape Beaufort, in Committee Bay, where they were
probably sealing (II, p. 255). No further account of this meeting is
found except the remark that these natives were on their way to Repulse
Bay (p. 259). Therefore it is rather doubtful whether the eastern shore
of Simpson Peninsula belongs to their customary district. In April,
1869, on his second visit to Pelly Bay, Hall found their deserted winter
huts on Cameroon Lake (p. 386). In the early part of the spring they had
lived on the ice south of Augustus Island, the only place where seals
could be caught, as the rest of the bay was filled with heavy floes
which had been carried south by the northerly winds prevailing during
the preceding fall. The natives themselves were met with on the mainland
west of Augustus Island, where they were hunting the musk ox. When Hall
crossed the bay in the first days of June the natives had changed
neither their place nor their mode of subsistence.

There is a discrepancy in Nourse’s extract from Hall’s journal, for he
sometimes refers to the Pelly Bay natives as different from the
Sinimiut, while in other passages all the inhabitants of the bay are
comprised in the latter term. I think this discrepancy is occasioned by
the fact that a number of Aivillirmiut had settled in Pelly Bay and some
others were related to natives of that locality; the latter Nourse calls
the Pelly Bay men, the rest the Sinimiut. The place Sini itself,
according to a statement of Hall, is near Cape Behrens, on the
northwestern shore of the bay.

As the winter huts of the Sinimiut have been found four times on the
lakes of the isthmus of Simpson Peninsula, we may suppose that they
generally spend the winter there, living on the stores deposited in the
preceding season and occasionally angling for trout and salmon (Rae I,
p. 110) or killing a musk ox. In March they leave for the sea in order
to hunt seals and to secure a fresh supply of blubber for their lamps.
Their chief subsistence is the musk ox; besides, salmon are caught in
great numbers, for they live on dried fish until spring (Rae I, p. 124).


_The Netchillirmiut._--Following the shore westward we find the
interesting tribes that inhabit Boothia Felix, King William Land, and
the mouth of Back River. Among them the Netchillirmiut are the most
important. Their favorite hunting grounds seem to have undergone a
remarkable change since they were first visited by Ross in 1829. At that
period their district occupied the southern part of Boothia Felix,
particularly the narrow isthmus and the adjoining parts of both coasts.
They were acquainted with Bellot Strait (Ikerasaq), which they described
as the way the Victory had to take in order to effect a passage to the
western sea. A part of the tribe was in the habit of wintering on Owutta
Island; they also probably visited the eastern part of King William
Land. The southwestern termination of their district cannot be exactly
defined, but from their description of the land south of Lake
Willerstedt it appears that they visited Shepherd Bay; besides, I find
that in June, 1831, a number of families lived south of Netchillik,
i.e., probably in Rae Strait or on Shepherd Bay (Ross II, p. 537).

So far as can be gathered from Ross’s account the tribe had three winter
settlements, one on the eastern shore of the Isthmus of Boothia, another
at Lake Netchillik, and the third on Owutta Island.[3] As to the first
meeting of the natives with the Victory two contradictory accounts are
found. At first it is related (p. 252) that they came from Akugdlit,
having been on the road ten days. Later, and this is more probable, it
is said that two natives had descried the ship in September, 1829, when
passing near Victoria Harbor (p. 309). Being in great fear, they had
immediately traveled to Netchillik to communicate with their countrymen.
There they met with a woman who had been on board of Parry’s ships, and
she had induced all the natives, by her stories, to be on the lookout
for the Europeans. At the first meeting, on the 9th of January, 1830, 31
men approached the ship. This would answer to a population of about one
hundred and twenty persons, and it is quite unprecedented that such a
party should travel for any distance and even beyond the limitations of
their own territory and of their customary migrations. Probably a
traveling party had joined the Netchillirmiut, who had lived somewhere
in Lord Mayor’s Bay, and they all went to meet the ship.

    [Footnote 3: From a rather ambiguous statement (p. 355) it would
    seem that Owutta belongs to the territory of the Ugjulirmiut; but
    in later passages ample proof is found that it is inhabited by the
    Netchillirmiut (pp. 423, 427). I myself was formerly misled by the
    above passage (Zeitschr. Gesell. Erdk., p. 171, Berlin, 1883).]

From Ross we also learn that during January and February these natives
lived on seals, which were killed with harpoons (pp. 250, 255, 259),
but, in addition, they had deposits of venison, seal blubber, and fish
(pp. 251, 262). Sometimes they went hunting the musk ox on the mainland
farther north, and a small party may have staid there throughout the
winter (p. 265). In the first days of March they began to scatter all
over the ice (p. 290), in order to have a better chance of sealing and
of catching young seals in the white coat (pp. 293, 295). The young
sealing commenced about the 10th of March. It is worth remarking that
this is the only tribe on the continent of America which pursues the
young seal; they are enabled to do this by the extent of the land floe
in the large bays. In the last days of March some of the natives started
for Sarvaq and Netchillik to fetch their kayaks (p. 315), which they had
left there the preceding season. As they intended to hunt deer at the
lakes farther north, they were obliged to have their boats at hand at
the breaking up of the ice. The further the season advanced the more the
settlements were broken up (p. 338), and towards the end of April the
first families left for Netchillik to join the other part of the tribe
(p. 323). At this season the musk ox and the returning reindeer were
frequently hunted (pp. 252, 335, 349). In the first days of May some of
the natives went to Netchillik (p. 337), and another party followed a
month later (p. 383). They stopped on Middle Lake for a short time to
fish for trout (p. 384). A number of families remained near the ship,
sealing, catching salmon, and hunting the musk ox (pp. 436, 441, 450,
453) until the beginning of July, when the fishing season ended and they
went to the inland lakes to hunt deer and fish for trout in the rapids
between the lakes (p. 450). In the summer their principal fishing
stations were Lindsay River and Sarvaq.

The other part of the tribe which had lived at Lake Netchillik were even
more numerous than that of the coast, as 21 snow houses were found which
had been inhabited by them during the winter (p. 389). The number of
inhabitants of this village was about one hundred and seventy, and,
since there were a few who lived on Owutta Island and yet others who may
have been scattered in different parts of the country, it is probable
that the whole tribe numbered 350 persons.

As they were seen only a few times by the expedition the reports are
rather incomplete. In the winter they lived on a plain, which was called
Okavit, on the eastern shore of Lake Netchillik (p. 315). The exact
position cannot be learned from Ross’s journal. As some mention is made
of blubber deposits at Netchillik (p. 388), it is probable that they
lived on stores deposited in summer. Toward the end of May and in the
beginning of June they were met with at Spence Bay and Josephine Bay.
One of their stations was on the island Inugsulik, near Padliaq, the
head of Spence Bay. Here their principal food was codfish, which they
caught in holes cut through the ice, while the sealing was there a less
important interest (pp. 391, 426). The kayaks which were found deposited
on the west shore of Boothia as far as Josephine Bay proved that they
resorted to this region in the deer hunting season (pp. 406, 407). The
families who had been at Owutta during the winter of 1829-’30 were found
in June, 1831, in Padliaq, whence they crossed the isthmus and visited
Tarionitjoq (p. 431).

In 1830 no natives were seen after the usual time of their departure for
the interior of the country, and it was not until April, 1831, that they
were found again. They had wintered at Lake Avatutiaq, on the eastern
shore of Boothia (p. 511), where they had lived on a large stock of
salmon caught in the fall (p. 531) and on musk oxen which were hunted
during the entire year in the hilly country near the lakes. Others had
wintered farther south, on Lake Owen (p. 524). A portion of these Eskimo
set out for Netchillik in April (p. 522), while the others remained in
Tom’s Bay and subsisted upon codfish, salmon, and seals (p. 546).

In June another party left for Netchillik, whence some of the natives,
who had not seen the ship before, arrived at Victoria Harbor in July,
probably having heard of her new station at this place through the
returning families (p. 577). In August the last of them left, going west
(p. 592).

Though these reports are rather imperfect, they enable us to get a fair
idea of the mode of life of this tribe.

In the large bays on the eastern side of the isthmus the natives live
just as do the southern tribes of Baffin Land, pursuing the seal at its
breathing hole during the winter. Here, as everywhere else, the
settlements were broken up early in the spring. The fishing is commenced
remarkably early, while in the east scarcely any salmon are caught
before the breaking up of the lakes. West of Melville Peninsula the
fishing is commenced in March or even earlier. On Boothia the most
important means of subsistence for the natives is the codfish, on which
they live during the spring and probably during a part of the winter.
It is also an important article of food for the other tribes of this
region, while farther east it is of no importance. The salmon fisheries
of Boothia are very productive, of which Netchillik and Padliaq in
Josephine Bay, Stanley and Lord Lindsay Rivers, Qogulortung,
Angmalortuq, and Sarvaq may be considered the most important. Deer are
hunted while swimming across the numerous lakes of Boothia, and the musk
ox in the granite hills of its northern part. Here is also another
winter resort of the tribe, from which the island Tukia, north of Lake
Avatutiaq, is visited in summer, to collect pyrite or native iron
(p. 362), which is used for kindling fire. The life of the western part
of the tribe, as far as we are acquainted with it, was described in the
foregoing paragraph.

Neither Dease and Simpson, who visited Castor and Pollux River in 1839,
nor Rae, on his second voyage to Boothia, met the natives themselves;
the latter, however, saw their marks on the islands of Acland Bay
(II, p. 840).

The next traveler who fell in with the tribe was M’Clintock, who visited
King William Land in search of the Franklin records. In February, 1859,
he met several families near Cape Adelaide (p. 230). They traveled
during the spring all along the shore and had been near Tasmania Islands
in March and April. They were seen by him on their return journey to
Netchillik, near Cape Nicholas. They traveled slowly south, hunting
seals. They knew the coast as far as Bellot Strait and were able to name
every cape of this district. A few families who had wintered in company
with this party at Cape Victoria had returned to Netchillik when the
other parties started north (p. 253). On the 4th of May, twenty deserted
snow huts were found on the southwest point of Matty Island (p. 257).
From the direction of the sledge tracks, M’Clintock concluded that the
natives who had formerly lived here had gone to Netchillik. On the 7th
of May a settlement of 30 or 40 individuals was found on the eastern
coast of King William Land (p. 260). This party had not communicated
with the villages on the mainland of Boothia since the preceding fall
(p. 260).

An interesting change in the territory which is inhabited by this tribe
has occurred since Ross’s visit to this country. In order to describe it
more fully, I must refer to the relations of the Netchillirmiut to the
Ugjulirmiut. At this early period the intercourse between the tribes of
Ugjulik and Netchillik was of little consequence. No European had ever
been in their districts, which included Adelaide Peninsula and the
southern shore of King William Land (Ross II, p. 317), but quite a
number of persons were known to the Netchillirmiut (p. 357), who had met
them in their trading excursions. In addition to this, a young single
man of Ugjulik had been adopted by a Netchillirmio who lived on the
eastern coast of King William Land and on Owutta Island (p. 355). When
the Franklin expedition perished on King William Land, in 1848, the
Netchillirmiut had not yet visited that part of the country. From
Schwatka’s inquiries we learn that the tribe that found Crozier and his
fellow sufferers did not extend its migrations beyond Adelaide Peninsula
and the southern shore of King William Land. In the summer of 1848 they
attempted in vain to cross Simpson Strait, and were compelled to stay on
the island. They traveled all over the country as far as Peel Inlet,
opposite to Matty Island (Gilder, p. 91). Hence it is obvious that the
Netchillirmiut, up to the time of the Franklin catastrophe, lived in
their old territory, as the inhabitants of Boothia in 1859 had only
indirect news of the shipwreck.

When the Ugjulirmiut obtained an enormous stock of metals and wood by
the destruction of Franklin’s ships, the Netchillirmiut commenced to
visit King William Land, in order to partake also of these riches. Thus
they began, by degrees, to move westward, and became intermingled with
the Ugjulirmiut. Hall mentions quite a number of Boothians who had met
Ross on the eastern shore of the isthmus, though they were living on
King William Land at that time (Hall II, p. 405). Besides, according to
all accounts, the number of women is much smaller among the
Netchillirmiut than that of men, and these are obliged to look for wives
among the neighboring tribes, particularly among the Ugjulirmiut. As
these do not differ in the fashion of their clothing and tattooing from
the Netchillirmiut, it is scarcely possible at the present time to
separate the tribes. It is worth remarking, however, that Gilder and
Klutschak use both terms, and therefore I conclude that the natives
themselves are conscious of belonging to different tribes.

Schwatka describes the limits of their territory as he learned them from
his observations in the summer of 1879 (Science, December 19, 1884,
p. 543). He found them on the mainland opposite King William Land and
along the islands in the vicinity of Simpson Strait. They were most
numerous along the northern shores of Adelaide Peninsula, their villages
being scattered every few miles along the coast from Montreal Island to
Smith Point. On the chart accompanying this account the eastern shore of
the Back River estuary is included in the district inhabited by the

It is important to compare this description with the observations which
were made by Hall in 1869. He found the first traces of natives at the
very head of Shepherd Bay, where a sledge track was observed (p. 395).
Near Point Acland several snow huts and a number of natives were met
with on the 30th of April (p. 396). Farther west he found a village on
Point Booth (p. 397), but the most interesting fact is that in May,
1869, the party had fresh salmon from Netchillik (p. 400). This
statement is decisive of the question whether the Netchillirmiut still
continued their visits to the isthmus from which they take their name.

From Klutschak’s journal a few more details may be gathered. From it we
learn that in summer the Netchillirmiut scatter, and, while some go
sealing near Montreal Island (p. 75), many others go inland to hunt deer
in the lakes of the peninsula and farther south (p. 119). A third party
resort to King William Land, the southern shore of which they frequent
until September, while the more northern parts are seldom visited
(p. 79). At this season they leave the island and all return to Adelaide
Peninsula (p. 126). I suppose, however, that this report does not refer
to the whole tribe, but that another party visited Shepherd Bay in
winter. It seems to me very improbable that in the interval between 1869
and 1879 a total change should have occurred. In the spring they catch
salmon, which are dried and stored to be used in winter. Their stock of
blubber and deer meat is sufficient to last them during the greater part
of the winter. At this season they fish only in holes made through the
ice. Important winter settlements are at Point Richardson and at the
outlet of Qimuqsuq (Sherman Inlet), where all the deer needed are caught
in the fall while they are crossing the bay.

Although these statements do not altogether harmonize, it appears,
notwithstanding, that King William Land and Adelaide Peninsula, which
were not visited by the tribe in the early part of our century, became
its favorite hunting ground after the loss of the Franklin expedition.
Since that period the more northern parts of Boothia may have been
abandoned by the natives, though no certain proof of this can be
offered. Netchillik itself and the more southern parts were visited up
to 1869, and probably they are yet inhabited by the Eskimo. This cannot
be said with positiveness, however, for this part of the country has not
been visited since the times of Ross and M’Clintock. The migration of
the natives was caused, without doubt and as we have already remarked,
by the profusion of metals and wood obtained from the wrecks and the
starved traveling parties.

_The Ugjulirmiut._--Several important facts regarding the Ugjulirmiut
are mentioned above. Dease and Simpson found their first traces on the
western shore of Adelaide Peninsula. From Ross’s account (I, p. 427) it
appears that their territory was the same at that period as it is now,
and M’Clintock’s meeting with them on the shore of King William Land may
be adduced as a proof of this. Their old country is now inhabited by
both Ugjulirmiut and Netchillirmiut. Therefore their mode of life is
identical and requires no comment. Visits to the northern parts of King
William Land have been very rare, but it was on one of these that
Franklin’s ships were discovered (Klutschak). They rarely went hunting
beyond Cape Herschel, but looked for driftwood on the northern shore of
the island.

_The Ukusiksalirmiut._--The last tribe of the Central Eskimo, the
Ukusiksalirmiut, inhabit the estuary of Back River. They were met by
Back and by Anderson and Stewart. Recently Schwatka and his party
communicated with them on their visit to King William Land. Klutschak
affirms that they are the remains of a strong tribe which formerly
inhabited Adelaide Peninsula but was supplanted by the Netchillirmiut
and the Ugjulirmiut. Klutschak calls them Ukusiksalik; Gilder, sometimes
Ukusiksalik, sometimes Ugjulik. The latter author relates that a single
family living on Hayes River (Kugnuaq) had formerly had its station on
Adelaide Peninsula, but had retired to this country when the warlike
Netchillirmiut began to visit King William Land and Adelaide Peninsula.
Schwatka could identify the same man with one of those whom Back had
seen in the estuary of the river in 1833 (Gilder, p. 78). Therefore they
must have lived in this district a long time before the Netchillirmiut
began to move westward. According to Back the party with which he fell
in did not know the land beyond the estuary of Back River, which
indicates that they were neither from Ugjulik nor Netchillik. As the
Ugjulirmiut lived on Adelaide Peninsula when Ross wintered in Boothia,
I do not consider it probable that the Ukusiksalirmiut ever lived in
that part of the country, and I cannot agree with Klutschak. I may add
Parry’s remark, that beyond Ukusiksalik (Wager River) another
Ukusiksalik (Back River) was known to the natives of Winter Island.

The reports on their mode of life are very deficient. They were met by
Schwatka a little above the great bend of Hayes River in May, 1879;
he also met another party in December at the Dangerous Rapids of Back
River. Schwatka counted seven families at the former and nine at the
latter place. Their principal food consisted of fish, which are caught
in abundance in Back River (Klutschak, p. 164). It is said that they
have no fuel during the winter. Undoubtedly they use some kind of fuel,
and I rather doubt the implication that they do not hunt seals at all.
The musk ox and fish, however, are their main food, according to both
Klutschak and Gilder. It is very remarkable that all the natives west of
Boothia depend much more on fish than do any other tribes of the Central

A word in regard to the roads used in the intercourse between the
tribes. From Akugdlit a road leads over the lakes of Simpson Peninsula
to Pelly Bay. Rae and Hall traveled over it on their journeys to the
northwest and it was used by the Sinimiut when they visited Repulse Bay
in 1866. From Pelly Bay two roads lead to Netchillik and the estuary of
Back River, the one following the east shore of the Boothia, the other
running to Lake Simpson, whence the valley of Murchison River
facilitates the access to Inglis Bay. The Isthmus of Boothia is crossed
by the two chains of lakes discovered by Ross. In visiting the
northeastern part of the peninsula the natives ascend Stanley River and
cross the lakes farther north. Between Netchillik and Ugjulik the Eskimo
pass by Owutta Island to Peel Inlet, whence they travel overland to the
south shore of King William Land and cross Simpson Strait. Another road
leads from Cape Colville to Matheson Point, following the south shore of
King William Land. In traveling from Ugjulik to Back River they use
Sherman Inlet and the adjoining isthmus. It is probable that Back River
is visited by natives belonging to Wager River. The existence of a
communication between Back River and Chesterfield Inlet is proved by
Anderson and Stewart, who found Eskimo at Lake Garry, and by a remark of
Klutschak (p. 170), who learned from a native of Back River that
Chesterfield Inlet could be reached from the upper part of that river.
It is quite probable that thus an immediate though limited intercourse
is kept up between the Kinipetu and the Ukusiksalirmiut.


_The natives of Ellesmere Land._--Last of all I have to mention the
natives of Ellesmere Land and those of North Greenland. Although the
latter are not generally considered as belonging to the central tribes,
I find that their habits and their implements resemble those of the
Central Eskimo rather than those of the Greenlanders, and therefore a
brief mention of them will not be inappropriate. The inhabitants of
Umingman Nuna (Ellesmere Land) probably live on the southern shore, near
the western part of Jones Sound, and, according to Bessel’s and my own
inquiries, they travel all around this island, passing by Hayes Sound.

_The North Greenlanders._--The North Greenlanders live in the sounds of
the peninsula between Melville Bay and Kane Basin, hunting seals on the
smooth floes of the bays and pursuing walrus at the floe edges. They
make large deposits of the blubber and meat obtained in the fall, on
which they live during the winter. They also pursue seals in winter with
the harpoon. In summer they hunt reindeer on the mountains adjoining the
inland ice.


In considering the distribution of the tribes it is evident that they
are settled wherever extensive floes afford a good sealing ground during
the winter. The Sikosuilarmiut live on the large bay east of King Cape,
which is sheltered by numerous islands. The Akuliarmiut are settled near
Lesseps and North Bays. I am unable to say whether there is a floe near
the winter settlement of the Qaumauangmiut, as there are no reports upon
the subject. Probably ice is formed in the sound, which is protected by
the Middle Savage Islands, and besides it may be that the natives move
to North Bay. The important tribe of Nugumiut lives on Frobisher Bay and
the adjoining Grinnell and Field Bays. On the largest floe of this part
of the country, in Cumberland Sound, including Lake Nettilling, the
largest tribe is settled: the Oqomiut. On Davis Strait ice floes are
formed between Cape Mickleham and Cape Mercy, in Exeter Sound, and
between Okan and Bylot Island. The tribes are distributed accordingly:
the Saumingmiut of Ukiadliving, the inhabitants of Qarmaqdjuin with
their winter settlement in Exeter Sound, and the Padlimiut and the
Akudnirmiut farther north. The immense land floe of Davis Strait is not
so valuable a hunting ground for the Eskimo as Cumberland Sound, the ice
being very rough a few miles from the coast and at some places even
close inshore. When the sea begins to freeze in the fall the newly
formed ice is broken up by severe gales and by the currents and is piled
up into high hummocks before it consolidates. The sealing on rough ice
during the winter is very difficult and unsuccessful, as it is hard to
find the breathing holes and the traveling is very laborious. It is only
in the northern parts of Home Bay and in the large fjords that smooth
ice is formed. The settlements of the natives are manifestly distributed
in accordance with these facts. In every place where smooth ice is
formed we find that natives either are settled or have been settled.
Aqbirtijung, River Clyde, Ijellirtung, Home Bay, Brodie Bay, Merchant
Bay, and Padli are the only places along the shore of Davis Strait where
smooth ice occurs. On the long shores between them, which are
unsheltered from winds and currents, the ice is always very hummocky,
and, therefore, the natives do not settle upon them in the winter. In
the far north, extensive floes of smooth ice are formed in Eclipse Sound
and Admiralty Inlet.

Concerning the country farther west the reports are rather scanty. The
southwest shore of Baffin Land and the eastern entrance of Fury and
Hecla Strait are always frozen over and afford a good hunting ground.
On the mainland, the large floes of Repulse Bay and Wager River,
Chesterfield Inlet and the bights all around it, Pelly Bay and the
narrow bays adjoining Boothia Peninsula, and the mouth of Back River are
important places for the distribution of the Eskimo.

There are only a few districts where the proximity of open water favors
walrus hunting during the winter, and all of these have neighboring
floes on which seals may be hunted with the harpoon. These places are
Sikosuilaq, Akuliaq, Frobisher Bay, Iglulik, the west shore of Hudson
Bay, and Smith Sound. As to the remainder the Eskimo live altogether
independent of the open water during the winter.

Generally speaking, two conditions are required for winter settlements,
viz, the existence of an extensive floe and smooth ice.

The different mode of hunting in the spring causes a different
distribution of the settlements. During this season those regions which
had been deserted during the winter are most visited by the hunters. On
light dog sledges they travel over the rough ice and along the shores of
the fjords and islands. The natives who lived in large settlements
during the winter are spread over the whole country, in order that every
one may have a better chance of traveling over his own hunting ground.
In a few places the young sealing induces the Eskimo to leave the winter
settlements; in other places the kayaks are prepared for visiting the
floe edge, and bears and the returning birds are hunted.

Though the greater variety of food which is to be obtained and the
difference in the methods of hunting in the spring require the
dispersion over a wide area of the families which had kept together
during the winter, the selection of places for the new settlements
remains wholly dependent upon the state of the ice.

After the ice breaks up, the distribution of the deer regulates the
location of the summer settlements. While during the winter the state of
the ice is of decisive importance, the orography of the land comes now
into consideration.

Wherever deep valleys give access to an extensive area, wherever
practicable roads enable the natives to ascend the plateaus, summer
settlements are established. The heads of the fjords are favorite
places, as they abound with salmon. The adjoining valleys and the
peninsulas which they form give the best chances for a successful deer
hunt. These facts are most apparent on the coast of the steep highland
of Nugumiut, over which numerous herds of deer roam.

A great influence is also exerted by the extensive plains of the western
part of Baffin Land, which abound in deer. We observe that a number of
tribes visit these districts, though their winter stations are at a
great distance. The Akuliarmiut of Hudson Strait and the Nugumiut travel
to Lake Amaqdjuaq, the Oqomiut stay on Lake Nettilling, and the
Akudnirmiut visit Majoraridjen. In the same way all the tribes of Hudson
Bay visit the land farther west, which is frequented by herds of the
musk ox, and they go even as far as Back River. This important fact
shows the attraction which is exerted by a rich country on all the
tribes of the neighboring districts.


In treating of the single tribes, the routes were mentioned which are
followed by the natives as they travel from shore to shore and from
settlement to settlement. These routes are established by tradition and
the Eskimo never stray from them. In order to obtain a more thorough
understanding of the migrations of single individuals and of families,
the relations between the tribes and the settlements must be discussed.

By the lively intercourse which is always kept up between the
settlements, it cannot fail that marriages between members of different
tribes should be of frequent occurrence and that many ties of affinity
and consanguinity should thus be created. These relations, however,
as distances increase, quickly become less common. For instance, in
Cumberland Sound three people are found belonging to Tununirn, about ten
belonging to Akudnirn, and quite a number coming from Padli. Also, two
Sikosuilarmiut live there, a few natives of Akuliaq and Qaumauang, and
very many Nugumiut. Hall’s accounts concerning the Nugumiut and the
Aivillirmiut prove a similar proportion of strange natives among these
tribes. Every tribe may be said to bring together its immediate
neighbors, as it is closely related to them, while those which are
separated by the tribe itself are strangers to one another. The
importance of this mediate position is regulated by the strength of the
tribe, by the significance of the country in reference to its produce,
and by the routes crossing it.

Thus, the Sikosuilarmiut and the Nuratamiut are closely connected, and
may be considered as forming one group with the Akuliarmiut. The
Sikosuilarmiut have intercourse with the Igdlumiut, the inhabitants of
the northern shore of Labrador. According to Lucien M. Turner, three
tribes may be distinguished there as inhabiting the shores of Ungava Bay
and the eastern shore of Hudson Bay. This report differs somewhat from
the accounts of the Moravian missionaries who have intercourse with the
inhabitants of Ungava Bay near Cape Chidleigh. From their reports four
tribes may be distinguished: the Kangivamiut of George River, the
Kouksoarmiut of Big River, the Ungavamiut of Hope Advance Bay (which is
properly named Ungava), and the Itivimiut of Hudson Bay. I am rather
undecided whether Ungava is a bay or a large strait separating Cape
Wolstenholme and the adjacent land from the continent, as the name
Ungava is also reported south of Cape Wolstenholme. The inhabitants of
this shore are the Itivimiut of the Labrador Eskimo and the Igdlumiut of
the natives of Baffin Land. Probably the intercourse between Sikosuilaq
and Cape Wolstenholme is of no great importance. The Sikosuilarmiut
visit Trinity Islands (Nannuragassain) in skin boats to hunt walrus and
cross by the three islands Tudjaraaq´djung, Akugdlirn, and
Tudjaqdjuara´lung to the opposite shore of Hudson Strait. The passage
across the strait is considered very dangerous, and therefore is rarely
undertaken. The natives do not utter a single word during the long
passage; they believe a destructive gale might be conjured up if they
did. Only once have natives been met with on Salisbury Island (Lyon,
Attempt to reach Repulse Bay, p. 128), but it is doubtful whether they
belonged to the northern or to the southern shore of the strait. As for
the rest, the passage is only known to me by reports I received in
Cumberland Sound, which were confirmed by the whalers visiting the
northern shore of Hudson Strait. I do not know whether any intercourse
exists between Sikosuilaq and Southampton Island. It is worth remarking
that on Mansfield Island numerous ruins of Eskimo habitations have been
found (Gordon, Report on the Hudson’s Bay Expedition, 1884, p. 38).

The Qaumauangmiut are connected with the Nugumiut in the same manner as
with the Akuliarmiut, and many are said to winter near North Bay, which
is also visited by the Akuliarmiut. From Hall’s reports it would appear
that many are settled in Frobisher Bay.

At present the intercourse between the Nugumiut and the Oqomiut is of no
significance, as many years may pass without a journey being made from
one tribe to the other. Formerly, when many whalers visited Cumberland
Sound and Field Bay, a number of Nugumiut immigrated to the sound, and
consequently almost half of the Eskimo now settled on the western shore
of Cumberland Sound were born in Nugumiut or Ukadliq. At the same time
many Oqomiut settled among the Nugumiut. That period was doubtless an
exceptional one; at any rate, the long stretch of uninhabited shore
between the settlements of the two tribes is not favorable to intimate
intercourse. Indeed, even now the Nugumiut are considered strangers in
the sound, and, notwithstanding the existence of many intermarriages
between the tribes, a number of families are not at all acquainted with
one another. It is remarkable that the number of natives born in
Nugumiut is much larger on the western shore than on the eastern. They
seem to have joined their nearest neighbors, the southern Talirpingmiut,
perhaps for the reason that in their district the geographic character
of the land is most similar to that of Frobisher Bay. The number of
Nugumiut settled among the inhabitants of Nettilling Fjord and among the
Kingnaitmiut is far less. Among the Saumingmiut there is no one who has
traveled beyond Naujateling, and in Padli or farther north there are
very few individuals who have been south of Cumberland Sound. It is only
by careful consideration of the birthplace of the different individuals
who are members of the settlements of Cumberland Sound that it is
possible at the present time to detect the former division of the
Oqomiut into subtribes. The inhabitants of the eastern shore are related
to the Padlimiut and the Akudnirmiut; those of the western shore, to the
Nugumiut. In 1840 a brisk intercourse existed between Padli and the
sound (Eenoolooapik, p. 81), and probably sledges crossed the peninsula
every winter. Though the intercourse is not so intimate to-day as it is
between the settlements of the sound, it is yet active. The Kingnaitmiut
form the medium of the regular intercourse between Saumia and Padli,
while families removing to Akudnirn travel along the shore of Davis
Strait. Among the subtribes of the Oqomiut the Saumingmiut are most
nearly related to the Padlimiut and extend their migrations farthest to
the north.

The Akudnirmiut, who are closely connected with the Padlimiut, are
considered strangers by the Oqomiut. The intercourse between the
Akudnirmiut and the Aggomiut is not very frequent, and seems to be
maintained as irregularly as that between the Nugumiut and the Oqomiut.

The inhabitants of the northern sounds and of Fury and Hecla Strait
frequently visit one another. Parry mentions a number of journeys in
each direction (II, p. 436). Hall found natives of Tununirn and
Tununirusirn settled in Iglulik (II, p. 356). I myself found two
Iglulirmiut among the Akudnirmiut. The intercourse seems to have been
always very active, and consequently those tribes may be considered as
one group.

The inhabitants of North Devon belong to the Tununirusirmiut, a few
families of this tribe sometimes settling on the island and after a few
years’ absence returning to their former home.

From Parry’s, Hall’s, and Schwatka’s reports it appears that the
Aivillirmiut are closely related to the Iglulirmiut, while the Eskimo of
Chesterfield Inlet, the Agutit or Kinipetu, form a separate group.

It is remarkable that between the tribes of Hudson Bay and the more
western ones a deep distrust exists, which prevents a frequent and
unlimited intercourse. The Sinimiut and Netchillirmiut are feared by the
Aivillirmiut, though intermarriages and removals from one tribe to the
other are not rare. No doubt they are less closely related than are the
neighboring tribes hitherto mentioned. Unfortunately, too little is
known of the western tribes to admit of a decided opinion whether or not
there exists an important difference in customs and habits. The
Sinimiut, the Netchillirmiut, and the Ugjulirmiut may be comprised in
one group, for they all hold frequent intercourse with one another and
the last two even inhabit the same region at the present time. The
change which the relations between these tribes have undergone since
1833 has already been referred to, as has their intercourse with the
Ukusiksalirmiut. Schwatka (Science, Vol. IV, p. 543) states that they
occasionally meet the Qidneliq of Coronation Bay, but that both tribes
distrust each other. Our knowledge about the migrations from North Devon
to Ellesmere Land and North Greenland is very scanty, but it is
necessary to mention its existence.

Between tribes that are strangers to one another ceremonies of greeting
are customary which are not adapted to facilitate intercourse. The
ceremonies will be described further on (see p. 609). For the present it
will be sufficient to say that duels, with varying details, are common
between a stranger and a man of the tribe, and these sometimes result in
the death of the former.

Among neighboring tribes these ceremonies are dispensed with, for
instance, between the Padlimiut and Oqomiut, Padlimiut and Akudnirmiut,
while a Nugumio or an Akudnirmio unknown in Oqo has there to go through
the whole of the performance. The exception in favor of the former
tribes is doubtless due to the frequent intermarriages with those
tribes, whereby a constant acquaintance is kept up.

Real wars or fights between settlements, I believe, have never happened,
but contests have always been confined to single families. The last
instance of a feud which has come to my knowledge occurred about seventy
years ago. At that time a great number of Eskimo lived at Niutang, in
Kingnait Fjord, and many men of this settlement had been murdered by a
Qinguamio of Anarnitung. For this reason the men of Niutang united in a
sledge journey to Anarnitung to revenge the death of their companions.
They hid themselves behind the ground ice and killed the returning
hunter with their arrows. All hostilities have probably been of a
similar character.

One tradition only refers to a real fight between the tribes. On the
steep island Sagdluaqdjung, near Naujateling, ruins of huts are found on
the level summit. They are said to have been built by Eskimo who lived
by the seashore and were attacked by a hostile tribe of inlanders. The
tradition says that they defended themselves with bows and arrows, and
with bowlders which they rolled down upon the enemy. The occurrence of
huts upon the top of an island is very unusual, and this tradition is
the only one referring to any kind of fights or wars. Even the tradition
of the expulsion of the Tornit a fabulous tribe said to have lived with
the Eskimo on these shores, does not refer to a combat. The details of
this tradition will be found in a subsequent chapter.

I wish to state here that my inquiries and my understanding of the facts
as they have been reported by other travelers do not agree with the
opinions given by Klutschak (Deutsche Rundschau für Geographie und
Statistik, III, p. 418), who claims for the Eskimo of the west shore of
Hudson Bay reservations which are limited by precise lines of
demarkation. In comparing this statement with his own and with Gilder’s
narratives I am led to believe that the relations between the tribes are
the same in these regions as they are farther east. This opinion is
strengthened by Dall’s remarks on the Alaska tribes (Science, p. 228,

The reasons for the frequent removals of individual Eskimo to strange
tribes are to be looked for in the customs of the natives. I can only
mention here that intermarriage, adoption, and the fear of blood
vengeance are the principal ones.

It is peculiar to the migratory habits of the Eskimo that almost without
exception the old man returns to the country of his youth, and
consequently by far the greater part of the old people live in their
native districts.

During the last decades the most important inducement to removals has
been the presence of the whalers in certain parts of the country. Since
the beginning of our century their fleets have visited the west shore of
Baffin Bay and Davis Strait, and thus European manufactures have found
their way to the inhospitable shores of the Arctic Sea. The most
valuable objects which were bartered were metals and wood. The value of
the former may be seen in its economical application for knives and
harpoon heads. By means of this trade the Akudnirmiut and the
Tununirmiut became far superior to the Oqomiut and the Iglulirmiut, with
whom they traded extensively in dogs, skins, &c. The Akuliarmiut and the
Qaumauangmiut also enjoyed the advantages which accrued from trade with
the ships of the Hudson Bay Company.

When the whalers became better acquainted with the natives and the
peculiar jargon which is still in use was developed, the traffic became
very active, and reached its height after Cumberland Sound was
rediscovered by Penny. As soon as the whalers began to winter in the
sound and to employ the natives the latter received firearms and
European boats in exchange for their wares, and then their modes of
living became materially changed. The immense quantity of European
manufactured articles which thus came into the possession of the natives
induced the removal of many families to the favored region. Particularly
did the Nugumiut and the Akudnirmiut migrate during that period. When in
the course of time the Bay of Nugumiut was visited by the whalers
removals of members of this tribe became less frequent.

After the Eskimo had become acquainted with the advantages of firearms
the natives of Davis Strait also began to trade bearskins for guns and
ammunition, having learned how highly they were prized in Cumberland
Sound. Besides, they received, in exchange for seals and walrus blubber
put up for the whalers, tobacco, pipes, coffee, boxes, &c. In a similar
way the Saumingmiut barter with the whalers of Cumberland Sound, whom
they visit during the winter, carrying heavy loads of bearskins to the

A brief sketch of the way in which the whaling and the trade with the
Eskimo in Cumberland Sound are carried on may be of interest at this
point. Two of the whaling stations are still kept up. They are situated
on Qeqerten, the settlement of the Kingnaitmiut. When the Eskimo who
have spent the summer inland return at the beginning of October they
eagerly offer their services at the stations, for they receive in
payment for a half year’s work a gun, a harmonium or something of that
nature, and a ration of provisions for their families, with tobacco
every week. Every Saturday the women come into the house of the station,
at the blowing of the horn, to receive their bread, coffee, sirup, and
the precious tobacco. In return the Eskimo is expected to deliver in the
kitchen of the station a piece of every seal he catches.

The time for the fall fishing commences as soon as the ice begins to
form. If the weather, which is generally stormy, permits it, the boats
leave the harbor to look out for the whales which pass along the east
shore of the sound toward the north. During the last few years the catch
has been very unprofitable, only a few whales having been seen. As the
ice forms quickly the boats must be brought back about the end of
October or the beginning of November. Since the whale fishery has become
unprofitable the stations have followed the business of collecting seal
blubber and skins, which they buy from the Eskimo. (See Appendix,
Note 1.)

A lively traffic springs up as soon as the ice becomes strong enough to
allow sledges to pass from shore to shore. The sledges of the stations
are sent from one settlement to another to exchange tobacco, matches,
coffee, bread, &c. for skins and the spare blubber which the Eskimo have
carefully saved up. On the other hand, those natives who require useful
articles, such as cooking pots, lamps, &c., collect quantities of hides
and blubber and go to Qeqerten to supply their wants. The winter passes
quickly amid the stir of business, till everything comes to a stop at
the end of March, when the young sealing season fairly opens.

When the sun has reached such a height that the snow begins to melt in
favored spots, a new life begins at the stations. The skins which have
been collected in the winter and become frozen are brought out of the
store room and exposed to the sun’s rays. Some of the women busy
themselves, with their crescent shaped knives, in cutting the blubber
from the skins and putting it away in casks. Others clean and salt the
skins, which are likewise packed away. The men also find enough work to
do after the young sealing is over, for the whale boats must be got
ready for the spring fishing. Strangers whose services have been engaged
by the station for the next few months arrive daily with their families
and all their goods to take up their abode on Qeqerten. The boats are
dug out of the deep snow, the oars and sails are looked after, the
harpoons are cleaned up and sharpened, and everything is in busy
preparation. The boats are made as comfortable as possible with awnings
and level floors, for the crews are not to come to the shore for about
six weeks.

By the beginning of May, the arrangements having been completed, the
boats are put upon the sledges, which, under the direction of native
drivers, are drawn by dog teams, with their crews, to the floe edge. The
sledges being heavily laden and food for the dogs having to be provided
by hunting, each day’s stage is rather short. Arriving at the floe edge
the sledges are unloaded and the boats are launched. Seals and birds of
all kinds are now found in profusion and the chase is opened without
delay upon everything that is useful and can be shot. Sledges are
regularly sent back to Qeqerten with skins and meat for the families of
the Eskimo, while the blubber is packed in casks, which are kept ready
on the spot.

The most important object of the expedition is the whale. Harpoons and
lines are always in readiness for the contest with the mighty monster.
The boats return to the north with the breaking up of the ice and the
fishing ends in July. The Eskimo are paid off and dismissed and resume
their reindeer hunting, while the whites are glad to enjoy some rest
after the weeks of exhausting labor.

The constant contact between the Eskimo and the whalers has effected a
perfect revolution in the trade between the Eskimo tribes. As the whale
catch in Cumberland Sound has fallen off during the past fifteen years,
a remigration of the population of Davis Strait has occurred, ships
visiting these shores every fall and a regular traffic being kept up.
Therefore many Oqomiut now travel as far as Qivitung in order to trade
there. As Nugumiut is still frequently visited by whalers, there is no
inducement for the inhabitants to leave their country.

Within a few years the Akuliarmiut also have become amply provided with
firearms and European products in general by means of a new whaling
station which has been established in their vicinity.

As to the Iglulirmiut, the importation of European manufactures at Pond
Bay makes the trade with that region even more important than formerly.

The Aivillirmiut and the Kinipetu have immediate intercourse with the
whalers frequenting the western shore of Hudson Bay. Besides, the
southern tribes trade with the stations of the Hudson Bay Company.

The more western tribes of Boothia and its environs are dependent on the
mediation of the Aivillirmiut for their supply of goods, as they
themselves have no chance of communicating with the whites.

Finally, I shall describe the old trading routes which existed between
these tribes before matters were totally changed by the influence of the
Europeans. Two desiderata formed the principal inducement to long
journeys, which sometimes lasted even several years: wood and soapstone.
The shores of Davis Strait and Cumberland Sound are almost destitute of
driftwood, and consequently the natives were obliged to visit distant
regions to obtain that necessary material. Tudjaqdjuaq in particular was
the objective point of their expeditions. Their boats took a southerly
course, and, as the wood was gathered, a portion of it was immediately
manufactured into boat ribs and sledge runners, which were carried back
on the return journey; another portion was used for bows, though these
were also made of deer’s horns ingeniously lashed together. A portion of
the trade in wood seems to have been in the hands of the Nugumiut, who
collected it on Tudjaqdjuaq and took it north. Another necessary and
important article of trade, soapstone, is manufactured into lamps and
pots. It is found in a few places only, and very rarely in pieces large
enough for the manufacture of the articles named. Among the places
visited by the natives for the purpose of obtaining it may be mentioned
Kautaq, east of Naujateling; Qeqertelung, near the former place;
Qarmaqdjuin (Exeter Bay), and Committee Bay. The visitors come from
every part of the country, the soapstone being dug or “traded” from the
rocks by depositing some trifles in exchange. In addition to wood and
soapstone, metals, which were extremely rare in old times, have formed
an important object of trade. They were brought to Baffin Bay either by
the Aivillirmiut, who had obtained them from the Hudson Bay Company and
the Kinipetu, or by the Akuliarmiut. Even when Frobisher visited the
Nugumiut in 1577 he found them in possession of some iron (Frobisher).

The occurrence of flint, which was the material for arrowheads, may have
given some importance to places where it occurs. Formerly an important
trade existed between the Netchillirmiut and the neighboring tribes. As
the district of the former is destitute of driftwood and potstone they
are compelled to buy both articles from their neighbors. In Ross’s time
they got the necessary wood from Ugjulik, the potstone from Aivillik.
They exchanged these articles for native iron (or pyrite), which they
found on the eastern shore of Boothia and which was used for striking
fire. After having collected a sufficient stock of it during several
years, they traveled to the neighboring tribes. For reasons which have
been mentioned this trade is now essentially changed. According to
Schwatka there is a mutual distrust between the Ugjulirmiut and the
Netchillirmiut on one side and the Qidnelik on the other, for which
reason the intercourse between these tribes is very limited.


The following list gives the tribes of the Central Eskimo and their
geographical distribution:

  I. Northern coast of Labrador:
    (1) Kangivamiut (George River).
    (2) Kouksoarmiut (Big River).
    (3) Ungavamiut (Hope Advance Bay).
    (4) Itivimiut (Cape Wolstenholme).

  II. Northern shore of Hudson Strait:
    (5) Sikosuilarmiut (King Cape).
    (6) Akuliarmiut (North Bluff).
    (7) Qaumauangmiut (Middle Savage Islands).

  III. Davis Strait:
    (8) Nugumiut (Frobisher Bay).
    (9) Oqomiut (Cumberland Sound):
      _a._ Talirpingmiut (west shore of Cumberland Sound and
      _b._ Qinguamiut (head of Cumberland Sound).
      _c._ Kingnaitmiut (Qeqerten and environs).
      _d._ Saumingmiut (southern part of Cumberland Peninsula).
    (10) Akudnirmiut (Davis Strait).
      _a._ Padlimiut (Padli Fjord).
      _b._ Akudnirmiut (Home Bay).

  IV. Northern part of Baffin Land, North Devon, and Ellesmere Land:
    (11) Aggomiut.
      _a._ Tununirmiut (Eclipse Sound).
      _b._ Tununirusirmiut (Admiralty Inlet and North Devon).
    (12) Inhabitants of Umingman Nuna (Ellesmere Land).

  V. Melville Peninsula, Wager River, and Southampton Island:
    (13) _a._ Iglulirmiut (Fury and Hecla Strait).
         _b._ Amitormiut (eastern coast of Melville Peninsula).
    (14) _a._ Pilingmiut (eastern coast of Fox Basin).
         _b._ Sagdlirmiut (islands of Fox Basin).
    (15) Aivillirmiut (Repulse Bay and Wager River).
    (16) Sagdlirmiut (Southampton Island):

  VI. (17) Kinipetu (Chesterfield Inlet).

  VII. Boothia Felix and King William Land:
    (18) Sinimiut (Pelly Bay).
    (19) Netchillirmiut (Boothia Felix and King William Land).
    (20) Ugjulirmiut (King William Land and Adelaide Peninsula).
    (21) Ukusiksalirmiut (estuary of Back River).

  VIII. Qidnelik (coast west of Adelaide Peninsula).

  IX. Inhabitants of North Greenland.


    [Footnote 4: A glossary of the Eskimo words used throughout this
    paper will be found on p. 659.]


The staple food of the Central Eskimo is the seal, particularly _Pagomys
fœtidus_. The methods of hunting this animal differ materially at
different seasons, as its mode of life depends on the state of the ice.

In the winter it takes to the smooth parts of the floe a few miles from
the coast, where it scratches breathing holes through the ice, in which
it rises to blow. It shuns hummocky ice and floes of more than one
year’s age. Wherever the edge of the ice is at a great distance from the
settlements, the only way of procuring seals is by watching for them at
these holes. For the pursuit a light harpoon is used, called unang. The
shape of this weapon has been somewhat changed since the introduction of
rod iron. Formerly it consisted of a shaft having at one end an ivory
point firmly attached by thongs and rivets, the point tapering toward
the end. The point was slanting on one side so as to form almost an
oblique cone. Thus it facilitated the separation of the harpoon head
from the unang. On the opposite end of the shaft another piece of ivory
was attached, generally forming a knob. The material used in making the
shaft was wood, bone, or ivory, according to the region in which it was
manufactured. In Iglulik and in Aggo the narwhal’s horn was the favorite
material for the whole implement, a single horn being sufficient to make
a whole shaft. Wherever wood could be procured small pieces were
ingeniously lashed together. As the shaft is apt to be broken by the
struggles of the animal when struck by the weapon, it was strengthened
by a stout thong running along the whole length of the shaft. In all
other respects the old design corresponds to the modern one.
Unfortunately I have seen no specimen of this description, but a figure
may be seen in Ross II, p. 272, in the hand of one of the natives. In
Alaska a similar harpoon is in use, a specimen of which is represented
in Fig. 390. It consists of a wooden shaft, with a stout ivory point at
the lower end and another at the upper end. Both are fastened to the
shaft by whalebone strings. In the upper end a slanting ivory point is
inserted, which serves for attaching the harpoon head to it. The whole
shaft is strengthened by a seal line, as shown in the figure.

The unang now in use in Baffin Land and on the western shore of Hudson
Bay (Fig. 391) consists of a wooden shaft into which an iron rod
(unartenga) is sunk. The latter is pointed at the end (see, also, Fig.
393) in about the same way as the old ivory implement. The socket is
secured by a small ivory ring (unaqiuta) or a string wound around the
end of the shaft. In the socket close to the iron rod a bent nail is
inserted, forming a narrow eye (tagusiarbing). Near the center of the
whole implement a small piece of ivory (tikagung; see, also, Fig. 418)
is fastened to the shaft, forming a support for the hand when throwing
the weapon. At the lower end of the shaft a string of deer sinews or a
thong is fastened, forming a loop (nabiring) which passes through a hole
drilled through the shaft. A stout iron point is also attached to the
lower end of the shaft (tounga).

  [Illustration: FIG. 390. harpoon from Alaska. (American Museum of
  Natural History, New York.)]

  [Illustration: FIG. 391. Modern unang or sealing harpoon. (Museum
  für Völkerkunde, Berlin. IV A 6729.)]

The natives carry this implement on all their winter excursions, as it
is serviceable for numerous purposes. It is always kept within reach on
the sledge, as the strong iron point is useful for cutting down
hummocks, should any obstruct the passage of the sledges, or for cutting
holes through the ice, or it takes the place of a hatchet in breaking
the frozen meat which is carried along for dogs’ food. The long iron rod
is extremely useful in trying the strength of the ice or the depth of
the snow. By taking precautionary measures of this kind the natives pass
over extensive floes of weak ice.

  [Illustration: FIG. 392. Old style naulang or harpoon head. (Museum
  für Völkerkunde, Berlin. IV A 6692.) 1/1]

The head belonging to the unang is called naulang. Since iron has been
introduced in Baffin Land and Hudson Bay, the natives file their harpoon
heads out of it, but adhere almost exactly to the old pattern. The old
naulang was cut out of bone or more frequently out of ivory (Fig. 392).
It was one inch to two inches long and had a piece of metal inserted
into the slit at the top. Through the middle of the instrument a hole
was drilled parallel to the plane of the blade. The harpoon line passed
through the hole, and as soon as the point struck an animal and a strain
was put upon the line it turned at a right angle to the latter, thus
acting as a toggle. The effect was increased by two points at the lower
end of the naulang, called uming (beard). These pressed into the flesh
or the skin of the animal and prevented the harpoon head from slipping

  [Illustration: FIG. 393. Modern naulang or harpoon head (Museum für
  Völkerkunde, Berlin. IV A 6729.) ½]

The modern naulang (Fig. 393) is about the same length as the old one,
but much more slender. While the back of the old pattern was straight,
the points of the iron one are bent outward and backward in order to
increase its effect.

The naulang is fastened to the harpoon line (iparang). This part of the
instrument is much longer than the unang, as it must allow for the
struggles of the diving seal. The end of the line passes through the
hole of the naulang and a loop is formed and secured by deer sinew or
arranged as may be seen in Fig. 393. At a distance equal to the length
of the iron rod of the unang a small thong (taguta) is attached to the
line and serves to fasten it to the shaft (see Fig. 391). It is drawn
through the eye formed by the tagusiarbing. As soon as a strain is put
upon the naulang the line parts from the shaft, as the taguta is only
squeezed into the eye and is easily detached. The harpoon line passes
through the nabiring or is fastened by a slipping hitch to the shaft of
the unang.

If the unang has a nabiring the line passes through this loop. A few
feet below it a small piece of ivory (akparaiktung) is attached to the
line, acting as a hook after it has run out. It catches the nabiring and
drags the harpoon along, thus impeding the movements of the animal (see
Fig. 391).

  [Illustration: FIG. 394. Qilertuang or leather strap and clasps
  for holding coiled up harpoon lines. _a_, _c_ (National Museum,
  Washington. _a_, 34128; _c_, 34132.) _b_ (Museum für Völkerkunde,
  Berlin.) 1/1]

The rest of the line is coiled up and held by the hunter. The end is
doubled so as to form a loop which serves as a handle when the line runs
out with the diving seal. Generally, a small piece of leather (Fig. 394)
with two slits at one end and an ivory clasp (qilertuang) at the other
is fastened to this loop; it serves to hold the bights together when the
line is detached from the harpoon and rolled up. Some art is bestowed on
the manufacture of this clasp (Fig. 394). Usually it represents a seal,
the head of which forms a hook on which the slits can be fastened. The
clasp is either tied or otherwise secured to the leather strap. Some
specimens in the British Museum, which are about one hundred and fifty
years old, show that these implements have not undergone any change
during that time.

Parry describes another harpoon head used by the Iglulirmiut for the
unang. He calls it a siatko (Fig. 395). I myself have not seen any of a
similar pattern, but Kumlien gives a sketch of one found in a grave at
Exeter Sound (Fig. 396). The principal difference between the naulang
and the siatko is that the edge of the former is parallel to the hole
through which the line passes, while in the latter their directions are
vertical to each other. The head of the whaling harpoon (see Fig. 436)
acts on the same principle.

When the day begins to dawn the Eskimo prepares for the hunt. The dogs
are harnessed to the sledge and the hunting implements are fitted up.
The harpoon line and the snow knife are hung over the deer’s antlers,
which are attached to the hind part of the sledge, a seal or bear skin
is lashed upon the bottom, and the spear secured under the lashing. The
hunter takes up the whip and the dogs set off for the hunting ground.
When near the place where he expects to find seals, the hunter stops the
team and takes the implements from the sledge, which is then turned
upside down. The points of the runners and the short brow antler are
pressed into the snow in order to prevent the dogs from running away.
A dog with a good scent is then taken from the team and the Eskimo
follows his guidance until a seal’s hole is found. In winter it is
entirely covered with snow, but generally a very small elevation
indicates the situation. The dog is led back to the sledge and the
hunter examines the hole to make sure that it is still visited by the
seal. Cautiously he cuts a hole through the snow covering and peeps into
the excavation. If the water is covered with a new coat of ice the seal
has left the hole and it would be in vain to expect its return. The
hunter must look for a new hole promising better results.

  [Illustration: FIG. 395. Siatko or harpoon head of the Iglulirmiut.
  (From Parry II, p. 550.)]

  [Illustration: FIG. 396. Siatko found at Exeter Sound. (From a
  drawing by L. Kumlien.)]

  [Illustration: FIG. 397. Eskimo in the act of striking a seal. (From
  a photograph.)]

If he is sure that the seal has recently visited a hole he marks its
exact center on the top of the snow and then fills up his peep hole with
small blocks of snow. All these preparations must be made with the
utmost precaution, as any change in the appearance of the snow would
frighten away the seal. The Eskimo take particular care that no hairs
from their clothing fall into the hole or remain sticking in the snow,
for they believe that the smell would scare away the animal. The center
of the breathing hole must be marked, as the game remains invisible and
only a stroke into the center will be likely to hit it. If the snow
covering is very thick and strong it is cut down, but is replaced with
loose snow, which is heaped around the end of the harpoon, the latter
being placed upon the central point. After the harpoon has been
extracted a hole remains which forms the mark for the harpooner. If the
Eskimo expects the early return of the seal, he spreads a small piece of
skin, generally that of a young seal, close to the hole and places his
feet upon it, thus keeping them warm. He fastens the naulang to the
harpoon shaft, while the lower end of the line is folded up in a coil,
which he holds in the left hand. The unang is held in both hands, and
thus the hunter sometimes remains for hours, occasionally stooping and
listening, until he hears the blowing of the seal. Then, all of a
sudden, he stands upright, and, with all his strength, sends the harpoon
straight downward into the hole, paying out the line at the same time,
but keeping a firm hold of the loop at its end (Fig. 397). Generally the
seal is struck near the head. If the line is fastened to the shaft by a
slipping hitch it is at once detached and the harpoon either remains
sticking in the snow or falls down by the hole. If the line runs through
the nabiring, the harpoon is dragged into the water and impedes the
movements of the animal. The hunter then begins at once to cut down the
snow covering with his knife, which has been left within easy reach, and
hauls in the line. As soon as the seal comes to the surface to breathe
it is easily dispatched and drawn up on the ice.

  [Illustration: FIG. 398. Tutareang or buckle. (Museum für
  Völkerkunde, Berlin. IV A 6710.) 1/1]

The arrangements at the seal hole are more elaborate if the sealer
expects to wait a long time. If only a few men go out hunting and famine
is impending, he sometimes waits for a whole day or even longer, though
it be cold and the wind rage over the icy fields. He builds up a
semicircular wall of snow blocks to keep off the piercing wind and makes
a seat in the center of it. A skin is spread under his feet and his legs
are tied together with a thong, which is fastened by a peculiar kind of
buckle (tutareang) with two holes (Fig. 398). One end of the thong is
firmly tied to the buckle, passing through one of the holes, while the
opposite end passes tightly through the second hole. The thong may be
quickly opened by a strong effort on the part of the hunter, while it
helps to keep him quiet. At his right hand (Fig. 399; in this drawing it
appears on the left) the snow knife is stuck into the snow, while to the
left the unang is placed upon two pegs. The coil of the line lies in his
lap. His left arm is drawn out of his sleeve, that he may more easily
keep warm. Both sleeves are generally held together by a piece of deer’s
horn with a branch on each side which serves as a hook. Thus the hunter
waits until he hears the breathing of the seal. As it usually stays for
several minutes he is in no hurry to get ready. Cautiously he places his
left arm into the sleeve, having first disengaged it from the hook. He
then takes hold of the coil, picks up his unang, and, having risen,
strikes the center of the hole.

  [Illustration: FIG. 399. Eskimo awaiting return of seal to blowhole.
  (From a photograph.)]

Ross (II, p. 268) and Rae (I, p. 123) state that the sealing at the hole
is more difficult in daylight than in the dark. I suppose, however, that
when the snow is deep there is no difference; at least the Eskimo of
Davis Strait never complain about being annoyed by the daylight.

Sometimes a small instrument is used in the hunt to indicate the
approach of the seal. It is called qipekutang and consists of a very
thin rod with a knob or a knot at one end (Parry II, p. 550, Fig. 20).
It is stuck through the snow, the end passing into the water, the knob
resting on the snow. As soon as the seal rises to blow, it strikes the
rod, which, by its movements, warns the Eskimo. Generally it is made of
whalebone. Sometimes a string is attached to the knob and fastened by a
pin to the snow, as its movements are more easily detected than those of
the knob. The natives are somewhat averse to using this implement, as it
frequently scares the seals.

  [Illustration: FIG. 400. Tuputang or ivory plugs for closing wounds.
  _e_ (Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin. IV A 6706.) _b_, _c_, _d_
  (National Museum, Washington. _b_, 10192; _c_, 10390; _d_, 9836.)

  [Illustration: FIG. 401. Wooden case for plugs. (Museum für
  Völkerkunde, Berlin.) 1/1]

  [Illustration: FIG. 402. Another form of plug. (Museum für
  Völkerkunde, Berlin.) ⅔]

  [Illustration: FIG. 403. Qanging for fastening thong to jaw of seal.
  _a_ (Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin. IV A 6825.) _b_, _c_ (National
  Museum, Washington. _b_, 34126; _c_, 34129.) 1/1]

After the carcass of the animal has been drawn out of the water, the
wounds are closed with ivory plugs (tuputang) (Fig. 400), which are
carried in a wooden or leathern case (Fig. 401) and are either
triangular or square. The plug is pushed under the skin, which is
closely tied to its head. Another form of plug which, however, is rarely
used, is represented in Fig. 402. The skin is drawn over the plug and
tied over one of the threads of the screw cut into the wood. After the
dead animal’s wounds are closed, a hole is cut through the flesh beneath
the lower jaw and a thong is passed through this hole and the mouth.
A small implement called qanging is used for fastening it to the seal.
It usually forms a toggle and prevents the line from slipping through
the hole. The patterns represented in Fig. 403 are very effective. The
hole drilled through the center of the instrument is wider at the lower
end than elsewhere, thus furnishing a rest for a knot at the end of the
thong. The points are pressed into the flesh of the seal, and thus a
firm hold is secured for the whole implement. The Eskimo display some
art in the manufacture of this implement, and frequently give it the
shape of seals and the like (Fig. 404). Fig. 405 represents a small
button, which is much less effective than the other patterns. A very few
specimens consist merely of rude pieces of ivory with holes drilled
through them. Fig. 406 shows one of these attachments serving for both
toggle and handle.

  [Illustration: FIG. 404. Qanging in form of a seal. (Museum für
  Völkerkunde, Berlin. IV A 6825.) 1/1]

  [Illustration: FIG. 405. Qanging in form of a button. (National
  Museum, Washington. 34130.) 1/1]

  [Illustration: FIG. 406. Qanging serving for both toggle and handle.
  (National Museum, Washington. 10400.) ⅔]

  [Illustration: FIG. 407. Qidjarung or whirl for harpoon line.
  (National Museum, Washington. 34121.) 1/1]

  [Illustration: FIG. 408. Simpler form of whirl. (Museum für
  Völkerkunde, Berlin.) 1/1]

In order to prevent the line from getting out of order, a whirl
(qidjarung) is sometimes used. Fig. 407 represents one brought from
Cumberland Sound by Kumlien, and is described by him (p. 38). There was
a ball in the hollow body of this instrument, which could not be pulled
through any of the openings. One line was fastened to this ball, passing
through the central hole, and another one to the top of the whirl.
A simpler pattern is represented in Fig. 408.

On its capture, the seal is dragged to the sledge and after being
covered with the bearskin is firmly secured by the lashing. It freezes
quickly and the hunter sits down on top of it. If the seal happens to
blow soon after the arrival of the hunter, a second one may be procured,
but generally the day is far spent when the first seal is killed.

Wherever water holes are found they are frequently visited during the
winter by the Eskimo, especially by those who have firearms. They lie in
wait at the lower side of the hole, i.e., the side to which the tide
sets, and when the seal blows they shoot him, securing him with the
harpoon after he has drifted to the edge of the ice. These holes can
only be visited at spring tides, as in the intervals a treacherous floe
partly covers the opening and is not destroyed until the next spring

In March, when the seal brings forth its young, the same way of hunting
is continued, besides which young seals are eagerly pursued. The
pregnant females make an excavation from five to ten feet in length
under the snow, the diving hole being at one end. They prefer snowbanks
and rough ice or the cracks and cavities of grounded ice for this
purpose, and pup in these holes. The Eskimo set out on light sledges
dragged by a few dogs, which quickly take up the scent of the seals. The
dogs hurry at the utmost speed to the place of the hole, where they stop
at once. The hunter jumps from the sledge and breaks down the roof of
the excavation as quickly as possible, cutting off the retreat of the
seal through its hole if he can. Generally the mother escapes, but the
awkward pup is taken by surprise, or, if very young, cannot get into the
water. The Eskimo draws it out by means of a hook (niksiang) and kills
it by firmly stepping on the poor beast’s breast. An old pattern of the
hook used is represented according to Kumlien’s drawing in Fig. 409;
another, made from a bear’s claw, in Fig. 410; the modern pattern, in
Fig. 411.

Sometimes the natives try to catch the old seal in a most cruel way, by
using the love of the dam for her pup to lure her to the surface of the
hole. They tie a thong to the hind flipper of the pup and throw it into
the hole. It dives at once, crying pitifully. When it comes up to
breathe the hunter pushes it back, and frequently the dam returns to her
young and attempts to draw it away. As soon as she is seen the harpoon
is plunged into her body and she is quickly drawn out of the water and

The young seal is also pursued by foxes, which drag it from the
excavation and leave nothing but the skin, which becomes a welcome find
for the Eskimo.

  [Illustration: FIG. 409. Old pattern of hook for drawing out
  captured seal.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 410. Seal hook of bear’s claw. Actual size,
  3 feet. (Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin. IV A 6728.)]

  [Illustration: FIG. 411. Modern form of seal hook. (From a drawing
  by Kumlien.)]

As the season advances and the rays of the sun become warmer the seals
break down the snow roofs and are seen basking beside their holes. The
young ones remain with their dams until late in June.

At this season a new method of hunting is practiced, by which seals are
caught with greater ease than in winter. The hunter approaches the
animal from the windward side until he is within seventy or eighty yards
of it. He then lies down, after having fastened a piece of skin under
his left arm, upon which he reclines. The skin protects him from the
melting snow, facilitates speed, and diminishes the noise as he creeps.
He moves on toward the seal, resting on his left arm and side and
pushing himself forward with his right foot and left arm (Fig. 412). The
seal frequently raises his head and gazes around to make sure that no
danger threatens. As long as the seal is looking around the hunter lies
flat and keeps perfectly still, or, if he is somewhat close to the
animal, imitates its movements by raising his head and rolling and
playing with his hands and feet as a seal does with its flippers. Some
natives will utter sounds similar to those of a blowing seal or use a
small sledge with a white screen to conceal themselves from view. The
sealskin clothing makes man and seal look so extremely alike that it is
difficult to distinguish one from the other at some distance. If the
hunter succeeds in deceiving the animal it lies down again to sleep and
he pushes himself on. As the naps of the seal last but a few moments,
the Eskimo approaches very slowly. At last he is near enough. He levels
his gun and tries to hit the animal’s head, as it must be killed by the
first shot, else it jumps into the hole and escapes. If the snow is hard
and water has not yet appeared on the top of the ice, a seal may be
killed in this way in twenty or thirty minutes. If the snow is very soft
and deep it is almost impossible to get near enough, as it is extremely
difficult to push one’s self along. The approach is rather easy through
rough ice, which conceals the hunter, but the seals seldom frequent such
places. Sometimes they are found at the edges of rough ice or near the
shore and are easily caught when in this position.

  [Illustration: FIG. 412. Eskimo approaching seal. (From a

Formerly, the harpoon was used instead of the gun, and is even now
preferred by some hunters. The hunter gets near enough to reach the seal
with the harpoon, and having struck his prey has a better chance of
securing it, as the weapon prevents its escape.

After the shot has been fired or the harpoon thrown, the Eskimo at once
jumps to his feet in order to prevent the escape of the animal to its
hole, to which it takes if only wounded. An expert hunter can kill from
ten to fifteen seals in one day.

Rae, in describing the method of hunting, states (I, p. 170) that the
women at Repulse Bay are very skillful, and when they have no harpoon
frequently use a small wooden club, with which they strike the seal on
the nose, killing it.

Generally two men go sealing together. They set out early in the morning
on one sledge, and while one creeps toward the seals the other keeps the
dogs quiet. A single hunter cannot hunt successfully at this season with
a sledge, for when he leaves it the dogs will either follow him or, if
made fast to the ice, raise such a howling that the seal is put upon its
guard. Therefore it is necessary that a continuous watch be kept on the
dogs. When the shot is fired and they perceive that the seal is killed,
no amount of whipping will restrain them; they rush forward until they
have reached the victim, which is then lashed on the sledge.

The hunters go on in search of a second seal, at the sight of which the
dogs are again stopped. When the Eskimo intend to remain out only a few
hours they leave the dead animals at their holes and load them on the
sledge on the return journey. A single hunter cannot leave the
settlement for a long distance, but is limited to sealing near the
village and killing no more animals than he can drag to it himself.
Sometimes it happens that the seals are fast asleep. Then the hunter can
go up to them without any precaution and kill them immediately, and even
a dog team running at full speed can take them by surprise. In winter a
similar method of hunting is followed whenever the edge of the floe is
close to the land. In such places all kinds of seals lie on the ice,
even in the midst of winter, and are pursued in the way which has been
already described.

A strange method of hunting is reported by Ross (II, p. 451) as
practiced by the Netchillirmiut. Eight men slowly approached the basking
seal until it raised its head, when those in front stopped and shouted
as loud as they could; on which three others ran up with incredible
swiftness and the leader struck it with the spear.

Still later in the season, when the snow is all gone, a very successful
method of hunting is practiced. All the inhabitants of the settlements
set out at once, men, women, and children, and occupy every seal hole
over a large area. The men keep their harpoons ready to strike the
animal when it comes up to blow, while the women and children are
provided with sticks only, with which they frighten away the seals
whenever they rise where they are standing. The animals are compelled to
rise somewhere, as otherwise they would be drowned, and thus an ample
supply is secured in a short time.

After the breaking up of the ice the natives take to their kayaks and
the summer hunt is started. As at this season the methods of catching
all kinds of seal and walrus are almost identical, I shall describe them
together; and, first, the most important part of the hunting gear, the
kayak and its belongings.

The kayak (qajaq) is almost exclusively used for hunting by all Eskimo
tribes from Greenland to Alaska. According to Bessels the Ita natives do
not know its use, though they have retained the word. As a connection
exists between this tribe and those of Baffin Land, I have no doubt that
they are acquainted with the use of the boat, though it may be of little
avail in that ice encumbered region. When I first visited the tribes of
Davis Strait no kayak was to be found between Cape Mercy and Cape Raper,
nor had there been any for several years. In the summer of 1884,
however, two boats were built by these natives.

The general principles of their construction are well known. The kayak
of the Nugumiut, Oqomiut, and Akudnirmiut is bulky as compared with that
of Greenland and Hudson Bay. It is from twenty-five to twenty-seven feet
long and weighs from eighty to one hundred pounds, while the Iglulik
boats, according to Lyon (p. 322), range from fifty to sixty pounds in
weight. It may be that the Repulse Bay boats are even lighter still.
According to Hall they are not heavier than twenty-five pounds (II, p.

  [Illustration: FIG. 413. Frame of a kayak or hunting boat. (Museum
  für Völkerkunde, Berlin.)]

The frame of the kayak (Fig. 413) consists, first, of two flat pieces of
wood which form the gunwale (apumang). From ten to twenty beams (ajang)
keep this frame on a stretch above. The greatest width between them is a
little behind the cock pit (p. 487). A strong piece of wood runs from
the cross piece before the hole (masing) to the stem, and another from
the cross piece abaft the hole (itirbing) to the stern (tuniqdjung). The
proportion of the bow end to the stern end, measured from the center of
the hole, is 4 to 3. The former has a projection measuring one-fourth of
its whole length. Setting aside the projection, the hole lies in the
very center of the body of the kayak. A large number of ribs (tikping),
from thirty to sixty, are fastened to the gunwales and kept steady by a
keel (kujang), which runs from stem to stern, and by two lateral strips
of wood (siadnit), which are fastened between gunwale and keel. The stem
projection (usujang), which rises gradually, begins at a strong beam
(niutang) and its rib (qaning). The extreme end of the stern (aqojang)
is bent upward. The bottom of the boat is partly formed by the keel,
partly by the side supports. The stern projection has a keel, but in the
body of the boat the side supports are bent down to the depth of the
keel, thus forming a flat bottom. Rising again gradually they terminate
close to the stern. Between the masing and the itirbing is the hole (pa)
of the kayak, the rim of which is formed by a flat piece of wood or
whalebone bent into a hoop. It is flattened abaft and sharply bent at
the fore part. The masing sometimes rests upon a stud.

  [Illustration: FIG. 414. Kayak with covering of skin. (Museum für
  Völkerkunde, Berlin.)]

The whole frame is covered with skins (aming) tightly sewed together and
almost waterproof (Fig. 414). Usually the cover consists of three or
four skins of _Pagomys fœtidus_. When put upon the frame it is
thoroughly wetted and stretched as much as possible so as to fit
tightly. It is tied by thongs to the rim of the hole. A small piece of
ivory is attached to each side of the niutang and serves to fasten a
thong which holds the kayak implements. Two more thongs are sewed to the
skin just before the hole, another one behind it, and two smaller ones
near the stern.

The differences between this boat and that of the Iglulirmiut may be
seen from Lyon’s description (page 320). Their kayak has a long peak at
the stern, which turns somewhat upward. The rim round the hole is higher
in front than at the back, whereas that of the former has the rim of an
equal height all around. At Savage Islands Lyon saw the rims very neatly
edged with ivory. The bow and the stern of the Iglulik kayaks were
equally sharp and they had from sixty to seventy ribs. While the kayaks
of the Oqomiut have only in exceptional cases two lateral supports
between keel and gunwale, Lyon found in the boats of these natives seven
siadnit, but no keel at all. These boats are well represented in Parry’s
engravings (II, pp. 271 and 508). Instead of the thongs, ivory or wooden
holders are fastened abaft to prevent the weapons from slipping down.

If the drawing in Lyon’s book (p. 14) be correct, the kayak of the
Qaumauangmiut (Savage Islands) has a very long prow ending in a sharp
peak, the proportion to the stern being 2 to 1. Its stern is much
shorter and steeper than that of the northern boats and carries the same
holders as that of the Iglulirmiut.

  [Illustration: FIG. 415. Model of a Repulse Bay kayak. (National
  Museum, Washington. 68126.)]

  [Illustration: FIG. 416. Sirmijaung or scraper for kayak. (Museum
  für Völkerkunde, Berlin.) ½]

  [Illustration: FIG. 417. Large kayak harpoon for seal and walrus.
  Actual length, 6½ feet. (Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin.)]

  [Illustration: FIG. 418. Tikagung or support for the hand. _a_, _b_,
  _c_ (National Museum, Washington. _a_, 30000; _b_, 30005; _c_,
  30004.) _d_ (Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin.)]

The model of a Repulse Bay kayak is represented in Fig. 415. The rim of
the hole is in the same position as in the Iglulik kayak, the fore part
resting on a rib bent like a hoop, whereas in the others it rests on a
beam. The stern resembles closely that of the Cumberland Sound boats,
while the head is less peaked, the keel having a sharper bend at the
beginning of the projection, which does not turn upward. Early in the
spring and in the autumn, when ice is still forming, a scraper
(sirmijaung) (Fig. 416) is always carried in the kayak for removing
the sleet which forms on the skin. When the boat has been pulled on
shore, it is turned upside down and the whole bottom is cleaned with
this implement. A double bladed paddle (pauting) is used with the boat.
It has a narrow handle (akudnang), which fits the hand of the boatman
and widens to about four inches at the thin blades (maling), which are
edged with ivory. Between each blade and the handle there is a ring

The kayak gear consists of the large harpoon and its line (to which the
sealskin float is attached), the receptacle for this line, the bird
spear (with its throwing board), and two lances.

  [Illustration: FIG. 419. Qatirn or ivory head of harpoon shaft.
  (National Museum, Washington. 34101.) ⅔]

  [Illustration: FIG. 420. Manner of attaching the two principal parts
  of the harpoon.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 421. Tokang or harpoon point in sheath. (In the
  possession of Captain John O. Spicer, Groton. Conn.) ⅔]

The large harpoon (Fig. 417) is used for hunting seals and walrus from
the kayak. The shaft (qijuqtenga) consists of a stout pole from four and
a half to five feet in length, to which an ivory knob is fastened at the
lower end. At its center of gravity a small piece of ivory (tikagung) is
attached, which serves to support the hand in throwing the weapon.
A remarkable pattern of this tikagung, which nicely fits the hand of the
hunter, is represented in the first of the series of Fig. 418, and
another one, which differs only in size from that of the unang, in the
second. At right angles to the tikagung a small ivory knob is inserted
in the shaft and serves to hold the harpoon line. At this part the shaft
is greatly flattened and the cross section becomes oblong or rhombic. At
the top it is tenoned, to be inserted into the mortice of the ivory head
(qatirn). The latter fits so closely on the tenon that it sticks without
being either riveted or tied together. The qatirn is represented in Fig.
419. Into the cavity at its top a walrus tusk is inserted and forms with
it a ball and socket joint (igimang).

The tusk and the qatirn are fastened to each other in a most ingenious
way, which may be readily made out from the engraving (Fig. 420). The
principal effect of this arrangement of the holes and the thong is that
the tusk is kept steady by two parallel thongs that prevent it from
tipping over and only allow a movement in the plane of the flattening of
the shaft as soon as any considerable force is applied to the tusk.

The harpoon head used in connection with this weapon is the tokang. To
prevent it from being injured, it is carried in a wooden sheath (Fig.
421). The iron point is secured by a string of whalebone or sealskin;
the lower part is fastened to the sheath as indicated in the figure. The
tokang differs from the naulang in that it is larger and stouter. In
some cases great care is bestowed upon the finishing of this important

An interesting specimen of this variety of harpoon head was found by
Kumlien in Cumberland Sound (Fig. 422). It was taken from a whale and
differs from the device of that country. The back is bent similar to
that of the iron naulang and the barbs have two points each instead of
one. The front part is sharply ridged. The specimen is very nicely
finished. A few very old harpoon heads of the same pattern are deposited
in the British Museum and were of Hudson Strait manufacture; therefore I
conclude that Kumlien’s specimen is from the same part of the country.

  [Illustration: FIG. 422. Tokang or harpoon head taken from a whale
  in Cumberland Sound. (National Museum, Washington. 34069.) ⅔]

Fig. 423 represents an ancient harpoon head of the same style, the
locality of which is unfortunately unknown. The specimen is of
particular interest, as it shows the method of fastening the stone to
the ivory part. A similar specimen is in the collections of the British
Museum; it formed part of the Sloane collection. Both these specimens
show perforations at the lower end of the harpoon head which are not
found in the modern ones. Probably these served for holding the harpoon
head to the shaft by means of a thin line, in order to prevent the head
from coming off before the seal or walrus was struck. These holes are
similar to the ones shown in Figs. 395 and 436.

  [Illustration: FIG. 423. Ancient tokang or harpoon head. (In
  A. Sturgis’s collection, New York.)]

The harpoon line (alirn) is attached to the tokang in the same way as
the iparang is to the naulang. When it is fastened to the igimang, the
bend of the tusk facilitates the disengagement of the harpoon head,
which turns its back to that of the tusk. Attached to the line at the
level of the ivory knob which has been mentioned is the teliqbing (Fig.
424), into the hole of which the knob fits closely. As the line from the
tokang to the teliqbing is just long enough to allow it to be pulled
down far enough to reach the knob, it holds shaft and head firmly
together so long as the tusk remains in its position. As soon as a
lateral strain is put upon the tusk the distance between the head and
the knob is diminished and the teliqbing slips off, thus disengaging the
line with the harpoon head from the shaft. Sometimes the teliqbing has
two holes, one being used when the line is wet and longer, the other
when it is dry and shorter.

In Iglulik the spear is called qatilik (Fig. 425). In pattern it is the
same as that of Akudnirn and Oqo, the only difference, according to
Parry’s description, being that the toung (the tusk) is straight and has
a notch near its socket (see Fig. 425), while the harpoon head which
belongs to it has only a single point at its lower end.

  [Illustration: FIG. 424. Teliqbing, which is fastened to harpoon
  line. (National Museum, Washington. 34123.) 1/1]

  [Illustration: FIG. 425. Qatilik or spear from Iglulik (From Parry
  II, p. 550.)]

  [Illustration: FIG. 426. Avautang or sealskin float. (National
  Museum, Washington. 30009.)]

This harpoon is placed on the right side of the prow of the kayak, with
the point directed towards its head. The harpoon line, with the tokang,
lies just before the hunter in a flat receptacle (asedlun), which
consists of a wooden ring with a handle, held by thongs before the hole
of the kayak. The receptacle rests on the skin cover, having no feet, as
has the Greenland one. In Hudson Strait it is secured upon holders. The
harpoon line is rolled up in a coil, but its end is fastened to the seal
float, which lies behind the hunter and is held in place by a thong. The
line passes along the right side of the kayak hole. The float (avautang)
(Fig. 426) consists of a whole sealskin which had been removed from the
animal dexterously, its entire body being pulled through the mouth,
which is enlarged by means of a cut along the throat. The nails of the
flippers are frequently extracted and the openings sewed up, the hind
flippers and the tail being cut off and firmly tied together by a thong,
thus forming a neck (atauta), to which the harpoon line is attached. At
the head a pipe for blowing up the skin (poviutang) is inserted (Fig.
427); the skin is firmly tied to the ring of the pipe, on which the
stopper is secured as soon as the skin is sufficiently inflated. This
device is a very convenient one, for it is difficult to inflate the skin
without some kind of mouthpiece. If there are any holes in the float
they are closed by a button similar to the one shown in Fig. 427 _a_,
which, however, is without a hole.

  [Illustration: FIG. 427. Different styles of poviutang or pipe for
  inflating the float. (National Museum, Washington. _a_, 29986; _b_,
  34118; _c_, 34119; _d_, 34120.)]

If the harpoon is to be used for hunting large animals, such as walrus
or whales, a very ingenious contrivance is sometimes inserted between
the line and the float in the shape of a wooden hoop with a seal or deer
skin stretched over it (niutang) (see Fig. 437). Three or four thongs of
equal length are fastened to the hoop at equal distances and bound
together. At their point of union they are attached to the line. As soon
as a walrus is struck and starts to swim away, the hoop is thrown at
right angles to the stretched line and exerts a strong resistance when
dragged along, thus diminishing the speed of the animal and quickly
exhausting its strength. The float prevents its escape, as it is too
buoyant to be drawn under water. The animal cannot dive, and thus the
hunter does not lose sight of his prey.

For small seals a similar weapon is used, the agdliaq (Fig. 428), the
main difference being that it is much smaller and has a seal bladder for
a float attached to the shaft. I have not seen this weapon myself, but
Kumlien has brought away parts of it. Fig. 429 shows that its point
differs only in size from the large igimang. The head (probably the
naulang) is tied to the shaft, which acts as a drag.

The points are fastened to the shaft in almost the same way as the
former, the only difference being that they are straight; the drill
holes do not cross one another. Fig. 430 represents the heads belonging
to this spear; Fig. 431, a large one which is used with the large
harpoon. As the lines in all these run as is represented in Fig. 429
_b_, they cannot act as harpoons. I had no opportunity of seeing any of
these weapons myself.

  [Illustration: FIG. 428. Agdliaq or spear for small seals. (From
  Parry II, p. 550.)]

  [Illustration: FIG. 429. Agdliaq points. (National Museum,
  Washington. _a_, 90165; _b_, 2991; _c_, 34098; _d_, 34063.)]

In hunting walrus a lance (anguvigang) (Fig. 432) is used which is
similar to the igimang. The shaft and the joint are alike in both, only
the knob for the teliqbing being absent. The head is made of bone or the
straight part of a walrus tusk and has an iron blade on the top. The
lance serves to dispatch the animal after it has been harpooned with the

The joint prevents the shaft from being broken by the struggles of the
animal. Its place is behind the hunter on the right side of the kayak,
the point being directed toward the stern. Generally a second lance is
carried on the left side of the boat parallel with the other. It is
either of the same kind or a slender shaft with a long point firmly
inserted in it (kapun, ipun). The point is about one and one-third of a
foot to one and one-half feet long. This weapon, however, is more
particularly in use for hunting deer in the lakes and ponds.

  [Illustration: FIG. 430. Spear heads. (National Museum, Washington.
  _a_, 34076: _b_, 34068.)]

  [Illustration: FIG. 431. Large spear head. (National Museum,
  Washington. 10136.) ½]

The last implement in the kayak gear to be described is the bird spear,
nuirn (Fig. 433), with its throwing board, nuqsang (Fig. 434). It has a
shaft of about four feet in length, flattened at the lower end. Among
the natives on the east and southeast of Baffin Land it has an iron
prong at its point, whereas in Iglulik it has two points of unequal
length, with double barbs. Three double barbed prongs are attached to
the center of the shaft. They have a sharp bend at their lower part, the
points running parallel to the shaft. The prongs of the Greenland dart
are straight and diverge from the shaft. The lower end of the bird spear
fits into the groove of the throwing board. Therefore the end of the
shaft is squared. The ivory knob at the end of the spear contains a
small hole for the insertion of the spike which is in the end of the
groove. When the board is used it is held firmly in the right hand, the
first finger passing through the hole by the side of the groove, the
thumb clasping the notch on the left side (Fig. 434 _b_), the other
fingers those on the right side. The shaft is held by the points of the
fingers. When the spear is hurled the posterior point of the groove
describes a wide circle, and the fingers let go the shaft, which,
remaining in its first position, is driven forward by the spike with
great violence, and thus it attains considerable velocity.

  [Illustration: FIG. 432. Anguvigang or lance. Museum für Völkerkunde

  [Illustration: FIG. 433. Nuirn or bird spear. (Museum für
  Völkerkunde, Berlin.)]

  [Illustration: FIG. 434. Nuqsang or throwing board, (_a_ front and
  (_b_ back view. National Museum, Washington. 30013.]

I will now give a description of the methods of hunting seals and walrus
during the summer. As long as ice cakes are drifting in the bays the
natives do not use their seal floats, which would be severed from the
line and easily torn to pieces. They paddle to a small cake, on which
they lift their kayaks, and cautiously move the cake towards another one
on which a seal or walrus is asleep. After they have come within range
of their game they shoot it. As an abundance of all kinds of seals and
walrus are basking on the ice plenty of food can be obtained.

An ingenious way of walrusing during this season is described by Lyon
(p. 330):

  When the hunters, in their canoes, perceive a large herd sleeping
  on the floating ice, as is their custom, they paddle to some other
  piece near them, which is small enough to be moved. On this they
  lift their canoes, and then bore several holes, through which they
  fasten their tough lines, and when everything is ready, they
  silently paddle the hummock towards their prey, each man sitting
  by his own line and spear. In this manner they, reach the ice on
  which the walruses are lying snoring; and if they please, each man
  may strike an animal, though, in general, two persons attack the
  same beast. The wounded and startled walrus rolls instantly to the
  water, but the siatko, or harpoon, being well fixed, he cannot
  escape from the hummock on which the Eskimo have fastened the
  line. When the animal becomes a little weary, the hunter launches
  his canoe, and lying out of his reach, spears him to death.

When the ice is gone seals are shot or harpooned with the igimang and
the agdliaq. The float prevents their escape and they are killed with
the anguvigang or the qapun. Later in summer, when they begin to shed
their fur, they lose almost all their blubber and sink when shot;
therefore they must be hunted with the harpoon and the float. As the
walrus is a dangerous foe should it turn upon the hunters in their light
boats, the harpoon is thrown from a great distance, and the animal is
not attacked at close quarters until it is well nigh exhausted by
dragging the float and the niutang and by loss of blood. A great number
of walrus are shot or harpooned while basking on the low islands and

There are a few shoals and narrow inlets in Frobisher Bay and Cumberland
Sound in which great numbers of seals are caught during the summer. In
hunting them at those places some of the Eskimo in kayaks occupy the
shallow entrance of the inlet, while others scare the seals from its
head. As the seals approach its outlet they are speared by those who are
lying in wait for them. Since the natives have procured firearms seals
are shot from the boats, and in whale boats they even attack the walrus,
though they prefer to have drifting ice near at hand in case the fierce
animal should turn upon them and tear the boat with its powerful tusks.
This method of hunting is very successful in openings which intersect
the land floe in spring. To these places an enormous number of seals and
walrus resort, and they are shot either when basking at the edge of the
water or when blowing.

In the fall, when the small bays are covered with ice and newly formed
floes drift to and fro in the open sea, the natives go sealing at the
edge of the land ice (Fig. 435). The seals are shot on the drifting ice
or in the water and are secured by means of the unang, in the following
manner: The hunter jumps upon a small cake, which he pushes on with his
spear until he is near the body of the animal, and then drags it upon
the land floe with the harpoon line. This method is almost the same as
the one used in sealing and walrusing during the winter wherever the
open water is close to the shore.

  [Illustration: FIG. 435. Sealing at the edge of the ice. (From a

This hunt is described by Gilder in the following words (pp. 182-184):

  Usually there are two hunters who approach the walrus, one hiding
  behind the other, so that the two appear but as one. When the
  spear is thrown, both hold on to the line, which is wound around
  their arms so as to cause as much friction as possible, in order
  to exhaust the animal speedily. * * * When the line is nearly run
  out the end of the spear shaft is passed through a loop in the end
  of the line and held firmly by digging a little hole in the ice
  for the end of the spear to rest in, the foot resting upon the
  line and against the spear to steady it. This gives the hunter an
  immense advantage over his powerful game, and if he is fortunate
  enough to secure this hold there is no escape for the walrus
  except that the line may cut on the edge of the sharp ice, or the
  thin ice break off, and hunter, line, and all be precipitated into
  the water--a not unusual experience in walrus hunting. Another
  cause of misfortune is for the line to become entangled around the
  arm of the hunter so that he cannot cast it off, in which case he
  is most assuredly drawn into the sea, and in nine cases out of ten
  drowned, for his knife is seldom at hand for an emergency and no
  amount of experience will ever induce an Inung [Eskimo] to provide
  against danger.

  Sometimes the hunter is alone when he strikes a walrus, and in
  that case it requires considerable dexterity to secure the spear
  hold in the ice; or if he fails to get that he may sit down and
  brace his feet against a small hummock, when it comes to a sheer
  contest of muscle between the hunter and the walrus. In these
  contests victory generally perches upon the banner of the walrus,
  though the Inung [Eskimo] will never give up until the last
  extremity is reached. Often he is dragged to the very edge of the
  ice before he finds a protuberance against which to brace his
  feet, and often he is drawn down under the ice before he will
  relinquish his hold. He is very tenacious under such circumstances,
  for he knows that when he loses the walrus he loses his line and
  harpoon also.

Hall (I, p. 459) describes the hunt, according to his observations in
Frobisher Bay, as follows:

  The line is coiled, and hung about the neck of the hunter; thus
  prepared he hides himself among the broken drifting ice, and
  awaits the moment for striking his game. The spear is then thrown
  and the hunter at once slips the coil of line off his head,
  fastens the end to the ice by driving a spear through a loop in
  it, and waits till the walrus comes to the surface of the water,
  into which he has plunged on feeling the stroke of the harpoon;
  then the animal is quickly despatched by the use of a long lance.

Sometimes the walrus when swimming under an extensive floe of new ice
are drowned by being frightened down every time they try to come up to

Formerly whaling was one of the favorite hunts of the Central Eskimo and
in some places it is even continued to this day. Whales are either
pursued in kayaks or in skin boats. If the kayak is used, they are
harpooned in the same way as the walrus, a very large float (avautapāq´)
being attached to the harpoon head. The whale is pursued by a great
number of kayaks and every boatman endeavors to drive his harpoon into
the animal, which, by the loss of blood and the resistance of the
niutang and floats, is tired out and killed with lances.

More frequently it is pursued in skin boats (p. 527), which for the
purpose are propelled by means of paddles (angun). In this case the crew
consists entirely of men, although on other occasions the rowing falls
to the women’s share; a skillful boatman steers the boat and the
harpooner stands in the bow watching his opportunity to strike the
whale. The implement used in this pursuit is represented in Fig. 436.
I could not procure the weapon itself (sakurpāng´, i.e., the largest
weapon), but had a model made by an Akudnirmio, of which the figure is a
drawing. The shaft is said to be very long and heavy, measuring from ten
to twelve feet. To this shaft a bone point tapering towards the end is
firmly attached. The harpoon head consists of two pieces similar to the
siatko of the Iglulirmiut (see Fig. 395). The iron edge is inserted into
a flat piece of bone, which fits into the slit of a large head. The
latter is made from the jawbone of a whale and is extremely heavy. When
the whale is struck, both parts, the head and the edge, are disengaged
from the shaft and separated from each other, but both enter the flesh
of the whale and work in the same way as the tokang.

  [Illustration: FIG. 436. Model of sakurpāng´ or whaling harpoon.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 437. Niutang, with floats.]

The long harpoon line is coiled up on the first thwart of the boat. On
the second one the niutang and five large floats (Fig. 437), which were
fastened to the line, are kept ready and heaved overboard as soon as the
harpoon is fast to a whale. The buoys and the niutang tire it out
quickly and the boat can easily follow it up. It is lanced with the
kalugiang whenever it comes up to blow. This lance consists of a heavy
handle with a long point of rod iron; formerly bone or narwhal ivory,
with an iron edge inserted into its point, was used for this purpose.

The narwhal and the white whale are hunted in the same way as the walrus
and the right whale. There are a few shallow bays to which the white
whale resorts in the summer. If a shoal of them has entered such a bay,
the Eskimo take to their boats and kayaks, and by throwing stones
frighten them into the shallowest part, where they are easily harpooned.


When the snow has melted and the short summer is at hand the Eskimo
start for the deer hunt. The tribes possessed of firearms can easily
procure deer all the year round, particularly where uneven land
facilitates their approach toward the herd; but in summer the hunt is
most important, as it is the only season in which deerskins are fit for

The favorite method of hunting is to attack the deer in the ponds when
swimming from one side to the other. In many places the deer in their
migrations are in the habit of crossing the narrow parts of lakes, and
here the natives lie in ambush with their kayaks. In other places they
are driven into the water by the Eskimo and attacked by the drivers or
by hunters stationed on the lake. Favorite places for such a chase are
narrow peninsulas, generally called nedlung. The Eskimo deploy into a
skirmish line and slowly drive the herd to the point of the peninsula,
whence the deer, the retreat being cut off, take to the water.

If the shore be too straight to permit this method of hunting, they
drive the deer to a hill stretching to the lake. A line of cairns
(inugsung) is erected on the top, intended to deceive the deer, which
believe them a new line of hunters approaching from the opposite side.
They take to the water, as they see no retreat. If there are no hills a
line of cairns is erected in some part of the plain. Such monuments are
found all over the country, most of them having the appearance of being
very old.

As soon as the deer are in the water the natives pursue them in their
kayaks, and as their boats are propelled much more swiftly than the
animals can swim they are quickly overtaken and killed with the spear
(kapun). Sometimes the wounded deer will turn upon the boat, in which
cases the hunter must make his escape with the utmost speed, else he
will be capsized or the skin of the boat will be torn to pieces by the
animal’s antlers.

In some of the narrow valleys with steep faces on both sides the deer
are driven toward the hunters. As there is no chance for escape on
either side they are killed by the men who lie in ambush. A remarkable
tradition referring to the deer hunts of a fabulous tribe in these
passes is frequently told by the Eskimo (see p. 635).

Some places are particularly favorable to these methods of hunting. The
herds when traveling north in spring and south in autumn take the same
course every year, passing rivers, lakes, and valleys at the deer
passes. Here the Eskimo stay during the migrations of the deer, as they
are sure to fall in with them and to secure plenty of meat and skins
during the season. In spring the rivers and lakes are not yet freed from
their icy fetters and the pursuit is more difficult; in the autumn,
however, they are easily captured in the water. Some important stations
of this kind are the island Qeqertome itoq tudlirn, south of Lake
Nettilling; the outlet of this lake, Koukdjuaq, particularly the
peninsula formed by the river and the south shore of the lake; the
country about Qudjitariaq, farther north, and the narrow valley between
Piling and Itirbilung: on the continent, the lakes of Rae Isthmus,
particularly North Pole Lake; some passes in the hills north of
Chesterfield Inlet; the isthmus of Boothia; the entrance of Qimuqsuq,
on Adelaide Peninsula; and Simpson Strait.

Referring to the last, Klutschak describes an interesting method of
hunting deer which is in vogue in that locality (p. 130). The narrow
strait which separates Ita Island from King William Land freezes up
early in the season, and the reindeer in trying to cross the strait
frequently gather on this island. The Eskimo deploy over the icy bridge
and make a terrible noise, frightening the reindeer, which are gradually
driven toward a place the ice of which is treacherous at this time of
the year. Here they break through and, being able to move only with
great difficulty, are easily killed.

  [Illustration: FIG. 438. Wooden bow from Iglulik. (From Parry II,
  p. 550.)]

When the deer have scattered over the country they must be stalked, and,
wherever the natives have no firearms, bows and arrows are used.

  [Illustration: FIG. 439. Wooden bow from Cumberland Sound. (National
  Museum, Washington.)]

They have two kinds of bows (pitiqse): a wooden one (Figs. 438 and 439)
and another made of reindeer antlers (Figs. 440 and 441). Parry gives a
very good description of the former (II, p. 510):

  One of the best of their bows was made of a single piece of fir,
  four feet eight inches in length, flat on the inner side and
  rounded on the outer, being five inches in girth about the middle
  where, however, it is strengthened on the concave side, when
  strung, by a piece of bone ten inches long, firmly secured by
  tree-nails of the same material. At each end of the bow is a knob
  of bone, or sometimes of wood covered with leather, with a deep
  notch for the reception of the string. The only wood which they
  can procure, not possessing sufficient elasticity combined with
  strength, they ingeniously remedy the defect by securing to the
  back of the bow, and to the knobs at each end, a quantity of small
  lines, each composed of a plat or “sinnet” of three sinews. The
  number of lines thus reaching from end to end is generally about
  thirty; but besides these, several others are fastened with
  hitches round the bow, in pairs, commencing eight inches from one
  end, and again united at the same distance from the other, making
  the whole number of strings in the middle of the bow sometimes
  amount to sixty. These being put on with the bow somewhat bent the
  contrary way, produce a spring so strong as to require
  considerable force as well as knack in stringing it, and giving
  the requisite velocity to the arrow. The bow is completed by a
  woolding round the middle and a wedge or two here and there,
  driven in to tighten it.

  [Illustration: FIG. 440. Bows of reindeer antlers. (National Museum,
  Washington. _a_, 34053; _b_, 34055.)]

The bow represented in Fig. 439 is from Cumberland Sound and resembles
the Iglulik pattern. The fastening of the sinew lines is different and
the piece of bone giving additional strength to the central part is
wanting. In Cumberland Sound and farther south wooden bows each made of
a single piece were not very rare; the wood necessary for their
manufacture was found in abundance on Tudjan (Resolution Island), whence
it was brought to the more northern districts.

  [Illustration: FIG. 441. Bow of antlers, with central part cut off
  straight, from Pelly Bay. (National Museum, Washington. 10270.)]

The bows which are made of antlers generally consist of three pieces,
a stout central one slanted on both sides and two side pieces riveted to
it. The central part is either below or above the side ones, as
represented in Fig. 440. These bows are strengthened by plaited sinews
in the same way as the wooden ones and generally the joints are secured
by strong strings wound around them. A remarkable bow made of antlers is
represented in Fig. 441. The central part is not slanted, but cut off
straight. The joint is effected by two additional pieces on each side,
a short stout one outside, a long thin one inside. These are firmly tied
together with sinews. The short piece prevents the parts from breaking
apart, the long one gives a powerful spring. The specimen here
represented was brought home by Hall from the Sinimiut of Pelly Bay, and
a similar one was brought by Collinson from Victoria Land and has been
deposited in the British Museum. The strings are attached to these bows
in the same way as to the wooden ones.

  [Illustration: FIG. 442. Arrows with bone heads. (National Museum,
  Washington. _a_, 34054; _b_, 10270.)]

  [Illustration: FIG. 443. Arrows with metal heads. _a_, _b_ (National
  Museum, Washington. _a_, 30056; _b_, 34056.) _c_ (Museum für
  Völkerkunde, Berlin. IV A 6707.)]

The arrows (qaqdjung) are made of round pieces of wood generally
tapering a little towards the lower end, to which two feathers of an owl
or some other bird are attached. The bone heads of these arrows are
joined to the shaft as represented in Fig. 442, while metal heads are
inserted as shown in Fig. 443. The difference in the methods used by the
Mackenzie and the central tribes in fastening the point to the shaft is
very striking. The arrow point of the former and of the western tribes
is pointed and inserted in the shaft (Fig. 444),[5] while that of the
latter is always slanted and lashed to it (Figs. 442 and 443). The
direction of the slant is either parallel or vertical to the edge (Fig.
445). Other forms of arrows are shown in Fig. 446. A similar difference
between the fastenings of the socket to the spear handle exists in the
two localities. The western tribes give its base the form of a wedge
(Fig. 447), which is inserted in the shaft, while the Central Eskimo use
a mortise.

    [Footnote 5: According to the Museum catalogue, the point
    represented in this figure is from Victoria Island, Boothia, from
    Hall’s collection; however, it is a typical western arrow.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 444. Arrowhead from Boothia. (National Museum,
  Washington. 10205.) ½]

  [Illustration: FIG. 445. Showing attachment of arrowhead vertically
  and parallel to shank. (National Museum, Washington. _b_, 10137.) ½]

  [Illustration: FIG. 446. Various forms of arrowhead. (National
  Museum, Washington. _a_, 29993; _e_, 10213.) ½]

  [Illustration: FIG. 447. Socket of spear handle from Alaska.
  (National Museum, Washington. 36060.) ¼]

  [Illustration: FIG. 448. Slate arrowhead. (National Museum,
  Washington. 10403.) 1/1]

Formerly slate heads were in general use (Fig. 448); now the heads are
almost everywhere made of iron or tin, riveted or tied to the point
(Fig. 446). In ancient graves flint heads are frequently found, some of
which are represented in Fig. 449. On Southampton Island stone heads are
in use even at the present time. Fig. 423 probably shows how they were
attached to the shank.

  [Illustration: FIG. 449. Flint arrowheads from old graves. (National
  Museum, Washington. _c_, 30109; _d_, 34138.) 1/1]

  [Illustration: FIG. 450. Various styles of quiver. _a_, _b_ Two
  views of a quiver from Cumberland Sound. (National Museum,
  Washington. 30015.) _c_ Quiver from Iglulik (from Parry II, p.

The quiver (Fig. 450) is made of sealskin, the hair of which is removed.
It comprises three divisions, a larger one containing the bow and a
smaller one containing four or six arrows, the head directed toward the
lower end of the case. When extracted from the quiver they are ready for
use. Between the two compartments there is also a small pouch, in which
tools and extra arrowheads are carried.

  [Illustration: FIG. 451. Quiver handles. (Museum für Völkerkunde,
  Berlin. _a_, _b_, IV A 6843.)]

When traveling the Eskimo carry the quiver by an ivory handle; when in
use it is hung over the left shoulder. Fig. 451 represents quiver
handles, the first being fashioned in imitation of an ermine.

If the deer cannot be driven into the water the Eskimo either stalk them
or shoot them from a stand. In a plain where the hunter cannot hide
himself it is easier to approach the herd if two men hunt together. They
advance, the second man hiding behind the first one by stooping a
little. The bows or the guns are carried on the shoulders so as to
resemble the antlers of a deer. The men imitate their grunting and
approach slowly, now stopping and stooping, now advancing. If the deer
look about suspiciously they sit down, the second man lying almost flat
on the ground, and both, at some distance off, greatly resemble the
animals themselves. Ross (II, p. 252) states that the inhabitants of
Boothia imitate the appearance of the deer, the foremost of two men
stalking a herd bearing a deer’s head upon his own.

It is somewhat difficult to approach the deer near enough to get within
range, especially if they are hunted with bow and arrow. Generally it is
not necessary to get quite near them, for when feeding the herd moves on
in the same direction for some time, and the hunter can hide behind a
stone lying in that direction and wait until they are within range.
After the first shot has been fired they do not take to flight at once,
but stand for a few seconds, struck with surprise, and a clever hunter
may kill two or three before they run away. If the country is very level
the Eskimo raise heaps of stones or build circular or semicircular walls
to conceal themselves and allure the animals by grunting. As the deer
possess a very fine scent they must always be approached from the lee

An interesting method of hunting is described by Parry (II, p. 512) and
confirmed by Hall (II, p. 178). Parry writes:

  Two men walk directly from the deer they wish to kill, when the
  animal almost always follows them. As soon as they arrive at a
  large stone, one of the men hides behind it with his bow, while
  the other continuing to walk on soon leads the deer within range
  of his companion’s arrows.

Hall says that one hunter hides himself behind a stone while the other
utters grunting sounds to attract it.

In winter deer are sometimes caught in traps made by digging holes in
the snow and covering them with slabs of the same material. Sometimes
urine is poured upon and around the trap or salt water ice is placed
upon it, in order to allure the deer (Klutschak, p. 131). Having been
attracted to the trap they fall through the roof and are speared in the

Wherever the musk ox is found it is eagerly pursued by the Eskimo.
Though dogs are of no use in the chase of the nimble deer, they are of
great help in hunting this animal. When a track is found the dogs are
let loose and soon overtake the herd. The latter form a circle of
defense in which they are kept at bay until the hunter approaches. While
the dogs continue attacking and dodging, the musk oxen try to hit them
with their horns and do not heed the Eskimo, who assails them at close
quarters with a lance to which a thong is frequently attached. When an
ox is wounded it makes an impetuous attack on the hunter, who dodges to
one side. The dogs being at hand again immediately keep it at bay, thus
enabling the hunter to let fly another arrow or throw his lance again.
Thus the struggle continues until the greater part of the herd is
killed. In rare instances an ox dashes out of the circle and escapes
from the pack.

Polar bears are hunted in about the same manner as the musk ox. The
Eskimo pursue them in light sledges, and when they are near the pursued
animal the traces of the most reliable dogs in the team are cut, when
they dash forward and bring the bear to bay. As the hunter gets
sufficiently near, the last dogs are let loose and the bear is killed
with a spear or with bow and arrow. The best season for bear hunting is
in March and April, when the bears come up the fjords and bays in
pursuit of the young seals. At this season the she bear is accompanied
by the cub which was born in February or March. Its skin and flesh are
highly prized by the Eskimo. At some places, for instance at Cape Raper
and at Cape Kater on Davis Strait, the she bears dig holes in the snow
banks, in which they sleep during the winter. The natives seek these
holes and kill the bear before it awakes.

The chase of the musk ox and that of the bear have become much easier
since the introduction of firearms in Arctic America, and the Eskimo can
kill their game without encountering the same dangers as formerly.


Lastly, I mention the methods used in catching smaller animals, such as
wolves, foxes, and hares. Wolves are only pursued when they become too
troublesome. Frequently they linger about the villages in winter, and
when everybody is asleep they attack the store rooms or the dogs, which
have the greatest fear of this voracious animal; for, although dogs will
brave the bear, they do not venture to resist a single wolf. If a pack
of these beasts linger about the village for weeks preying upon the
native stores, traps are finally built or the Eskimo lie in ambush near
a bait to kill them. The wolf trap is similar to the one used to catch
deer. The hole dug in the snow is about eight or nine feet deep and is
covered with a slab of snow, on the center of which a bait is laid.
A wall is built around it which compels the wolf to leap across it
before he can reach the bait. By so doing he breaks through the roof
and, as the bottom of the pit is too narrow to afford him jumping room,
he is caught and killed there (Rae I, p. 135).

A remarkable method of killing wolves has been described by Klutschak
(p. 192) and confirmed by the Eskimo of Cumberland Sound. A sharp knife
is smeared with deer’s blood and sunk into the snow, the edge only
protruding. The wolves lick the knife and cut their tongues so severely
as to bleed to death. Another method is to roll a strip of whalebone,
about two feet long, in a coil, which is tied up with sinews. At each
end a small metal edge is attached to the whalebone. This strip, wrapped
in a piece of blubber or meat, is gulped down by the hungry wolf. As it
is digested the sinews are dissolved and the elastic strap is opened and
tears the stomach of the animal. A very ingenious trap is described by
Parry (II, p. 514):

  It consists of a small house built of ice, at one end of which a
  door, made of the same plentiful material, is fitted to slide up
  and down in a groove; to the upper part of this a line is attached
  and, passing over the roof, is led down into the trap at the inner
  end, and there held by slipping an eye in the end of it over a peg
  of ice left for the purpose. Over the peg, however, is previously
  placed a loose grummet, to which the bait is fastened, and a false
  roof placed over all to hide the line. The moment the animal drags
  at the bait the grummet slips off the peg, bringing with it the
  line that held up the door, and this falling down closes the trap
  and secures him.

Foxes are usually caught in traps. An ice house about six feet high is
built of hummocks, which are cut down with the point of the spear. It is
covered with ice slabs, only a hole in the center being left. Blocks of
snow and slabs of ice are piled up around the building so as to permit
easy access to the roof. Some blood is sprinkled round the hole to
attract the fox and a larger bait is placed upon the floor of the house.
The fox jumps down and, as the only exit is in the center of the roof,
cannot escape. Another trap has a slab of ice erected in such a manner
as to fall and kill the fox when he touches the bait.

A third trap, similar to the one above mentioned, has been described by
Lyon, p. 339:

  It is like a small lime kiln in form, having a hole near the top,
  within which the bait is placed, and the foxes (for these animals
  alone are thus taken) are obliged to advance to it over a piece of
  whalebone, which, bending beneath their weight, lets them into
  prison, and then resumes its former position: thus a great number
  of them are sometimes caught in a night. In the summer they are
  but rarely taken, and it is then by means of a trap of stones,
  formed like the ice trap, with a falling door.

Hares are either killed with small shot or with arrows or caught in
whalebone snares, as are ermines and lemmings.

  [Illustration: FIG. 452. Whalebone nooses for catching waterfowl.
  (In the possession of Captain Spicer, of Groton, Conn.)]

Waterfowl of all descriptions are caught in abundance in whalebone
nooses (Fig. 452) fastened to a long whalebone line or to a thong. The
line is set along the edge of a lake, particularly near nesting places.
In shallow lakes these lines are placed across the water to catch the
diving and swimming birds, which are drawn to the shore with the line.
On the low egg islands, which are inhabited by innumerable ducks, snares
are set on the nests, and great numbers are caught in a short time.
Swans and geese are procured in the same way. Other birds, and
particularly partridges, are killed with arrows and with small shot.

Large flocks of ducks and other kinds of birds fly through certain
valleys in the fall and in spring when migrating. Great numbers are
caught here without any difficulty, as they can be killed with sticks.

A favorite method of catching gulls is by building a flat snow house.
One block of the roof is translucent and so thin as to permit the
hunter, who is hidden in the house, to push his hand through it. A bait
is placed on this block, and as soon as a bird alights to feed it is
pulled through the roof into the hut.

  [Illustration: FIG. 453. Kakivang or salmon spear. (National Museum,
  Washington, _a_, 34087; _b_, 34086.) ¼]

By far the greater number of birds are caught during the molting season.
Partridges can be caught with the hand and waterfowl are pursued with
the kayak. The waterfowl dive as soon as the boat comes near them and
being frightened down again as soon as they rise they are eventually
drowned. One species of goose (kango) which frequents the lakes of the
country is caught in a remarkable way. A circular wall of stones is
raised, with a single entrance. The Eskimo drive a flock of these birds
towards the building, one man, whom the stupid creatures follow, leading
the way. As soon as they have entered the wall the entrance is shut up
and they are slaughtered. If they happen to be met with on the water
they are encircled by kayaks and driven towards the shore, one boat
leading. Then they are driven within the stone wall as already

  [Illustration: FIG. 454. Ivory fish used as bait in spearing salmon.
  _a_ From Repulse Bay. _a_, _c_, _d_ (National Museum, Washington.
  _a_, 10400; _c_, 34109; _d_, 34134.) 1/1 _b_ (Museum für
  Völkerkunde, Berlin. IV A 6830.) 1/1]


The most important fish is the salmon, which is caught in abundance
during the summer. When the lakes begin to break up the salmon descend
to the sea, following the narrow lead between the land floe and the
water. In some places they are so plentiful as to fill the water
completely. Here they are speared with the kakivang (Fig. 453). This
instrument consists of a handle which widens towards the end; in the
center it has a prong of bone or iron, and two larger ones at the sides,
made of deer antlers or musk ox horn. These latter diverge and are
furnished with a bone or iron nail on the inner side. The elasticity of
these side prongs is increased by thongs or strings holding them tightly
together. If the salmon are very plentiful no bait is needed and the
natives cannot spear them as quickly as they swim along. When the ice is
gone they are caught in the shallow rivers falling from the lakes into
the sea. The natives stand on the bank or step into the water. A small
ivory fish (Fig. 454) (eχalujang), tied by two or three holes in the
back to a plaited string of deer sinews, is used as a bait. Frequently
bear’s teeth are used for bait. They are attached to a separate line
which the hunter continually moves up and down to attract the attention
of the fish. When the salmon comes near the bait it is speared with the
kakivang. In the left hand the fisherman holds an instrument for
stringing the fish (quqartaun), some illustrations of which are given in
Fig. 455. It is made of ivory. A thong fastened to the hole of the
instrument has a thick knot at the opposite end. As soon as a salmon is
caught it is taken out of the nippers (kakivang) and the point of the
quqartaun is pushed into the gills and brought out again at the mouth;
thus the fish remains sticking until it is dead. Sometimes it is killed
by pushing the ivory point of the instrument into its neck. When dead it
is pushed on the thong.

  [Illustration: FIG. 455. Quqartaun for stringing fish. _c_ (Museum
  für Völkerkunde, Berlin. IV A 6831.)]

At some places wears are built, above which the fish are caught. These
consist of dikes of stones about one and a half or two feet high, which
are piled across a creek some distance below high water mark. The salmon
cross the wall at high water, but are cut off from the sea at half tide
and are speared while there. In other places the forks of rivers are
shut off by dikes, above which the salmon gather.

In autumn salmon are caught when ascending the rivers. Sometimes they
linger too long in small ponds and, as the rivers quickly dry up at this
season, are prevented from getting out of the pools. Here they are
caught until late in the season. Some of these ponds freeze to the
bottom in winter, and the natives, when visiting them in the spring, cut
holes in the ice and take out the frozen fish.

  [Illustration: FIG. 456. Salmon hook. (National Museum, Washington.
  10142.) 1/1]

  [Illustration: FIG. 457. Salmon hook. (Museum für Völkerkunde,
  Berlin. 6847.) 1/1]

In the early part of the spring salmon are caught with hooks (kakliokia,
Iglulik; niksiartaung, Oqo), holes being cut through the ice of the
lake. Formerly the hooks were made of deer antlers. Another device
consists of a nail, crooked and pointed at one end, the other being let
into a piece of ivory or bone (Fig. 456). A third one is represented in
Fig. 457.

The fishing line is made of plaited deer sinews and is either held in
the hand or tied to a short rod. Along with these hooks baits are used
similar to those mentioned in the foregoing description. If the carving
represented in Fig. 458 is used, the hook is tied to it by means of two
holes on the lower side of the fish, while the line passes through its
back. The fish, in coming near the bait, is generally caught by the hook
in the back or side. In this manner salmon, trout, and all kinds of sea
fish are caught.

  [Illustration: FIG. 458. Bait used in fishing with hooks. (National
  Museum, Washington. 34108.) 1/1]

I myself have never seen any nets for fishing, but Klutschak found them
in use among the Utkusiksalik tribe, and Petitot (Les grands Esquimaux,
p. 278), among the natives of Anderson River. The Labrador Eskimo also
use nets.



Most of the implements of the Eskimo are made of some part of the
animals which they pursue. The skins are used for clothing, for building
purposes, and for covering the frames of boats. Many implements are made
of bone, others of walrus tusks or narwhal horn. As wood is extremely
scarce, bone or other parts of animals must make up the deficiency.
I shall here describe the methods of preparing these materials.

  [Illustration: FIG. 459. Butcher’s knife with bone handle. (National
  Museum, Washington. 34080.) ¼]

The skin of the seal (_Pagomys fœtidus_) is dressed in different ways,
according to the purpose for which it is intended. In skinning the
animal a longitudinal cut is made across the belly with a common
butcher’s knife (saving). Most natives have procured this useful
instrument and even in olden times a considerable number had found their
way from Hudson Bay territory to their countries. The large knives of
their own manufacture (pilaut) are of similar form, a metal edge being
inserted into an ivory blade. Figure 459 is a more modern knife, an iron
blade being fastened to a bone handle.

The skin, with the blubber, is cut from the flesh with the same knife,
or still more easily with the pana, the old device of which is
represented in Fig. 460 _a_ (Parry II, p. 550). This knife is about one
foot and a half long (Parry II, p. 503). The use of the small prongs
near the blade was not explained by Parry. In Fig. 460 _b_ is presented
a pana from the eastern coast of Hudson Bay, collected by Dr. R. Bell;
the handle is made of bone, the blade of iron. The flippers are cut off
at the joints, and thus the whole skin is drawn off in a single piece.
In dressing the animal the natives open the belly and first scoop out
the blood, then the entrails are taken out, the ribs are separated from
the breast bone and from the vertebrae, the fore flippers (with the
shoulders and the hind flippers) are taken out, the only part remaining
being the head, the spinal column, and the rump bone. Generally these
are not eaten, but are used for dogs’ food.

  [Illustration: FIG. 460. Pana or knife for dissecting game, _a_
  (From Parry II, p. 548.) _b_ (American Museum of Natural History.)]

The knife (ulo) used by the women serves to clean and prepare the skins.
This implement, with which almost all the cutting is done, is shaped
like a crescent, the handle being attached to the center, and greatly
resembles a mincing knife. Fig. 461 represents the form which is now in
use. Fig. 462 is a very old ulo handle from a stone circle on
Qeqertuqdjuaq (Cape Broughton). It is made of bone and has a slit for
the slate blade. It is worth remarking that this blade had not been
riveted to the handle, but fastened with a kind of glue (see p. 526).
There are a few arrow and harpoon heads the blades of which are inserted
in the same manner; the bone is heated and the blade is inserted while
it is hot. As it is cooling the slit becomes narrower and the blade is
firmly squeezed into the bone handle. Part of a slate blade, which had
been riveted to the handle, is shown in Fig. 463. Fig. 464 represents a
handle from a recent grave.

  [Illustration: FIG. 461. Form of ulo now in use. (Museum für
  Völkerkunde, Berlin. IV A 6733.) ⅔]

  [Illustration: FIG. 462. Old ulo with top of handle broken off from
  Cape Broughton, Davis Strait. (Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin.) 1/1]

  [Illustration: FIG. 463. Fragment of an ulo blade of slate. (Museum
  für Völkerkunde, Berlin. IV A 6714.) 1/1]

  [Illustration: FIG. 464. Ulo handle from recent grave. (National
  Museum, Washington. 34137.)]

In preparing the skin the women spread it over a piece of whalebone
(asimautang), a small board, or a flat stone, and sit down before it,
resting on their knees, the feet bent under the thighs. They hold the
skin at the nearest edge and, pushing the ulo forward, remove the
blubber from it and deposit the latter in a small tub which stands near
the board. As they proceed to the opposite end of the skin, the finished
part is rolled up and held in the left hand.

  [Illustration: FIG. 465. Modern tesirqun or scraper. (Museum für
  Völkerkunde, Berlin. IV A 6734.)]

  [Illustration: FIG. 466. Old style of tesirqun or scraper. (Museum
  für Völkerkunde, Berlin.)]

If the skin is to be used with the hair on it, the tough membrane (mami)
which covers the inner side is removed in the same way as the blubber
and, after it has been carefully patched up and holes have been cut all
around the edge, is stretched over a gravelly place or on snow by means
of long pegs (pauktun), which hold it a few inches above the ground,
thus allowing the air to circulate underneath it. The skin itself is
washed and rubbed with gravel, snow, or ice and every hole made by the
bullet or by the spear or in preparing it is sewed up. It very seldom
happens that the women in preparing it damage the skin or even the thin
mami. It is particularly difficult to split the skin near a hole. First
they finish the work all around it and then carefully sever the membrane
at its edge. The skin is dried in the same way as the membrane. In the
early part of spring, though it may still be very cold, a few choice
young sealskins are dried on snow walls which face to the south. In
order thoroughly to dry a sealskin one fine warm spring day is needed.
If the Eskimo are greatly in need of skins they dry them in winter over
the lamps. A frame is made of four poles, lashed together, according to
the size of the skin. A thong passes through the slits along its edge
and around the frame, keeping the skin well stretched. Thus it is placed
over the lamps or near the roof of the hut. However, it is disagreeable
work to dry the skins inside the huts, and, as they are much inferior to
those which are dried on the ground, the Eskimo avoid it if they can.
When so prepared the sealskins are only fit for covering tents, making
bags, &c.; they are far too hard to be used for clothing, for which
purpose the skin of yearlings is almost exclusively used. The young
seals, having shed for the first time, have a very handsome coat, the
hair being of a fine texture and much longer than in older animals. From
the middle of May until late in summer their skins are most suitable for
the manufacture of summer clothing, but it is necessary to protect the
carcasses of the killed animals from the burning rays of the sun as soon
as possible or the skin would be quickly spoiled.

After being dried they are cleaned with the sharp scraper (tesirqun),
the modern device of which is represented in Fig. 465. It consists of a
handle having a round back and a flat front, with two grooves for the
knuckles of the first and second fingers, while the thumb and the other
fingers clasp the handle. The scraper itself consists of a rounded piece
of tin riveted to the handle. The old scraper (Fig. 466) was made of a
deer’s shoulder or of some other bone. I have never seen any that were
made of a thigh bone, similar to those found by Lucien M. Turner in
Ungava Bay.

After being scraped the skin is soaked in salt water and washed again.
As soon as it is dry it is softened with the straight scraper
(seligoung) (Fig. 467).

  [Illustration: FIG. 467. Seligoung or scraper used for softening
  skins. (Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin. IV A 6697.)]

Fig. 468 shows some very old stone scrapers found in graves. As the
stones are sharpened it is probable that they were used for cleaning the
skins. The hole in the right side of the handle is used for the second
finger, the grooves on the back for the third and fourth. The bone is
fastened to the handle by whalebone straps or thongs.

Skins of _Phoca annellata_, _Phoca cristata_, _and Phoca grœnlandica_
are prepared in the same way.

Those which are intended for kayak covers, boots, mittens, quivers, &c.
are prepared in a different way. They are either put into hot water or
laid in a brook for a few days until the hair begins to loosen. Then
both sides are worked with the ulo, in order to clean and shave them.
When the hair is removed they are dried and made pliable in the same way
as has been described. If it is intended to make the skin as soft as
possible it is allowed to become putrid before it is cleansed. Then the
hair and the blubber are removed, and afterwards it is left to hang in
the sun for a few days until it acquires a light color.

  [Illustration: FIG. 468. Old stone scrapers found in graves.
  (National Museum, Washington, _a_, _b_, 34083; _c_, 34084; _d_,
  34085.) ⅔]

The large ground seal (_Phoca barbata_) is skinned in a different
manner. Its skin is very thick, thicker even than sole leather, and
therefore extremely durable and suitable for all sorts of lines,
particularly traces, lashings, and harpoon lines, and for soles,
drinking cups, and boat covers. This seal is very large, sometimes
attaining a length of ten feet. The skin of the back and of the breast
dries unequally, and therefore a piece covering the throat and breast is
taken out before the rest is skinned, and the parts are dried
separately. If it is to be used for lines it is cut by making girdles
about six inches in width around the body. The hair and the blubber are
removed from these cylindrical rings, from which lines are made by
cutting spirally, a strip seventy or eighty feet long being thus
obtained. This line is stretched as taut as possible between two rocks,
and while drying it undergoes an enormous tension. Before being taken
from the rocks the edges are rounded and cleaned with a knife.

Walrus hide is always cut up before being prepared. As soon as the
walrus is killed it is cut into as many parts as there are partners in
the hunt, every part being rolled up in a piece of skin and carried home
in it. Sometimes the skin is used for making boats, but generally it is
cut into lines. Both kinds of hide, that of the walrus and that of the
ground seal, are as stiff as a board when dried and require much work
before being fit for use. They are chewed by the natives until they
become thin and pliable. The whole skin must be chewed in this way
before it can be used for soles and boat covers. Afterwards it is
scraped with the tesirqun and softened with the straight scraper. The
new thongs, after being dried between the rocks, must also be chewed
until they become sufficiently pliable, after which they are
straightened by a stretcher that is held with the feet (Fig. 469).
Frequently they are only pulled over the sole of the boot for this
purpose, the man taking hold of the line at two points and pulling the
intermediate part by turns to the right and to the left over the sole of
the foot.

  [Illustration: FIG. 469. Stretcher for lines. (National Museum,
  Washington. 9836.) 1/1]

Another kind of line is cut from the hide of the white whale, which is
skinned in the same way as the ground seal, but, as it must be slit on
the spinal column, the single pieces of line are much shorter, and they
cannot be used to the same extent as seal lines. Some lines are cut from
the skins of _Pagomys fœtidus_, but these are weak and greatly inferior
to lines of ground seal hide.

Deerskins are dried in summer and dressed after the ice has formed. Like
all other kinds of skins they are not tanned, but curried. They are hung
up among the rafters of the hut, and the workers--in Oqo and Akudnirn
the women, in Hudson Bay the men--take off their jackets and begin
preparing them with the sharp scraper. After being cleaned in this way
they are thoroughly dried, either by hanging them near the roof of the
hut or, according to Gilder, by wrapping them around the upper part of
the body next to the skin, after which they are again scraped with the
tesirqun. This done, the flesh side is wetted, the skin is wrapped up
for half a day or a day, and afterwards undergoes a new scraping. Then
it is chewed, rubbed, and scraped all over, thus acquiring its
pliability, softness, and light color.

In the spring the skins of bears and of seals are sometimes dried on
large frames which are exposed to the sun, the skins being tied to the
frames with thongs. Smaller quadrupeds, as foxes and ermines, are
skinned by stripping the entire animal through its mouth without making
a single cut in the skin. Birds are opened at the breast and the body is
taken out through this small hole, the head, wings, and legs being cut
off at the neck and the other joints. Ducks are frequently skinned by
cutting the skin around the head and the outer joints of the wings and
legs and stripping it off. The skins are cleaned by sucking out the fat
and chewing them.

Skins of salmon are used for water proof bags; intestines of seals,
particularly those of ground seals, are carefully dried and after being
sewed together are used for sails, windows, and kayak jackets.

  [Illustration: FIG. 470. Ivory needle. (National Museum, Washington.
  34135.) 1/1]

  [Illustration: FIG. 471. Ivory needle case from Cumberland Sound.
  (Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin. 6832.) 1/1]

  [Illustration: FIG. 472. Common pattern of needle case. Iglulik.
  (From Parry II, p. 548.)]


The sewing is done with thread made of deer or white whale sinews.
Particularly are those sinews at the back dried and when intended for
use they can easily be split as thin as required. At present steel
needles are in general use. Wherever they are wanting ivory ones of the
same pattern are used (Fig. 470). The thread is fastened to the eyehole
by a kind of loop, the short end being twisted around the longer one.
Kumlien described a needle of a very different device (p. 25):

  This tool was almost exactly like an awl in shape, but had an eye
  near the point. They must have had to thread this instrument for
  each stitch. The needle part was apparently of deer horn and the
  handle of walrus ivory.

Probably it was used like a packing needle for sewing tent covers, &c.
The needles (mirqun) are kept in ivory needle cases (umī´ujang). The
case represented in Fig. 471 is from a grave in Cumberland Sound. The
grooves on both sides are evidently intended for a leather strap which
is to be tied around it. This specimen is closed at the bottom and had a
stopper for closing the mouth. Fig. 472 is a more common pattern. The
ivory piece forms a tube through which a leather strap passes. The
needles are stuck into the leather and drawn into the tube. Small ivory
implements and ornaments are attached to both ends of the strap.

  [Illustration: FIG. 473. Tikiq or thimble. (National Museum,
  Washington. 10181.) 1/1]

Thimbles (tikiq) (Fig. 473) are made of an oblong piece of ground
sealskin, fitting to the point of the first finger. A rim is cut around
half of its circumference and thus it can be drawn over the finger. The
women sew by pulling the thread toward them and making an overcast seam.

Whalebone is used for making elastic thongs and in the place of wood;
for example, for kayak ribs, for the rim of the kayak hole, boxes, &c.
It requires no particular preparation, being easily split and shaped so
as to fit any purpose. If wood is to be bent into hoops or deer horn is
to be straightened, it is made pliable by being put into boiling water
for some time. Bones of whales and other large animals and the penis
bone of the walrus are used instead of poles. In olden times, when iron
was extremely rare and an effective saw could not be procured, they
split the bone by drilling many holes, one close to the other,
afterwards breaking the pieces asunder.

Small pieces of bone, used for arrows &c., were straightened, after
being steamed, with the implement represented in Fig. 474.

The drill (Fig. 475) is the most important implement for working in
ivory and bone. It consists of three parts: the bow with its string
(niuqtung), the drill (qaivun), and the mouthpiece (qingmiaq). The
string of the bow is twisted around the shaft of the drill, the
mouthpiece (which is made of wood or of bone) is taken into the mouth,
and the rounded end of the drill is placed in its hole. Then the whole
implement is put firmly against the place to be perforated and is set in
motion by moving the bow. Instead of the latter, a string is sometimes
used with a handle at each end. For one man, however, the first device
is handier. The string of the second form is usually pulled by one man
while the other holds the mouthpiece.

  [Illustration: FIG. 474. Instrument for straightening bones.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 475. Drill for working in ivory and bone.
  (National Museum, Washington. 34114.) ⅔]

The same instrument is sometimes used for making fire. Instead of the
iron, a piece of hard wood (ground willow) is put into the mouthpiece
and placed upon a piece of driftwood cut to the shape represented in
Fig. 476. The wooden drill turns rapidly in a hole of the driftwood
until it begins to glow. A little moss is applied to the glowing wood
and gently blown until it begins to burn. Wherever flint and pyrite are
to be had these are used for striking fire. Moss or the wool-like hair
of _Eryophorum_ serves for tinder.

  [Illustration: FIG. 476. Driftwood used in kindling fire from
  Nugumiut. (National Museum, Washington. 10258.) ¼]

Ivory implements are cut out of the tusks with strong knives and are
shaped by chipping pieces from the blocks until they acquire the desired
forms. In olden times it must have been an extremely troublesome work to
cut them out, the old knives being very poor and ineffective. They are
finished with the file, which on this account is an important tool for
the natives; it is also used for sharpening knives and harpoons. The
women’s knives are cut, by means of files, from old saw blades; the seal
harpoons, from Scotch whale harpoons. If files are not obtainable,
whetstones are used for sharpening the iron and stone implements.

  [Illustration: FIG. 477. Eskimo graver’s tool. (National Museum,
  Washington. 34105.) ½]

Engravings in bone and ivory are made with the implement represented in
Fig. 477. An iron point is inserted in a wooden handle; formerly a
quartz point was used. The notch which separates the head from the
handle serves as a hold for the points of the fingers. The designs are
scratched into the ivory with the iron pin.

Stone implements were made of flint, slate, or soapstone. Flint was
worked with a squeezing tool, generally made of bone. Small pieces were
thus split off until the stone acquired the desired form. Slate was
first roughly formed and then finished with the drill and the whetstone.
The soft soapstone is now chiseled out with iron tools. If large blocks
of soapstone cannot be obtained, fragments are cemented together by
means of a mixture of seal’s blood, a kind of clay, and dog’s hair. This
is applied to the joint, the vessel being heated over a lamp until the
cement is dry. According to Lyon (p. 320) it is fancied that the hair of
a bitch would spoil the composition and prevent it from sticking.



  [Illustration: FIG. 478. Framework of Eskimo boat.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 479. Kiglo or post.]

The main part of the frame of a boat is a timber which runs from stem to
stern (Fig. 478). It is the most solid part and is made of driftwood,
which is procured in Hudson Strait, Hudson Bay, and on the northern
shore of King William Land. In Iglulik, and probably in Pond Bay, boats
are rarely used and never made, as wood is wanting. The central part of
this timber is made a little narrower than the ends, which form stout
heads. A mortise is cut into each of the latter, into which posts
(kiglo) are tenoned for the bow and for the stern. The shape of this
part will best be seen from the engraving (Fig. 479). A strong piece of
wood is fitted to the top of these uprights and the gunwales are
fastened to them with heavy thongs. The gunwales and two curved strips
of wood (akuk), which run along each side of the bottom of the boat from
stem to stern, determine its form. These strips are steadied by from
seven to ten cross pieces, which are firmly tied to them and to the
central piece. From this pair of strips to the gunwales run a number of
ribs, which stand somewhat close together at the bow and the stern, but
are separated by intervals of greater distance in the center of the
boat. The cross pieces along the bottom are arranged similarly to the
ribs. Between the gunwale and the bottom two or three pairs of strips
also run along the sides of the boat and steady its whole frame. The
uppermost pair (which is called tuving) lies near the gunwale and serves
as a fastening for the cover of the boat. The thwarts, three or four in
number, are fastened between the gunwale and these lateral strips. All
these pieces are tied together with thongs, rivets not being used at

  [Illustration: FIG. 480. Umiaq or skin boat.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 481. Umiaq or skin boat.]

The frame is covered with skins of ground seals (Figs. 480, 481). It
requires three of these skins to cover a medium sized boat; five to
cover a large one. If ground seals cannot be procured, skins of harp or
small seals are used, as many as twelve of the latter being required.
The cover is drawn tightly over the gunwale and, after being wetted, is
secured by thongs to the lateral strip which is close to the gunwale.
The wooden pieces at both ends are perforated and the thongs for
fastening the cover are pulled through these holes.

The boat is propelled by two large oars. The rowlocks are a very
ingenious device. A piece of bone is tied upon the skin in order to
protect it from the friction of the oar, which would quickly wear it
through (Fig. 481 _a_). On each side of the bone a thong is fastened to
the tuving, forming a loop. Both loops cross each other like two rings
of a chain. The oar is drawn through both loops, which are twisted by
toggles until they become tight. Then the toggles are secured between
the gunwale and the tuving.

The oar (ipun) consists of a long shaft and an oval or round blade
fastened to the shaft by thongs. Two grooves and the tapering end serve
for handles in pulling. Generally three or four women work at each oar.

For steering, a paddle is used of the same kind as that used in whaling
(see p. 499). A rudder is rarely found (Fig. 480), and when used most
probably is made in imitation of European devices.

If the wind permits, a sail is set; but the bulky vessel can only run
with the wind. The mast is set in the stem, a mortise being cut in the
forehead of the main timber, with a notch in the wooden piece above it
to steady it. A stout thong, which passes through two holes on each side
of the notch, secures the mast to the wooden head piece. The sail, which
is made of seal intestines carefully sewed together, is squared and
fastened by loops to a yard (sadniriaq) which is trimmed with straps of
deerskin. It is hoisted by a rope made of sealskin and passing over a
sheave in the top of the mast. This rope is tied to the thwart farthest
abaft, while the sheets are fastened to the foremost one.


During the greater part of the year the only passable road is that
afforded by the ice and snow; therefore sledges (qamuting) of different
constructions are used in traveling.

  [Illustration: FIG. 482. Qamuting or sledge.]

The best model is made by the tribes of Hudson Strait and Davis Strait,
for the driftwood which they can obtain in abundance admits the use of
long wooden runners. Their sledges (Fig. 482) have two runners, from
five to fifteen feet long and from twenty inches to two and a half feet
apart. They are connected by cross bars of wood or bone and the back is
formed by deer’s antlers with the skull attached. The bottom of the
runners (qamun) is curved at the head (uinirn) and cut off at right
angles behind. It is shod with whalebone, ivory, or the jawbones of a
whale. In long sledges the shoeing (pirqang) is broadest near the head
and narrowest behind. This device is very well adapted for sledging in
soft snow; for, while the weight of the load is distributed over the
entire length of the sledge, the fore part, which is most apt to break
through, has a broad face, which presses down the snow and enables the
hind part to glide over it without sinking in too deeply.

  [Illustration: FIG. 483. Sledge shoe. (National Museum, Washington.
  34096.) ¼]

The shoe (Fig. 483) is either tied or riveted to the runner. If tied,
the lashing passes through sunken drill holes to avoid any friction in
moving over the snow. The right and left sides of a whale’s jaw are
frequently used for shoes, as they are of the proper size and permit the
shoe to be of a single piece. Ivory is cut into flat pieces and riveted
to the runner with long treenails. The points are frequently covered
with bone on both the lower and upper sides, as they are easily injured
by striking hard against hummocks or snowdrifts. Sometimes whalebone is
used for the shoes.

The cross bars (napun) project over the runners on each side and have
notches which form a kind of neck. These necks serve to fasten the
thongs when a load is lashed on the sledge. The bars are fastened to the
runners by thongs which pass through two pairs of holes in the bars and
through corresponding ones in the runners. If these fastenings should
become loose, they are tightened by winding a small thong round them and
thus drawing the opposite parts of the thong tightly together. If this
proves insufficient, a small wedge is driven between the thong and the

The antlers attached to the back of the sledge have the branches removed
and the points slanted so as to fit to the runners. Only the brow
antlers are left, the right one being cut down to about three inches in
length, the left one to one and a half inches. This back forms a very
convenient handle for steering the sledge past hummocks or rocks, for
drawing it back when the points have struck a snowdrift, &c. Besides,
the lashing for holding the load is tied to the right brow antler and
the snow knife and the harpoon line are hung upon it.

Under the foremost cross bar a hole is drilled through each runner.
A very stout thong (pitu) consisting of two separate parts passes
through the holes and serves to fasten the dogs’ traces to the sledge.
A button at each end of this thong prevents it from slipping through the
hole of the runner. The thong consists of two parts, the one ending in a
loop, the other in a peculiar kind of clasp (partirang). Fig. 484
represents the form commonly used. The end of one part of the thong is
fastened to the hole of the clasp, which, when closed, is stuck through
the loop of the opposite end (see Fig. 482). A more artistic design is
shown in Fig. 485. One end of the line is tied to the hole in the under
side of this implement. When it is in use the loop of the other end is
stuck through another hole in the center and hung over the nozzle. The
whole represents the head of an animal with a gaping mouth. The dogs’
traces are strung upon this line by means of the uqsirn, an ivory
implement with a large and a small eyelet (Fig. 486). The trace is tied
to the former, while the latter is strung upon the pitu.

  [Illustration: FIG. 484. Clasp for fastening traces to sledge.
  (National Museum, Washington. 34110.) ½]

  [Illustration: FIG. 485. Artistic form of clasp for fastening traces
  to sledge. (Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin.) 1/1]

The dogs have harnesses (ano) made of sealskin (Fig. 487) or sometimes
of deerskin, consisting of two bights passing under the fore legs. They
are joined by two straps, one passing over the breast, the other over
the neck. The ends are tied together on the back, whence the trace runs
to the sledge. According to Parry (II, p. 517), the Iglulik harnesses
consisted of three bights, one passing over the breast and shoulder and
two under the fore legs.

  [Illustration: FIG. 486. Uqsirn, for fastening traces to pitu. _a_
  (National Museum, Washington. 34122.) 1/1 _b_ (Museum für
  Völkerkunde, Berlin.) ½]

It was mentioned at another place (p. 475) that in sealing a dog is
taken out of the sledge to lead the hunter to the breathing hole. For
this purpose the traces of some harnesses are made of two pieces, which
are united by the sadniriaq, a clasp similar to that of the pitu (Figs.
487, 488). If the dog is to be taken from the sledge the fore part of
the trace is unbuttoned.

  [Illustration: FIG. 487. Ano or dog harness. (Museum für
  Völkerkunde, Berlin. IV A 6730.)]

  [Illustration: FIG. 488. Sadniriaq or clasp. (National Museum,
  Washington.) ⅔]

Besides this form of sledge a great number of others are in use.
Whenever whales are caught their bone is sawed or cut into large pieces,
which are shod with the same material. If large bones are not to be had,
a substitute is found in walrus skins or rolls of sealskins, which are
wetted and sewed up in a bag. This bag is given the desired form and
after being frozen to a solid mass is as serviceable as the best plank.
In Boothia frozen salmon are used in the same way and after having
served this purpose in winter are eaten in the spring. Other sledges are
made of slabs of fresh water ice, which are cut and allowed to freeze
together, or of a large ice block hollowed out in the center. All these
are clumsy and heavy and much inferior to the large sledge just

Parry (II, p. 515) states that at Igiulik the antlers are detached from
the sledge in winter when the natives go sealing. The tribes of Davis
Strait do not practice this custom, but use scarcely any sledge without
a pair of antlers.

As to the appearance of the dogs I would refer to Parry (II, p. 515) and
other writers and confine my remarks to a description of their use by
the Eskimo.

As the traces are strung upon a thong, as just described, the dogs all
pull at one point; for that reason they may seem, at first sight, to be
harnessed together without order or regularity; but they are arranged
with great care. The strongest and most spirited dog has the longest
trace and is allowed to run a few feet in advance of the rest as a
leader; its sex is indifferent, the choice being made chiefly with
regard to strength. Next to the leader follow two or three strong dogs
with traces of equal length, and the weaker and less manageable the dogs
the nearer they run to the sledge. A team is almost unmanageable if the
dogs are not accustomed to one another. They must know their leader, who
brings them to terms whenever there is a quarrel. In a good team the
leader must be the acknowledged chief, else the rest will fall into
disorder and refuse to follow him. His authority is almost unlimited.
When the dogs are fed, he takes the choice morsels; when two of them
quarrel, he bites both and thus brings them to terms.

Generally there is a second dog which is inferior only to the leader,
but is feared by all the others. Though the authority of the leader is
not disputed by his own team, dogs of another team will not submit to
him. But when two teams are accustomed to travel in company the dogs in
each will have some regard for the leader of the other, though
continuous rivalry and quarrels go on between the two leaders. Almost
any dog which is harnessed into a strange team will at first be
unwilling to draw, and it is only when he is thoroughly accustomed to
all his neighbors and has found out his friends and his enemies that he
will do his work satisfactorily. Some dogs when put into a strange team
will throw themselves down and struggle and howl. They will endure the
severest lashing and allow themselves to be dragged along over rough ice
without being induced to rise and run along with the others.
Particularly if their own team is in sight will they turn back and try
to get to it. Others, again, are quite willing to work with strange

Partly on this account and partly from attachment to their masters, dogs
sold out of one team frequently return to their old homes, and I know of
instances in which they even ran from thirty to sixty miles to reach it.
Sometimes they do so when a sledge is traveling for a few days from one
settlement to another, the dogs not having left home for a long time
before. In such cases when the Eskimo go to harness their team in the
morning they find that some of them have run away, particularly those
which were lent from another team for the journey. In order to prevent
this the left fore leg is sometimes tied up by a loop which passes over
the neck. When one is on a journey it is well to do so every night, as
some of the dogs are rather unwilling to be harnessed in the morning,
thus causing a great loss of time before they are caught. In fact such
animals are customarily tied up at night, while the others are allowed
to run loose.

Sometimes the harnesses are not taken off at night. As some dogs are in
the habit of stripping off their harness, it is fastened by tying the
trace around the body. Though all these peculiarities of the dogs give a
great deal of trouble to the driver, he must take care not to punish
them too severely, as they will then become frightened and for fear of
the whip will not work at all.

Before putting the dogs to the sledge it must be prepared and loaded.
In winter the shoes of the runners are covered with a thick coat of ice,
which diminishes the friction on the snow. If the shoes are of good
bone, ivory, or whalebone, the icing is done with water only, the driver
taking a mouthful and carefully letting it run over the shoe until a
smooth cover of about one third of an inch in thickness is produced. The
icicles made by the water which runs down the side of the runner are
carefully removed with the snow knife, and the bottom is smoothed with
the same implement and afterward somewhat polished with the mitten. Skin
runners and others which have poor shoes are first covered with a
mixture of moss and water or clay and water. This being frozen, the
whole is iced, as has been described. Instead of pure water, a mixture
of blood and water or of urine and water is frequently used, as this
sticks better to the bone shoe than the former.

This done, the sledge is turned right side up and loaded. In winter,
when the snow is hard, small sledges with narrow shoes are the best. In
loading, the bulk of the weight is placed behind. When the snow is soft
or there are wide cracks in the floe, long sledges with broad shoes are
by far the best. In such cases the heaviest part of the load is placed
on the middle of the sledge or even nearer the head. Particularly in
crossing cracks the weight must be as near the head as possible, for if
the jump should be unsuccessful a heavy weight at the hind part would
draw the sledge and the dogs into the water.

The load is fastened to the sledge by a long lashing (naqetarun). This
is tied to the first cross bar and after passing over the load is drawn
over the notch of the next bar, and so on from one notch, over the load,
to a notch on the opposite side. After having been fastened in this way
it is tightened. Two men are required for the work, one pulling the
lashing over the notch, the other pressing down the load and lifting and
lowering the thong in order to diminish the friction, thus making the
pulling of the other man more effective. The end is fastened to the brow
antler. Implements which are used in traveling are hung upon the antlers
at the back of the sledge. In spring, when the snow is melting and water
is found under it, the travelers frequently carry in their pouch a tube
for drinking (Fig. 489).

  [Illustration: FIG. 489. Tube for drinking. (National Museum,
  Washington. 10383.) ¼]

When the sledge has been loaded the dogs are hitched to it and the
driver takes up the whip and is ready for starting. The handle of the
whip is about a foot or a foot and a half in length. It is made of wood,
bone, or whalebone and has a lash of from twenty to twenty-five feet in
length. The lash is made of walrus or ground seal hide, the lower end
being broad and stiff, thus giving it greater weight and a slight
springiness near the handle, which facilitates its use. A broad piece of
skin clasps the handle, to which it is tied with seal thongs. Another
way of making the lower part heavy is by plaiting ground seal lines for
a length of a foot or a foot and a half.

When starting the driver utters a whistling guttural sound which sounds
like h!h!, but cannot exactly be expressed by letters, as there is no
vowel in it, and yet on account of the whistling noise in the throat it
is audible at a considerable distance. The dogs, if well rested and
strong, jump to their feet and start at once. If they are lazy it
requires a great deal of stimulating and lashing before they make a
start. If the load is heavy it is difficult to start it and the Eskimo
must use some strategy to get them all to pull at once. The sledge is
moved backward and forward for about a foot, so as to make a short track
in which it moves easily. Then the driver sings out to the dogs, at the
same time drawing the traces tight with his hands and pulling at the
sledge. The dogs, feeling a weight at the traces, begin to draw, and
when the driver suddenly lets go the traces the sledge receives a sudden
pull and begins to move. If assistance is at hand the sledge may be
pushed forward until it gets under way.

It is extremely hard work to travel with a heavy load, particularly in
rough ice or on soft snow. The dogs require constant stimulating; for
this purpose a great number of exclamations are in use and almost every
Eskimo has his own favorite words for driving. The general exclamation,
used for stimulating is the above mentioned h! h! or aq! aq! which is
pressed out from the depths of the breast and the palate, the vowel
being very indistinct. Others are: djua! the a being drawn very long and
almost sung in a high key, or ah! pronounced in the same way; iatit! or
jauksa koksa! and smacking with the tongue. If a seal is seen basking on
the ice or if the sledge happens to pass a deserted snow hut, the driver
says, Ha! Do you see the seal? Ai! A seal! a seal! (Ha! Takuviuk? Ai!
Uto! uto!) and Ai! There is a house; a small house! (Ai! Iglu;
igluaqdjung!) or, Now we go home! (Sarpoq! Sarpoq!) The latter, however,
are only used when the dogs are going at a good rate.

For directing the sledge the following words are used: Aua, aua! Aua!
ja aua! for turning to the right; χoiaχoi! ja χoia! for turning to the
left. In addition the whip lash is thrown to the opposite side of the
dogs. The leader is the first to obey the order, but a turn is made very
slowly and by a long curve. If the driver wants to make a sharper turn
he must jump up and run to the opposite side of the sledge, throwing the
whip lash at the same time toward the team. For stopping the dogs the
word Ohoha! pronounced in a deep key, is used.

If the traveling is difficult the driver must walk along at the right
side of the sledge and wherever hummocks obstruct the passage he must
direct it around them either by pushing its head aside or by pulling at
the deer’s skull at the back. But notwithstanding all this stimulating
and all the pulling the sledge is frequently stopped by striking a piece
of ice or by sinking into soft snow. As soon as it sinks down to the
cross bars it must be lifted out, and when the load is heavy the only
means of getting on is by unloading and afterwards reloading. In the
same way it must be lifted across hummocks through which a road is cut
with the end of the spear, which, for this purpose, is always lashed in
a place where it is handy for use, generally on the right side of the
bottom of the sledge. The difficulties of traveling across heavy ice
which has been subjected to heavy pressures have frequently been
described. When the sledge stops the dogs immediately lie down, and if
they cannot start again, though pulling with all their strength, the
leader frequently looks around pitifully, as if to say, We cannot do

Traveling with a light sledge and strong dogs is quite different. Then
the team is almost unmanageable and as soon as it is hitched up it is
off at full speed. The driver sits down on the fore part and lets the
whip trail along, always ready for use. Now the dogs have time enough
for playing and quarreling with one another. Though they generally keep
their proper place in the team, some will occasionally jump over the
traces of their neighbors or crawl underneath them; thus the lines
become quickly entangled, and it is necessary to clear them almost every

If any dog of the team is lazy the driver calls out his name and he is
lashed, but it is necessary to hit the dog called, for if another is
struck he feels wronged and will turn upon the dog whose name has been
called; the leader enters into the quarrel, and soon the whole pack is
huddled up in one howling and biting mass, and no amount of lashing and
beating will separate the fighting team. The only thing one can do is to
wait until their wrath has abated and to clear the traces. It is
necessary, however, to lay the mittens and the whip carefully upon the
sledge, for the leader, being on the lookout for the traces to be
strung, may give a start when the driver is scarcely ready, and off the
team will go again before the driver can fairly get hold of the sledge.
If anything has dropped from it he must drive in a wide circle to the
same place before he can stop the team and pick it up. On an old track
it is very difficult to stop them at all. When attempting to do so the
driver digs his heels into the snow to obstruct their progress and
eventually comes to a stop. Then he stands in front of the sled and
makes the dogs lie down by lashing their heads gently. Should the dogs
start off he would be thrown upon the sledge instead of being left
behind, which might easily happen should he stand alongside.

The sledge is steered with the legs, usually with the right foot of the
driver, or, if it must be pulled aside from a large hummock, by pulling
the head aside or by means of the deer’s antlers. If two persons are on
the sledge--and usually two join for a long drive--they must not speak
to each other, for as soon as the dogs hear them they will stop, turn
around, sit down, and listen to the conversation. It has frequently been
said that the method of harnessing is inconvenient, as the dogs cannot
use their strength to the best advantage; but whoever has driven a
sledge himself will understand that any other method would be even more
troublesome and less effective. On smooth ice and hard snow any method
of harnessing could be used; but, on rough ice, by any other method
every cross piece would quickly break on attempting to cross the
hummocks. Frequently the traces catch a projecting point and the dogs
are then pulled back and thrown against the ice or under the sledge if
the trace does not break. If for any reason a dog should hang back and
the trace should trail over the snow the driver must lift it up to
prevent it from being caught by the sledge runner, else the dog will be
dragged in the same way as if the trace were caught by a hummock. Many
dogs are able in such cases to strip off their harnesses and thus escape
being dragged along, as the team cannot be stopped quickly enough to
prevent this. Besides the driver must see to it that the dogs do not
step across their traces, which in such cases would run between their
hind legs, for should this happen the skin might be severely chafed.
If the driver sees a trace in this position he runs forward and puts it
back without stopping the team. Particular attention must be paid to
this matter when the dogs rise just before starting.

The sledges are not used until the ice is well covered with snow, as the
salt crystals formed on the top of the ice in the autumn hurt the dogs’
feet and cause sores that heal slowly. Late in the spring, when the snow
has melted and sharp ice needles project everywhere, the feet of the
dogs are covered with small pieces of leather, with holes for the nails,
which are tied to the leg. As they are frequently lost and the putting
on of these shoes takes a long time, their use is very inconvenient.

At this season numerous cracks run through the floe. They are either
crossed on narrow snow bridges which join the edges at convenient places
or on a drifting piece of ice by floating across.

A few more words in conclusion concerning the training of the dogs. The
Eskimo rarely brings up more than three or four dogs at the same time.
If the litter is larger than this number the rest are sold or given
away. The young dogs are carefully nursed and in winter they are even
allowed to lie on the couch or are hung up over the lamp in a piece of
skin. When about four months old they are first put to the sledge and
gradually become accustomed to pull along with the others. They undergo
a good deal of lashing and whipping before they are as useful as the old

If food is plentiful the dogs are fed every other day, and then their
share is by no means a large one. In winter they are fed with the heads,
entrails, bones, and skins of seals, and they are so voracious at this
time of the year that nothing is secure from their appetite. Any kind of
leather, particularly boots, harnesses, and thongs, is eaten whenever
they can get at it. In the spring they are better fed and in the early
part of summer they grow quite fat. In traveling, however, it sometimes
happens at this time of the year, as well as in winter, that they have
no food for five or six days. In Cumberland Sound, Hudson Strait, and
Hudson Bay, where the rise and fall of the tide are considerable, they
are carried in summer to small islands where they live upon what they
can find upon the beach, clams, codfish, &c. If at liberty they are
entirely able to provide for themselves. I remember two runaway dogs
which had lived on their own account from April until August and then
returned quite fat.

The Eskimo of all these regions are very much troubled with the well
known dog’s disease of the Arctic regions. The only places where it
seems to be unknown are Davis Strait and Aggo. Here every man has a team
of from six to twelve dogs, while in Cumberland Sound, in some winters,
scarcely any have been left. (See Appendix, Note 2.)



  [Illustration: FIG. 490. Various styles of snow knife. (National
  Museum, Washington. _a_, 10386; _b_, 10385.)]

The houses of the Eskimo differ according to the season. All the tribes
from Smith Sound to Labrador and from Davis Strait to Victoria Land are
in the habit of building snow houses in winter. Though they erect
another more durable kind of winter house, these are more frequently in
use. The principles of construction are the same everywhere. A level
place is selected for erecting the snow house. To be suitable for
cutting into blocks the snowbank must have been formed by a single
storm, for blocks which are cut from drifts composed of several layers
break when cut. It must be very fine grained, but not so hard that it
cannot be readily cut with the saw or the snow knife. The whole building
is constructed of blocks of about three feet or four feet in length, two
feet in height, and from six inches to eight inches in thickness. They
are cut with snow knives or dovetail saws, which for this reason are
much in demand. The old snow knife (sulung) was made of ivory and had a
slight curve (Fig. 490). The blocks are cut either vertically or
horizontally, the former way being more convenient if the snowdrift is
deep. Two parallel cuts of the breadth and the depth of the blocks are
made through the drift, and after having removed a small block the
Eskimo go on cutting or sawing parallel to the surface. A cross cut is
then made and the block is loosened with the point of the foot and
lifted out of the bank. Vertical blocks are more easily detached from
the snowdrift than horizontal ones.

Two men unite in building a house, the one cutting the blocks, the other
building. At first a row of blocks is put up in a circle, the single
pieces being slanted so as to fit closely together. Then the first block
is cut down to the ground and the top of the row is slanted so as to
form one thread of a spiral line. The builder places the first block of
the second row with its narrow side upon the first block and pushes it
with his left hand to the right so that it touches the last block of the
first row. Thus the snow block, which is inclined a little inward, has a
support on two sides. The vertical joint is slanted with the snow knife
and tightly pressed together, the new block resting on the oblique side
of the former. In building on in this way the blocks receive the shape
of almost regular trapezoids. Every block is inclined a little more
inward than the previous one, and as the angle to the vertical becomes
greater the blocks are only kept in their places by the neighboring
ones. In order to give them a good support the edges are the more
slanted as their angle is greater.

This method of building is very ingenious, as it affords the possibility
of building a vault without a scaffold. If the blocks were placed in
parallel rows, the first block of a new row would have no support, while
by this method each reclines on the previous one. When the house has
reached a considerable height the man who cuts the blocks outside must
place them upon the last row. The builder supports them with his head
and pushes them to their proper places. The key block and those which
are next to it are either cut inside or pushed into the house through a
small door cut for the purpose. The key block is generally shaped
irregularly, as it is fitted into the hole which remains; usually the
last two blocks are triangular. When the vault is finished the joints
between the blocks are closed up by cutting down the edges and pressing
the scraps into the joints. Larger openings are closed with snow blocks
and filled up with loose snow pressed into the fissures. Thus the whole
building becomes a tight vault, without any holes through which the warm
air inside may escape. Such a snow house, about five feet high and seven
feet in diameter, is used as a camp in winter journeys. It takes about
two hours for two skilled men to build and finish it. For winter
quarters the vaults are built from ten to twelve feet high and twelve to
fifteen feet in diameter. In order to reach this height the builder
makes a bench on which he steps while finishing the upper part of the

The plan of a snow house of the Davis Strait tribes is a little
different from that of the Hudson Bay and the Iglulik tribes.

I shall first describe the former according to my own observations
(Figs. 491 and 492).

  [Illustration: FIG. 491. Ground plan of snow house of Davis Strait

The entrance to the main building is formed by two, or less frequently
by three, small vaults. The first one (uadling) is a small dome about
six feet in height, with a door two and a half feet in height; the
second one is a long passage of equal height formed by an elliptical
vault (igdluling). Its roof is generally arched, but sometimes the top
is cut off evenly and covered with slabs of snow. Both vaults together
form the entrance and are called toqsung. A door about three feet high
leads into the main room, the floor of which is about nine inches above
that of the former. Two very small vaults are always attached to the
whole building (Fig. 491). One is situated alongside of the uadling and
the igdluling, and serves as a storeroom for clothing and harness
(sirdloang). It is not connected with the interior of the hut, but one
of the blocks of the vault can be taken out and is made to serve as a
lid. On the left side of the entrance of the main building is another
small vault (igdluarn), which is accessible from the main building. It
serves for keeping spare meat and blubber. Frequently there is a second
igdluarn on the opposite side, and sometimes even a third one in the
igdluling. Another appendix of the main building is frequently used, the
audlitiving (Fig. 491 and Fig. 492 _c_). It is a vault similar to the
sirdloang and is attached to the back of the main room. It serves for
storing up meat for future use.

Directly over the entrance a window is cut through the wall, either
square or more frequently forming an arch, which is generally covered
with the intestines of ground seals, neatly sewed together, the seams
standing vertically (Fig. 493). In the center there is a hole (qingang)
through which one can look out. In some instances a piece of fresh water
ice is inserted in the hole. According to Ross it is always used by the
Netchillirmiut (II, p. 250), who make the slab by letting water freeze
in a sealskin.

  [Illustration: FIG. 492. Snow house of Davis Strait, sections.]

In the rear half and on both sides of the door a bank of snow two and a
half feet high is raised and cut off straight, a passage trench five
feet wide and six feet long remaining. The rear half forms the bed, the
adjoining parts of the side benches are the place for the lamps, while
on both sides of the entrance meat and refuse are heaped up. Frequently
the snowbank on which the hut is built is deep enough so that the bed
needs very little raising, and the passage is cut into the bank. As this
is much more convenient in building, the huts are generally erected on a
sloping face, the entrance lying on the lower part, which faces the

  [Illustration: FIG. 493. Section and interior of snow house.]

Before the bed is arranged and the hut furnished the vault is lined with
skins, frequently with the cover of the summer hut. The lining
(ilupiqang) is fastened to the roof by small ropes (nirtsun), which are
fastened by a toggle on the outside of the wall (Fig. 493). In the lower
part of the building the lining lies close to the wall; in the upper
part it forms a flat roof about two or three feet below the top of the
vault. The effect of this arrangement is to prevent the warm air inside
from melting the snow roof, as above the skins there is always a layer
of colder air. Close to the top of the building a small hole (qangirn)
is cut through the wall for ventilation. The lamps require a good
draught, which is secured by this hole. The cold air enters through the
door, slowly filling the passage, and after being warmed rises to the
lamps and escapes through the skin cover and the hole. The moisture of
the air forms long ice needles on the inside of the roof. Sometimes they
fall down upon the skins, and must be immediately removed by shaking it
until they glide down at the sides, else they melt and wet the room
thoroughly. Frequently a high ice funnel forms around the hole from the
freezing moisture of the escaping air.

The southern and western tribes rarely line the snow house. The
continuous dropping from the roof, however, causes great inconvenience,
and, besides, the temperature cannot be raised higher than two or three
degrees centigrade above the freezing point, while in the lined houses
it is frequently from ten to twenty degrees centigrade, so that the
latter are much more comfortable. To avoid the dropping the natives
apply a cold piece of snow to the roof before the drop falls down, which
at once freezes to it, the roof acquiring by this repeated process a
stalactitic appearance. The eastern tribes use the lining in their
permanent houses without any exception. The western and southern tribes,
who leave the walls bare, heap a thick layer of loose snow over the
whole building, almost covering it up, the window and the ventilating
hole alone excepted. For this purpose snow shovels are used.

The edge of the bed is formed by a long pole. The surface of the
snowbank which forms the foundation for the bed is covered with pieces
of wood, oars, paddles, tent poles, &c. These are covered with a thick
layer of shrubs, particularly _Andromeda tetragona_. Over these numerous
heavy deerskins are spread, and thus a very comfortable bed is made.

According to Parry the arrangement in Iglulik is as follows (II, p.

  The beds are arranged by first covering the snow with a quantity
  of small stones, over which are laid their paddles, tent poles,
  and some blades of whalebone; above these they place a number of
  little pieces of network made of thin slips of whalebone, and
  lastly a quantity of twigs of birch and of the _Andromeda
  tetragona_. * * * The birch, they say, had been procured from the
  southward by way of Nuvuk. * * * There deerskins, which are very
  numerous, can now be spread without risk of their touching the

At night, when the Eskimo go to bed, they put their clothing, their
boots excepted, on the edge of the platform under the deerskins, thus
forming a pillow, and lie down with the head toward the entrance. The
blankets (qipiq) for their beds are made of heavy deerskins, which are
sewed together, one blanket serving for a whole family. The edge of the
blanket is trimmed with leather straps.

On the side benches in front of the bed is the fireplace, which consists
of a stone lamp and a framework from which the pots are suspended (see
Fig. 493). The lamp (qudlirn), which is made of soapstone, is a shallow
vessel in the shape of a small segment of a circle. Sometimes a small
space is divided off at the back for gathering in the scraps of blubber.
The wick consists of hair of _Eryophorum_ or of dried moss rubbed down
with a little blubber so as to be inflammable. It is always carried by
the women in a small bag. The whole vessel is filled with blubber as
high as the wick, which is spread along the straight side of the vessel.
It requires constant attention to keep the desired length burning
without smoking, the length kindled being in accordance with the heat or
light required. The trimming of the wick is done with a bit of bone,
asbestus, or wood, with which the burning moss is spread along the edge
of the lamp and extinguished or pressed down if the fire is not wanted
or if it smokes. At the same time this stick serves to light other lamps
(or pipes), the burnt point being put into the blubber and then kindled.
Sometimes a long, narrow vessel stands below the lamp, in which the oil
that drops from the edge is collected.

In winter the blubber before being used is frozen, after which it is
thoroughly beaten. This bursts the vesicles of fat and the oil comes out
as soon as it is melted. The pieces of blubber are either put into the
lamp or placed over a piece of bone or wood, which hangs from the
framework a little behind the wick. In summer the oil must be chewed
out. It is a disgusting sight to see the women and children sitting
around a large vessel all chewing blubber and spitting the oil into it.

The frame of the fireplace consists of four poles stuck in the snow in a
square around the lamp and four crossbars connecting the poles at the
top. From those which run from the front to the back the kettle (ukusik)
is suspended by two pairs of strings or thongs. It is made of soapstone
and has a hole in each corner for the string. The kettle which is in use
among the eastern tribes has a narrow rim and a wide bottom (Fig. 494),
while that of the western ones is just the opposite. Parry, however,
found one of this description in River Clyde (I, p. 286). When not in
use it is shoved back by means of the strings. Since whalers began to
visit the country a great number of tin pots have been introduced, which
are much more serviceable, the process of cooking being quickened.

  [Illustration: FIG. 494. Ukusik or soapstone kettle.]

On the top of the frame there is always a wood or bone hoop with a net
of thongs stretched across it (inetang). It serves to dry clothing,
particularly boots, stockings, and mittens, over the fire. In the
passage near the entrance to the hut there is frequently a small lamp
(adlirn), which is very effective for warming the cold air entering
through the door, and in the remotest corner in the back of the hut
there is sometimes another (kidlulirn). When all the lamps are lighted
the house becomes warm and comfortable.

Two small holes are frequently cut in the snowbank which forms the
ledge, at about the middle of its height (see Fig. 492 _a_). They are
closed with small snow blocks, each of which has a groove for a handle,
and serve to store away anything that must be kept dry. At night the
entrance of the inner room is closed with a large snow block, which
stands in the passage during the day.

These huts are always occupied by two families, each woman having her
own lamp and sitting on the ledge in front of it, the one on the right
side, the other on the left side of the house. If more families join in
building a common snow house, they make two main rooms with one
entrance. The plan of such a building is seen in Fig. 495.

  [Illustration: FIG. 495. Plan of double snow house.]

The plans of the Iglulik and Hudson Bay houses are different from the
one described here. The difference will best be seen by comparing the
plans represented in Fig. 496 and Fig. 497, which have been reprinted
from Hall and Parry, respectively, with the former ones. Among the
eastern tribes I have never seen the beds on the side of the passage,
but always at the rear of the house.

  [Illustration: FIG. 496. Plan of Iglulik house. (From Parry II, p.

  [Illustration: FIG. 497. Plan of Hudson Bay house. (From Hall II,
  p. 128.)]

Besides these snow houses a more solid building is in use, called
qarmang. On the islands of the American Archipelago and in the
neighboring parts of the mainland numerous old stone foundations are
found, which prove that all these islands were once inhabited by the
Eskimo. It has often been said that the central tribes have forgotten
the art of building stone houses and always live in snow huts. At the
present time they do not build houses, but cover the walls of an old hut
with a new roof whenever they take possession of it. There is no need of
any new buildings, as the Eskimo always locate in the old settlements
and the old buildings are quite sufficient to satisfy all their wants.

  [Illustration: FIG. 498. Plan and sections of qarmang or stone

Those in good condition have a long stone entrance (ka´teng) (Fig. 498),
sometimes from fifteen to twenty feet long. This is made by cutting an
excavation into the slope of a hill. Its walls are covered with large
slabs of stone about two and a half feet high and three feet wide, the
space between the stone and the sides of the excavation being afterwards
filled up with earth. The floor of the passage slopes upward toward the
hut. The last four feet of the entrance are covered with a very large
slab and are a little higher than the other parts of the roof of the
passageway. The slab is at the same height as the benches of the
dwelling room, which is also dug out, the walls being formed of stones
and whale ribs. The plan of the interior is the same as that of the snow
house, the bed being in the rear end of the room and the lamps on both
sides of the entrance. The floor of the hut is about eight inches higher
than that of the passage. The roof and the window, however, differ from
those of the snow house. In the front part of the hut the rib of a whale
is put up, forming an arch. A great number of poles are lashed to it and
run toward the back of the house, where they rest on the top of the
wall, forming, as it were, the rafters. The whole curve formed by the
rib is covered with a window of seal intestines, while the poles are
covered with sealskins, which are fastened in front to the whale rib. At
the other end they are either fastened to the ribs in the wall or, more
frequently, are steadied by stones. The roof is covered with a thick
layer of _Andromeda_, and another skin, which is fastened in the same
way, is spread over both covers. This kind of hut is very warm, light,
and comfortable. The stone banks forming the bed are covered as already

  [Illustration: FIG. 499. Plan of large qarmang or stone house for
  three families.]

If three families occupy one house the whale’s rib which forms the
window is placed a few feet farther forward than in the previous case,
at the end of the large slab which forms the roof of the last part of
the passage.

  [Illustration: FIG. 500. Plan of stone house in Anarnitung,
  Cumberland Sound. (From a drawing by L. Kumlien.)]

By means of poles and bones a small side room is built (qareang), the
ceiling of which is sewed to that of the main room (Fig. 499). The large
slab which is in front of the window (at the end of the passage) is
utilized as a storeroom for both families living on that side of the
house, a place being left open only in the middle, where the spy hole
is. In some instances this side room is inclosed in the stone walls of
the hut.

Fig. 500 and Fig. 501 present sketches of plans of some of these houses.
From such sketches it appears that several houses might have a common

  [Illustration: FIG. 501. Plan of group of stone houses in
  Pangnirtung, Cumberland Sound.]

In Anarnitung I observed no passage at all for the houses, the walls
being entirely above the ground and piled up with bowlders and sod. They
are, however, covered in the same way as the others and the entrance is
made of snow.

  [Illustration: FIG. 502. Plan and sections of qarmang or house made
  of whale ribs.]

A winter house built on the same plan is represented in Fig. 502. The
wall is made entirely of whale ribs, placed so that their ends cross one
another. The poles are tied over the top of the ribs and the whole frame
is covered with the double roof described above. A few narrow snow
vaults form the entrance. The front rib forms the door, and thus the hut
becomes quite dark. Huts of this kind are also called qarmang or
qarmaujang, i.e., similar to a qarmang.

In Ukiadliving I found, along with a great number of fine qarmat, some
very remarkable storehouses, such as are represented in Fig. 503.
Structures of this kind (ikan´) consist of heavy granite pillars, on the
top of which flat slabs are piled to a height of from nine to ten feet.
In winter, blubber and meat are put away upon these pillars, which are
sufficiently high to keep them from the dogs. Sometimes two pillars,
about ten feet apart, are found near the huts. In winter the kayak is
placed upon them in order to prevent it from being covered by snowdrifts
or from being torn and destroyed by the dogs. In snow villages these
pillars are made of snow.

The purpose of the long, kayak-like building figured by Kumlien (see
Fig. 500) is unknown to me. I found a similar one, consisting of two
rows of stones, scarcely one foot high but twenty feet long, in
Pangnirtung, Cumberland Sound, but nobody could explain its use.

  [Illustration: FIG. 503. Storehouse in Ukiadliving. (From a sketch
  by the author.)]

In the spring, when the rays of the sun become warmer, the roofs of the
snow houses fall down. At this season the natives build only the lower
half of a snow vault, which is covered with skins.

  [Illustration: FIG. 504. Plan and sections of tupiq or tent of
  Cumberland Sound.]

Still later they live in their tents (tupiq) (Fig. 504). The framework
consists of poles, which are frequently made of many pieces of wood
ingeniously lashed together. The plan (Fig. 504 _a_) is the same as that
of the winter houses. At the edge of the bed and at the entrance two
pairs of converging poles are erected. A little below the crossing
points two cross strips are firmly attached, forming the ridge. Behind
the poles, at the edge of the bed, six or eight others are arranged in a
semicircle resting on the ground and on the crossing point of those
poles. The frame is covered with a large skin roof fitting tightly. The
back part, covering the bed, is made of sealskins; the fore part,
between the two pairs of poles, of the thin membrane which is split from
the skins (see p. 519), and admits the light. The door is formed by the
front part of the cover, the left side (in entering) ending in the
middle of the entrance, the right one overlapping it, so as to prevent
the wind from blowing into the hut. The cover is steadied with heavy
stones (Fig. 504 _c_). In Cumberland Sound and the more southern parts
of Baffin Land the back of the hut is inclined at an angle of 45°; in
Davis Strait it is as steep as 60°, or even more. In the summer tent the
bed and the side platforms are not raised, but only separated from the
passage by means of poles.

Farther north and west, in Pond Bay, Admiralty Inlet, and Iglulik, where
wood is scarce, the Eskimo have a different plan of construction (Fig.
505). A strong pole is set up vertically at the end of the passage,
a small cross piece being lashed to its top. The entrance is formed by
an oblique pole, the end of which lies in the ridge of the roof. The
latter is formed by a stout thong which runs over the top of both poles
and is fastened to heavy stones on both sides. If wood is wanting, then
poles are made from the penis bones of the walrus. Parry found one of
these tents at River Clyde, on his first expedition, and describes it as
follows (I, p. 283):

  The tents which compose their summer habitations, are principally
  supported by a long pole of whalebone, 14 feet high, standing
  perpendicularly, with 4 or 5 feet of it projecting above the skins
  which form the roof and sides. The length of the tent is 17, and
  its breadth from 7 to 9 feet, the narrowest part being next the
  door, and widening towards the inner part, where the bed, composed
  of a quantity of the small shrubby plant, the _Andromeda
  tetragona_, occupies about one-third of the whole apartment. The
  pole of the tent is fixed where the bed commences, and the latter
  is kept separate by some pieces of bone laid across the tent from
  side to side. The door which faces the southwest, is also formed
  of two pieces of bone, with the upper ends fastened together, and
  the skins are made to overlap in that part of the tent, which is
  much lower than the inner end. The covering is fastened to the
  ground by curved pieces of bone, being generally parts of the

This kind of tent differs from the one described by me only in the
construction of its door.

I could not find a description of the tent of the Hudson Bay Eskimo.
There is only one illustration in Klutschak (p. 137) and one in Ross
(II, p. 581) representing tents of the Netchillirmiut. In the former
there are a few conical tents, such as are used by the eastern tribes
before a sufficient number of skins for a large tent can be procured.
The same kind is represented in Ross’s book. The other tent drawn by
Klutschak is similar to the Iglulik one, but the arrangement of the
poles in the back part is invisible. The entrance is formed by two
converging poles and a rope runs over the ridge and is tied to a rock.

  [Illustration: FIG. 505. Plan and sections of tupiq or tent of Pond

The small tents which are used in the spring are made of a few
converging poles forming a cone. They are covered with a skin roof.

  [Illustration: FIG. 506. Plan and sections of double winter tent,
  Cumberland Sound.]

Some families, instead of building snow houses or stone houses in
winter, cover the summer tent with shrubs and spread over them a second
skin cover. In front of the tent snow vaults are built to protect the
interior from the cold. In some instances several families join their
tents (Fig. 506). In the front part where the tents adjoin each other
the covers are taken away and replaced by a whale rib which affords a
passage from one room to the other.

The plans of the feasting houses, will be found in another place
(p. 600).


The styles of clothing differ among the tribes of the Central Eskimo. In
summer the outer garment is always made of sealskins, though the women
wear deerskins almost the entire year. The sealskin clothing is made
from the skins of _Pagomys fœtidus_, yearlings being used, and also
from those of _Callocephalus_, if they can be obtained. The latter
particularly are highly valued by the natives. The inner garment is made
either of the skin of the young seal in the white coat or of a light
deerskin. It is cut entirely with the woman’s knife and is sewed with
deer sinews.

The prettiest clothing is made by the tribes of Davis Strait. Both men
and women wear boots, trousers, and jackets. The style of the men’s
clothing may be seen from Figs. 397 and 399, which represent men in the
winter clothing, and 412 and 435, which show them in summer clothing.
The summer boots are made from the hairless skin of _Pagomys fœtidus_,
the soles from that of _Phoca_, the sole reaching to the top of the
foot. The leg of the boot is kept up by a string passing through its rim
and firmly tied around the leg. At the ankle a string passes over the
instep and around the foot to prevent the heel from slipping down. On
the top of the foot a knob (qaturang) is sometimes attached to the
string as an ornament (Fig. 507). The stocking is made of light
deerskin. It reaches above the knee, where it has a trimming made from
the white parts of a deerskin, whereas the boot ends below the knee.
Next to the stocking is a slipper, which is made of birdskin, the
feathers being worn next to the foot. This is covered with a slipper of
sealskin, the hair side worn outward and the hair pointing toward the
heel. The boot finishes the footgear. In the huts the birdskin slippers
are frequently laid aside.

  [Illustration: FIG. 507. Qaturang or boot ornament. (Museum für
  Völkerkunde, Berlin. IV A 6850.)]

The breeches of the men consist of an outside and an inside pair, the
former being worn with the hair outside; the latter, which are made of
the skins of young seals or of deer, with the hair inside. They are
fastened round the body by means of a string and reach a little below
the knee. Their make will best be seen from the figures. Only the
southern tribes trim the lower end of the trousers by sewing a piece to
them, the hair of which runs around the leg, while above it runs
downward. This pattern looks very pretty.

  [Illustration: FIG. 508. Woman’s jacket. (National Museum,

  [Illustration: FIG. 509. Ivory beads for women’s jackets, _a_
  (Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin. IV A 6841) _b_, _c_ (National
  Museum, Washington. 34134.) 1/1]

The jacket does not open in front, but is drawn over the head. It has a
hood fitting closely to the head. The back and the front are made of a
sealskin each. The hood of the Oqomiut is sharply pointed, while that of
the Akudnirmiut is more rounded. The jackets are cut straight and have a
slit in front. Some have a short tail behind, particularly the winter
jackets. The cut of the winter clothing, which is made of deerskin,
is the same as the former, and it is frequently trimmed with straps of
deerskin. The jacket is rarely worn with the hood down, as it is only
used while hunting and traveling. It is never brought into the huts, but
after being cleaned from the adhering snow with the snowbeater
(tiluqtung, as named by the eastern tribes; arautaq, as called by Hudson
Bay tribes) is kept in the storeroom outside the house.

The women’s trousers are composed of two pieces. The upper one fits
tightly and covers the upper half of the thigh. It is made of the skin
of a deer’s belly. The other parts are, as it were, leggings, which
reach from a little below the knee to the middle of the thigh and are
kept in place by a string running to the upper part of the trousers. The
women’s jacket (Fig. 508) is much more neatly trimmed than that of the
men. It is frequently adorned with ivory or brass beads running round
the edge (Fig. 509). It has a wide and large hood reaching down almost
to the middle of the body. In front the jacket has a short appendage;
behind, a very long tail which trails along the ground (see Fig. 508).
If a child is carried in the hood, a leather girdle fastened with a
buckle (Fig. 510) is tied around the waist and serves to prevent the
child from slipping down. The first specimen given in Fig. 510 is
remarkable for its artistic design.

  [Illustration: FIG. 510. Girdle buckles. _a_, _c_, _d_ (Museum für
  Völkerkunde, Berlin.) _b_ (National Museum, Washington. 34125.) 1/1]

Among the Akudnirmiut of Davis Strait another fashion is more frequently
in use much resembling that of Iglulik. The women have a wider jacket
with a broader hood, enormous boots with a flap reaching up to the hip,
and breeches consisting of one piece and reaching to the knees.
Unfortunately I have no drawing of this clothing and must therefore
refer to Parry’s engravings, which, however, are not very well executed,
and to the figures representing dolls in this costume (see Fig. 528).

When children are about a month old they are put into a jacket made from
the skin of a deer fawn and a cap of the same material, their legs
remaining bare, as they are always carried in their mother’s hood. In
some places, where large boots are in use, they are said to be carried
in these. The cap is separate and is always made of the head of a fawn,
the ears standing upright on each side of the head. The jacket is either
quite open in front or has a short slit. Children of more than two years
of age wear the same clothing, with trousers and boots (Fig. 511). When
they are about eight years old they are clothed like men (Fig. 512).
Girls frequently wear the same kind of dress for some time, until they
are from nine to ten years old, when they assume the clothing of the

  [Illustration: FIG. 511. Infant’s clothing. (Museum für Völkerkunde,

  [Illustration: FIG. 512. Child’s clothing.]

As to the mode of clothing of the other tribes I give the descriptions
of the authors.

Parry describes the dress of the Iglulirmiut as follows (II, p. 495):

  In the jacket of the women, the tail or flap behind is very broad,
  and so long as almost to touch the ground; while a shorter and
  narrower one before reaches halfway down the thigh. The men have
  also a tail in the hind part of their jacket, but of smaller
  dimensions; but before, it is generally straight or ornamented by
  a single scollop. The hood of the jacket * * * is much the largest
  in that of the women, for the purpose of holding a child. The back
  of the jacket also bulges out in the middle to give the child a
  footing, and a strap or girdle below this, and secured round the
  waist by two large wooden buttons in front, prevents the infant
  from falling through when, the hood being in use, it is necessary
  thus to deposit it. * * * The upper (winter) garment of the
  females, besides being cut according to a regular and uniform
  pattern, and sewed with exceeding neatness, which is the case with
  all the dresses of these people, has also the flaps ornamented in
  a very becoming manner by a neat border of deerskin, so arranged
  as to display alternate breadths of white and dark fur. This is,
  moreover, usually beautified by a handsome fringe, consisting of
  innumerable long, narrow threads of leather hanging down from it.
  This ornament is not uncommon also in the outer jackets of the
  men. When seal-hunting, they fasten up the tails of their jackets
  with a button behind.

The breeches and the foot gear of the men are described as being much
the same as those of the Akudnirmiut. Parry remarks (loc. cit.) that
several serpentine pieces of hide are sewed across the soles to prevent
them from wearing out:

  The inner boot of the women, unlike that of the men, is loose
  around the leg, coming as high as the knee joint behind, and in
  front carried up by a long, pointed flap nearly to the waist and
  there fastened to the breeches. The upper boot, with the hair as
  usual outside, corresponds with the other in shape, except that it
  is much more full, especially on the outer side, where it bulges
  out so preposterously as to give the women the most awkward,
  bow-legged appearance imaginable. * * * Here, also, as in the
  jacket, considerable taste is displayed in the selection of
  different parts of the deerskin, alternate strips of dark and
  white being placed up and down the sides and front by way of
  ornament. The women also wear a moccasin (itigega) overall in the

The dress of the Aivillirmiut is similar to that of the Igiulirmiut
(Gilder, p. 139).

Traces of clothing found in old graves of Cumberland Sound and
Frobisher’s description of the dress of the Nugumiut show that the style
of clothing now used by the Igiulirmiut formerly obtained in all parts
of Baffin Land.

All the Eskimo wear mittens. Those used in winter are made of the skin
of young seals or of deerskin. In summer they use hairless sealskin, and
sometimes make them with two thumbs, so as to turn the mitten round if
one side should become wet.

The manner of dressing the hair practiced by the tribes of Northeastern
Baffin Land differs from that of other tribes. On Davis Strait and in
Hudson Bay the men allow it to grow to a considerable length, but
frequently cut it short on the forehead. If all the hair is long it is
kept back by a band made of the skin of deer antlers taken in the
velvet. Sometimes these ties are very neatly finished. Frobisher states
that the Nugumiut shaved part of their heads. The Kinipetu shave the top
of the head; the Netchillirmiut wear their hair short.

The women have two styles of dressing their hair. They always part it on
the top of the head. The back hair is wound into a bunch protruding from
the back of the head or nicely arranged in a knot. The hair at the sides
is plaited and folded over the ears, joining the knot behind. The other
way is to arrange these parts in small pigtails reaching a little below
the ears. They are kept in order by an ivory or brass ring (see Fig.

The manner in which the Iglulirmiut dress their hair is thus described
by Parry (II, p. 493):

  They separate their locks into two equal parts, one of which hangs
  on each side of their heads and in front of their shoulders. To
  stiffen and bind these they use a narrow strap of deerskin,
  attached at one end to a round piece of bone, fourteen inches
  long, tapered to a point, and covered over with leather. This
  looks like a little whip, the handle of which is placed up and
  down the hair and the strap wound round it in a number of spiral
  turns, making the tail, thus equipped, very much resemble one of
  those formerly worn by our seamen. The strap of this article of
  dress, which is altogether called a tugliga, is so made from the
  deerskin as to show when bound round the hair, alternate turns of
  white and dark fur, which give it a very neat and ornamental
  appearance. * * * Those who are less nice dispose * * * their hair
  into a loose plait on each side or have one tugliga and one plait.

  [Illustration: FIG. 513. Ivory combs. (National Museum, Washington.
  10195.) 1/1]

The natives of Southampton Island arrange their hair in a bunch
protruding from the forehead (sulubaut). The same dress is worn at
certain feasts on Davis Strait (p. 608).

For dressing the hair ivory combs are in use, two specimens of which are
represented in. Fig. 513.

The clothing is frequently trimmed with straps of white deerskin, giving
it a pleasing appearance. The edge of the women’s jacket is adorned with
ivory beads. Instead of these, teeth, deer’s ears, foxes’ noses, or
brass bells are sometimes used.

  [Illustration: FIG. 514. Buckles. _c_ (From Tununirnusirn.)
  (National Museum, Washington, _a_, 10196; _b_, 10400; _c_, 10177;
  _d_, 10196; _e_, 10195; _f_, 10207.) 1/1]

The inner jackets of the men are sometimes trimmed with beads, feathers,
or leather straps, forming a collar and figures of different kinds on
the back and on the breast. An amulet is worn in the middle of the back
(p. 592). These ornaments and the amulet are only visible when the outer
garment is taken off in the hut.

Fig. 514 represents a number of buckles serving to carry needlecases or
similar implements at the girdle, to which the eye is tied, the button
being fastened to the implement. Head ornaments are in frequent use and
are sometimes beautifully finished.

  [Illustration: FIG. 515. Manner of tattooing face and wearing hair.]

The women are in the habit of adorning their faces by tattooing. It is
done, when they are about twelve years of age, by passing needle and
thread covered with soot under the skin, or by puncture, the points of
the tattooing instruments being rubbed with the same substance in both
cases, which is a mixture of the juice of _Fucus_ and soot, or with
gunpowder, by which process they obtain a blue color. The face, arms,
hands, thighs, and breasts are the parts of the body which are generally
tattooed. The patterns will be seen in Figs. 515 and 516.

  [Illustration: FIG. 516. Manner of tattooing legs and hands.]



It is winter and the natives are established in their warm snow houses.
At this time of the year it is necessary to make use of the short
daylight and twilight for hunting. Long before the day begins to dawn
the Eskimo prepares for hunting. He rouses his housemates; his wife
supplies the lamp with a new wick and fresh blubber and the dim light
which has been kept burning during the night quickly brightens up and
warms the hut. While the woman is busy preparing breakfast the man fits
up his sledge for hunting. He takes the snow block which closes the
entrance of the dwelling room during the night out of the doorway and
passes through the low passages. Within the passage the dogs are
sleeping, tired by the fatigues of the day before. Though their long,
heavy hair protects them from the severe cold of the Arctic winter, they
like to seek shelter from the piercing winds in the entrance of the hut.

The sledge is iced, the harnesses are taken out of the storeroom by the
door, and the dogs are harnessed to the sledge. Breakfast is now ready
and after having taken a hearty meal of seal soup and frozen and cooked
seal meat the hunter lashes the spear that stands outside of the hut
upon the sledge, hangs the harpoon line, some toggles, and his knife
over the antlers, and starts for the hunting ground. Here he waits
patiently for the blowing seal, sometimes until late in the evening.

Meanwhile the women, who stay at home, are engaged in their domestic
occupations, mending boots and making new clothing, or they visit one
another, taking some work with them, or pass their time with games or in
playing with the children. While sitting at their sewing and at the same
time watching their lamps and cooking the meat, they incessantly hum
their favorite tunes. About noon they cook their dinner and usually
prepare at the same time the meal for the returning hunters. As soon as
the first sledge is heard approaching, the pots, which have been pushed
back during the afternoon, are placed over the fire, and when the hungry
men enter the hut their dinner is ready. While hunting they usually open
the seals caught early in the morning, to take out a piece of the flesh
or liver, which they eat raw, for lunch. The cut is then temporarily
fastened until the final dressing of the animal at home.

In the western regions particularly the hunters frequently visit the
depots of venison made in the fall, and the return is always followed by
a great feast.

After the hunters reach home they first unharness their dogs and
unstring the traces, which are carefully arranged, coiled up, and put
away in the storeroom. Then the sledge is unloaded and the spoils are
dragged through the entrance into the hut. A religious custom commands
the women to leave off working, and not until the seal is cut up are
they allowed to resume their sewing and the preparing of skins. This
custom is founded on the tradition that all kinds of sea animals have
risen from the fingers of their supreme goddess, who must be propitiated
after being offended by the murder of her offspring (see p. 583). The
spear is stuck into the snow at the entrance of the house, the sledge is
turned upside down, and the ice coating is removed from the runners.
Then it is leaned against the wall of the house, and at last the hunter
is ready to enter. He strips off his deerskin jacket and slips into his
sealskin coat. The former is carefully cleaned of the adhering ice and
snow with the snowbeater and put into the storeroom outside the house.

This done, the men are ready for their dinner, of which the women do not
partake. In winter the staple food of the Eskimo is boiled seal and
walrus meat, though in some parts of the western districts it is musk ox
and venison, a rich and nourishing soup being obtained by cooking the
meat. The natives are particularly fond of seal and walrus soup, which
is made by mixing and boiling water, blood, and blubber with large
pieces of meat.

  [Illustration: FIG. 517. Forks. _a_, _b_ (From Iglulik.) (National
  Museum, Washington, _a_, 10395; _b_, 10393.)]

The food is not always salted, but sometimes melted sea water ice, which
contains a sufficient quantity of salt, is used for cooking. Liver is
generally eaten raw and is considered a tidbit. I have seen the
intestines eaten only when there was no meat.

  [Illustration: FIG. 518. Ladle of musk ox horn. (National Museum.
  Washington. 10382.) ½]

Forks (Fig. 517)[6] are used to take the meat out of the kettle and the
soup is generally poured out into a large cup. Before the introduction
of European manufactures these vessels and dishes generally consisted of
whalebone. One of these has been described by Parry (I, p. 286). It was
circular in form, one piece of whalebone being bent into the proper
shape for the sides and another flat piece of the same material sewed to
it for a bottom, so closely as to make it perfectly watertight. A ladle
or spoon (Fig. 518) is sometimes used in drinking it, but usually the
cup is passed around, each taking a sip in turn. In the same way large
pieces of meat are passed round, each taking as large a mouthful as
possible and then cutting off the bit close to the lips. They all smack
their lips in eating. The Eskimo drink a great deal of water, which is
generally kept in vessels standing near the lamps. When the men have
finished their meal the women take their share, and then all attack the
frozen meat which is kept in the storerooms. The women are allowed to
participate in this part of the meal. An enormous quantity of meat is
devoured every night, and sometimes they only suspend eating when they
go to bed, keeping a piece of meat within reach in case they awake.

    [Footnote 6: The fork first represented in this figure is
    evidently broken, a series of knobs having originally formed the

After dinner the seals, which have been placed behind the lamps to thaw,
are thrown upon the floor, cut up, and the spare meat and skins are
taken into the storerooms. If a scarcity of food prevails in the village
and a hunter has caught a few seals, every inhabitant of the settlement
receives a piece of meat and blubber, which he takes to his hut, and the
successful hunter invites all hands to a feast.

The dogs are fed every second day after dinner. For this purpose two men
go to a place at a short distance from the hut, taking the frozen food
with them, which they split with a hatchet or the point of the spear.
While one is breaking the solid mass the other keeps the dogs off by
means of the whip, but as soon as the food is ready they make a rush at
it, and in less than half a minute have swallowed their meal. No dog of
a strange team is allowed to steal anything, but is kept at a distance
by the dogs themselves and by the whip. If the dogs are very hungry they
are harnessed to the sledge in order to prevent an attack before the men
are ready. They are unharnessed after the food is prepared, the weakest
first, in order to give him the best chance of picking out some good
pieces. Sometimes they are fed in the house; in such a case, the food
being first prepared, they are led into the hut singly; thus each
receives his share.

All the work being finished, boots and stockings are changed, as they
must be dried and mended. The men visit one another and spend the night
in talking, singing, gambling, and telling stories. The events of the
day are talked over, success in hunting is compared, the hunting tools
requiring mending are set in order, and the lines are dried and
softened. Some busy themselves in cutting new ivory implements and seal
lines or in carving. They never spend the nights quite alone, but meet
for social entertainment. During these visits the host places a large
lump of frozen meat and a knife on the side bench behind the lamp and
every one is welcome to help himself to as much as he likes.

The first comers sit down on the ledge, while those entering later stand
or squat in the passage. When any one addresses the whole assembly he
always turns his face to the wall and avoids facing the listeners. Most
of the men take off their outer jacket in the house and they sit
chatting until very late. Even the young children do not go to bed

  [Illustration: FIG. 519. Skull used in the game ajegaung, from
  Ungava Bay. (From L. M. Turner’s collection.) (National Museum,
  Washington. 90227.) 1/1]

  [Illustration: FIG. 520. Ivory carving representing head of fox,
  used in the game ajegaung. (Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin. IV A
  6820.) 1/1]

The women sit on the bed in front of their lamps, with their legs under
them, working continually on their own clothing or on that of the men,
drying the wet footgear and mittens, and softening the leather by
chewing and rubbing. If a bitch has a litter of pups it is their
business to look after them, to keep them warm, and to feed them
regularly. Generally the pups are put into a small harness and are
allowed to crawl about the side of the bed, where they are tied to the
wall by a trace. Young children are always carried in their mothers’
hoods, but when about a year and a half old they are allowed to play on
the bed, and are only carried by their mothers when they get too
mischievous. When the mother is engaged in any hard work they are
carried by the young girls. They are weaned when about two years old,
but women suckle them occasionally until they are three or four years of
age. During this time they are frequently fed from their mothers’
mouths. When about twelve years old they begin to help their parents,
the girls sewing and preparing skins, the boys accompanying their
fathers in hunting expeditions. The parents are very fond of their
children and treat them kindly. They are never beaten and rarely
scolded, and in turn they are very dutiful, obeying the wishes of their
parents and taking care of them in their old age.

  [Illustration: FIG. 521. Ivory carvings representing polar bear,
  used in the game ajegaung. _a_ (Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin. IV A
  6819.) _b_ (National Museum, Washington. 34078.) ⅔]

In winter gambling is one of the favorite amusements of the Eskimo.
Figs. 519-521 represent the ajegaung, used in a game somewhat similar to
our cup and ball. The most primitive device is Fig. 519, a hare’s skull
with a number of holes drilled through it. A specimen was kindly lent to
me by Lucien M. Turner, who brought it from Ungava Bay; but in Baffin
Land exactly the same device is in use. Fig. 520 represents the head of
a fox, in ivory; Fig. 521, a polar bear. The specimen shown in Fig. 521
_b_ was brought from Cumberland Sound by Kumlien. The neck of the bear
is more elaborate than the one shown in _a_. The attachment of the part
representing the hind legs is of some interest. The game is played as
follows: First, the skull or the piece of ivory must be thrown up and
caught ten times upon the stick in any one of the holes. Then, beginning
with the hole in front (the mouth), those of the middle line must be
caught. The three holes on the neck of the bear are double, one crossing
vertically, the other slanting backward, but both ending in one hole on
the neck. After the mouth has been caught upon the stick the vertical
hole in the neck is the next, then the oblique one, and so on down the
middle line of the animal’s body. If, in the first part of the game, the
player misses twice he must give up the pieces to his neighbor, who then
takes his turn. In the second part he is allowed to play on as long as
he catches in any hole, even if it be not the right one, but as soon as
he misses he must give it up. After having caught one hole he proceeds
to the next, and the player who first finishes all the holes has won the

  [Illustration: FIG. 522. Figures used in playing tingmiujang, a game
  similar to dice. (Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin. IV A 6823.) 1/1]

A game similar to dice, called tingmiujang, i.e., images of birds, is
frequently played. A set of about fifteen figures like those represented
in Fig. 522 belong to this game, some representing birds, others men or
women. The players sit around a board or a piece of leather and the
figures are shaken in the hand and thrown upward. On falling, some stand
upright, others lie flat on the back or on the side. Those standing
upright belong to that player whom they face; sometimes they are so
thrown that they all belong to the one who tossed them up. The players
throw by turns until the last figure is taken up, the one getting the
greatest number of the figures being the winner.

  [Illustration: FIG. 523. Game of nuglutang. (Museum für Völkerkunde,
  Berlin. IV A 6821.)]

A favorite game is the nuglutang (Fig. 523). A small, rhomboidal plate
of ivory with a hole in the center is hung from the roof and steadied by
a heavy stone or a piece of ivory hanging from its lower end. The Eskimo
stand around it and when the winner of the last game gives a signal
every one tries to hit the hole with a stick. The one who succeeds has
won. This game is always played amid great excitement.

The sāketān resembles a roulette. A leather cup with a rounded bottom
and a nozzle is placed on a board and turned round. When it stops the
nozzle points to the winner. At present a tin cup fastened with a nail
to a board is used for the same purpose (Fig. 524).

  [Illustration: FIG. 524. The sāketān or roulette. (Museum für
  Völkerkunde, Berlin. IV A 6854.)]

Their way of managing the gain and loss is very curious. The first
winner in the game must go to his hut and fetch anything he likes as a
stake for the next winner, who in turn receives it, but has to bring a
new stake, in place of this, from his hut. Thus the only one who loses
anything is the first winner of the game, while the only one who wins
anything is the last winner.

  [Illustration: FIG. 525. The ajarorpoq or cat’s cradle. _a_
  representing deer; _b_, hare; _c_, hill and ponds.]

The women are particularly fond of making figures out of a loop, a game
similar to our cat’s cradle (ajarorpoq). They are, however, much more
clever than we in handling the thong and have a great variety of forms,
some of which are represented in Fig. 525.

As an example I shall describe the method of making the device
representing a deer (Fig. 525 _a_): Wind the loop over both hands,
passing it over the back of the thumbs inside the palms and outside the
fourth fingers. Take the string from the palm of the right hand with the
first finger of the left and vice versa. The first finger of the right
hand moves over all the parts of the thong lying on the first and fourth
fingers of the right hand and passes through the loop formed by the
thongs on the thumb of the right hand; then it moves back over the
foremost thong and takes it up, while the thumb lets go the loop. The
first finger moves downward before the thongs lying on the fourth finger
and comes up in front of all the thongs. The thumb is placed into the
loops hanging on the first finger and the loop hanging on the first
finger of the left hand is drawn through both and hung again over the
same finger. The thumb and first finger of the right and the thumb of
the left hand let go their loops. The whole is then drawn tight. A few
other devices from Hudson Bay are represented by Klutschak (p. 139).

  [Illustration: FIG. 526. Ball. (Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin. IV A

The ball (Fig. 526) is most frequently used in summer. It is made of
sealskin stuffed with moss and neatly trimmed with skin straps. One man
throws the ball among the players, whose object it is to keep it always
in motion without allowing it to touch the ground. Another game of ball
I have seen played by men only. A leather ball filled with hard clay is
propelled with a whip, the lash of which is tied up in a coil. Every man
has his whip and is to hit the ball and so prevent his fellow players
from getting at it.

A third game at ball called igdlukitaqtung is played with small balls
tossed up alternately from the right to the left, one always being in
the air. Songs used in the game will be found in the last pages of this

An amusement of women and children is to point successively on the
forehead, the cheek, and the chin and to pronounce as rapidly as
possible sulubautiχu´tika, tudliχu´tika, tadliχu´tika, tudliχú´tika,
i.e., the forehead, the cheek, the chin, the cheek.

  [Illustration: FIG. 527. Dolls in dress of the Oqomiut. (Museum für
  Völkerkunde, Berlin. IV A 6702.) 1/1]

  [Illustration: FIG. 528. Dolls in dress of the Akudnirmiut. (Museum
  für Völkerkunde, Berlin. IV A 6702.) 1/1]

Young children play with toy sledges, kayaks, boats, bows and arrows,
and dolls. The last are made in the same way by all the tribes, a wooden
body being clothed with scraps of deerskin cut in the same way as the
clothing of men. Fig. 527 shows dolls in the dress of the Oqomiut; Fig.
528, in that of the Akudnirmiut.

In summer children and grown up people exercise by sitting down on their
knees in a large circle and simultaneously jumping up and down, by
kneeling and holding their toes in their hands and trying to outdo one
another in running in this position, &c.

A favorite amusement during the long winter nights is telling tales and
composing songs. Old traditions are always related in a highly
ceremonious manner. The narrator takes off his outer jacket, pulls the
hood over his head, and sits down in the rear part of the hut, turning
his face toward the wall, and then tells the story slowly and solemnly.
All the stories are related in a very abridged form, the substance being
supposed to be known. The form is always the same, and should the
narrator happen to say one word otherwise than is customary he will be
corrected by the listeners.

Children tell one another fables and sing short songs. Comic songs
making fun of any person are great favorites. Details on the poetry and
music of the Eskimo will be found further on.

Parry’s description of the games and sports practiced by the Iglulirmiut
is so interesting that I insert it here (II, p. 538):

  On an occasion when most of the men were absent from the huts on a
  sealing excursion, the women joined in playing, one of them being
  the chief performer. Being requested to amuse the rest, she
  suddenly unbound her hair, platted it, tied both ends together to
  keep it out of her way, and then stepping out into the middle of
  the hut, began to make the most hideous faces that can be
  conceived, by drawing both lips into her mouth, poking forward her
  chin, squinting frightfully, occasionally shutting one eye, and
  moving her head from side to side as if her neck had been
  dislocated. This exhibition, which they call ajokitarpoq, and
  which is evidently considered an accomplishment that few of them
  possess in perfection, distorts every feature in the most horrible
  manner imaginable, and would, I think, put our most skillful
  horse-collar grinners quite out of countenance.

This performance is identical with one described later (p. 578) as
practiced during the meals in summer.

  The next performance consists in looking steadfastly and gravely
  forward and repeating the words tăbā’-tăbā’; kjaibo, kjaibo;
  kebang inutovik, kebang inutovik; amatama, amatama, in the order
  in which they are here placed, but each at least four times, and
  always by a peculiar modulation of the voice speaking them in
  pairs as they are coupled above. The sound is made to proceed from
  the throat in a way much resembling ventriloquism, to which art it
  is indeed an approach. After the last amatama she always pointed
  with her finger toward her body, and pronounced the word angakoq,
  steadily retaining her gravity for five or six seconds, and then
  bursting into a loud laugh, in which she was joined by all the
  rest. The women sometimes produce a much more guttural and
  unnatural sound, repeating principally the word ikeri-ikeri,
  coupling them as before, and staring in such a manner as to make
  their eyes appear ready to burst out of their sockets with the
  exertion. Two or more of them will sometimes stand up face to
  face, and with great quickness and regularity respond to each
  other, keeping such exact time that the sound appears to come from
  one throat instead of several. Very few of the females are
  possessed of this accomplishment, which is called pitkusiraqpoq,
  and it is not uncommon to see several of the younger females
  practising it. A third part of the game, distinguished by the word
  kaitikpoq, consists only in falling on each knee alternately,
  a piece of agility which they perform with tolerable quickness,
  considering the bulky and awkward nature of their dress. * * *
  Then the same woman came forward, and letting her arms hang down
  loosely and bending her body very much forward, shook herself with
  extreme violence, as if her whole frame had been strongly
  convulsed, uttering at the same time, in a wild tone of voice,
  some of the unnatural sounds before mentioned.

  This being at an end, a new exhibition was commenced in which ten
  or twelve women took a part, and which our gentlemen compared to
  blind man’s buff. A circle being formed, and a boy dispatched to
  look out at the door of the hut, a woman placed herself in the
  center, and, after making a variety of guttural noises for about
  half a minute, shut her eyes, and ran about till she had taken
  hold of one of the others, whose business it then became to take
  her station in the center, so that almost every woman in her turn
  occupied this post, and in her own peculiar way, either by
  distortion of countenance or other gestures, performed her part in
  the game. This continued three-quarters of an hour, and, from the
  precaution of placing a lookout who was withdrawn when it was
  over, as well as from some very expressive signs which need not
  here be mentioned, there is reason to believe that it is usually
  followed by certain indecencies, with which their husbands are not
  to be acquainted. * * *

  The most common amusement however, and to which their husbands
  made no objection, they performed at Winter Island expressly for
  our gratification. The females, being collected to the number of
  ten or twelve, stood in as large a circle as the hut would admit,
  with a man in the center. He began by a sort of half howling, half
  singing noise, which appeared as if designed to call the attention
  of the women, the latter soon commencing the Amna Aya song. This
  they continued without variety, remaining quite still while the
  man walked round within the circle; his body was rather bent
  forward, his eyes sometimes closed, his arms constantly moving up
  and down, and now and then hoarsely vociferating a word or two as
  if to increase the animation of the singers, who, whenever he did
  this, quitted the chorus and rose into the words of the song. At
  the end of ten minutes they all left off at once, and after one
  minute’s interval commenced a second act precisely similar and of
  equal duration, the man continuing to invoke their muse as before.
  A third act which followed this, varied frequently towards the
  close only in his throwing his feet up before and clapping his
  hands together, by which exertion he was thrown into a violent
  perspiration. He then retired, desiring a young man (who as we
  were informed was the only individual of several then present thus
  qualified) to take his place in the center as master of the
  ceremonies, when the same antics as before were again gone
  through. After this description it will scarcely be necessary to
  remark that nothing can be poorer in its way than this tedious
  singing recreation, which, as well as in everything in which
  dancing is concerned, they express by the word mumipoq. They seem,
  however, to take great delight in it; and even a number of the men
  as well as all the children crept into the hut by degrees to peep
  at the performance.

  The Eskimo women and children often amuse themselves with a game
  not unlike our “skip-rope.” This is performed by two women holding
  the ends of a line and whirling it regularly round and round,
  while a third jumps over it in the middle according to the
  following order. She commences by jumping twice on both feet, then
  alternately with the right and left, and next four times with the
  feet slipped one behind the other, the rope passing once round at
  each jump. After this she performs a circle on the ground, jumping
  about half a dozen times in the course of it, which bringing her
  to her original position, the same thing is repeated as often as
  it can be done without entangling the line. One or two of the
  women performed this with considerable agility and adroitness,
  considering the clumsiness of their boots and jackets, and seemed
  to pride themselves in some degree on the qualification. A second
  kind of this game consists in two women holding a long rope
  by its ends and whirling it round in such a manner over the heads
  of two others standing close together near the middle of the
  bight, that each of these shall jump over it alternately. The art
  therefore, which is indeed considerable, depends more on those
  whirling the rope than on the jumpers, who are, however, obliged
  to keep exact time in order to be ready for the rope passing under
  their feet.

Of all these games I observed only the one called pitkusiraqpoq by
Parry, which I saw played several times at Cumberland Sound. (See
Appendix, Note 3.)

   *   *   *

While in times of plenty the home life is quite cheerful, the house
presents a sad and gloomy appearance if stormy weather prevents the men
from hunting. The stores are quickly consumed, one lamp after another is
extinguished, and everybody sits motionless in the dark hut.
Nevertheless the women and men do not stop humming their monotonous amna
aya and their stoicism in enduring the pangs of hunger is really
wonderful. At last, when starvation is menacing the sufferers, the most
daring of the men resolves to try his luck. Though the storm may rage
over the icy plain he sets out to go sealing. For hours he braves the
cold and stands waiting and watching at the breathing hole until he
hears the blowing of the seal and succeeds in killing it.

When those who have remained at home hear the sound of the returning
sledge, they rush out of the houses to meet it. Quickly they help the
bold hunter to get on shore. The sledge is unloaded, the seal dragged
into the house, and every one joyfully awaits his share. The animal is
cut up, every household receiving a piece of meat and blubber. The
gloomy huts are again lighted up and the pots, which had been out of use
for some days, are again hung up over the lamps.

If the hunter, however, has tried in vain to procure food, if the storm
does not subside, the terrors of famine visit the settlement. The dogs
are the first to fall victims to the pressing hunger, and if the worst
comes cannibalism is resorted to. But all these occurrences are spoken
of with the utmost horror. In such cases children particularly are
killed and eaten. Fortunately, however, such occurrences are very rare.


As soon as the ice has consolidated in winter a lively intercourse
springs up between the settlements. Friends visit one another, trading
excursions are undertaken, and almost every few days visitors arrive at
the village. They are welcomed with great hospitality. The sledge is
unloaded and the dogs are fed by the host. The visitor is led into the
hut, served with the choicest pieces of meat, and the hostess puts his
clothing in order. In the winter these visits are generally short,
rarely lasting more than a few days.

Longer journeys are postponed until spring, when food can be procured
more easily. These journeys are planned a long time before they are
made. While the families generally leave what they can spare of their
household goods in winter at their summer settlement, they bring away
everything they possess to the winter village if they intend to visit a
neighboring tribe in the spring. In April or May they leave their snow
houses; the tent poles and the whole of their goods are loaded upon the
sledge, only the boats being left behind in charge of some friend, and
then they start upon their long, lonely journey. On the first day they
do not travel far, but make the first halt after about a twelve-mile
journey. As the load is heavy the men and women sit on the top of the
sledges only to rest. The driver walks alongside and the women lead the
way, the dogs pulling more willingly if they see somebody ahead of the
sledge. At night it is not unloaded, only those things being taken out
which are necessary for building a small tent and for cooking. In order
to protect the sledge from the attacks of the dogs, the pitu (see p.
530) is taken out and fastened to an eye cut into the ice with the end
of the spear. After having traveled about three days a longer halt is
made; the sledge is unloaded, the dogs are unharnessed, and the men go
out hunting in order to procure food for the dogs and for themselves.
Thus they slowly proceed until they at last reach the end of their
journey. Here they settle down with the friends whom they have come to
visit, establish a hut of their own, and spend a whole year with them.
In the following spring they retrace their journey to their own homes.
Journeys of four to five hundred miles in one spring are not of rare
occurrence; longer journeys, however, frequently last for years.

A journey of two hundred miles, going and coming, is sometimes
accomplished in one season. For such a journey they would set out in
March or April, leaving all their goods behind, and live with the
friends whom they visit for a month or two, returning about June. While
on the visit the visitors help their friends to provide for their

In traveling in the spring the Eskimo always use snow goggles to protect
themselves from snow blindness. The modern ones (Fig. 529), which are
made of wood and have a shade and a narrow slit for each eye, are very
effective. The old design is represented in Fig. 530, the specimen being
made of ivory.

Long journeys are sometimes made in summer, several families traveling
together in their boats. As, however, the open season is very short in
many parts of Northeastern America, spring journeys are more frequently

When traveling by boat the tent poles, skin covers, and all the
household goods are stowed away in the bottom. The women do the pulling,
three or four working at each oar, while a man sits on the stern board
steering with a paddle. They move on at their leisure, stopping whenever
they are tired or when a seal is seen blowing near the boat. The kayaks
are tied to the stern and towed along. Children and dogs lie about in
the bottom of the boat. In the center there is a tub containing all
kinds of provisions, and every now and then they take some refreshment
from it. During the nights the tents are erected at suitable points. The
natives are well acquainted with these, and, if they are not compelled
by severe weather to seek shelter at the nearest point, always visit the
same places. These have a smooth, sloping beach, fresh water, and dry,
gravelly places in which the tents are built.

  [Illustration: FIG. 529. Modern snow goggles, of wood. (National
  Museum, Washington. 29978.) ½]

  [Illustration: FIG. 530. Old form of snow goggles, of ivory, found
  in Idjorituaqtuin, Cumberland Sound. (Museum für Völkerkunde,
  Berlin. IV A 6833.)]


When the rays of the sun begin to be warmer and the roofs of the snow
houses tumble down the natives live in a very uncomfortable way until a
sufficient number of sealskins are procured to build a tent. Sometimes a
family live under a roof too small to cover them all, though they sit as
close as possible, and too low to permit them to sit upright; but, as
seals are basking everywhere on the ice, this state of affairs does not
last long. The women split a number of large skins and dry them on the
snow, and by the middle of May they can build a pretty large tent; but
it is not until they settle permanently at the place of the summer
village that the large tent is sewed and put up.

At this season salmon and venison form the staple food of the Eskimo.
The old men, women, and children, who stay at the lakes or at the salmon
rivers, depend almost entirely upon this food. They fish and eat the
salmon in a raw as well as in a cooked state. Birds are caught and eaten
raw. The surplus salmon are split and dried on poles erected for the
purpose. Deer shoulders, legs, and backs are also cut into thin pieces
and dried. Sometimes the dried fish and venison are deposited in stone
caches for later use, but most of it is eaten in summer, especially when
the Eskimo go traveling. When the men go deer hunting they take a supply
of dried salmon with them, and thus can stay out for a week or even
longer. When a deer is killed it is skinned at once, the legs being slit
and the belly opened. The paunch is carefully tied up, as the contents
are a favorite dish of the Eskimo. The head, the legs, and the ribs are
cut off and after being piled up the whole is covered with heavy stones,
only the horns protruding from the top of the depot. The hams and the
skin are generally carried to the hut at once, and, if the distance is
not too great or the carcass can be reached with sledges or boats, the
whole animal is brought home. Large depots are only made in the fall,
when there is no danger of the meat spoiling.

At this season the natives visit deer passes and lakes, near which they
establish their huts. The tents and all the household goods are packed
up in heavy bundles, some of which are carried by the dogs, the load
hanging on both sides of the back; others, by men and women, being
secured by one strap which passes over the forehead and by another which
passes over the breast. Their strength and their perseverance in
carrying heavy loads over long distances are remarkable.

The social life in the summer settlements is rather different from that
in winter. At this season the families do not cook their own meals, but
a single one provides for the whole settlement. The day before it is her
turn to cook, the woman goes to the hills to fetch shrubs for the fire.
Three stones are put up near the hut as a fireplace, the opening facing
the wind. The kettle is placed on the top of it and the fire is fed with
shrubs and blubber. When the meal is ready the master of the house
stands beside it, crying Ujo! Ujo! (boiled meat) and everybody comes out
of the hut provided with a knife. The dish is carried to a level place
and the men sit down around it in one circle, while the women form
another. Then large lumps of meat are passed around, everybody cutting
off a piece and taking a swallow of the soup, which is passed around in
a large leather cup. These dinners, which are held in the evening after
the return from the hunt, are almost always enlivened by a mimic
performance. A man or an old woman sits down in the center of the circle
and amuses the assembly by singing and dancing or by making faces.
A favorite performance is one in which a man, with blackened face and
with a thong tied around his head, writhes and makes odd grimaces.

After dinner the men sit chatting or gambling before the huts, while the
women and children amuse themselves by running about, playing at ball,
or dancing.

A strict religious custom forbids the Eskimo to work on the deerskins
which are obtained in summer before the ice has formed; they are only
dried and tied up in large bundles. In the fall, when on their way to
the winter settlements, the Eskimo travel rather quickly. The boats are
piled up with the spoils of the summer hunt and the place of destination
is generally reached before the stormy weather sets in.

When it gets colder short excursions are made by boat in order to
collect shrubs for covering the tents. Several families join in building
a common hut, and on a fine day the old tents are torn down and the tent
poles are converted into a strong frame, which is covered with a double
roof. The bed and the platforms for the lamps are raised and henceforth
all the cooking is done inside.

As soon as the first seals are caught with the harpoon the deer skins
are prepared. If they were deposited under stones in summer, sledges set
out to bring them to the settlements, and then they are distributed for
winter clothing. According to Hall the western tribes are in the habit
of spreading all the skins on one place and distributing them among the
inhabitants of the settlement. I did not observe the same custom among
the eastern tribes. Then they devote themselves to dressing the skins.
On Davis Strait this work falls to the share of the women, while among
the Hudson Bay tribes it is done by the men. At this season the great
religious feasts of the natives are celebrated, which announce, as it
were, the commencement of winter.


The social order of the Eskimo is entirely founded on the family and on
the ties of consanguinity and affinity between the individual families.
Generally children are betrothed when very young, but these engagements,
not being strictly binding, may be broken off at any time. When the
children reach maturity the girl learns the duties of a woman and the
boy those of a man. As soon as he is able to provide for a family and
she can do the work falling to her share, they are allowed to marry. It
happens frequently that the young man’s parents are unwilling to allow
him to provide for his parents-in-law, and then _he_ may be rejected at
any moment. Usually the young couple must begin housekeeping with the
young wife’s family and the young man, if belonging to a strange tribe,
must join that of his wife. It is not until after his parents-in-law are
dead that he is entirely master of his own actions. Though the betrothal
be entered into in the days of childhood the bride must be bought from
the parents by some present. In other instances the men choose their
wives when grown up and sometimes a long wooing precedes the marriage.
The consent of the bride’s parents, or, if they are dead, that of her
brothers, is always necessary. Marriages between relatives are
forbidden: cousins, nephew and niece, aunt and uncle, are not allowed to
intermarry. There is, however, no law to prevent a man from marrying two
sisters. It is remarkable that Lyon states just the reverse (p. 353).
I am sure, however, that my statements are correct in reference to the
Davis Strait tribes.

Should the newly married couple join the wife’s family this would serve
as a check to polygamy, which, however, is quite allowable. It is only
when the new family settles on its own account that a man is at full
liberty to take additional wives, among whom one is always considered
the chief wife. Monogamy is everywhere more frequent than polygamy, only
a very few men having two or more wives. According to Ross polyandry
occurs with the Netchillirmiut (II, pp. 356, 373). As long as the
mother-in-law lives with the young family the wives are subordinate to
her, while the mothers of both parties are independent of each other. No
example came to my notice of both parents living with the newly married
couple. Sometimes the man and wife do not set up a new household at
once, but each remains at home. The property necessary for establishing
a new family is the hunting gear of the man and the knife, scraper,
lamp, and cooking pot of the women.

A strange custom permits a man to lend his wife to a friend for a whole
season or even longer and to exchange wives as a sign of friendship. On
certain occasions it is even commanded by a religious law (see p. 605).
Nevertheless I know of some instances of quarrels arising from jealousy.
Lyon states, however, that this passion is unknown among the Iglulirmiut
(p. 355). The husband is not allowed to maltreat or punish his wife; if
he does she may leave him at any time, and the wife’s mother can always
command a divorce. Both are allowed to remarry as soon as they like,
even the slightest pretext being sufficient for a separation.

I may be allowed to refer once more to the division of labor between the
man and woman. The principal part of the man’s work is to provide for
his family by hunting, i.e., for his wife and children and for his
relatives who have no provider. He must drive the sledge in traveling,
feed the dogs, build the house, and make and keep in order his hunting
implements, the boat cover and seal floats excepted. The woman has to do
the household work, the sewing, and the cooking. She must look after the
lamps, make and mend the tent and boat covers, prepare the skins, and
bring up young dogs. It falls to her share to make the inner outfit of
the hut, to smooth the platforms, line the snow house, &c. On Davis
Strait the men cut up all kinds of animals which they have caught; on
Hudson Bay, however, the women cut up the seals. There the men prepare
the deerskins, which is done by the women among the eastern tribes.
Everywhere the women have to do the rowing in the large boats while the
man steers. Cripples who are unable to hunt do the same kind of work as

Children are treated very kindly and are not scolded, whipped, or
subjected to any corporal punishment. Among all the tribes infanticide
has been practiced to some extent, but probably only females or children
of widows or widowers have been murdered in this way, the latter on
account of the difficulty of providing for them. It is very remarkable
that this practice seems to be quite allowable among them, while in
Greenland it is believed that the spirit of the murdered child is turned
into an evil spirit, called angiaq, and revenges the crime (Rink,
p. 45).

Besides the children properly belonging to the family, adopted children,
widows, and old people are considered part of it. Adoption is carried on
among this people to a great extent.

If for any reason a man is unable to provide for his family or if a
woman cannot do her household work, the children are adopted by a
relative or a friend, who considers them as his own children. In the
same way widows with their children are adopted by their nearest
relative or by a friend and belong to the family, though the woman
retains her own fireplace.

It is difficult to decide which relative is considered the nearest, but
the ties of consanguinity appear to be much closer than those of
affinity. If a woman dies the husband leaves his children with his
parents-in-law and returns to his own family, and if a man dies his wife
returns to her parents or her brothers, who are the nearest relatives
next to parents or children. When a woman dies, however, after the
children are grown up the widower will stay with them. In case of a
divorce the children generally remain with the mother.

As a great part of the personal property of a man is destroyed at his
death or placed by his grave, the objects which may be acquired by
inheritance are few. These are the gun, harpoon, sledge, dogs, kayak,
boat, and tent poles of the man and the lamp and pots of the woman. The
first inheritor of these articles is the eldest son living with the
parents. Sons and daughters having households of their own do not
participate in the inheritance. An elder adopted son has a preference
over a younger son born of the marriage. Details of the laws which
relate to inheritance are unknown to me.

Sometimes men are adopted who may almost be considered servants.
Particularly bachelors without any relations, cripples who are not able
to provide for themselves, or men who have lost their sledges and dogs
are found in this position. They fulfill minor occupations, mend the
hunting implements, fit out the sledges, feed the dogs, &c.; sometimes,
however, they join the hunters. They follow the master of the house when
he removes from one place to another, make journeys in order to do his
commissions, and so on. The position, however, is a voluntary one, and
therefore these men are not less esteemed than the self dependent

Strangers visiting their friends for a season are generally in a similar
position, though they receive a wife if the host happens to have more
than one; if the friend has hunting gear, a sledge, and dogs of his own,
he can arrange a separate fireplace in the hut.

In summer most families have each their own tent, but in the fall from
two to four join in building a house. Frequently the parents live on one
side, the family of the son-in-law on the other, and a friend or
relative in a small recess. Sometimes two houses have a common entrance
or the passages communicate with one another. The inhabitants of both
parts usually live quite independently of one another, while the oldest
man of every house has some influence over his housemates.

If the distance between the winter and the summer settlement is very
great or when any particular knowledge is required to find out the
haunts of game, there is a kind of chief in the settlement, whose
acknowledged authority is, however, very limited. He is called the
pimain (i.e., he who knows everything best) or the issumautang. His
authority is virtually limited to the right of deciding on the proper
time to shift the huts from one place to the other, but the families are
not obliged to follow him. At some places it seems to be considered
proper to ask the pimain before moving to another settlement and leaving
the rest of the tribe. He may ask some men to go deer hunting, others to
go sealing, but there is not the slightest obligation to obey his

Every family is allowed to settle wherever it likes, visiting a strange
tribe being the only exception. In such a case the newcomer has to
undergo a ceremony which consists chiefly in a duel between a native of
the place and himself. If he is defeated he runs the risk of being
killed, by those among whom he has come (see pp. 465, 609).

There are numerous regulations governing hunting, determining to whom
the game belongs, the obligations of the successful hunter towards the
inhabitants of the village, &c.

When a seal is brought to the huts everybody is entitled to a share of
the meat and blubber, which is distributed by the hunter himself or
carried to the individual huts by his wife. This custom is only
practiced when food is scarce. In time of plenty only the housemates
receive a share of the animal.

A ground seal belongs to all the men who take part in the hunt, the skin
especially being divided among them. A walrus is cut up at once into as
many parts as there are hunters, the one who first struck it having the
choice of the parts and receiving the head. A whale belongs to the whole
settlement and its capture is celebrated by a feast (p. 603).

A bear or a young seal belongs to the man who first saw it, no matter
who kills it.

Lost objects must be restored to the owner if he is known, game,
however, excepted; for example, if a harpoon line breaks and the animal
escapes, but is found later by another man, the game belongs to the
latter. In Hudson Bay he is also allowed to keep the harpoon and line.

There is no way of enforcing these unwritten laws and no punishment for
transgressors except the blood vengeance. It is not a rare occurrence
that a man who is offended by another man takes revenge by killing the
offender. It is then the right and the duty of the nearest relative of
the victim to kill the murderer. In certain quarrels between the
Netchillirmiut and the Aivillirmiut, in which the murderer himself could
not be apprehended, the family of the murdered man has killed one of the
murderer’s relations in his stead. Such a feud sometimes lasts for a
long time and is even handed down to a succeeding generation. It is
sometimes settled by mutual agreement. As a sign of reconciliation both
parties touch each other’s breasts, saying, Ilaga (my friend)
(Klutschak, p. 70).

If a man has committed a murder or made himself odious by other outrages
he may be killed by any one simply as a matter of justice. The man who
intends to take revenge on him must ask his countrymen singly if each
agrees in the opinion that the offender is a bad man deserving death. If
all answer in the affirmative he may kill the man thus condemned and no
one is allowed to revenge the murder. (See Appendix, Note 4.)

Their method of carrying on such a feud is quite foreign to our
feelings. Strange as it may seem, a murderer will come to visit the
relatives of his victim (though he knows that they are allowed to kill
him in revenge) and will settle with them. He is kindly welcomed and
sometimes lives quietly for weeks and months. Then he is suddenly
challenged to a wrestling match (see p. 609), and if defeated is killed,
or if victorious he may kill one of the opposite party, or when hunting
he is suddenly attacked by his companions and slain.


Although the principal religious ideas of the Central Eskimo and those
of the Greenlanders are identical, their mythologies differ in many
material points. I will only mention here that they believe in the
Tornait of the old Greenlanders, while the Tornarsuk (i.e., the great
Tornaq of the latter) is unknown to them. Their Supreme Being is a woman
whose name is Sedna.

The first report on this tradition is found in Warmow’s journal of his
visit to Cumberland Sound (Missionsblatt aus der Brüdergemeinde, 1859,
No. I, p. 19). The editor says:

  The name of the good spirit is Sanaq or Sana, and he seems to be
  worshiped as the unknown deity. Nobody could give a definite
  answer to Brother Warmow’s frequent questions as to what they
  believed he was. They only said they invoked his help if they were
  in need. “Then we ask him,” one of the men said, “and Takaq (the
  moon) gives us what we want, seals and deer.” Another one said
  that Sanaq had lived on the earth and afterwards ascended to the

In Hall’s account of his explorations in Frobisher Bay it is mentioned
that the tribes of that country, the Nugumiut, believe in a Supreme
Being, and the following statement is given (Hall I, p. 524):

  There is one Supreme Being, called by them Anguta, who created the
  earth, sea, and heavenly bodies. There is also a secondary
  divinity, a woman, the daughter of Anguta, who is called Sidne.
  She is supposed to have created all things having life, animal and
  vegetable. She is regarded also as the protecting divinity of the
  Inuit people. To her their supplications are addressed; to her
  their offerings are made; while most of their religious rites and
  superstitious observances have reference to her.

It is of great importance that in the journals of Hall’s second journey
Sedna is mentioned a few times (spelled Sydney), this being the only
proof that she is known among the tribes of Hudson Bay.

The statements of the whalers visiting the Sikosuilarmiut and the
Akuliarmiut of Hudson Strait correspond with my own observations. Before
entering into a comparison of this tradition with similar ones belonging
to other tribes, I will give the particulars of the myth as I received
it from the Oqomiut and the Akudnirmiut.


Once upon a time there lived on a solitary shore an Inung with his
daughter Sedna. His wife had been dead for some time and the two led a
quiet life. Sedna grew up to be a handsome girl and the youths came from
all around to sue for her hand, but none of them could touch her proud
heart. Finally, at the breaking up of the ice in the spring a fulmar
flew from over the ice and wooed Sedna with enticing song. “Come to me,”
it said; “come into the land of the birds, where there is never hunger,
where my tent is made of the most beautiful skins. You shall rest on
soft bearskins. My fellows, the fulmars, shall bring you all your heart
may desire; their feathers shall clothe you; your lamp shall always be
filled with oil, your pot with meat.” Sedna could not long resist such
wooing and they went together over the vast sea. When at last they
reached the country of the fulmar, after a long and hard journey, Sedna
discovered that her spouse had shamefully deceived her. Her new home was
not built of beautiful pelts, but was covered with wretched fishskins,
full of holes, that gave free entrance to wind and snow. Instead of soft
reindeer skins her bed was made of hard walrus hides and she had to live
on miserable fish, which the birds brought her. Too soon she discovered
that she had thrown away her opportunities when in her foolish pride she
had rejected the Inuit youth. In her woe she sang: “Aja. O father, if
you knew how wretched I am you would come to me and we would hurry away
in your boat over the waters. The birds look unkindly upon me the
stranger; cold winds roar about my bed; they give me but miserable food.
O come and take me back home. Aja.”

When a year had passed and the sea was again stirred by warmer winds,
the father left his country to visit Sedna. His daughter greeted him
joyfully and besought him to take her back home. The father hearing of
the outrages wrought upon his daughter determined upon revenge. He
killed the fulmar, took Sedna into his boat, and they quickly left the
country which had brought so much sorrow to Sedna. When the other
fulmars came home and found their companion dead and his wife gone, they
all flew away in search of the fugitives. They were very sad over the
death of their poor murdered comrade and continue to mourn and cry until
this day.

Having flown a short distance they discerned the boat and stirred up a
heavy storm. The sea rose in immense waves that threatened the pair with
destruction. In this mortal peril the father determined to offer Sedna
to the birds and flung her overboard. She clung to the edge of the boat
with a death grip. The cruel father then took a knife and cut off the
first joints of her fingers. Falling into the sea they were transformed
into whales, the nails turning into whalebone. Sedna holding on to the
boat more tightly, the second finger joints fell under the sharp knife
and swam away as seals (_Pagomys fœtidus_); when the father cut off the
stumps of the fingers they became ground seals (_Phoca barbata_).
Meantime the storm subsided, for the fulmars thought Sedna was drowned.
The father then allowed her to come into the boat again. But from that
time she cherished a deadly hatred against him and swore bitter revenge.
After they got ashore, she called her dogs and let them gnaw off the
feet and hands of her father while he was asleep. Upon this he cursed
himself, his daughter, and the dogs which had maimed him; whereupon the
earth opened and swallowed the hut, the father, the daughter, and the
dogs. They have since lived in the land of Adlivun, of which Sedna is
the mistress.

  *  *  *

This tradition is handed down in an old song. I shall give the substance
of it here, as it differs in some points from the above myth.

The story begins when the fulmar carries Sedna to his home and she
discovers that he has brought her to a very wretched tent. The next year
the father and a brother, whom I find mentioned nowhere else, came to
visit her and take her home. The fulmar follows their boat and causes a
heavy gale to rise which almost upsets it. The father cuts off her
fingers, which are transformed into whales, seals, and ground seals.
Besides, he pierces her eye and thus kills her. Then he takes the body
into the boat and carries it to the shore. There he lays it on the beach
and covers it with a dogskin. When the flood comes in it covers Sedna.

Sedna and her father are described by the angakut (see p. 591), who
sometimes visit her house or see them when both dwell among the natives,
as follows: She is very large and much taller than the Inuit. In
accordance with the second form of the tradition she has only one eye
and is scarcely able to move. Her father is also a cripple and appears
to the dying, whom he grasps with his right hand, which has only three

There is a remarkable resemblance between this tradition and one related
by Lyon (p. 362), who describes the religious ideas of the Iglulirmiut,
more particularly the genii of one of their angakut. He says that the
principal spirits are Aiviliajoq (Ay-willi-ay-oo) or Nuliajoq
(Noo-le-ay-oo), a female spirit, and her father, Napajoq (Nap-payok) or
Anautalik (An-now-ta-lig). Then he continues:

  The former is in the first place the mother, protectress, and not
  unfrequently the monopolist of sea animals, which she sometimes
  very wantonly confines below, and by that means causes a general
  scarcity in the upper world. When this is the case, the angakok is
  persuaded to pay her a visit, and attempt the release of the
  animals on which his tribe subsist. I know not what ceremonies he
  performs at the first part of the interview; but as the spell by
  which the animals are held lies in the hand of the enchantress,
  the conjuror makes some bold attempts to cut it off, and,
  according to his success, plenty, more or less, is obtained. If
  deprived of her nails, the bears obtain their freedom; amputation
  of the first joint liberates the netsiq (_Pagomys_); while that of
  the second loosens the ugjuq (_Phoca_). Should the knuckles be
  detached whole herds of walrus rise to the surface; and should the
  adventurous angakoq succeed in cutting through the lower part of
  the metacarpal bones, the monstrous whales are disenthralled and
  delightedly join the other creatures of the deep. * * * Her house
  is exceedingly fine, and very like a Kabluna (European)
  looking-glass(?); and, what is still more attractive to an Eskimo,
  it contains plenty of food. Immediately within the door of the
  dwelling, which has a long passage of entrance, is stationed a
  very large and fierce dog, which has no tail, and whose hinder
  quarters are black. * * * Aiviliajoq is described as being equally
  wonderful in her personal appearance as in her actions. She is
  very tall and has but one eye, which is the left, the place of the
  other being covered by a profusion of black hair. She has one
  pigtail only, contrary to the established fashion in the upper
  Eskimo world, which is to wear one on each side of the face, and
  this is of such immense magnitude, that a man can scarcely grasp
  it with both hands. Its length is exactly twice that of her arm,
  and it descends to her knee. The hood of her jacket is always worn
  up. * * *

  Her father has but one arm, the hand of which is covered by a very
  large mitten of bearskin. * * * He is not larger than a boy of ten
  years of age. He bears the character of a good, quiet sort of
  person and is master of a very nice house, which, however, is not
  approachable, on account of the vast herds of walrus lying round
  it, which, with numerous bears, make a terrific howling. * * * He
  has nothing to eat, and does not even require it; in which
  particular he differs widely from his daughter, who has a most
  voracious appetite. I know not if he is the father of all
  terrestrial animals, but he is certainly their patron, and
  withholds them at times from the Eskimo.

The name of the father, Anautalik (An-now-ta-lig), i.e., the man with
something to cut (with a knife), is very remarkable. Besides, it is
interesting that the angakoq who visits the dwelling of Nuliajoq has to
cut off her hand in order to liberate the sea animals. In the tradition
related in the foregoing, Sedna has another name, to wit,
Uinigumisuitung, i.e., she who would not have a husband; her father,
Savirqong, i.e., the man with the knife. Often he is only called Anguta,
her father.

It is evident that Nuliajoq is identical with Sedna, though some
peculiarities exist in the tradition as related by Lyon which it is
rather difficult to reconcile with the myth as it is related among the
Oqomiut. It seems to me that this difficulty arises from the mixing up
of the angakoq’s visit to Sedna with the tradition itself. Indeed Lyon
only refers to the angakoq’s visit to Nuliajoq, whom he considers a
genius of a great angakoq, though he remarks in another place (p. 363)
that she “has a boundless command over the lives and destinies of

The tale of the angakoq’s visit makes the tradition very similar to the
Greenland myth of Arnaquagsaq, i.e., the old woman. According to Cranz
(p. 264) and to Rink (p. 40) this spirit has her abode in the depth of
the ocean. She represents the source of nourishment, supplying the
physical wants of mankind. She sits in her dwelling in front of a lamp,
beneath which is placed a vessel which receives the oil that keeps
flowing down from the lamp. From this vessel, as well as from the dark
interior of her hut, she sends out all the animals which serve for food,
but in certain cases withholds the supply, thus causing want and famine.
The reason for thus withholding the supply was that certain filthy and
noxious parasites fastened themselves upon her head, of which she could
only be relieved by an angakoq. Then she could be induced again to send
out the animals for the benefit of man. In going to her he (the angakoq)
had first to pass the Arsissut and then to cross an abyss, in which,
according to the earliest authors, a wheel as slippery as ice was
constantly turning around; then, having safely passed a boiling kettle
with seals in it, he arrived at the house, in front of which watch was
kept by terrible animals, sometimes described as seals, sometimes as
dogs; and, lastly, within the house passage itself, he had to cross an
abyss by means of a bridge as narrow as a knife edge.

About the same tale is found among the Baffin Land tribes; according to
Captain Spicer, of Groton, Conn., she is called Nanoquagsaq by the
Akuliarmiut. She is visited by the angakut, who liberate the sea animals
by subduing her or rather by depriving her of a charm by which she
restrains the animals.

I am inclined to think that the form in which Lyon gives this tradition
is not quite correct, but is a mixture of the Sedna myth and that of the
angakoq’s visit to Arnaquagsaq. This seems the more probable from a
Greenland tale which Dr. Rink kindly communicated to me, in which it is
related that the grandfather of Arnaquagsaq cut off her fingers, which
were changed into sea animals.

For this reason it is most probable that Arnaquagsaq, Sedna, and
Nuliajoq proceed from the same myth, though the traditions differ from
one another as they are related by the travelers. In the mythology of
the central tribes this character has a much more decided influence upon
their religious belief than the Arnaquagsaq of the Greenlanders seems to
have had.

The myth of Sedna is confused with another which treats of the origin of
the Europeans and of the Adlet (see p. 637). The legends are in part
almost identical. Sedna orders her dog to gnaw off her father’s feet;
Uinigumisuitung’s children maim their grandfather in the same way; and,
besides, Sedna’s second name is also Uinigumisuitung. In both tales the
father is called Savirqong. In Lyon’s Private Journal (p. 363) an
important statement is found to the effect that the dog which protects
Nuliajoq’s dwelling is by some natives called her husband, by others
merely her dog, but that he is generally considered the father of
Erqigdlit (identical with Adlet, p. 637) and Qadlunait (Europeans).

Finally, I must record the legend of the origin of the walrus and the
reindeer, which is closely related to the Sedna tradition. I could never
learn any other reason why the use of sea animals and reindeer at the
same period should be forbidden, except the fear of offending Sedna. She
is represented as disliking the deer, which accordingly are not found in
her house. Any reason for this dislike is not given. The Akuliarmiut,
however, have a tradition that a woman, most probably Sedna herself,
created the walrus and the reindeer during a famine. She opened her
belly and took out a small piece of fat which she carried up the hills
where it was transformed by a magic spell into a reindeer. As soon as
she saw the animal she became frightened and ordered it to run away, but
the deer turned upon her and would not go; then she became angry and
knocked out its teeth. It turned round at once, but before it could
leave she gave it a kick which lopped off its tail. Thus it happened
that the deer is deficient as to certain teeth and has scarcely any
tail. The woman, however, continued to hate the deer. Afterward she
descended to the beach and threw another piece of fat into the water. It
was transformed into a walrus, which swam away at once. (According to a
communication of Captain Spicer.)

The form of this tradition as related by the Akudnirmiut is somewhat
different. During a famine a woman (I could not learn whether she was
identical with Sedna or not) carried her boots to the hills and
transformed them by magic into deer, which spread all over the country.
Then she carried her breeches to the sea, where they were changed into
walrus. The first deer, however, had large tusks and no horns, while the
walrus had horns and no tusks. The Eskimo soon found that this was very
dangerous for the hunter, as the deer killed pursuers with their tusks,
while the walrus upset the boats. Therefore an old man transferred the
horns to the deer and the tusks to the walrus.

It is very probable that this woman was Sedna, as the Eskimo affirm that
the observances referring to walrus and deer are commanded by Sedna and
as the first tradition accounts for her dislike of the deer.

I could not find any trace of the tradition reported by Lyon, that
Anautalik, Nuliajoq’s father, is the protector of land animals, nor of
that of a being to whom he refers by the name of Pukimna (derived from
pukiq, the white parts of a deerskin), who lives in a fine country far
to the west and who is the immediate protectress of deer, which animals
roam in immense herds around her dwelling.

Sedna is the mistress of one of the countries to which the souls go
after death. It has been related in the foregoing tradition of Sedna and
the fulmar that she descended to Adlivun; since that time she has been
the mistress of the country, and when invoked as such has the name of
Idliragijenget. She has a large house, in which no deerskins are found.
There she lives with her father, each occupying one side of it. The
father, who is unable to move, lies on the ledge and is covered with old
skins. In the entrance across the threshold lies Sedna’s dog watching
her house. Like her, the father has only one eye, and he never moves
from his place while in the house.

The dead, who are seized by Sedna’s father, Anguta, are carried to this
dwelling. The dog moves aside only a little, just enough to allow the
souls to pass. They have to stay in this dismal abode during a whole
year, lying by the side of Anguta, who pinches them.

The happy land is heaven and is called Qudlivun (the uppermost ones).
It abounds with deer, which are easily caught, and no ice or snow ever
visits it.

The Oqomiut and the Akudnirmiut make a distinction between Adlivun and
Adliparmiut. Adlivun means “those who live beneath us;” Adliparmiut,
“the inhabitants of the country farthest below us;” and the same
difference exists between Qudlivun and Qudliparmiut. Though these names
intimate the probability that the Eskimo believe in a series of places,
located in a descending scale, each below the other, I could not find
any more detailed description of the conception.

Hall’s observations agree fairly with my own. He says (I, p. 524):

  Qudliparmiut (heaven) is upward. Everybody happy there. All the
  time light; no snow, no ice, no storms; always pleasant; no
  trouble; never tired; sing and play all the time--all this to
  continue without end.

  Adliparmiut (hell) is downward. Always dark there. No sun; trouble
  there continually; snow flying all the time, terrible storms;
  cold, very cold; and a great deal of ice there. All who go there
  must always remain.

  All Inuit who have been good go to Qudliparmiut; that is, who have
  been kind to the poor and hungry, all who have been happy while
  living on this earth. Any one who has been killed by accident, or
  who has committed suicide, certainly goes to the happy place.

  All Inuit who have been bad--that is, unkind one to another--all
  who have been unhappy while on this earth, will go to Adliparmiut.
  If an Inung kills another because he is mad at him, he will
  certainly go to Adliparmiut.

Kumlien’s remarks on this subject, as well as on other ethnographic
subjects, are not trustworthy. He has transferred Greenland tales to
Cumberland Sound, though the traditions of these tribes differ
materially one from the other. I tried hard to corroborate his
statements concerning the amaroq and the tornarsuq, concerning certain
customs, &c., and am convinced that they are totally unknown to all the
natives of Baffin Land from Nugumiut to Tununirn.

Kumlien states that the better land is below the surface of the earth
and that those who are killed by violence descend after death. According
to Hall and to replies to my own inquiries, it is quite the reverse.
Lyon’s report is extremely interesting, particularly his description of
the stages of the nether world, of which I could only find a scanty hint
in the names. He says (p. 372):

  There are two places appointed to receive the souls of the good:
  one of these is in the center of the earth, the other in qilaq, or
  heaven. To the latter place, such as are drowned at sea, starved
  to death, murdered, or killed by walruses or bears, are instantly
  wafted, and dwell in a charming country, which, however, has never
  been seen by any angakoq. * * *

  The place of souls in the world below is called Adli generally;
  but there are, properly, four distinct states of blessedness, and
  each rank has a world to itself, the lowest land being the last
  and best, which all hope to reach. The day on which a good person
  dies and is buried, the soul goes to a land immediately under the
  visible world; and, still descending, it arrives the second day at
  one yet lower; the third day it goes farther yet; and on the
  fourth it finds, “below the lowest deep, a deeper still.” This is
  the “good land,” and the soul which reaches it is for ever happy.
  The three first stages are bad uncomfortable places for in each
  the sky is so close to the earth, that a man cannot walk erect:
  yet these regions are inhabited; and the good soul, in passing
  through them, sees multitudes of the dead, who, having lost their
  way, or, not being entitled to the “good land,” are always
  wandering about and in great distress. Whether these unhappy souls
  are in purgatory or not, I was unable to learn; but they suffer no
  other pain than what we would call the “fidgets.” In the lowest
  Adli a perpetual and delightful summer prevails.

The belief of these tribes undoubtedly is that all who die by accident
or by violence and women who die in childbirth are taken to the upper
world. I never heard a different opinion expressed by any native. I do
not know whether they believe in a series of upper worlds similar to the
nether worlds of the Iglulirmiut, but it is probable, from the names
Qudlivun and Qudliparmiut. In the Greenland tradition the upper world is
represented as a country with hills and valleys, over which the solid
blue sky is expanded. Sedna of the Oqomiut lives in Adlivun, and here
the souls must stay one year after death. Everybody who dies from
disease or who has offended Sedna by infringing her orders is taken to
her. The Eskimo are in great fear of the terrors of her abode. Murderers
and offenders against human laws, after they have entered Sedna’s house,
will never leave it; the other souls, however, are taken to the
Adliparmiut, where they live comparatively at their ease, although they
are not nearly so blessed as the Qudliparmiut. They hunt whales and
walrus and are almost always troubled by ice and snow.

The older authors on Greenland mythology state that the conceptions of
the natives do not coincide (Cranz). According to one tradition the good
land is below, and tornarsuq, the supreme tornaq, is master of it. Here
continuous summer prevails and there is plenty of fresh water, with a
profusion of game. Only those people are allowed to come here who have
been good hunters and workers, who have accomplished great exploits,
caught many seals, who have suffered much, or have died by violence or
in childbirth. The souls of the deceased must slide for five days, or
even longer, down a steep rock, which has become quite slippery from the
blood which has been sprinkled over it. Those who have been lazy and
unfit for working go to the upper world, where they suffer from scarcity
of food. Particularly the bad and witches are taken to this country,
where they are tormented by ravens.

Another tradition places the good land in heaven. The souls travel on
the rainbow to the moon, near which they find a large lake abounding
with fowls and fish. Rink gives the following statement on this subject
(p. 37):

  After death, human souls either go to the upper or to the under
  world. The latter is decidedly to be preferred, as being warm and
  rich in food. There are the dwellings of the happy dead called
  arsissut,--viz, those who live in abundance. On the contrary,
  those who go to the upper world will suffer from cold and famine;
  and these are called the arssartut, or ball players, on account of
  their playing at ball with a walrus head, which gives rise to the
  aurora borealis.

While the Iglulirmiut believe that the soul leaves the body immediately
after death and descends to Adli, the tribes of Davis Strait suppose
that it lingers three days around the body, unable to leave it. Then it
descends to Sedna’s house. During its stay in Adlivun the soul is called
tupilaq, which is represented by the figure of a man with wide, loose,
shabby clothing. It is looked upon as a malevolent spirit, frequently
roaming around the villages. The tupilaq is not allowed to enter the
houses, and if the angakoq perceives and announces his presence no one
would dare to leave the houses. His touch kills men at once, the sight
of him causes sickness and mischief. As soon as the soul has become an
adliparmio, it is at rest and ceases to be feared as a tupilaq.

It is worth remarking that the Greenlanders designate with the name of
tupilaq a supernatural being made by men for the purpose of destroying
their enemies (Rink, p. 53). It is composed of various parts of
different animals and is enabled to act in the shape of any of them at
will. I have not found any trace of this idea among the Central Eskimo.


A consideration of the religious ideas of the Eskimo shows that the
tornait, the invisible rulers of every object, are the most remarkable
beings next to Sedna. Everything has its inua (owner), which may become
the genius of man who thus obtains the qualities of angakunirn. I am not
quite sure that every inua can become the tornaq of a man, though with
the Greenlanders this was possible. I learned of three kinds of spirits
only, who are protectors of angakut: those in the shape of men, of
stones, and of bears. These spirits enable the angakut to have
intercourse with the others who are considered malevolent to mankind,
and though those three species are kind to their angakut they would hurt
strangers who might happen to see them. The bear seems to be the most
powerful among these spirits. The tornait of the stones live in the
large bowlders scattered over the country. The Eskimo believe that these
rocks are hollow and form a nice house, the entrance of which is only
visible to the angakoq whose genius lives in the stone. The tornaq is a
woman with only one eye, in the middle of the brow. Another kind of
tornaq lives in the stones that roll down the hills in spring when the
snow begins to melt. If a native happens to meet such a stone, which is
about to become his tornaq, the latter addresses him: “I jumped down in
long leaps from my place on the cliff. As the snow melts, as water is
formed on the hills, I jump down.” Then it asks the native whether he is
willing to have it for his tornaq, and if he answers in the affirmative
it accompanies him, wabbling along, as it has no legs.

The bear tornaq is represented as a huge animal without any hair except
on the points of the ears and of the tail and at the mouth. If a man
wishes to obtain a bear for his tornaq he must travel all alone to the
edge of the land floe and summon the bears. Then a large herd will
approach and frighten him almost to death. He falls down at once. Should
he fall backward he would die at once. If he falls upon his face,
however, one bear out of the herd steps forward and asks him if he
wishes him to become his tornaq. He then recovers and takes the bear for
his spirit and is accompanied by him on the return journey. On the way
home, they pass a seal hole and the bear captures the animal for his
master. The Eskimo is now a great angakoq, and whenever he wants help he
is sure to get it from his bear.

The Eskimo do not make images of the tornait or other supernatural
beings in whom they believe, but use to a great extent amulets
(arngoaq), some of which are given by the tornait, while others are
inherited. The most common varieties of amulets are the feather of an
owl, a bear’s tooth, and the like, which are always worn on the middle
of the back of the inner jacket. Rare minerals (e.g., iron) sewed up in
a piece of skin are sometimes used for the same purpose. A small part of
the first gown worn by a child is considered a powerful amulet and is
preserved for this reason. It is worn at the point of the hood at a
great feast celebrated every fall (see pp. 604, 611) and is called

Lyon (p. 367) gives the following account of the use of amulets in

  Bones and teeth of animals, hanging as solitary pendants, or
  strung in great numbers, have peculiar virtues, and the bones of
  the feet of the kabliaqdjuq, which I imagine to be the wolverine,
  are the most in request. The front teeth of musk oxen are
  considered as jewels, while the grinders, one or two together, are
  much esteemed as tassels for the strings used to tie up the
  breeches of the women. Eye teeth of foxes are sometimes seen to
  the number of hundreds, neatly perforated and arranged as a kind
  of fringe round caps or dresses, and even the bones and teeth of
  fish have their value.

  Leather cases of the size of a quill, and containing small pieces
  of deer’s or other flesh, are frequently attached to the caps or
  hoods of children, but whether to render them expert hunters, or
  to preserve their health, I could not discover. I was assured that
  broken spear heads, and other equally cumbrous pendants, worn
  round the necks of young girls, were spells for the preservation
  of their chastity, while the same ornaments caused the women to be

The principal office of the angakut is to find out the reason of
sickness and death or of any other misfortune visiting the natives.

The Eskimo believes that he is obliged to answer the angakoq’s questions
truthfully. The lamps being lowered, the angakoq strips off his outer
jacket, pulls the hood over his head, and sits down in the back part of
the hut facing the wall. He claps his hands, which are covered with
mittens, and, shaking his whole body, utters sounds which one would
hardly recognize as human.

Thus he invokes his tornaq, singing and shouting alternately, the
listeners, who sit on the edge of the bed, joining the chorus and
answering his questions. Then he asks the sick person: “Did you work
when it was forbidden?” “Did you eat when you were not allowed to eat?”
And if the poor fellow happens to remember any transgression of such
laws, he cries: “Yes, I have worked.” “Yes, I have eaten.” And the
angakoq rejoins “I thought so” and issues his commands as to the manner
of atonement.

These are manifold. Exchange of wives between two men or adoption of a
sick child by another family in order to save its life are frequently
demanded. The inhabitants of a village are forbidden to wash themselves
for a number of days, to scrape the ice from the windows, and to clean
their urine pots before sunrise. Sometimes the angakoq commands that the
clothing be thrown away or gives regulations for diet, particularly
forbidding the eating of venison, working on deerskins, filing iron, &c.

Disorders of women are considered as a punishment for the neglect to
observe the regulations referring to their behavior at certain periods,
which regulations were established by Sedna. The same is stated by Lyon
(p. 363).

A method of finding out the reason of a disease is by “head lifting.”
A thong is tied round the head of the sick person or of a relative, who
must lie down on the bed, the angakoq holding the thong. Then he asks
his tornaq the reason of the sickness and the remedy. If the tornaq
answers a question of the angakoq in the affirmative the head is easily
lifted. In the other case it feels so heavy that he is unable to move
it. Another method is by lifting a boot or a stone, which has been
placed under the pillow of the patient. The angakut believe that the
boot or stone becomes heavy and cannot be lifted when the tornaq answers
their incantations.

At the beginning of some of their performances I have observed the
angakoq crawling about in the passage of the hut, howling and shouting,
while those inside kept on singing. Then he entered the hut and
continued the incantations on the back part of the bed.

Sometimes their cure for sickness is laying a piece of burning wick upon
the diseased part of the body and blowing it up into the air or merely
blowing upon it.

Storm and bad weather, when lasting a long time and causing want of
food, are conjured by making a large whip of seaweed, stepping to the
beach, and striking out in the direction whence the wind blows, at the
same time crying Taba (It is enough).

A great number of the performances of the angakut require much skill and
expertness. Thus in invoking a tornaq or flying to a distant place they
can imitate a distant voice by a sort of ventriloquism. In these
performances they always have the lamps extinguished and hide themselves
behind a screen hung up in the back part of the hut. The tornaq, being
invoked, is heard approaching and shaking the hut. The angakoq believes
that it is unroofed and flies with his spirit to their place of
destination, to propitiate the wrath of a hostile tornaq, to visit the
moon or Sedna’s dismal abode.

Part of their performances might almost be called juggling. Hall (II, p.
101) describes one of these performances:

  The angakoq (Ar-too-a) now made use of three walrus spears. One of
  these he thrust into the wall of the snow house, and * * * ran
  with it outside of the igdlu [house] where his ejaculations were
  responded to by the party inside with the cries of “Atte! Atte!”
  [Go on! Go on!]. Returning with his spear to the door, he had a
  severe wrestling match with four of the men, who overcame him. But
  coming again into the central igdlu, and having the lights which
  had been at the first patted down, relit, he showed the points of
  two spears apparently covered with fresh blood, which he held up
  in the presence of all.

The performance of the angakut in the Sedna feast, which will be
described hereafter (p. 604) is quite astonishing. Some pierce their
bodies with harpoons, evidently having bladders filled with blood
fastened under their jackets beforehand, and bleed profusely as they
enter the hut. (See Appendix, Note 5.)

A memorable ceremony has been described by Hall (I, p. 469):

  I heard a loud shout just outside [the hut]. As quick as thought,
  the Eskimo sprang for the long knives lying around, and hid them
  wherever they could find places. * * * Immediately there came
  crawling into the low entrance to the hut a man with long hair
  completely covering his face and eyes. He remained on his knees on
  the floor of the hut, feeling round like a blind man at each side
  of the entrance, back of the firelight, the place where meat is
  usually kept, and where knives may generally be found. Not finding
  any, the angakoq slowly withdrew. * * * If he had found a knife he
  would have stabbed himself in the breast.

It is one of their favorite tricks to have their hands tied up and a
thong fastened around their knees and neck. Then they begin invoking
their tornaq, and all of a sudden the body lies motionless while the
soul flies to any place which they wish to visit. After returning, the
thongs are found untied, though they had been fastened by firm knots.
The resemblance of this performance to the experiments of modern
spiritualists is striking.

The angakut use a sacred language in their songs and incantations.
A great number of words have a symbolic meaning, but others are old
roots, which have been lost from common use in the lapse of time. These
archaic words are very interesting from a linguistic point of view.
Indeed, some are found which are still in use in Greenland, though lost
in the other dialects, and others which are only used in Alaska.

I ought to add here that most of the angakut themselves believe in their
performances, as by continued shouting and invoking they fall into an
ecstasy and really imagine they accomplish the flights and see the

The angakoq, who must be paid at once for curing a sick person, receives
pretty large fees for services of this kind.

Although witchcraft occupied a prominent place in the belief of the
Greenlanders I could only find very faint traces of it in Baffin Land,
to wit, the opinion that a man has the power of injuring a distant enemy
by some means the details of which I did not learn.

I shall add here the numerous regulations referring to eating and
working, many of which are connected with the Sedna tradition, and the
observance of which is watched by the angakut. As all sea animals have
originated from her fingers the Eskimo must make an atonement for every
animal he kills. When a seal is brought into the hut the women must stop
working until it is cut up. After the capture of a ground seal, walrus,
or whale they must rest for three days. Not all kinds of work, however,
are forbidden, for they are allowed to mend articles made of sealskin,
but they must not make anything new. For instance, an old tent cover may
be enlarged in order to build a larger hut, but it is not permitted to
make a new one. Working on new deerskins is strictly forbidden. No skins
of this kind obtained in summer may be prepared before the ice has
formed and the first seal is caught with the harpoon. Later, as soon as
the first walrus is caught, the work must stop again until the next
fall. For this reason all families are eager to finish the work on
deerskins as quickly as possible, as the walrusing season is not
commenced until that is done.

The laws prohibiting contact with deer and sea animals at the same time
are very strict. According to the Eskimo themselves Sedna dislikes the
deer (probably for some reason connected with the tradition of its
origin,) and therefore they are not allowed to bring it in contact with
her favorites. The meat of the whale, seal, or walrus must not be eaten
on the same day with venison. It is not permitted that both sorts of
meat lie on the floor of the hut or behind the lamps at the same time.
If a man who has eaten venison in the morning happens to enter a hut in
which seal meat is being cooked he is allowed to eat venison on the bed,
but it must be wrapped up before being carried into the hut and he must
take care to keep clear of the floor. Before changing from one food to
the other the Eskimo must wash themselves. For the same reason walrus
hide must not be carried to Lake Nettilling, which is considered the
domain of deer.

A similar custom requires that the Ukusiksalirmiut carry salmon into a
hut by a separate entrance, for it must not pass through the same one as
seal oil. Besides, the fish must only be cooked at the distance of a
day’s journey from the place where they have been caught. If eaten on
the spot they must be eaten raw (Klutschak, p. 158).

Their customs referring to hunting are manifold. When skinning a deer
they must not break a single bone; then, they cut off bits of different
parts of the animal and bury them in the ground or under stones (Hall I,
p. 386). I have never noticed this custom myself. On the west shore of
Hudson Bay dogs are not allowed to gnaw deer bones during the deer
hunting season or seal bones during the sealing season (Klutschak, p.
123). Deer bones must not be broken while walrus are hunted (Hall II,
p. 155).

When the men go out hunting in their kayaks the women of the
Aivillirmiut take a cup down to the shore and leave it there, believing
that it will bring luck (Hall II, p. 103). On Davis Strait they throw a
piece of seal’s blubber on their husband’s kayak when he is about to go
hunting (Kumlien, p. 45). After the capture of a whale the Aivillirmiut
are not allowed to burn shrubs, but use bones of the whale instead,
which are mixed with blubber (Hall II, p. 364). If an animal that is
with young is killed the fetus must not be taken and used for food (Hall
II, p. 253). When a bear is caught the Nugumiut and the Oqomiut are
accustomed to fasten its bladder to a stick which is placed upright near
the hut or encampment for three days.

When a house is deserted the Aivillirmiut are in the habit of carrying
all the bones lying inside to some distance and putting them upon the
ice (Hall II, p. 175). If they intend to move to a place some distance
away they are in the habit of burying some of their clothing. Klutschak
observed this custom among the Netchillirmiut; I myself, among the
Akudnirmiut. If a great number of families leave a village those who
remain build new houses, as they believe that they would otherwise have
bad luck in hunting.

A great number of regulations refer to the behavior of women during
menstruation. They are not allowed to eat raw meat, they must cook in
separate pots, and are not permitted to join in festivals, being looked
upon as unclean during this period. Customs referring to childbirth and
sickness will be found further on (see p. 609).

When a traveling party visits a neighboring tribe it is obliged to adopt
the customs and regulations of the latter.

This account does not by any means include all the peculiar customs of
these people, for they are so numerous and the difficulty of finding out
anything pertaining to this subject is so great that it is probable that
the greater part of them have escaped notice.

I shall also mention a few customs that are peculiar to certain places.
At Qeqertelung, east of Naujateling, in Cumberland Sound, the Eskimo dig
potstone, but must buy it from the rock: that is, having dug out a
piece, they must give the rock something in exchange; for example, ivory
carvings, beads, food, or the like.

At Arligaulik, near Wager River, the Eskimo address a large rock and bid
it farewell when passing (Hall II, p. 174).

In Cumberland Sound there is a cape called Iliqimisarbing, i.e., the
place of headshaking. The place is very dangerous, as heavy squalls
sweep down the steep rocks and slides frequently occur. Therefore the
natives never pass it without shaking their heads, at the same time
uttering a deep murmur.

Besides the tornait already mentioned, a number of others are known
which cannot become genii of men. A spirit of the sea, Kalopaling or
Mitiling, is described in a tradition (see p. 620). In Erdmann’s
Wörterbuch des Labradordialectes “Mitiling” is translated Gespenst,
i.e., ghost. No doubt it is the name of the same spirit or at least of a
similar one which is recognized among the northern tribes, the literal
translation being “with eider ducks.” Another spirit of which the
natives are in great fear is Qiqirn, a phantom in the shape of a huge
dog almost without hair. Like the bear which has been alluded to, it has
hair only at the mouth, the feet, and the points of the ears and the
tail. If it comes near dogs or men they fall into fits and only recover
when Qiqirn has left. It is exceedingly afraid of men and runs away as
soon as an angakoq descries it.

A very remarkable tornaq is the qaggim inua, i.e., master of the dancing
house. The natives build large houses for feasting, singing, and
dancing, which are devoted to spirits. This tornaq has the shape of a
bandy legged man, his knees being bent outward and forward. He has not a
single hair upon his entire body and no bones at the back of his head.
To touch him would result in immediate death (see p. 636).

Besides these tornait, more powerful supernatural beings are known, who
are “owners” (inua) of the stars and constellations and of meteorologic
processes. Moon and sun are considered brother and sister, and in this
the tradition of the Central Eskimo exactly corresponds with that of the
Greenlanders. It is even known among the Eskimo of Point Barrow
(Simpson, p. 940). From Repulse Bay (Aivillirmiut) a few scanty traces
of this tradition are recorded by Rae (I, p. 79). He relates as follows:

  It is said that many years ago, not long after the creation of the
  world, there was a mighty conjurer, who gained so much power that
  at last he raised himself up into the heavens, taking with him his
  sister (a beautiful girl) and a fire. To the latter he added great
  quantities of fuel, which thus formed the sun. For some time he
  and his sister lived in great harmony, but at last they disagreed,
  and he, in addition to maltreating the lady in many ways, at last
  scorched the side of her face. She had suffered patiently all
  sorts of indignities, but the spoiling of her beauty was not to be
  borne; she therefore ran away from him and formed the moon, and
  continues so until this day. Her brother is still in chase of her,
  but although he gets near, he will never overtake her. When it is
  new moon, the burnt side of the face is towards us; when full
  moon, the reverse is the case.

The following form of the legend, which I received from some Akudnirmiut
and Oqomiut, is almost identical with the Greenland one:

In olden times a brother and his sister lived in a large village in
which there was a singing house, and every night the sister with her
playfellows enjoyed themselves in this house. Once upon a time, when all
the lamps in the singing house were extinguished, somebody came in and
outraged her. She was unable to recognize him; but she blackened her
hands with soot and when the same again happened besmeared the man’s
back with it. When the lamps were relighted she saw that the violator
was her brother. In great anger she sharpened a knife and cut off her
breasts, which she offered to him, saying: “Since you seem to relish me,
eat this.” Her brother fell into a passion and she fled from him,
running about the room. She seized a piece of wood (with which the lamps
are kept in order) which was burning brightly and rushed out of the
house. The brother took another one, but in his pursuit he fell down and
extinguished his light, which continued to glow only faintly. Gradually
both were lifted up and continued their course in the sky, the sister
being transformed into the sun, the brother into the moon. Whenever the
new moon first appears she sings:

    Aningaga tapika, takirn tapika qaumidjatedlirpoq; qaumatitaudle.
    Aningaga tapika, tikipoq tapika.

  (My brother up there, the moon up there begins to shine;
      he will be bright.
  My brother up there, he is coming up there.)


There exists another tradition in regard to the spirit of the moon,
which is also known to the Greenlanders. While in the first tradition
the moon is a man carrying a glowing light, in the other she is the moon
man’s house (Rink, p. 440). The legend, as told by the Oqomiut and
Akudnirmiut, is the narrative of the flight of an angakoq to the moon
and is as follows:

A mighty angakoq, who had a bear for his tornaq, resolved to pay a visit
to the moon. He sat down in the rear of his hut, turning his back toward
the lamps, which had been extinguished. He had his hands tied up and a
thong fastened around his knees and neck. Then he summoned his tornaq,
which carried him rapidly through the air and brought him to the moon.
He observed that the moon was a house, nicely covered with white
deerskins, which the man in the moon used to dry near it. On each side
of the entrance was the upper portion of the body of an enormous walrus,
which threatened to tear in pieces the bold intruder. Though it was
dangerous to pass by the fierce animals, the angakoq, by help of his
tornaq, succeeded in entering the house.

In the passage he saw the only dog of the man of the moon, which is
called Tirie´tiang and is dappled white and red. On entering the main
room he perceived, to the left, a small additional building, in which a
beautiful woman, the sun, sat before her lamp. As soon as she saw the
angakoq entering she blew her fire, behind the blaze of which she hid
herself. The man in the moon came to meet him kindly, stepping from the
seat on the ledge and bidding the stranger welcome. Behind the lamps
great heaps of venison and seal meat were piled up, but the man of the
moon did not yet offer him anything. He said: “My wife, Ululiernang,
will soon enter and we will perform a dance. Mind that you do not laugh,
else she will slit open your belly with her knife, take out your
intestines, and give them to my ermine which lives in yon little house

Before long a woman entered carrying an oblong vessel in which her ulo
(see p. 518) lay. She put it on the floor and stooped forward, turning
the vessel like a whirligig. Then she commenced dancing, and when she
turned her back toward the angakoq it was made manifest that she was
hollow. She had no back, backbone, or entrails, but only lungs and

The man joined her dance and their attitudes and grimaces looked so
funny that the angakoq could scarcely keep from laughing. But just
at the right moment he called to mind the warnings of the man in
the moon and rushed out of the house. The man cried after him,
“Uqsureliktaleqdjuin” (“Provide yourself with your large white bear
tornaq”).[7] Thus he escaped unhurt.

    [Footnote 7: Uqsurelik, with blubber, signifies in the language of
    the angakut the white bear; lauk, large; -leqdjorpoq, he provides
    himself with.]

Upon another visit he succeeded in mastering his inclination to laugh
and was hospitably received by the man after the performance was
finished. He showed him all around the house and let him look into a
small additional building near the entrance. There he saw large herds of
deer apparently roaming over vast plains, and the man of the moon
allowed him to choose one animal, which fell immediately through a hole
upon the earth. In another building he saw a profusion of seals swimming
in an ocean and was allowed to pick out one of these also. At last the
man in the moon sent him away, when his tornaq carried him back to his
hut as quickly as he had left it.

During his visit to the moon his body had lain motionless and soulless,
but now it revived. The thongs with which his hands had been fastened
had fallen down, though they had been tied in firm knots. The angakoq
felt almost exhausted, and when the lamps were relighted he related to
the eagerly listening men his adventures during his flight to the moon.

It is related in the course of this tradition that the man in the moon
has a qaumat, some kind of light or fire, but I could not reach a
satisfactory understanding of the meaning of this word. It is derived
from qauq (daylight) and is used in Greenland for the moon herself.
Among the Eskimo of Baffin Land it is only employed in the angakoq
language, in which the moon is called qaumavun, the sun qaumativun.
Another name of the moon is aninga (her brother), in reference to the
first legend. The natives also believe that the man in the moon makes
the snow. He is generally considered a protector of orphans and of the
poor, and sometimes descends from his house on a sledge drawn by his
dog, Tirie´tiang, in order to help them (see the tradition of
Qaudjaqdjuq, p. 630).


It is said that three sisters make the lightning, the thunder, and the
rain. The names of two of them are Ingnirtung (the one who strikes the
fire) and Udluqtung (the one who rubs the skins), whose second name is
Kadlu (thunder), while that of the third I could not ascertain. They
live in a large house the walls of which are supported by whale ribs. It
stands in the far west, at a great distance from the sea, as Kadlu and
her sisters do not like to go near it. If an Eskimo should happen to
enter the house he must hasten away or Ingnirtung will immediately kill
him with her lightning. Even the stones are afraid of her and jump down
the hills whenever they see the lightning and hear the thunder. The
faces of the sisters are entirely black and they wear no clothes at
all.(?) Ingnirtung makes the lightning by striking two red stones
together (flint). Kadlu makes the thunder by rubbing sealskins and
singing. The third sister makes the rain by urinating. They procure food
by striking reindeer with the lightning, which singes their skins and
roasts their flesh. The Akudnirmiut say that beyond Iglulik, on the
continent of America, a large tribe of Eskimo live whom they call
Kakī´joq. The women of the tribe are said to have rings tattooed round
their eyes. These natives offer the dried skins of a species of small
seals to Kadlu, who uses them for making the thunder.


The Eskimo have some very interesting feasts, most of which are closely
connected with their religious notions. In summer feasts are celebrated
in the open air, but in winter a house, called qaggi, or, as we may call
it, singing house, is built for that purpose.

  [Illustration: FIG. 531. Diagram showing interior of qaggi or
  singing house among eastern tribes.]

The plan of the house which is used by the eastern tribes is represented
in Fig. 531. It is a large snow dome about fifteen feet in height and
twenty feet in diameter, without any lining. In the center there is a
snow pillar five feet high, on which the lamps stand. When the
inhabitants of a village assemble in this building for singing and
dancing the married women stand in a row next the wall. The unmarried
women form a circle inside the former, while the men sit in the
innermost row. The children stand in two groups, one at each side of the
door. When the feast begins, a man takes up the drum (kilaut), which
will be described presently, steps into the open space next the door,
and begins singing and dancing. Among the stone foundations of Niutang,
in Kingnait (Cumberland Sound), there is a qaggi built on the same plan
as the snow structure. Probably it was covered with a snow roof when in

  [Illustration: FIG. 532. Plan of Hudson Bay qaggi or singing house.
  (From Hall II, p. 220.)]

Hall gives the plan of the Hudson Bay qaggi (Fig. 532), a copy of which
is here introduced, as well as his description of the drum (Fig. 533),
which I have never seen made (Hall II, p. 96):

  The drum is made from the skin of the deer [or seal], which is
  stretched over a hoop made of wood, or of bone from the fin of a
  whale, by the use of a strong, braided cord of sinew passed around
  a groove on the outside. The hoop is about 2½ inches wide, 1½
  inches thick, and 3 feet in diameter, the whole instrument
  weighing about 4 pounds. The wooden drumstick, 10 inches in length
  and 3 inches in diameter, is called a kentun. * * *

  The deerskin which is to be the head of the instrument is kept
  frozen when not in use. It is then thoroughly saturated with
  water, drawn over the hoop, and temporarily fastened in its place
  by a piece of sinew. A line of heavy, twisted sinew, about 50 feet
  long, is now wound tightly on the groove on the outside of the
  hoop, binding down the skin. This cord is fastened to the handle
  of the kilaut [drum], which is made to turn by the force of
  several men (while its other end is held firmly), and the line
  eased out as required. To do this a man sits on the bed-platform,
  “having one or two turns of the line about his body, which is
  encased in furred deerskins, and empaled by four upright pieces of
  wood.” Tension is secured by using a round stick of wood as a
  lever on the edge of the skin, drawing it from beneath the cord.
  When any whirring sound is heard, little whisps of reindeer hair
  are tucked in between the skin and the hoop, until the head is as
  tight as a drum.

  [Illustration: FIG. 533. Kilaut or drum.]

  When the drum is played, the drum handle is held in the left hand
  of the performer, who strikes the edge of the rim opposite that
  over which the skin is stretched. He holds the drum in different
  positions, but keeps it in a constant fan-like motion by his hand
  and by the blows of the kentun struck alternately on the opposite
  sides of the edge. Skillfully keeping the drum vibrating on the
  handle, he accompanies this with grotesque motions of the body,
  and at intervals with a song, while the women keep up their own
  Inuit songs, one after another, through the whole performance.

The feast is described as follows:

  As usual the women sat on the platform Turk fashion; the men,
  behind them with extended legs. The women were gayly dressed. They
  wore on each side of the face an enormous pigtail, made by
  wrapping their hair on a small wooden roller a foot in length;
  strips of reindeer-fur being wrapped with the hair [see p. 559].
  These were black and white for those who had sons and black only
  for those who had none. Shining ornaments were worn on the head
  and on the breast they had masonic-like aprons, the groundwork of
  which was of a flaming red color, ornamented with glass beads of
  many colors.

In Cumberland Sound the women also wear pigtails at the celebration of
these feasts. The drum is sometimes played with the wrist of the right
hand instead of the beater.

Every singing house is dedicated to a tornaq, the qaggim inua, as
mentioned above. For this reason all these performances may be
considered religious feasts.

The songs are always composed by the singer himself. Satiric songs are
great favorites on these occasions. While the men listen in silence the
women join in the chorus, amna aya, the never failing end of each verse.
The dancer remains on one spot only, stamping rhythmically with the
feet, swinging the upper part of his body, and at the same time playing
the kilaut. While dancing he always strips the upper part of the body,
keeping on only trousers and boots. Singing and dancing are alternated
with wrestling matches and playing at hook and crook. Almost every great
success in hunting is celebrated in the qaggi, and especially the
capture of a whale. Such a feast has been described by Parry.

  [Illustration: FIG. 534. Plans of remains of supposed qaggin or
  singing houses. (From Parry II, p. 362.)]

The stone foundations observed by Parry and copied here (Fig. 534) are
probably the remains of singing houses. Parry’s description is as
follows (II, p. 362):

  It appears that the whole whale or a principal part of it is
  dragged into the enclosure, where some of the men are employed in
  cutting it up and throwing the pieces over the wall to the rest,
  who stand ready to receive them outside; while within the women
  range themselves in a circle around the whale and continue singing
  during the operation. * * * Each of these structures * * * was the
  distinct property of a particular individual; and had probably, in
  its turn, been the seat of feasting and merriment either to the
  present owner, or those from whom he had inherited it.

Great feasts closely connected with the Sedna tradition are celebrated
every fall.

When late in the fall storms rage over the land and release the sea from
the icy fetters by which it is as yet but slightly bound, when the
loosened floes are driven one against the other and break up with loud
crashes, when the cakes of ice are piled in wild disorder one upon
another, the Eskimo believes he hears the voices of spirits which
inhabit the mischief laden air.

The spirits of the dead, the tupilaq, knock wildly at the huts, which
they cannot enter, and woe to the unhappy person whom they can lay hold
of. He immediately sickens and a speedy death is regarded as sure to
come. The wicked qiqirn pursues the dogs, which die with convulsions and
cramps as soon as they see him. All the countless spirits of evil are
aroused, striving to bring sickness and death, bad weather, and failure
in hunting. The worst visitors are Sedna, mistress of the under world,
and her father, to whose share the dead Inuit fall. While the other
spirits fill the air and the water, she rises from under the ground.

It is then a busy season for the wizards. In every hut we may hear them
singing and praying; conjuring of the spirits is going on in every
house. The lamps burn low. The wizard sits in a mystic gloom in the rear
of the hut. He has thrown off his outer coat and drawn the hood of his
inner garment over his head, while he mutters indescribable sounds,
unnatural to a human voice. At last the guardian spirit responds to the
invocation. The angakoq lies in a trance and when he comes to himself he
promises in incoherent phrases the help of the good spirit against the
tupilaq and informs the credulous, affrighted Inuit how they can escape
from the dreaded ghosts.

The hardest task, that of driving away Sedna, is reserved for the most
powerful angakoq. A rope is coiled on the floor of a large hut in such a
manner as to leave a small opening at the top, which represents the
breathing hole of a seal. Two angakut stand by the side of it, one of
them holding the seal spear in his left hand, as if he were watching at
the seal hole in the winter, the other holding the harpoon line. Another
angakoq, whose office it is to lure Sedna up with a magic song, sits at
the back of the hut. At last she comes up through the hard rocks and the
wizard hears her heavy breathing; now she emerges from the ground and
meets the angakoq waiting at the hole. She is harpooned and sinks away
in angry haste, drawing after her the harpoon, to which the two men hold
with all their strength. Only by a desperate effort does she tear
herself away from it and return to her dwelling in Adlivun. Nothing is
left with the two men but the blood sprinkled harpoon, which they
proudly show to the Inuit.

Sedna and the other evil spirits are at last driven away, and on the
following day a great festival for young and old is celebrated in honor
of the event. But they must still be careful, for the wounded Sedna is
greatly enraged and will seize any one whom she can find out of his hut;
so on this day they all wear protecting amulets (koukparmiutang) on the
tops of their hoods. Parts of the first garment which they wore after
birth are used for this purpose.

The men assemble early in the morning in the middle of the settlement.
As soon as they have all got together they run screaming and jumping
around the houses, following the course of the sun (nunajisartung or
kaivitijung). A few, dressed in women’s jackets, run in the opposite
direction. These are those who were born in abnormal presentations. The
circuit made, they visit every hut, and the woman of the house must
always be in waiting for them. When she hears the noise of the band she
comes out and throws a dish containing little gifts of meat, ivory
trinkets, and articles of sealskin into the yelling crowd, of which each
one helps himself to what he can get. No hut is omitted in this round

The crowd next divides itself into two parties, the ptarmigans
(aχigirn), those who were born in the winter, and the ducks (aggirn), or
the children of summer. A large rope of sealskin is stretched out. One
party takes one end of it and tries with all its might to drag the
opposite party over to its side. The others hold fast to the rope and
try as hard to make ground for themselves. If the ptarmigans give way
the summer has won the game and fine weather may be expected to prevail
through the winter (nussueraqtung).

The contest of the seasons having been decided, the women bring out of a
hut a large kettle of water and each person takes his drinking cup. They
all stand as near the kettle as possible, while the oldest man among
them steps out first. He dips a cup of water from the vessel, sprinkles
a few drops on the ground, turns his face toward the home of his youth,
and tells his name and the place of his birth (oχsoaχsavepunga----me,
I was born in ----). He is followed by an aged woman, who announces her
name and home, and then all the others do the same, down to the young
children, who are represented by their mothers. Only the parents of
children born during the last year are forbidden to partake in this
ceremony. As the words of the old are listened to respectfully, so those
of the distinguished hunters are received with demonstrative applause
and those of the others with varying degrees of attention, in some cases
even with joking and raillery (imitijung).

Now arises a cry of surprise and all eyes are turned toward a hut out of
which stalk two gigantic figures. They wear heavy boots; their legs are
swelled out to a wonderful thickness with several pairs of breeches; the
shoulders of each are covered by a woman’s over-jacket and the faces by
tattooed masks of sealskins. In the right hand each carries the seal
spear, on the back of each is an inflated buoy of sealskin, and in the
left hand the scraper. Silently, with long strides, the qailertetang
(Fig. 535) approach the assembly, who, screaming, press back from them.
The pair solemnly lead the men to a suitable spot and set them in a row,
and the women in another opposite them. They match the men and women in
pairs and these pairs run, pursued by the qailertetang, to the hut of
the woman, where they are for the following day and night man and wife
(nulianititijung). Having performed this duty, the qailertetang stride
down to the shore and invoke the good north wind, which brings fair
weather, while they warn off the unfavorable south wind.

As soon as the incantation is over, all the men attack the qailertetang
with great noise. They act as if they had weapons in their hands and
would kill both spirits. One pretends to probe them with a spear,
another to stab them with a knife, one to cut off their arms and legs,
another to beat them unmercifully on the head. The buoys which they
carry on their backs are ripped open and collapse and soon they both lie
as if dead beside their broken weapons (pilektung). The Eskimo leave
them to get their drinking cups and the qailertetang awake to new life.
Each man fills his sealskin with water, passes a cup to them, and
inquires about the future, about the fortunes of the hunt and the events
of life. The qailertetang answer in murmurs which the questioner must
interpret for himself.

  [Illustration: FIG. 535. Qailertetang, a masked figure. (From a
  sketch by the author.)]

The evening is spent in playing ball, which is whipped all around the
settlement (ajuktaqtung). (See Appendix, Note 6.)

This feast is celebrated as here described in Cumberland Sound and
Nugumiut. Hall and Kumlien make a few observations in regard to it, but
the latter has evidently misunderstood its meaning. His description is
as follows (p. 43):

  An angakoq dresses himself up in the most hideous manner, having
  several pairs of pants on among the rest, and a horrid looking
  mask of skins. The men and women now range themselves in separate
  and opposite ranks, and the angakoq takes his place between them.
  He then picks out a man and conducts him to a woman in the
  opposite ranks. This couple then go to the woman’s hut and have a
  grand spree for a day or two. This manner of proceeding is kept up
  till all the women but one are disposed of. This one is always the
  angakoq’s choice, and her he reserves for himself.

Another description by Kumlien (p. 19) evidently refers to the same

  They have an interesting custom or superstition, namely, the
  killing of the evil spirit of the deer; sometime during the winter
  or early in spring, at any rate before they can go deer hunting,
  they congregate together and dispose of this imaginary evil. The
  chief ancut [angakoq], or medicine man, is the main performer. He
  goes through a number of gyrations and contortions, constantly
  hallooing and calling, till suddenly the imaginary deer is among
  them. Now begins a lively time. Every one is screaming, running,
  jumping, spearing, and stabbing at the imaginary deer, till one
  would think a whole madhouse was let loose. Often this deer proves
  very agile, and must be hard to kill, for I have known them to
  keep this performance up for days; in fact, till they were
  completely exhausted.

  During one of these performances an old man speared the deer,
  another knocked out an eye, a third stabbed him, and so on till he
  was dead. Those who are able or fortunate enough to inflict some
  injury on this bad deer, especially he who inflicts the death
  blow, is considered extremely lucky, as he will have no difficulty
  in procuring as many deer as he wants, for there is no longer an
  evil spirit to turn his bullets or arrows from their course.

I could not learn anything about this ceremony, though I asked all the
persons with whom Kumlien had had intercourse. Probably there was some
misunderstanding as to the meaning of their feast during the autumn
which induced him to give this report.

Hall describes the feast as celebrated by the Nugumiut (I, p. 528), as

  At a time of the year apparently answering to our Christmas, they
  have a general meeting in a large igdlu [snow house] on a certain
  evening. There the angakoq prays on behalf of the people for the
  public prosperity through the subsequent year. Then follows
  something like a feast. The next day all go out into the open air
  and form in a circle; in the centre is placed a vessel of water,
  and each member of the company brings a piece of meat, the kind
  being immaterial. The circle being formed, each person eats his or
  her meat in silence, thinking of Sedna, and wishing for good
  things. Then one in the circle takes a cup, dips up some of the
  water, all the time thinking of Sedna, and drinks it; and then,
  before passing the cup to another, states audibly the time and the
  place of his or her birth. This ceremony is performed by all in
  succession. Finally, presents of various articles are thrown from
  one to another, with the idea that each will receive of Sedna good
  things in proportion to the liberality here shown.

  Soon after this occasion, at a time which answers to our New
  Year’s day, two men start out, one of them being dressed to
  represent a woman, and go to every house in the village, blowing
  out the light in each. The lights are afterwards rekindled from a
  fresh fire. When Taqulitu [Hall’s well known companion in his
  journeys] was asked the meaning of this, she replied, “New
  sun--new light,” implying a belief that the sun was at that time
  renewed for the year.

Inasmuch as Hall did not see the feast himself, but had only a
description by an Eskimo, into which he introduced points of similarity
with Christian feasts, it may be looked upon as fairly agreeing with the
feast of the Oqomiut. The latter part corresponds to the celebration of
the feast as it is celebrated in Akudnirn.[8]

    [Footnote 8: Since the above was written I learn from a paper by
    Mr. Lucien M. Turner that a similar feast is celebrated in Ungava
    Bay. (American Naturalist, August, 1887.)]

According to a statement in the journal of Hall’s second expedition
(II, p. 219) masks are also used on the western shore of Hudson Bay,
where it seems that all the natives disguise themselves on this

The Akudnirmiut celebrate the feast in the following way: The
qailertetang do not act a part there, but other masks take their place.
They are called mirqussang and represent a man and his wife. They wear
masks of the skin of the ground seal, only that of the woman being
tattooed. The hair of the man is arranged in a bunch protruding from the
forehead (sulubaut), that of the woman in a pigtail on each side and a
large knot at the back of the head. Their left legs are tied up by a
thong running around the neck and the knee, compelling them to hobble.
They have neither seal float and spear nor inflated legs, but carry the
skin scraper. They must try to enter the huts while the Inuit hold a
long sealskin thong before them to keep them off. If they fall down in
the attempt to cross it they are thoroughly beaten with a short whip or
with sticks. After having succeeded in entering the huts they blow out
all the fires.

The parts of the feast already described as celebrated in Cumberland
Sound seem not to be customary in Akudnirn, the conjuration of Sedna and
the exchanges of wives excepted, which are also practiced here.
Sometimes the latter ceremony takes place the night before the feast.
It is called suluiting or quvietung.

When it is quite dark a number of Inuit come out of their huts and run
crying all round their settlements. Wherever anybody is asleep they
climb upon the roof of his hut and rouse him by screaming and shouting
until all have assembled outside. Then a woman and a man (the
mirqussang) sit down in the snow. The man holds a knife (sulung) in his
hand, from which the feast takes its name, and sings:

  Oangaja jaja jajaja aja.
  Pissiungmipadlo panginejernago
  Qodlungutaokpan panginejerlugping
  Pissiungmipadlo panginejernago.

To this song the woman keeps time by moving her body and her arms, at
the same time flinging snow on the bystanders. Then the whole company
goes into the singing house and joins in dancing and singing. This done,
the men must leave the house and stand outside while the mirqussang
watch the entrance. The women continue singing and leave the house one
by one. They are awaited by the mirqussang, who lead every one to one of
the men standing about. The pair must re-enter the singing house and
walk around the lamp, all the men and women crying, “Hrr! hrr!” from
both corners of the mouth. Then they go to the woman’s hut, where they
stay during the ensuing night. The feast is frequently celebrated by all
the tribes of Davis and Hudson Strait, and even independently of the
great feast described above.

The day after, the men frequently join in a shooting match. A target is
set up, at which they shoot their arrows. As soon as a man hits, the
women, who stand looking on, rush forward and rub noses with him.

If a stranger unknown to the inhabitants of a settlement arrives on a
visit he is welcomed by the celebration of a great feast. Among the
southeastern tribes the natives arrange themselves in a row, one man
standing in front of it. The stranger approaches slowly, his arms folded
and his head inclined toward the right side. Then the native strikes him
with all his strength on the right cheek and in his turn inclines his
head awaiting the stranger’s blow (tigluiqdjung). While this is going on
the other men are playing at ball and singing (igdlukitaqtung). Thus
they continue until one of the combatants is vanquished.

The ceremonies of greeting among the western tribes are similar to those
of the eastern, but in addition “boxing, wrestling, and knife testing”
are mentioned by travelers who have visited them. In Davis Strait and
probably in all the other countries the game of “hook and crook” is
always played on the arrival of a stranger (pakijumijartung). Two men
sit down on a large skin, after having stripped the upper part of their
bodies, and each tries to stretch out the bent arm of the other. These
games are sometimes dangerous, as the victor has the right to kill his
adversary; but generally the feast ends peaceably. The ceremonies of the
western tribes in greeting a stranger are much feared by their eastern
neighbors and therefore intercourse is somewhat restricted. The meaning
of the duel, according to the natives themselves, is “that the two men
in meeting wish to know which of them is the better man.” The similarity
of these ceremonies with those of Greenland, where the game of hook and
crook and wrestling matches have been customary, is quite striking, as
is that of the explanation of these ceremonies.

The word for greeting on Davis Strait and Hudson Strait, is
Assojutidlin? (Are you quite well?) and the answer, Tabaujuradlu (Very
well). The word Taima! which is used in Hudson Strait, and Mane taima!
of the Netchillirmiut seem to be similar to our Halloo! The
Ukusiksalirmiut say Ilaga! (My friend!)


I have mentioned that it is extremely difficult to find out the
innumerable regulations connected with the religious ideas and customs
of the Eskimo. The difficulty is even greater in regard to the customs
which refer to birth, sickness, and death, and it is no wonder that,
while some of the accounts of different writers coincide tolerably well,
there are great discrepancies in others, particularly as the customs
vary to a great extent among the different tribes.

Before the child is born a small hut or snow house is built for the
mother, in which she awaits her delivery. Sick persons are isolated in
the same way, the reason being that in case of death everything that had
been in contact with the deceased must be destroyed. According to
Kumlien (p. 28) the woman is left with only one attendant, a young girl
appointed by the head ancut (angakoq) of the encampment; but this, no
doubt, is an error. She may be visited by her friends, who, however,
must leave her when parturition takes place. She must cut the navel
string herself, and in Davis Strait this is done by tying it through
with deer sinews; in Iglulik (Lyon, p. 370), by cutting it with a stone
spear head. The child is cleaned with a birdskin and clothed in a small
gown of the same material. According to Lyon the Iglulirmiut swathe it
with the dried intestines of some animal.

Kumlien describes a remarkable custom of which I could find no trace,
not even upon direct inquiry (p. 281):

  As soon as the mother with her new born babe is able to get up and
  go out, usually but a few hours, they are taken in charge by an
  aged female angakoq, who seems to have some particular mission to
  perform in such cases. She conducts them to some level spot on the
  ice, if near the sea, and begins a sort of march in circles on the
  ice, the mother following with the child on her back; this
  manœuvre is kept up for some time, the old woman going through a
  number of performances the nature of which we could not learn and
  continually muttering something equally unintelligible to us. The
  next act is to wade through snowdrifts, the aged angakoq leading
  the way. We have been informed that it is customary for the mother
  to wade thus bare-legged.

Lyon says (p. 370):

  After a few days, or according to the fancy of the parents, an
  angakoq, who by relationship or long acquaintance is a friend of
  the family, makes use of some vessel, and with the urine the
  mother washes the infant, while all the gossips around pour forth
  their good wishes for the little one to prove an active man, if a
  boy, or, if a girl, the mother of plenty of children. This
  ceremony, I believe, is never omitted, and is called qoqsiuariva.

Though I heard about the washing with urine, I did not learn anything
about the rest of the ceremony in Cumberland Sound and Davis Strait.

A few days after birth the first dress of the child is exchanged for
another. A small hood made from the skin of a hare’s head is fitted
snugly upon the head, a jacket for the upper part of the body is made of
the skin of a fawn, and two small boots, made of the same kind of a
skin, the left one being wreathed with seaweed (_Fucus_), cover the
legs. While the child wears this clothing that which was first worn is
fastened to a pole which is secured to the roof of the hut. In two
months the child gets a third suit of clothes the same as formerly
described (p. 557). Then the second gown is exposed for some time on the
top of the hut, the first one being taken down, and both are carefully
preserved for a year. After this time has expired both are once more
exposed on the top of a pole and then sunk into the sea, a portion of
the birdskin dress alone being kept, for this is considered a powerful
amulet and is held in high esteem and worn every fall at the Sedna feast
on the point of the hood (see p. 604). I have stated that those who were
born in abnormal presentations wear women’s dresses at this feast and
must make their round in a direction opposite to the movement of the
sun. Captain Spicer, of Groton, Conn., affirms that the bird used for
the first clothing is chosen according to a strict law, every month
having its own bird. So far as I know, waterfowl are used in summer and
the ptarmigan in winter, and accordingly the men are called at the great
autumn feast the ducks and ptarmigans, the former including those who
were born in summer, the latter those born in winter.

As long as any portion of the navel string remains a strip of sealskin
is worn around the belly.

After the birth of her child the mother must observe a great number of
regulations, referring particularly to food and work. She is not allowed
for a whole year to eat raw meat or a part of any animal killed by being
shot through the heart. In Cumberland Sound she must not eat for five
days anything except meat of an animal killed by her husband or by a boy
on his first hunting expedition. This custom seems to be observed more
strictly, however, and for a longer period if the new born child dies.
Two months after delivery she must make a call at every hut, while
before that time she is not allowed to enter any but her own. At the end
of this period she must also throw away her old clothing. The same
custom was observed by Hall among the Nugumiut (I, p. 426). On the
western shore of Hudson Bay she is permitted to re-enter the hut a few
days after delivery, but must pass in by a separate entrance. An opening
is cut for the purpose through the snow wall. She must keep a little
skin bag hung up near her, into which she must put a little of her food
after each meal, having first put it up to her mouth. This is called
laying up food for the infant, although none is given to it (Hall II,
p. 173). I have already mentioned that the parents are not allowed in
the first year after the birth of a child to take part in the Sedna

The customs which are associated with the death of an infant are very
complicated. For a whole year, when outside the hut, the mother must
have her head covered with a cap, or at least with a piece of skin. If a
ground seal is caught she must throw away the old cap and have a new one
made. The boots of the deceased are always carried about by the parents
when traveling, and whenever they stop these are buried in the snow or
under stones. Neither parent is allowed to eat raw flesh during the
following year. The woman must cook her food in a small pot which is
exclusively used by her. If she is about to enter a hut the men who may
be sitting inside must come out first, and not until they have come out
is she allowed to enter. If she wants to go out of the hut she must walk
around all the men who may happen to be there.

The child is sometimes named before it is born. Lyon says upon this
subject (p. 369):

  Some relative or friend lays her hand on the mother’s stomach, and
  decides what the infant is to be called, and, as the names serve
  for either sex, it is of no consequence whether it proves a girl
  or a boy.

On Davis Strait it is always named after the persons who have died since
the last birth took place, and therefore the number of names of an
Eskimo is sometimes rather large. If a relative dies while the child is
younger than four years or so, his name is added to the old ones and
becomes the proper name by which it is called. It is possible that
children receive the names of all the persons in the settlement who die
while the children are quite young, but of this I am not absolutely
certain. When a person falls sick the angakut change his name in order
to ward off the disease or they consecrate him as a dog to Sedna. In the
latter event he gets a dog’s name and must wear throughout life a
harness over the inner jacket. Thus it may happen that Eskimo are known
in different tribes by different names. It may also be mentioned here
that friends sometimes exchange names and dogs are called by the name of
a friend as a token of regard.

The treatment of the sick is the task of the angakoq, whose
manipulations have been described.

If it is feared that a disease will prove fatal, a small snow house or a
hut is built, according to the season, into which the patient is carried
through an opening at the back. This opening is then closed, and
subsequently a door is cut out. A small quantity of food is placed in
the hut, but the patient is left without attendants. As long as there is
no fear of sudden death the relatives and friends may come to visit him,
but when death is impending the house is shut up and he is left alone to
die. If it should happen that a person dies in a hut among its inmates,
everything belonging to the hut must be destroyed or thrown away, even
the tools &c. lying inside becoming useless to the survivors, but the
tent poles may be used again after a year has elapsed. No doubt this
custom explains the isolation of the sick. If a child dies in a hut and
the mother immediately rushes out with it, the contents of the hut may
be saved.

Though the Eskimo feel the greatest awe in touching a dead body, the
sick await their death with admirable coolness and without the least
sign of fear or unwillingness to die. I remember a young girl who sent
for me a few hours before her death and asked me to give her some
tobacco and bread, which she wanted to take to her mother, who had died
a few weeks before.

Only the relatives are allowed to touch the body of the deceased. They
clothe it or wrap it in deerskins and bury it at once. In former times
they always built a tomb, at least when death occurred in the summer.
From its usual dimensions one would suppose that the body was buried
with the legs doubled up, for all of them are too short for grown
persons. If the person to be buried is young, his feet are placed in the
direction of the rising sun, those of the aged in the opposite
direction. According to Lyon the Iglulirmiut bury half grown children
with the feet towards the southeast, young men and women with the feet
towards the south, and middle aged persons with the feet towards the
southwest. This agrees with the fact that the graves in Cumberland Sound
do not all lie east and west. The tomb is always vaulted, as any stone
or piece of snow resting upon the body is believed to be a burden to the
soul of the deceased. The man’s hunting implements and other utensils
are placed by the side of his grave; the pots, the lamps, knives, &c.,
by the side of that of the woman; toys, by that of a child. Hall (I, p.
103) observed in a grave a small kettle hung up over a lamp. These
objects are held in great respect and are never removed, at least as
long as it is known to whose grave they belong. Sometimes models of
implements are used for this purpose instead of the objects themselves.
Figure 536 represents a model of a lamp found in a grave of Cumberland
Sound. Nowadays the Eskimo place the body in a box, if they can procure
one, or cover it very slightly with stones or snow. It is strange that,
though the ceremonies of burying are very strictly attended to and
though they take care to give the dead their belongings, they do not
heed the opening of the graves by dogs or wolves and the devouring of
the bodies and do not attempt to recover them when the graves are
invaded by animals.

  [Illustration: FIG. 536. Model of lamp from a grave in Cumberland
  Sound. (Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin.)]

The body must be carried to the place of burial by the nearest
relatives, a few others only accompanying it. For this purpose they
rarely avail themselves of a sledge, as it cannot be used afterward, but
must be left with the deceased. Dogs are never allowed to drag the
sledge on such an occasion. After returning from the burial the
relatives must lock themselves up in the old hut for three days, during
which they mourn the loss of the deceased. During this time they do not
dress their hair and they have their nostrils closed with a piece of
deerskin. After this they leave the hut forever. The dogs are thrown
into it through the window and allowed to devour whatever they can get
at. For some time afterward the mourners must cook their meals in a
separate pot. A strange custom was observed by Hall in Hudson Bay
(II, p. 186). The mourners did not smoke. They kept their hoods on from
morning till night. To the hood the skin and feathers of the head of
_Uria grylle_ were fastened and a feather of the same waterfowl to each
arm just above the elbow. All male relatives of the deceased wore a belt
around the waist, besides which they constantly wore mittens. It is
probable that at the present time all Eskimo when in mourning avoid
using implements of European manufacture and suspend the use of tobacco.
It has already been stated that women who have lost a child must keep
their heads covered.

Parry, Lyon (p. 369), and Klutschak (p. 201) state that when the Eskimo
first hear of the death of a relative they throw themselves upon the
ground and cry, not for grief, but as a mourning ceremony.

For three or sometimes even four days after a death the inhabitants of a
village must not use their dogs, but must walk to the hunting ground,
and for one day at least they are not allowed to go hunting at all. The
women must stop all kinds of work.

On the third day after death the relatives visit the tomb and travel
around it three times in the same direction as the sun is moving, at the
same time talking to the deceased and promising that they will bring him
something to eat. According to Lyon the Iglulirmiut chant forth
inquiries as to the welfare of the departed soul, whether it has reached
the land Adli, if it has plenty of food, &c., at each question stopping
at the head of the grave and repeating some ceremonial words (p. 371).

These visits to the grave are repeated a year after death and whenever
they pass it in traveling. Sometimes they carry food to the deceased,
which he is expected to return greatly increased. Hall describes this
custom as practiced by the Nugumiut (I, p. 426). He says:

  They took down small pieces of [deer] skin with the fur on, and of
  [fat]. When there they stood around [the] grave [of the woman]
  upon which they placed the articles they had brought. Then one of
  them stepped up, took a piece of the [deer meat], cut a slice and
  ate it, at the same time cutting off another slice and placing it
  under a stone by the grave. Then the knife was passed from one
  hand to the other, both hands being thrown behind the person. This
  form of shifting the implement was continued for perhaps a minute,
  the motions being accompanied by constant talk with the dead. Then
  a piece of [deer] fur and some [fat] were placed under the stone
  with an exclamation signifying, “Here is something to eat and
  something to keep you warm.” Each of the [natives] also went
  through the same forms. They never visit the grave of a departed
  friend until some months after death, and even then only when all
  the surviving members of the family have removed to another place.
  Whenever they return to the vicinity of their kindred’s grave,
  a visit is made to it with the best of food as a present for the
  departed one. Neither seal, polar bear, nor walrus, however, is

According to Klutschak (p. 154), the natives of Hudson Bay avoid staying
a long time on the salt water ice near the grave of a relative.

On the fourth day after death the relatives may go for the first time
upon the ice, but the men are not allowed to hunt; on the next day they
must go sealing, but without dogs and sledge, walking to the hunting
ground and dragging the seal home. On the sixth day they are at liberty
to use their dogs again. For a whole year they must not join in any
festival and are not allowed to sing certain songs.

If a married woman dies the widower is not permitted to keep any part of
the first seal he catches after her death except the flesh. Skin,
blubber, bones, and entrails must be sunk in the sea.

All the relatives must have new suits of clothes made and before the
others are cast away they are not allowed to enter a hut without having
asked and obtained permission. (See Appendix, Note 7.)

Lyon (p. 368) makes the following statement on the mourning ceremonies
in Iglulik:

  Widows are forbidden for six months to taste of unboiled flesh;
  they wear no * * * pigtails, and cut off a portion of their long
  hair in token of grief, while the remaining locks hang in loose
  disorder about their shoulders. * * * After six months, the
  disconsolate ladies are at liberty to eat raw meat, to dress their
  pigtails and to marry as fast as they please; while in the
  meantime they either cohabit with their future husbands, if they
  have one, or distribute their favors more generally. A widower and
  his children remain during three days within the hut where his
  wife died, after which it is customary to remove to another. He is
  not allowed to fish or hunt for a whole season, or in that period
  to marry again. During the three days of lamentation all the
  relatives of the deceased are quite careless of their dress; their
  hair hangs wildly about, and, if possible, they are more than
  usually dirty in their persons. All visitors to a mourning family
  consider it as indispensably necessary to howl at their first

I may add here that suicide is not of rare occurrence, as according to
the religious ideas of the Eskimo the souls of those who die by violence
go to Qudlivun, the happy land. For the same reason it is considered
lawful for a man to kill his aged parents. In suicide death is generally
brought about by hanging.



A long, long time ago, a young man, whose name was Ititaujang, lived in
a village with many of his friends. When he became grown he wished to
take a wife and went to a hut in which he knew an orphan girl was
living. However, as he was bashful and was afraid to speak to the young
girl himself, he called her little brother, who was playing before the
hut, and said, “Go to your sister and ask her if she will marry me.” The
boy ran to his sister and delivered the message. The young girl sent him
back and bade him ask the name of her suitor. When she heard that his
name was Ititaujang she told him to go away and look for another wife,
as she was not willing to marry a man with such an ugly name.[9] But
Ititaujang did not submit and sent the boy once more to his sister.
“Tell her that Nettirsuaqdjung is my other name,” said he. The boy,
however, said upon entering, “Ititaujang is standing before the doorway
and wants to marry you.” Again the sister said “I will not have a man
with that ugly name.” When the boy returned to Ititaujang and repeated
his sister’s speech, he sent him back once more and said, “Tell her that
Nettirsuaqdjung is my other name.” Again the boy entered and said,
“Ititaujang is standing before the doorway and wants to marry you.” The
sister answered, “I will not have a man with that ugly name.” When the
boy returned to Ititaujang and told him to go away, he was sent in the
third time on the same commission, but to no better effect. Again the
young girl declined his offer, and upon that Ititaujang went away in
great anger. He did not care for any other girl of his tribe, but left
the country altogether and wandered over hills and through valleys up
the country many days and many nights.

    [Footnote 9: Ititaujang means “similar to the anus.” This
    tradition is curtailed, as some parts were considered
    inappropriate for this publication. The full text will be found in
    the Verhandlungen der Berliner Gesellschaft für Anthropologie,
    Ethnologie und Urgeschichte, Berlin, 1888.]

At last he arrived in the land of the birds and saw a lakelet in which
many geese were swimming. On the shore he saw a great number of boots;
cautiously he crept nearer and stole as many as he could get hold of.
A short time after the birds left the water and finding the boots gone
became greatly alarmed and flew away. Only one of the flock remained
behind, crying, “I want to have my boots; I want to have my boots.”
Ititaujang came forth now and answered, “I will give you your boots if
you will become my wife.” She objected, but when Ititaujang turned round
to go away with the boots she agreed, though rather reluctantly.

Having put on the boots she was transformed into a woman and they
wandered down to the seaside, where they settled in a large village.
Here they lived together for some years and had a son. In time
Ititaujang became a highly respected man, as he was by far the best
whaler among the Inuit.

Once upon a time the Inuit had killed a whale and were busy cutting it
up and carrying the meat and the blubber to their huts. Though
Ititaujang was hard at work his wife stood lazily by. When he called her
and asked her to help as the other women did she objected, crying, “My
food is not from the sea; my food is from the land; I will not eat the
meat of a whale; I will not help.”

Ititaujang answered, “You must eat of the whale; that will fill your
stomach.” Then she began crying and exclaimed, “I will not eat it;
I will not soil my nice white clothing.”

She descended to the beach, eagerly looking for birds’ feathers. Having
found a few she put them between her fingers and between those of her
child; both were transformed into geese and flew away.

When the Inuit saw this they called out, “Ititaujang, your wife is
flying away.” Ititaujang became very sad; he cried for his wife and did
not care for the abundance of meat and blubber, nor for the whales
spouting near the shore. He followed his wife and ascended the land in
search of her.

After having traveled for many weary months he came to a river. There he
saw a man who was busy chopping chips from a piece of wood with a large
hatchet. As soon as the chips fell off he polished them neatly and they
were transformed into salmon, becoming so slippery that they glided from
his hands and fell into the river, which they descended to a large lake
near by. The name of the man was Eχaluqdjung (the little salmon).

On approaching, Ititaujang was frightened almost to death, for he saw
that the back of this man was altogether hollow and that he could look
from behind right through his mouth. Cautiously he crept back and by a
circuitous way approached him from the opposite direction.

When Eχaluqdjung saw him coming he stopped chopping and asked, “Which
way did you approach me?” Ititaujang, pointing in the direction he had
come last and from which he could not see the hollow back of
Eχaluqdjung, answered, “It is there I have come from.” Eχaluqdjung, on
hearing this, said, “That is lucky for you. If you had come from the
other side and had seen my back I should have immediately killed you
with my hatchet.” Ititaujang was very glad that he had turned back and
thus deceived the salmon maker. He asked him, “Have you not seen my
wife, who has left me, coming this way?” Eχaluqdjung had seen her and
said, “Do you see yon little island in the large lake? There she lives
now and has taken another husband.”

When Ititaujang heard this report he almost despaired, as he did not
know how to reach the island; but Eχaluqdjung kindly promised to help
him. They descended to the beach; Eχaluqdjung gave him the backbone of a
salmon and said, “Now shut your eyes. The backbone will turn into a
kayak and carry you safely to the island. But mind you do not open your
eyes, else the boat will upset.”

Ititaujang promised to obey. He shut his eyes, the backbone became a
kayak, and away he went over the lake. As he did not hear any splashing
of water, he was anxious to see whether the boat moved on, and opened
his eyes just a little. But he had scarcely taken a short glimpse when
the kayak began to swing violently and he felt that it became a backbone
again. He quickly shut his eyes, the boat went steadily on, and a short
time after he was landed on the island.

There he saw the hut and his son playing on the beach near it. The boy
on looking up saw Ititaujang and ran to his mother crying, “Mother,
father is here and is coming to our hut.” The mother answered, “Go, play
on; your father is far away and cannot find us.” The child obeyed; but
as he saw Ititaujang approaching he re-entered the hut and said,
“Mother, father is here and is coming to our hut.” Again the mother sent
him away, but he returned very soon, saying that Ititaujang was quite

Scarcely had the boy said so when Ititaujang opened the door. When the
new husband saw him he told his wife to open a box which was in a corner
of the hut. She did so, and many feathers flew out of it and stuck to
them. The woman, her new husband, and the child were thus again
transformed into geese. The hut disappeared; but when Ititaujang saw
them about to fly away he got furious and cut open the belly of his wife
before she could escape. Then many eggs fell down.


In the beginning all the Inuit lived near Ussualung, in Tiniqdjuarbing
(Cumberland Sound). The Igdlumiut, the Nugumiut, and the Talirpingmiut
in the south, the Aggomiut in the far north, and the Inuit, who tattoo
rings round their eyes, in the far west, all once lived together. There
is a tradition concerning the emigration of the Sagdlirmiut (see p. 451)
who live east of Iglulik. The Akudnirmiut say that the following events
did not happen in Tiniqdjuarbing, but in Aggo, a country where nobody
lives nowadays. Ikeraping, an Akudnirmio, heard the story related by a
Tununirmio, who had seen the place himself, but all the Oqomiut assert
that Ussualung is the place where the events in the story happened.

An old woman, the sister of Mitiq, the angakoq, told the story as

Near Ussualung there are two places, Qerniqdjuaq and Eχaluqdjuaq. In
each of these was a large house, in which many families lived together.
They used to keep company during the summer when they went deer hunting,
but returned to their separate houses in the fall.

Once upon a time it happened that the men of Qerniqdjuaq had been very
successful, while those of Eχaluqdjuaq had caught scarcely any deer.
Therefore the latter got very angry and resolved to kill the other
party, but they preferred to wait until the winter. Later in the season
many deer were caught and put up in depots. They were to be carried down
to the winter settlements by means of sledges.

One day both parties agreed upon a journey to these depots and the men
of Eχaluqdjuaq resolved to kill their enemies on this occasion. They set
out with their dogs and sledges, and when they were fairly inland they
suddenly attacked their unsuspecting companions and killed them. For
fear that the wives and children of the murdered men might be suspicious
if the dogs returned without their masters, they killed them too. After
a short time they returned and said they had lost the other party and
did not know what had happened to them.

A young man of Eχaluqdjuaq was the suitor of a girl of Qerniqdjuaq and
used to visit her every night. He did not stop his visits now. He was
kindly received by the woman and lay down to sleep with his young wife.

Under the snow bench there was a little boy who had seen the young man
of Eχaluqdjuaq coming. When everybody was sleeping he heard somebody
calling and soon recognized the spirits of the murdered men, who told
him what had happened and asked him to kill the young man in revenge.
The boy crept from his place under the bed, took a knife, and put it
into the young man’s breast. As he was a small boy and very weak, the
knife glided from the ribs and entered deep into the heart, thus killing
the young man.

Then he roused the other inhabitants of the hut and told them that the
spirits of the dead men had come to him, that they had told him of their
murder, and had ordered him to kill the young man. The women and
children got very much frightened and did not know what to do. At last
they resolved to follow the advice of an old woman and to flee from
their cruel neighbors. As their dogs were killed, the sledges were of no
use, but by chance a bitch with pups was in the hut and the old woman,
who was a great angakoq, ordered them to go and whip the young dogs,
which would thus grow up quickly. They did so and in a short time the
pups were large and strong. They harnessed them and set off as quickly
as possible. In order to deceive their neighbors they left everything
behind and did not even extinguish their lamps, that they might not
excite suspicion.

The next morning the men of Eχaluqdjuaq wondered why their companion had
not returned and went to the hut in Qernirtung. They peeped through the
spy hole in the window and saw the lamps burning, but nobody inside. At
last they discovered the body of the young man, and, finding the tracks
of the sledges, they hurriedly put their sledges in order and pursued
the fugitives.

Though the latter had journeyed rapidly their pursuers followed still
more rapidly and seemed likely to overtake them in a short time. They
therefore became very much frightened, fearing the revenge of their

When the sledge of the men drew near and the women saw that they were
unable to escape, a young woman asked the old angakoq: “Don’t you know
how to cut the ice?” The matron answered in the affirmative and slowly
drew a line over the ice with her first finger across the path of their
pursuers. The ice gave a loud crack. Once more she drew the line, when a
crack opened and quickly widened as she passed on. The floe began moving
and when the men arrived they could not cross over the wide space of
water. Thus the party were saved by the art of their angakoq.

For many days they drifted to and fro, but finally they landed on the
island of Sagdlirn, where they took up their abode and became the
mothers of the Sagdlirmiut.


Kalopaling is a fabulous being that lives in the sea. His body is like
that of a human being and he wears clothing made of eider ducks’ skins.
Therefore he is sometimes called Mitiling (with eider ducks). As these
birds have a black back and a white belly, his gown looked speckled all
over. His jacket has an enormous hood, which is an object of fear to the
Inuit. If a kayak capsizes and the boatman is drowned Kalopaling puts
him into this hood. He cannot speak, but can only cry, “Be, be! Be, be!”
His feet are very large and look like inflated sealskin floats.

The Inuit believe that in olden times there were a great number of
Kalopalit, but gradually their number diminished and there are now very
few left. They may be seen from the land swimming very rapidly under the
water and sometimes rising to the surface. While swimming they make a
great noise by splashing with arms and legs. In summer they like to bask
on rocks and in winter they sometimes sit on the ice near cracks or at
the edge of drifting floes. As they pursue the hunters the most daring
men try to kill them whenever they can get near them. Cautiously they
approach the sleeping Kalopaling, and as soon as they come near enough
they throw the walrus harpoon at him. They must shut their eyes
immediately until the Kalopaling is dead, else he will capsize the boat
and kill the hunters. The flesh of the Kalopaling is said to be
poisonous, but good enough for dog’s food.

An old tradition is handed down which refers to a Kalopaling:

An old woman lived with her grandson in a small hut. As they had no
kinsmen they were very poor. A few Inuit only took pity on them and
brought them seal’s meat and blubber for their lamps. Once upon a time
they were very hungry and the boy cried. The grandmother told him to be
quiet, but as he did not obey she became angry and called Kalopaling to
come and take him away. He entered at once and the woman put the boy
into the large hood, in which he disappeared almost immediately.

Later on the Inuit were more successful in sealing and they had an
abundance of meat. Then the grandmother was sorry that she had so rashly
given the boy to Kalopaling and wished to see him back again. She
lamented about it to the Inuit, and at length a man and his wife
promised to help her.

When the ice had consolidated and deep cracks were formed near the shore
by the rise and fall of the tide, the boy used to rise and sit alongside
the cracks, playing with a whip of seaweed. Kalopaling, however, was
afraid that somebody might carry the boy away and had fastened him to a
string of seaweed, which he held in his hands. The Inuit who had seen
the boy went toward him, but as soon as he saw them coming he sang, “Two
men are coming, one with a double jacket, the other with a foxskin
jacket” (Inung maqong tikitong, aipa mirqosailing, aipa kapiteling).
Then Kalopaling pulled on the rope and the boy disappeared. He did not
want to return to his grandmother, who had abused him.

Some time afterward the Inuit saw him again sitting near a crack. They
took the utmost caution that he should not hear them when approaching,
tying pieces of deerskin under the soles of their boots. But when they
could almost lay hold of the boy he sang, “Two men are coming, one with
a double jacket, the other with a foxskin jacket.” Again Kalopaling
pulled on the seaweed rope and the boy disappeared.

The man and his wife, however, did not give up trying. They resolved to
wait near the crack, and on one occasion when the boy had just come out
of the water they jumped forward from a piece of ice behind which they
had been hidden and before he could give the alarm they had cut the rope
and away they went with him to their huts.

The boy lived with them and became a great hunter.


Besides the Kalopalit there are the Uissuit, a strange people that live
in the sea. They are dwarfs and are frequently seen between Iglulik and
Netchillik, where the Anganidjen live, an Inuit tribe whose women are in
the habit of tattooing rings around their eyes. There are men and women
among the Uissuit and they live in deep water, never coming up to the
surface. When the Inuit wish to see them, they go in their boats to a
place where they cannot see the bottom and try to catch them by hooks
which they slowly move up and down. As soon as they get a bite they draw
in the line. The Uissuit are thus drawn up; but no sooner do they
approach the surface than they dive down headlong again, only their legs
having emerged from the water. The Inuit have never succeeded in getting
one out of the water.


An old woman lived with her grandson in a small hut. As she had no
husband and no son to take care of her and the boy, they were very poor,
the boy’s clothing being made of skins of birds which they caught in
snares. When the boy would come out of the hut and join his playfellows,
the men would laugh at him and tear his outer garment. Only one man,
whose name was Kiviung, was kind to the young boy; but he could not
protect him from the others. Often the lad came to his grandmother
crying and weeping, and she always consoled him and each time made him a
new garment. She entreated the men to stop teasing the boy and tearing
his clothing, but they would not listen to her prayer. At last she got
angry and swore she would take revenge upon his abusers, and she could
easily do so, as she was a great angakoq.

She commanded her grandson to step into a puddle which was on the floor
of the hut, telling him what would happen and how he should behave. As
soon as he stood in the water the earth opened and he sank out of sight,
but the next moment he rose near the beach as a yearling seal with a
beautiful skin and swam about lustily.

The men had barely seen the seal when they took to their kayaks, eager
to secure the pretty animal. But the transformed boy quickly swam away,
as his grandmother had told him, and the men continued in pursuit.
Whenever he rose to breathe he took care to come up behind the kayaks,
where the men could not get at him with their harpoons; there, however,
he splashed and dabbled in order to attract their attention and lure
them on. But before any one could turn his kayak he had dived again and
swam away. The men were so interested in the pursuit that they did not
observe that they were being led far from the coast and that the land
was now altogether invisible.

Suddenly a gale arose; the sea foamed and roared and the waves destroyed
or upset their frail vessels. After all seemed to be drowned the seal
was again transformed into the lad, who went home without wetting his
feet. There was nobody now to tear his clothing, all his abusers being

Only Kiviung, who was a great angakoq and had never abused the boy, had
escaped the wind and waves. Bravely he strove against the wild sea, but
the storm did not abate. After he had drifted for many days on the wide
sea, a dark mass loomed up through the mist. His hope revived and he
worked hard to reach the supposed land. The nearer he came, however, the
more agitated did the sea become, and he saw that he had mistaken a
wild, black sea, with raging whirlpools, for land. Barely escaping he
drifted again for many days, but the storm did not abate and he did not
see any land. Again he saw a dark mass looming up through the mist, but
he was once more deceived, for it was another whirlpool which made the
sea rise in gigantic waves.

At last the storm moderated, the sea subsided, and at a great distance
he saw the land. Gradually he came nearer and following the coast he at
length spied a stone house in which a light was burning. He landed and
entered the house. Nobody was inside but an old woman whose name was
Arnaitiang. She received him kindly and at his request pulled off his
boots, slippers, and stockings and dried them on the frame hanging over
the lamp. Then she went out to light a fire and cook a good meal.

When the stockings were dry, Kiviung tried to take them from the frame
in order to put them on, but as soon as he extended his hand to touch
them the frame rose out of his reach. Having tried several times in
vain, he called Arnaitiang and asked her to give him back the stockings.
She answered: “Take them yourself; there they are; there they are” and
went out again. The fact is she was a very bad woman and wanted to eat

Then he tried once more to take hold of his stockings, but with no
better result. He called again for Arnaitiang and asked her to give him
the boots and stockings, whereupon she said: “Sit down where I sat when
you entered my house; then you can get them.” After that she left him
again. Kiviung tried it once more, but the frame rose as before and he
could not reach it.

Now he understood that Arnaitiang meditated mischief; so he summoned his
tornaq, a huge white bear, who arose roaring from under the floor of the
house. At first Arnaitiang did not hear him, but as Kiviung kept on
conjuring the spirit came nearer and nearer to the surface, and when she
heard his loud roar she rushed in trembling with fear and gave Kiviung
what he had asked for. “Here are your boots,” she cried; “here are your
slippers; here are your stockings. I’ll help you put them on.” But
Kiviung would not stay any longer with this horrid witch and did not
even dare to put on his boots, but took them from Arnaitiang and rushed
out of the door. He had barely escaped when it clapped violently
together and just caught the tail of his jacket, which was torn off. He
hastened to his kayak without once stopping to look behind and paddled
away. He had only gone a short distance before Arnaitiang, who had
recovered from her fear, came out swinging her glittering woman’s knife
and threatening to kill him. He was nearly frightened to death and
almost upset his kayak. However, he managed to balance it again and
cried in answer, lifting up his spear: “I shall kill you with my spear.”
When Arnaitiang heard these words she fell down terror stricken and
broke her knife. Kiviung then observed that it was made of a thin slab
of fresh water ice.

He traveled on for many days and nights, following the shore. At last he
came to a hut, and again a lamp was burning inside. As his clothing was
wet and he was hungry, he landed and entered the house. There he found a
woman who lived all alone with her daughter. Her son-in-law was a log of
driftwood which had four boughs. Every day about the time of low water
they carried it to the beach and when the tide came in it swam away.
When night came again it returned with eight large seals, two being
fastened to every bough. Thus the timber provided its wife, her mother,
and Kiviung with an abundance of food. One day, however, after they had
launched it as they had always done, it left and never returned.

After a short interval Kiviung married the young widow. Now he went
sealing every day himself and was very successful. As he thought of
leaving some day, he was anxious to get a good stock of mittens (that
his hands might keep dry during the long journey?). Every night after
returning from hunting he pretended to have lost his mittens. In reality
he had concealed them in the hood of his jacket.

After awhile the old woman became jealous of her daughter, for the new
husband of the latter was a splendid hunter and she wished to marry him
herself. One day when he was away hunting, she murdered her daughter,
and in order to deceive him she removed her daughter’s skin and crept
into it, thus changing her shape into that of the young woman. When
Kiviung returned, she went to meet him, as it had been her daughter’s
custom, and without exciting any suspicion. But when he entered the hut
and saw the bones of his wife he at once became aware of the cruel deed
and of the deception that had been practiced and fled away.

He traveled on for many days and nights, always following the shore. At
last he again came to a hut where a lamp was burning. As his clothing
was wet and he was hungry, he landed and went up to the house. Before
entering it occurred to him that it would be best to find out first who
was inside. He therefore climbed up to the window and looked through the
peep hole. On the bed sat an old woman, whose name was Aissivang
(spider). When she saw the dark figure before the window she believed it
was a cloud passing the sun, and as the light was insufficient to enable
her to go on with her work she got angry. With her knife she cut away
her eyebrows, ate them, and did not mind the dripping blood, but sewed
on. When Kiviung saw this he thought that she must be a very bad woman
and turned away.

Still he traveled on days and nights. At last he came to a land which
seemed familiar to him and soon he recognized his own country. He was
very glad when he saw some boats coming to meet him. They had been on a
whaling excursion and were towing a great carcass to the village. In the
bow of one of them stood a stout young man who had killed the whale. He
was Kiviung’s son, whom he had left a small boy and who was now grown up
and had become a great hunter. His wife had taken a new husband, but now
she returned to Kiviung.


A long, long time ago a widow lived with her daughter and her son in a
hut. When the boy was quite young he made a bow and arrows of walrus
tusks and shot birds, which they ate. Before he was grown up he
accidentally became blind. From that moment his mother maltreated him in
every way. She never gave him enough to eat, though he had formerly
added a great deal to their sustenance, and did not allow her daughter,
who loved her brother tenderly, to give him anything. Thus they lived
many years and the poor boy was very unhappy.

Once upon a time a polar bear came to the hut and thrust his head right
through the window. They were all very much frightened and the mother
gave the boy his bow and arrows that he might kill the animal. But he
said, “I cannot see the window and I shall miss him.” Then the sister
leveled the bow and the boy shot and killed the bear. The mother and
sister went out and took the carcass down and skinned it.

After they had returned into the hut they told the boy that he had
missed the bear, which had run away when it had seen him taking his bow
and arrows. The bad mother had strictly ordered her daughter not to tell
that the bear was dead, and she did not dare to disobey. The mother and
the daughter ate the bear and had an ample supply of food, while the boy
was almost starving. Sometimes, when the mother had gone away, the girl
gave her brother something to eat, as she loved him dearly.

One day a loon flew over the hut and observing the poor blind boy it
resolved to restore his eyesight. It sat down on the top of the roof and
cried, “Come out, boy, and follow me.” When he heard this he crept out
and followed the bird, which flew along to a lake. There it took the boy
and dived with him to the bottom. When they had risen again to the
surface it asked, “Can you see anything?” The boy answered, “No,
I cannot yet see.” They dived again and staid a long time in the water.
When they emerged, the bird asked, “Can you see now?” The boy answered,
“I see a dim shimmer.” Then they dived the third time and staid very
long under water. When they had risen to the surface the boy had
recovered his eyesight altogether.

He was very glad and thankful to the bird, which told him to return to
the hut. Then he found the skin of the bear he had killed drying in the
warm rays of the sun. He got very angry and cut it into small pieces.
He entered the hut and asked his mother: “From whom did you get the
bearskin I saw outside of the hut?” The mother was frightened when she
found that her son had recovered his eyesight, and prevaricated. She
said, “Come here, I will give you the best I have; but I am very poor;
I have no supporter; come here, eat this, it is very good.” The boy,
however, did not comply and asked again, “From whom did you get yon
bearskin I saw outside the hut?” Again she prevaricated; but when she
could no longer evade the question she said, “A boat came here with many
men in it, who left it for me.”

The boy did not believe the story, but was sure that it was the skin of
the bear he had killed during the winter. However, he did not say a
word. His mother, who was anxious to conciliate him, tried to
accommodate him with food and clothing, but he did not accept anything.

He went to the other Inuit who lived in the same village, made a spear
and a harpoon of the same pattern he saw in use with them, and began to
catch white whales. In a short time he had become an expert hunter.

By and by he thought of taking revenge on his mother. He said to his
sister, “Mother abused me when I was blind and has maltreated you for
pitying me; we will revenge ourselves on her.” The sister agreed and he
planned a scheme for killing the mother.

When he went to hunt white whales he used to wind the harpoon line round
his body and, taking a firm footing, hold the animal until it was dead.
Sometimes his sister accompanied him and helped him to hold the line.

One day he told his mother to go with him and hold his line. When they
came to the beach he tied the rope round her body and asked her to keep
a firm footing. She was rather anxious, as she had never done this
before, and told him to harpoon a small dolphin, else she might not be
able to resist the strong pull. After a short time a young animal came
up to breathe and the mother shouted, “Kill it, I can hold it;” but the
boy answered, “No, it is too large.” Again a small dolphin came near and
the mother shouted to him to spear it; but he said, “No, it is too
large.” At last a huge animal rose quite near. Immediately he threw his
harpoon, taking care not to kill it, and tossing his mother forward into
the water cried out, “That is because you maltreated me; that is because
you abused me.”

The white whale dragged the mother into the sea, and whenever she rose
to the surface she cried, “Louk! Louk!” and gradually she became
transformed into a narwhal.

After the young man had taken revenge he began to realize that it was
his mother whom he had murdered and he was haunted by remorse, and so
was his sister, as she had agreed to the bad plans of her brother. They
did not dare to stay any longer in their hut, but left the country and
traveled many days and many nights overland. At last they came to a
place where they saw a hut in which a man lived whose name was
Qitua´jung. He was very bad and had horribly long nails on his fingers.
The young man, being very thirsty, sent his sister into the hut to ask
for some water. She entered and said to Qitua´jung, who sat on the bed
place, “My brother asks for some water;” to which Qitua´jung responded,
“There it stands behind the lamp. Take as much as you like.” She stooped
to the bucket, when he jumped up and tore her back with his long nails.
Then she called to her brother for help, crying, “Brother, brother, that
man is going to kill me.” The young man ran to the hut immediately,
broke down the roof, and killed the bad man with his spear.

Cautiously he wrapped up his sister in hares’ skins, put her on his
back, and traveled on. He wandered over the land for many days, until he
came to a hut in which a man lived whose name was Iqignang. As the young
man was very hungry, he asked him if he might eat a morsel from the
stock of deer meat put up in the entrance of the hut. Iqignang answered,
“Don’t eat it, don’t eat it.” Though he had already taken a little bit,
he immediately stopped. Iqignang was very kind to the brother and
sister, however, and after a short time he married the girl, who had
recovered from her wounds, and gave his former wife to the young

    [Footnote 10: See foot-note on p. 616.]

    [[Footnote 9 (p. 616): “.... The full text will be found in
    the Verhandlungen der Berliner Gesellschaft für Anthropologie,
    Ethnologie und Urgeschichte, Berlin, 1888.”]]


An old hag lived in a house with her grandson. She was a very bad woman
who thought of nothing but playing mischief. She was a witch and tried
to harm everybody by witchcraft. Once upon a time a stranger came to
visit some friends who lived in a hut near that of the old woman. As the
visitor was a good hunter and procured plenty of food for his hosts, she
envied them and resolved to kill the new comer. She made a soup of
wolf’s and man’s brains, which was the most poisonous meal she could
prepare, and sent her grandson to invite the stranger. She cautioned him
not to say what she had cooked, as she knew that the visitor was a great
angakoq, who was by far her superior in wisdom.

The boy went to the neighboring hut and said: “Stranger, my grandmother
invites you to come to her hut and to have there a good feast on a
supper she has cooked. She told me not to say that it is a man’s and a
wolf’s brains and I do not say it.”

Though the angakoq understood the schemes of the old hag he followed the
boy and sat down with her. She feigned to be very glad to see him and
gave him a dish full of soup, which he began to eat. But by help of his
tornaq the food fell right through him into a vessel which he had put
between his feet on the floor of the hut. This he gave to the old witch
and compelled her to eat it. She died as soon as she had brought the
first spoonful to her mouth.


Once upon a time two women who were with child quarreled with their
husbands and fled from their families and friends to live by themselves.
After having traveled a long distance they came to a place called
Igdluqdjuaq, where they resolved to stay. It was summer when they
arrived. They found plenty of sod and turf and large whale ribs
bleaching on the beach. They erected a firm structure of bones and
filled the interstices with sod and turf. Thus they had a good house to
live in. In order to obtain skins they made traps, in which they caught
foxes in sufficient numbers for their dresses. Sometimes they found
carcasses of ground seals or of whales which had drifted to the shore,
of which they ate the meat and burnt the blubber. There was also a deep
and narrow deer pass near the hut. Across this they stretched a rope and
when the deer passed by they became entangled in it and strangled
themselves. Besides, there was a salmon creek near the house and this
likewise furnished them with an abundance of food.

In winter their fathers came in search of their lost daughters. When
they saw the sledge coming they began to cry, as they were unwilling to
return to their husbands. The men, however, were glad to find them
comfortable, and having staid two nights at their daughters’ house they
returned home, where they told the strange story that two women without
the company of any men lived all by themselves and were never in want.

Though this happened a long time ago the house may still be seen and
therefore the place is called Igdluqdjuaq (The Large House).



A long time ago there lived three brothers. Two of them were grown up,
but the third was a young lad whose name was Qaudjaqdjuq. The elder
brothers had left their country and traveled about many years, while the
youngest lived with his mother in their native village. As they had no
supporter, the poor youth was abused by all the men of the village and
there was nobody to protect him.

At last the elder brothers, being tired of roaming about, returned home.
When they heard that the boy had been badly used by all the Inuit they
became angry and thought of revenge. At first, however, they did not say
anything, but built a boat, in which they intended to escape after
having accomplished their designs. They were skillful boat builders and
finished their work very soon. They tried the boat and found that it
passed over the water as swiftly as an eider duck flies. As they were
not content with their work they destroyed it again and built a new
boat, which proved as swift as an ice duck. They were not yet content,
destroyed this, and built a third one that was good. After having
finished the boat they lived quietly with the other men. In the village
there was a large singing house, which was used at every festival. One
day the three brothers entered it and shut it up. Then they began
dancing and singing and continued until they were exhausted. As there
was no seat in the house they asked their mother to bring one, and when
they opened the door to let her pass in, an ermine, which had been
hidden in the house, escaped.

Near the singing house the other Inuit of the village were playing. When
they saw the ermine, which ran right through the crowd, they endeavored
to catch it. In the eagerness of pursuit one man, who had almost caught
the little animal, stumbled over a bowlder and fell in such a manner
that he was instantly killed. The ermine was sprinkled with blood,
particularly about its mouth. During the ensuing confusion it escaped
into the singing house, where it concealed itself again in the same

The brothers, who were inside, had recommenced singing and dancing. When
they were exhausted they called for their mother (to bring something to
eat). When they opened the door the ermine again escaped and ran about
among the Inuit, who were still playing outside.

When they saw it they believed that the brothers would induce them to
pursue it again, and thus make them perish one by one. Therefore the
whole crowd stormed the singing house with the intention of killing the
brothers. As the door was shut they climbed on the roof and pulled it
down, but when they took up their spears to pierce the three men they
opened the door and rushed down to the beach. Their boat was quite near
at hand and ready to be launched, while those of the other Inuit were a
long distance off.

They embarked with their mother, but, when they were at a short distance
and saw that the other men had not yet reached their boats, they
pretended that they were unable to move theirs, though they pulled with
the utmost effort. In reality, they played with the oars on the water.
A few young women and girls were on the shore looking at the brothers,
who seemed to exert themselves to the utmost of their strength. The
eldest brother cried to the women: “Will you help us? We cannot get
along alone.” Two girls consented, but as soon as they had come into the
boat the brothers commenced pulling as hard as possible, the boat flying
along quicker than a duck, while the girls cried with fright. The other
Inuit hastened up desirous to reach the fugitives, and soon their boats
were manned.

The brothers were not afraid, however, as their boat was by far the
swiftest. When they had almost lost sight of the pursuers they were
suddenly stopped by a high, bold land rising before the boat and
shutting up their way. They were quite puzzled, as they had to retrace
their way for a long distance and feared they would be overtaken by the
other boats. But one of the brothers, who was a great angakoq, saved
them by his art. He said: “Shut your eyes and do not open them before I
tell you, and then pull on.” They did as they were bade, and when he
told them to look up they saw that they had sailed right through the
land, which rose just as high and formidable behind them as it had
formerly obstructed their way. It had opened and let them pass.

After having sailed some time they saw a long black line in the sea.
On coming nearer they discovered that it was an impenetrable mass of
seaweed, so compact that they could leave the boat and stand upon it.
There was no chance of pushing the boat through, though it was swifter
than a duck. The eldest brother, however, thought of his angakoq art and
said to his mother, “Take your hair lace and whip the seaweed.” As soon
as she did so it sank and opened the way.

After having overcome these obstacles they were troubled no more and
accomplished their journey in safety. When they arrived in their country
they went ashore and erected a hut. The two women whom they had taken
from their enemies they gave to their young brother Qaudjaqdjuq.

They wanted to make him a very strong man, such as they were themselves.
For this reason they led him to a huge stone and said, “Try to lift that
stone.” As Qaudjaqdjuq was unable to do so, they whipped him and said,
“Try it again.” Now Qaudjaqdjuq could move it a little from its place.
The brothers were not yet content and whipped him once more. By the last
whipping he became very strong and lifted the bowlder and cast it over
the hut.

Then the brothers gave him the whip and told him to beat his wives if
they disobeyed him.


A long time ago there was a poor little orphan boy who had no protector
and was maltreated by all the inhabitants of the village. He was not
even allowed to sleep in the hut, but lay outside in the cold passage
among the dogs, who were his pillows and his quilt. Neither did they
give him any meat, but flung old, tough walrus hide at him, which he was
compelled to eat without a knife. A young girl was the only one who
pitied him. She gave him a very small piece of iron for a knife, but
bade him conceal it well or the men would take it from him. He did so,
putting it into his urethra. Thus he led a miserable life and did not
grow at all, but remained poor little Qaudjaqdjuq. He did not even dare
to join the plays of the other children, as they also maltreated and
abused him on account of his weakness.

  [Illustration: FIG. 537. Qaudjaqdjuq is maltreated by his enemies.
  Drawn by Qeqertuqdjuaq, an Oqomio.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 538. The man in the moon comes down to help

When the inhabitants assembled in the singing house Qaudjaqdjuq used to
lie in the passage and peep over the threshold. Now and then a man would
lift him by the nostrils into the hut and give him the large urine
vessel to carry out (Fig. 537). It was so large and heavy that he was
obliged to take hold of it with both hands and his teeth. As he was
frequently lifted by the nostrils they grew to be very large, though he
remained small and weak.

  [Illustration: FIG. 539. The man in the moon whipping Qaudjaqdjuq.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 540. Qaudjaqdjuq has become Qaudjuqdjuaq.]

At last the man in the moon,[11] who had seen how badly the men behaved
towards Qaudjaqdjuq, came down to help him. He harnessed his dog[12]
(Fig. 538) Tirie´tiang to his sledge and drove down. When near the hut
he stopped and cried, “Qaudjaqdjuq, come out.” Qaudjaqdjuq answered,
“I will not come out. Go away!” But when he had asked him a second and a
third time to come out, he complied, though he was very much frightened.
Then the man in the moon went with him to a place where some large
bowlders were lying about and, having whipped him (Fig. 539), asked, “Do
you feel stronger now?” Qaudjaqdjuq answered: “Yes, I feel stronger.”
“Then lift yon bowlder,” said he. As Qaudjaqdjuq was not yet able to
lift it, he gave him another whipping, and now all of a sudden he began
to grow, the feet first becoming of an extraordinary size (Fig. 540).
Again the man in the moon asked him: “Do you feel stronger now?”
Qaudjaqdjuq answered: “Yes, I feel stronger;” but as he could not yet
lift the stone he was whipped once more, after which he had attained a
very great strength and lifted the bowlder as if it were a small pebble.
The man in the moon said: “That will do. To-morrow morning I shall send
three bears; then you may show your strength.”

    [Footnote 11: The man in the moon is the protector of orphans.]

    [Footnote 12: By a mistake of the Eskimo who made the drawings,
    four dogs are harnessed to the sledge. According to his own
    explanation the dappled one ought to be the only dog.]

He returned to the moon, but Qaudjaqdjuq, who had now become
Qaudjuqdjuaq (the big Qaudjaqdjuq), returned home tossing the stones
with his feet and making them fly to the right and to the left. At night
he lay down again among the dogs to sleep. Next morning he awaited the
bears, and, indeed, three large animals soon made their appearance,
frightening all the men, who did not dare to leave the huts.

Then Qaudjuqdjuaq put on his boots and ran down to the ice. The men who
looked out of the window hole said, “Look here, is not that Qaudjaqdjuq?
The bears will soon make way with him.” But he seized the first by its
hind legs and smashed its head on an iceberg, near which it happened to
stand. The other one fared no better; the third, however, he carried up
to the village and slew some of his persecutors with it. Others he
pressed to death with his hands or tore off their heads (Fig. 541),
crying: “That is for abusing me; that is for your maltreating me.” Those
whom he did not kill ran away, never to return. Only a few who had been
kind to him while he had been poor little Qaudjaqdjuq were spared, among
them the girl who had given him the knife. Qaudjuqdjuaq lived to be a
great hunter and traveled all over the country, accomplishing many

  [Illustration: FIG. 541. Qaudjuqdjuaq killing his enemies.]


Igimarasugdjuqdjuaq was a very huge and bad man, who had committed many
murders and eaten the victims after he had cut them up with his knife.
Once upon a time his sister-in-law came to visit his wife, but scarcely
had she entered the hut before Igimarasugdjuqdjuaq killed her and
commanded his wife to cook her.

His wife was very much frightened, fearing that she herself would be the
next victim, and resolved to make her escape. When Igimarasugdjuqdjuaq
had left to go hunting she gathered heather, stuffed her jacket with it,
and placed the figure in a sitting position upon the bed. Then she ran
away as fast as she could and suc-ceeded in reaching a village. When her
husband came home and saw the jacket he believed that it was a stranger
who had come to visit him and stabbed him through the body. When he
discovered, however, that his wife had deceived and left him, he fell
into a passion and pursued her.

He came to the village and said: “Have you seen my wife? She has run
away.” The Inuit did not tell him that she was staying with them, but
concealed her from his wrath. At last Igimarasugdjuqdjuaq gave her up
for lost and returned home.

The Inuit, however, resolved to revenge the many outrages which he had
wrought upon them. They went to visit him and met him on the ice just
below the hut. When he told them he was going bear hunting they said:
“Let us see your spear.” This spear had a stout and sharp walrus tusk
for a point. “Ah,” said they; “that is good for bear hunting; how sharp
it is. You must hit him just this way.” And so saying they struck his
brow, the point of the spear entering his brain, and then cut the body
up with their knives.


    [Footnote 13: See foot-note on p. 616.]
    [[Footnote 9: “.... The full text will be found in the
    Verhandlungen der Berliner Gesellschaft für Anthropologie,
    Ethnologie und Urgeschichte, Berlin, 1888.”]]

In olden times the Inuit were not the only inhabitants of the country in
which they live at the present time. Another tribe similar to them
shared their hunting ground. But they were on good terms, both tribes
living in harmony in the villages. The Tornit were much taller than the
Inuit and had very long legs and arms. Almost all of them were blear
eyed. They were extremely strong and could lift large bowlders, which
were by far too heavy for the Inuit. But even the Inuit of that time
were much stronger than those of to-day, and some large stones are shown
on the plain of Miliaqdjuin, in Cumberland Sound, with which the ancient
Inuit used to play, throwing them great distances. Even the strongest
men of the present generations are scarcely able to lift them, much less
to swing them or throw them any distance.

  [Illustration: FIG. 542. Tumiujang or lamp of the Tornit. (Museum
  für Volkerkunde, Berlin IV, A 6848.)]

The Tornit lived on walrus, seals, and deer, just as the Eskimo do
nowadays, but their methods of hunting were different. The principal
part of their winter dress was a long and wide coat of deerskins,
similar to the jumper of the Eskimo, but reaching down to the knees and
trimmed with leather straps. When sealing in winter they wore this
garment, the lower edge of which was fastened on the snow by means of
pegs. Under the jacket they carried a small lamp, called tumiujang
(literally, resembling a footprint) or quming (Fig. 542), over which
they melted snow in a small pot. Some Eskimo say that they opened the
seals as soon as they were caught and cooked some meat over these lamps.
When the seal blew in the hole they whispered, “Kapatipara” (I shall
stab it) and, when they had hit it, “Igdluiliq.” Frequently they forgot
about the lamp and in throwing the harpoon upset it and burned their

All their weapons were made of stone. For the blades of their knives
they used green slate (uluqsaq, literally material for women’s knives),
which was fastened by ivory pins to a bone or ivory handle.

The points of their harpoons were made of bone, ivory, or slate; those
of their lances, of flint or quartz, which was also used for drillheads;
and they made neither kayaks nor bows.

Their method of hunting deer was remarkable. In a deer pass, where the
game could not escape, they erected a file of cairns across the valley
and connected them by ropes. Some of the hunters hid behind the cairns,
while others drove the deer toward them. As the animals were unable to
pass the rope they fled along it, looking for an exit, and while
attempting to pass a cairn were lanced by the waiting hunter, who seized
the body by the hind legs and drew it behind the line.

This tale is related as a proof of their enormous strength and it is
said that they were able to hold a harpooned walrus as the Eskimo hold a

The Tornit could not clean the sealskins so well as the Inuit, but
worked them up with part of the blubber attached. Their way of preparing
meat was disgusting, since they let it become putrid and placed it
between the thigh and the belly to warm it.

The old stone houses of the Tornit can be seen everywhere. Generally
they did not build snow houses, but lived the whole winter in stone
buildings, the roofs of which were frequently supported by whale ribs.
Though the Eskimo built similar structures they can be easily
distinguished from one another, the bed of their huts being much larger
than that of the Tornit.

Though both tribes lived on very good terms, the Inuit did not like to
play at ball with the Tornit, as they were too strong and used large
balls, with which they hurt their playfellows severely.

A remarkable tradition is told referring to the emigration of this

The Tornit did not build any kayaks, but as they were aware of the
advantages afforded by their use in hunting they stole the boats from
the Inuit, who did not dare to defend their property, the Tornit being
by far their superiors in strength. Once upon a time a young Tuniq had
taken the kayak of a young Inung without asking him and had injured it
by knocking in the bottom. The Inung got very angry and ran a knife into
the nape of the Tuniq’s neck while he was sleeping. (According to
another tradition he drilled a hole into his head; this form is also
recorded in Labrador.) The Tornit then became afraid that the Inuit
would kill them all and preferred to leave the country for good. They
assembled at Qernirtung (a place in Cumberland Sound), and in order to
deceive any pursuers they cut off the tails of their jumpers and tied
their hair into a bunch protruding from the crown of the head.

In another form of the tradition it is said that while playing with the
Tornit a young Inung fell down and broke his neck. The Tornit feared
that the Inuit might take revenge upon them and left the country.

Many old ditties are sung which either treat of the Tornit or are
reported to have been sung by them. Some of them will be found in the
linguistic account connected with my journey.


Once upon a time a woman entered the singing house when it was quite
dark. For a long time she had wished to see the spirit of the house, and
though the Inuit had warned her of the impending danger she had insisted
upon her undertaking.

She summoned the spirit, saying, “If you are in the house, come here.”
As she could not see him, she cried, “No spirit is here; he will not
come.” But the spirit, though yet invisible, said, “Here I am; there I
am.” Then the woman asked, “Where are your feet; where are your shins;
where are your thighs; where are your hips; where are your loins?” Every
time the spirit answered, “Here they are; there they are.” And she asked
further, “Where is your belly?” “Here it is,” answered the spirit.
“Where is your breast; where are your shoulders; where is your neck;
where is your head?” “Here it is; there it is;” but in touching the head
the woman all of a sudden fell dead. It had no bones and no hair
(p. 597).


Three men went bear hunting with a sledge and took a young boy with
them. When they approached the edge of the floe they saw a bear and went
in pursuit. Though the dogs ran fast they could not get nearer and all
of a sudden they observed that the bear was lifted up and their sledge
followed. At this moment the boy lost one of his mittens and in the
attempt to pick it up fell from the sledge. There he saw the men
ascending higher and higher, finally being transformed into stars. The
bear became the star Nanuqdjung (Betelgeuse); the pursuers, Udleqdjun
(Orion’s belt); and the sledge, Kamutiqdjung (Orion’s sword). The men
continue the pursuit up to this day; the boy, however, returned to the
village and told how the men were lost.


Savirqong, an old man, lived alone with his daughter. Her name was
Niviarsiang (i.e., the girl), but as she would not take a husband she
was also called Uinigumissuitung (she who would not take a husband). She
refused all her suitors, but at last a dog, spotted white and red, whose
name was Ijirqang, won her affection and she took him for a husband.
They had ten children, five of whom were Adlet and five dogs. The lower
part of the body of the Adlet was that of a dog and hairy all over, the
soles excepted, while the upper part was that of a man. When the
children grew up they became very voracious, and as the dog Ijirqang did
not go out hunting at all, but let his father in law provide for the
whole family, it was difficult for Savirqong to feed them. Moreover, the
children were awfully clamorous and noisy; so at last the grandfather
got tired of it, put the whole family into his boat, and carried them to
a small island. He told the dog Ijirqang to come every day and fetch

Niviarsiang hung a pair of boots round his neck and he swam across the
narrow channel. But Savirqong, instead of giving him meat, filled the
boots with heavy stones, which drowned Ijirqang when he attempted to
return to the island.

The daughter thought of revenging the death of her husband. She sent the
young dogs to her father’s hut and let them gnaw off his feet and hands.
In return Savirqong, when Niviarsiang happened to be in his boat, threw
her overboard and cut off her fingers when she held to the gunwale. As
they fell into the sea they were transformed into seals and whales. At
last he allowed her to climb into the boat.

As she feared that her father might think of killing or maiming her
children, she ordered the Adlet to go inland, where they became the
ancestors of a numerous people. She made a boat for the young dogs,
setting up two sticks for masts in the soles of her boots, and sent the
puppies across the ocean. She sang: “Angnaijaja. When you arrive there
across the ocean you will make many things giving you joy. Angnaija.”
They arrived in the land beyond the sea and became the ancestors of the


A long time ago the ocean suddenly began to rise, until it covered the
whole land. The water even rose to the top of the mountains and the ice
drifted over them. When the flood had subsided the ice stranded and ever
since forms an ice cap on the top of the mountains. Many shellfish,
fish, seal, and whales were left high and dry and their shells and bones
may be seen to this day. A great number of Inuit died during this
period, but many others, who had taken to their kayaks when the water
commenced to rise, were saved.


    [Footnote 14: See foot-note on p. 616.]
    [[Footnote 9: “.... The full text will be found in the
    Verhandlungen der Berliner Gesellschaft für Anthropologie,
    Ethnologie und Urgeschichte, Berlin, 1888.”]]

In days of yore, an enormous man, whose name was Inugpaqdjuqdjualung,
lived in company with many other Inuit in a village on a large fjord.
He was so tall that he could straddle the fjord. He used to stand thus
every morning and wait for whales to pass beneath him. As soon as one
came along he stooped and caught it, just as another man would scoop up
some little thing that had fallen into the water, and he ate it as other
men eat a small piece of meat.

One day all the natives had manned their boats to hunt a whale.
Inugpaqdjuqdjualung at the time was sitting lazily near his hut, but
when he saw the efforts of the men he scooped both whale and boats from
the water and placed them upon the beach.

At another time, being tired from running about, he lay down on a high
hill to take a nap. The Inuit told him that a couple of huge bears had
been seen near the village, but he said he didn’t care, and told his
friends to rouse him by throwing large stones upon him if they should
see the bears coming. They did so and Inugpaqdjuqdjualung, suddenly
starting up, cried: “Where are they? Where are they?” When the Inuit
pointed them out he said: “What! those little things? Those are not
worth the bustle; they are small foxes, not bears,” and he crushed one
between his fingers, while he put the other into the eyelet of his boot
and strangled it there.


This story is reprinted from Hall (II, p. 240):

  Many moons ago, a woman obtained a polar bear cub but two or three
  days old. Having long desired just such a pet, she gave it her
  closest attention, as though it were a son, nursing it, making for
  it a soft warm bed alongside her own, and talking to it as a
  mother does to her child. She had no living relative, and she and
  the bear occupied the house alone. Kunikdjuaq, as he grew up,
  proved that the woman had not taught him in vain, for he early
  began to hunt seals and salmon, bringing them to his mother before
  eating any himself, and receiving his share from her hands. She
  always watched from the hilltop for his return, and if she saw
  that he had been unsuccessful, she begged from her neighbors
  blubber for his food. She learned how this was from her lookout,
  for if successful, he came back in the tracks made on going out,
  but if unsuccessful always by a different route. Learning to excel
  the Inuit in hunting, he excited their envy, and, after long years
  of faithful service, his death was resolved upon. On hearing this,
  the old woman, overwhelmed with grief, offered to give up her own
  life if they would but spare him who had so long supported her.
  Her offer was sternly refused. Upon this, when all his enemies had
  retired to their houses, the woman had a long talk with her
  son--now well grown in years--telling him that wicked men were
  about to kill him, and that the only way to save his life and hers
  was for him to go off and not return. At the same time she begged
  him not to go so far that she could not wander off and meet him,
  and get from him a seal or something else which she might need.
  The bear, after listening to what she said with tears streaming
  down her furrowed cheeks, gently placed one huge paw on her head,
  and then throwing both around her neck, said, “Good mother,
  Kunikdjuaq will always be on the lookout for you and serve you as
  best he can.” Saying this, he took her advice and departed, almost
  as much to the grief of the children of the village as to the

  Not long after this, being in need of food, she walked out on the
  sea ice to see if she could not meet her son, and soon recognized
  him as one of two bears who were lying down together. He ran to
  her, and she patted him on the head in her old familiar way, told
  him her wants, and begged him to hurry away and get something for
  her. Away ran the bear, and in a few moments the woman looked upon
  a terrible fight going on between him and his late companion,
  which, however, to her great relief, was soon ended by her son’s
  dragging a lifeless body to her feet. With her knife she quickly
  skinned the dead bear, giving her son large slices of the blubber,
  and telling him that she would soon return for the meat, which she
  could not at first carry to her house, and when her supply should
  again fail she would comeback for his help. This she continued to
  do for “a long, long time,” the faithful bear always serving her
  and receiving the same unbroken love of his youth.


(1) Two little girls, while playing about a cliff near Aivillik, with
infants in the hoods on their backs, went into an opening between the
rocks, which closed upon them before escape was possible. All attempts
at rescue were unsuccessful, and the poor children, to whom for a time
meat and water were passed, perished in the cliffs (Hall II, p. 222).

(2) Opposite to Niutang, a village in Kingnait, Cumberland Sound, there
is a vein of diorite resembling a boot, and therefore called
Kamingujang. A long time ago two enemies lived in the village. One day
they stood on the beach ready to go hunting. Suddenly the one exclaimed,
pointing to Kamingujang, “There he blows,” making his enemy believe that
a whale was passing up the fjord and inducing him to look out for it.
Then he killed him from behind, piercing him with the spear.

(3) At Qognung, near the head of Nettilling Fjord, there is a large
white stone on each side of the fjord, somewhat resembling a bear. It is
said that these stones have been bears which, being pursued by an Eskimo
in the water, escaped to the land, but were transformed into these

(4) A long time ago a dead boy was buried under a large stone. Before
his relatives had returned to their hut the body was transformed into a
hare, which jumped forth from the tomb. All hares come from this animal.

(5) It is said that albinos of seals and deer spring from an egg of
about half a foot in length, which forms itself in the earth. The seal
digs an underground passage to the sea, the deer a similar one to a
distant part of the country, and there they rise. The albinos are said
to be very quick.

  *  *  *

I will add here an enumeration of the fabulous tribes of which I gained
intelligence, but of some of them I only know the names.

(1) The Tornit, or, as they are called by the Akudnirmiut, the
Tuniqdjuait (p. 634). It is remarkable that this people is considered
here, as well as in Labrador, a tribe similar to the Eskimo, with whom
they formerly lived in company, but who were subsequently expelled by
the latter. In Greenland they are entirely a fabulous tribe, each
individual being of enormous size, living inland and seldom hunting in
the upper parts of the fjords. While in the western parts of the Eskimo
country a more historical form of the tradition is preserved, it is
entirely mythical in Greenland.

(2) The Adlet or Erqigdlit. In the tradition treating of this tribe a
similar change occurs. The Labrador Eskimo call the Indians of the
interior Adlet, the tribes west of Hudson Bay call them Erqigdlit. The
Baffin Land Eskimo and the Greenlanders have forgotten this relation
altogether, but denote with the term a fabulous tribe with dogs’ legs
and a human body. The name Adla is used as far north as Cumberland
Peninsula, the Akudnirmiut and the more northern tribes using the term
Erqigdlit. It is difficult to account for the use of these different
terms in both senses.

(3) The Ardnainiq, a tribe living in the extreme northwest. The men of
this people are small, tiny, like children, but entirely covered with
hair. They are carried about in the hoods of their wives, just like
children. The women are of normal size. They do all the work, going out
hunting in the kayaks and providing for the men.

(4) The Inuarudligang, dwarfs living in the cliffs near the shore.

(5) The Igdlungajung, a bandy legged people living inland.

(6) The Uissuit, dwarfs living in the depth of the sea (p. 621).

(7) The Ijirang.

(8) The Qailerte´tang, a people consisting of women only (p. 605).

  *  *  *

Finally, I will mention the animals which are only known to the natives
by reports of foreign tribes and are described as fabulous creatures.
These are the umingmang (the musk ox), which is represented as a fierce
animal with black and red streaks and larger than a bear, and the agdlaq
(the black bear), which, according to their belief, is also of enormous
size. It is said to live inland and to devour everything that comes near
it. I am unable to decide whether the report of an enormous fish, the
idluk, which is said to live in the lakes, is altogether fabulous. The
natives say that if they want to catch the fish they build a snow house
on the lake and cut a hole through the ice, into which they sink the
hook with a deer’s ham for a bait and a stout thong for a fishing line.
Six men hold the line by turns, and as soon as they feel the fish has
nibbled they pull it up with all their strength.

The fabulous amaroq and avignaq of the Greenlanders are unknown, but the
terms denote real animals, the wolf and the lemming.

  *  *  *

Besides traditions of this kind the Eskimo have a great number of
fables. Following is an example.


The owl and the raven were fast friends. One day the raven made a new
dress, dappled white and black, for the owl, who in return made a pair
of boots of whalebone for the raven and then began to make a white
dress. But when he was about to try it on, the raven kept hopping about
and would not sit still. The owl got angry and said: “Now sit still or I
shall pour out the lamp over you.” As the raven continued hopping about,
the owl fell into a passion and poured the oil upon it. Then the raven
cried “Qaq! Qaq!” and since that day has been black all over.


The similarity of the language and traditions of the Eskimo from Behring
Strait to Greenland is remarkable, considering the distance which
separates the tribes. Unfortunately the material from other tribes,
except the Greenlanders, is very scanty, but it is probable that the
same traditions or elements of traditions are known to all the tribes.
In the following table the above traditions are compared with Rink’s
Tales and Traditions of the Greenlanders and with those of other tribes:

  Traditions of Greenlanders and other tribes:

    Traditions of the Central Eskimo:

  Qagsaqsuq, Rink, p. 93.
    Qaudjaqdjuq, p. 630.

  The man who recovered his sight, Rink, p. 99.
    The origin of the narwhal, p. 625.

  Igimarasugsuq, Rink, p. 106.
    Igimarasugdjuqdjuaq, p. 633.

  The man who mated himself with a sea fowl, Rink, p. 145.
    Ititaujang, p. 615.

  Givioq, Rink, pp. 157 and 429.
    Kiviung, p. 621.

  Tiggaq, Rink, p. 162.
    The visitor, p. 627.

  A lamentable story, Rink, p. 239.
    No. 1, sundry tales, p. 639.

  The sun and the moon, Rink, p. 236. (L’homme lunaire, Petitot,
  Traditions indiennes du Canada Nord-Ouest, p. 7. Also found by Simpson
  at Point Barrow.)
    The sun and the moon, p. 597.

  The moon, Rink, p. 440.
    The angakoq’s flight to the moon, p. 598.

  The Tornit (from Labrador), Rink, p. 469.
    The Tornit, p. 634.

  A woman who was mated with a dog, Rink, p. 471.
  (Fragmentary in J. Murdoch: “A few legendary fragments from the
  Point Barrow Eskimos,” American Naturalist, p. 594, July, 1886.)
    Origin of the Adlet and the white men, p. 637.

Some of these stories are almost identical in both countries, for
instance, Qaudjaqdjuq, the origin of the narwhal, &c., and it is of
great interest to learn that some passages, particularly speeches and
songs, occur literally in both countries, for instance, the interesting
song of Niviarsiang (page 637) and the conclusion of the Kiviung
tradition. The tradition of the Tornit and the form of the second tale
(origin of the narwhal) resemble much more those of Labrador than those
of Greenland. The elements of which the traditions are composed are
combined differently in the tales of Baffin Land and Greenland, but most
of these elements are identical. I give here a comparative table.


      Baffin Land.

  Transformation of a man into a seal.
    Rink, pp. 222, 224, 469.
      Kiviung, p. 621.

  Men walking on the surface of the water.
    Rink, pp. 123, 407.
      Kiviung, p. 622.

  Harpooning a witch.
    Rink, p. 372.
      Sedna, p. 604.

    Rink, pp. 401 et seq.
      Adlet, p. 637.

  Sledge of the man of the moon drawn by one dog.
    Rink, pp. 401, 442.
      Qaudjaqdjuq, p. 631, and The flight to the moon, p. 598.

  Origin of the salmon.
    Cranz, p. 262.
      Ititaujang, p. 617.

    Rink, pp. 150, 326, 466.
      Sedna, p. 583.

  Origin of the thunder.
    Cranz, p. 233; Egede, p. 207.
      Kadlu, p. 600.

The following is a comparison between traditions from Alaska and the
Mackenzie and those of the Central Eskimo:

  Traditions from Alaska and the Mackenzie:

    Traditions of the Central Eskimo:

  Men as descendants of a dog, Murdoch, op. cit., 594.
    Origin of the Adlet and white men, p. 637.

  The origin of reindeer, Murdoch, op. cit., p. 595.
    Origin of the reindeer and walrus, p. 587.

  The origin of the fishes, Murdoch, op. cit., p. 595.
    Ititaujang, p. 617.

  Thunder and lightning, Murdoch, op. cit., p. 595.
    Kadlu the thunderer, p. 600.

  Sun and moon, Petitot, op. cit., p. 7.
    Sun and moon, p. 597.

  Orion, Simpson, p. 940.
    Orion, p. 636.




The table shows that the following ideas are known to all tribes from
Alaska to Greenland: The sun myth, representing the sun as the brother
of the moon; the legend of the descent of man from a dog; the origin of
thunder by rubbing a deerskin; the origin of fish from chips of wood;
and the story of the origin of deer.

It must be regretted that very few traditions have as yet been collected
in Alaska, as the study of such material would best enable us to decide
upon the question of the origin of the Eskimo.



The Eskimo exhibit a thorough knowledge of the geography of their
country. I have already treated of their migrations and mentioned that
the area they travel over is of considerable extent. They have a very
clear conception of all the countries they have seen or heard of,
knowing the distances by day’s journeys, or, as they say, by sleeps, and
the directions by the cardinal points. So far as I know, all these
tribes call true south piningnang, while the other points are called
according to the weather prevailing while the wind blows from the
different quarters. In Cumberland Sound uangnang is west-northwest;
qaningnang (that is, snow wind), east-northeast; nigirn, southeast; and
aqsardnirn, the fohn-like wind blowing from the fjords of the east
coast. On Nettilling these names are the same, the east-northeast only
being called qanara (that is, is it snow?) In Akudnirn uangnang is
west-southwest; ikirtsuq (i.e., the wind of the open sea),
east-northeast; oqurtsuq (i.e., the wind of the land Oqo or of the lee
side, southeast; and avangnanirn (i.e., from the north side along the
shore), the northwestern gales. According to Parry the same names as in
Cumberland Sound are used in Iglulik.

If the weather is clear the Eskimo use the positions of the sun, of the
dawn, or of the moon and stars for steering, and find their way pretty
well, as they know the direction of their point of destination exactly.
If the weather is thick they steer by the wind, or, if it is calm, they
do not travel at all. After a gale they feel their way by observing the
direction of the snowdrifts.

They distinguish quite a number of constellations, the most important of
which are Tuktuqdjung (the deer), our Ursa Major; the Pleiades,
Sakietaun; and the belt of Orion, Udleqdjun.

As their knowledge of all the directions is very detailed and they are
skillful draftsmen they can draw very good charts. If a man intends to
visit a country little known to him, he has a map drawn in the snow by
some one well acquainted there and these maps are so good that every
point can be recognized. Their way of drawing is first to mark some
points the relative positions of which are well known. They like to
stand on a hill and to look around in order to place these correctly.
This done, the details are inserted. It is remarkable that their ideas
of the relative position and direction of coasts far distant one from
another are so very clear. Copies of some charts drawn by Eskimo of
Cumberland Sound and Davis Strait are here introduced (Plate IV, p. 643,
and Figs. 543-546). A comparison between the maps and these charts will
prove their correctness. Frequently the draftsman makes his own country,
with which he is best acquainted, too large; if some principal points
are marked first, he will avoid this mistake. The distance between the
extreme points represented in the first chart (Fig. 543) is about five
hundred miles.

  [Illustration: FIG. 543. Cumberland Sound and Frobisher Bay, drawn
  by Itu, a Nugumio. (Original in the Museum für Völkerkunde,

  [Illustration: FIG. 544. Cumberland Sound and Frobisher Bay, drawn
  by Sunapignang, an Oqomio.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 545. Cumberland Sound, drawn by Itu, a Nugumio.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 546. Peninsula of Qivitung, drawn by
  Angutuqdjuaq, a Padlimio.]

The Eskimo have a sort of calendar. They divide the year into thirteen
months, the names of which vary a great deal, according to the tribes
and according to the latitude of the place. The surplus is balanced by
leaving out a month every few years, to wit, the month siringilang
(without sun), which is of indefinite duration, the name covering the
whole time of the year when the sun does not rise and there is scarcely
any dawn. Thus every few years this month is totally omitted, when the
new moon and the winter solstice coincide. The name qaumartenga is
applied only to the days without sun but with dawn, while the rest of
the same moon is called siriniktenga. The days of the month are very
exactly designated by the age of the moon. Years are not reckoned for a
longer space than two, backward and forward.

  *  *  *

The Eskimo are excellent draftsmen and carvers. Most of the drawings are
similar to the bear and deer shown on Plate V (Figs. _d_ and _g_) or to
the illustrations of the Qaudjaqdjuq tale (see Figs. 537-541, pp.
631-633.) The rest, on Plates VI and VII, are excellently made, and by
far superior to any I have seen made by other Eskimo of these regions.
A number of carvings are represented on Plates VIII and IX. The narwhal
and the whale are particularly admirable. Among the implements
represented in this paper there are many of beautiful and artistic

I also add a number of engravings of implements plainly showing the
influence of European patterns (Plate X).


  [Transcriber’s Note:
  The HTML version of this etext includes all music in MIDI format.
  Each piece is a separate file in the /music directory. Filenames are
  given here in brackets as [central648] or [eskimo2].
  The “killer” in no. I. is a killer whale (_arluk_, gen. _arluup_
  or _arlum_).]

Among the arts of the Eskimo poetry and music are by far the most
prominent. The tales which have been related are only a small part of
their stock of traditions. Besides the contents their form also is very
interesting, as most of them have been handed down in unchanged form and
their narration demands a great deal of art. Many traditions are told in
a very abridged form, the substance being supposed to be known.
A specimen of this kind is the Sedna tradition (p. 604). All these tales
must be considered recitatives, many of them beginning with a musical
phrase and continuing as a rhythmic recitation, others being recited in
rhythmic phrases throughout. Other traditions are told in a more
detailed and prosaic manner, songs or recitations, however, being
sometimes included. Ititaujang, for instance, in traveling into the
country looking for his wife, sings the song No. XIII, and in the
Kalopaling tradition the boy, on seeing the two Inuit coming, sings:

  [Music [central648]:
  Inung-- maqong-- tikitong-- aipa-- kapiteling aipa-- mirqosailing]


  _a_, _b_, _c_, _e_ Drawn by Aisē´ang, a native of Nuvujen.
  _d_, _f_, _g_ Drawn by Maleki, a native of Imigen.


Some Eskimo are very good narrators and understand how to express the
feelings of the different persons by modulations of the voice. In
addition, as a number of tales are really onomatopoetic, an artistic
effect is produced. The way of reciting is always similar to the one
above described by notes (p. 648).

Besides these tales, which may be called poetic prose, there are real
poems of a very marked rhythm, which are not sung but recited. The
following are examples:


  [Music [central649a]:
  Pika pikagning mingepignirming qijepignirming sukadla. aq! aq!]

The Eskimo reciting this song jump up and down and to the right and left
with their legs bent and their hands hanging down, the palms touching
each other. In crying aq! aq! they jump as high as possible.


  [Music [central649b]:
  Ikergnapigen, ikergnapigen sirdnaturenain
  aχeeroqturenain nakusungming aukturenain
  pijungmadjangilatit qialungnuaralungnan]

Besides these old songs and tales there are a great number of new ones,
and, indeed, almost every man has his own tune and his own song. A few
of these become great favorites among the Eskimo and are sung like our
popular songs. The summer song (No. I) and “The returning hunter”
(No. II) may be most frequently heard. As to the contents of the songs,
they treat of almost everything imaginable: of the beauty of summer;
of thoughts and feelings of the composer on any occasion, for instance,
when watching a seal, when angry with somebody, &c.; or they tell of an
important event, as of a long journey. Satiric songs are great

The form of both old and new songs is very strict, they being divided
into verses of different length, alternating regularly. I give here some

  ARLUM PISSINGA (the killer’s song).

  [Music [central650]:
  Qiangalo taitoχalunga qolaralo taitoχalunga
  Qiangalogalo qolaralogalo aisinaiisi
  senilearaluqdjuara maliksiaqtuaqtugo
  uvanaleunen audlatsiapiata kingodnidlaqdjuagung
  qangatirgakulung uaijuvara.]

  I. The killer’s song:

    (1) Qiangalo taitoχalunga,
        Qolaralo taitoχalunga
    (2) Senilearaluqdjuara
    (3) Qangatirgakulung uaijuvara.

    [Footnote 15: The stanza is scanned thus:
      _´ . _´ . .´ . . _´
      _´ . . _´ . .´ . . _´
      _´ . _´ . _´
      .´ . . _´ . _´
      _´ . . _´ . _´ ]

  II. Summer song:

    (1) Ajaja adlenaipa.
        Adlenaitariva silekdjua una aujaratarame
        Ajaja, Ajaja!
    (2) Ajaja adlenaipa
        Adlenaitariva silekdjua una tektorotikelektlune.
        Ajaja, Ajaja.
    (3) Ajaja nipituovokpan!
        Nipituovokpan kouvodlalimokoa nunatine aujadle
        Ajaja, Ajaja

  III. Utitiaq’s song:

    (1) Adlenaipunganema adlenait.
        Adlenaipunganema adlenait,
    (2) Sikuqdjualimena adlenait.
        Tanerangitu adlenait.

  IV. Kadlu’s song:

    (1) Odlaqē´, odlaqē´, odlaqē´.
        Odlaqē´ saranga tutaranga atujang una ajajaja.
        Odlaqē´ atedlirlungai aχigirn qodlusuaning
            aχiatungitunga ajaja.
        Nettiulunga iχatijetingirn pinassousirdlunirn
    (2) Odlaqē´, odlaqē´, odlaqē´.
        Odlaqē´ saranga tutaranga atujang una ajajaja.
        Odlaqē´ atedlirlungai aχigirn qodlusuaning
            aχiatungitunga ajaja.
        Ugjurutlarunirn iχatijitingirn pinassousirdlunirn
    (3) . . . . &c.


  Drawn by Aisē´ang, a native of Nuvujen.



  Drawn by Aise´ang, a native of Nuvujen.


Some of these verses contain only a single word, the rhythm being
brought about by the chorus aja, amna aja, &c. I add two examples of
this kind:

  V. Song in the language of the Angakut:

        Ajarpaija taitlaniqdjuaq ajarpe aitarpik ajijaija.
        Ajarpaija ataqdjuaq ajarpe aitarpik ajijaija.
        Ajarpaija mingeriaqdjuaq ajarpe aitarpik ajijaija.

  VI. Oχaitoq’s song:

    (1) Tavunga tavunga tavunga tavunga
        Tavunga tavunga tavunga tavunga tavungadlo tavunga
    (2) Pissutaramaima tavunga tavunga.
        Pissutaramaima tavunga tavunga tavungadlo tavunga, &c.

The rhythm of the songs will best be understood by examining the
melodies. Every long syllable may be replaced by two or even three short
ones; other short syllables appear as unaccented parts before the
accented part of a measure; in short, the rhythmic adaptation of the
words to the melody is very arbitrary and interchanges frequently occur,
so that it is impossible to speak of metric feet. At the same time this
furnishes distinct proof that the musical rhythm is the decisive element
in determining the form. The rhythmic arrangement of the words is
regulated with considerable exactness by the quantity of the syllables,
and not by the accent. While, for instance, in speaking, it would be
“palirtu´gun,” in song No. IV it is “palir´tugun´,” and in No. I
“tekto´roti´kelek´tlune,” instead of “tektorotikelektlu´ne,” &c. Such
displacements of the accent, however, are avoided if possible, and in
the best and most popular songs they hardly appear at all.

  [Transcriber’s Note:
  The numbers refer to the songs printed below, so “No. I” is the
  Summer Song, No. II above. But the quoted word “tektorotikelektlune”
  occurs only in the first version.]

The construction of the songs corresponds entirely with that of the
music, inasmuch as every melody and every rhythmically spoken song is
made up of musical, that is, rhythmic, phrases which are divided by
cæsuræ. Repetitions of the same phrases are very frequent. The
adaptation of the melodies to our divisions of time and measure is also
somewhat arbitrary, as they frequently consist of a mixture of three and
four part phrases. It is for this reason that I have noted down some
songs without any division into bars or measures and in those cases have
only marked the accented syllables.

Among the twenty melodies and rhythmic poems we find ten of binary
measures, five of triple measures, and six of mixed ones. Of the whole
number, nine begin on the full bar, eleven on the arsis.

The melodies move within the following range: In a fifth (No. III), one;
in a minor sixth (Nos. VII, IX, X), three; in a major sixth (Nos. II,
IV, XVII), three; in a seventh (Nos. XII, XIV), two; in an octave, (Nos.
I, II, V, VIII, XI, XVI), six; in a minor ninth (No. VI), one; in a
major ninth (No. V), one; in a tenth (No. XIII), one.

These may be divided into two very characteristic and distinct groups.
The first, which would coincide with our major key, contains the
following essential tones:

  [Music: c d e g a]

The fourth and the sixth occur seldom, and then only as subordinate
tones. This key is identical with the Chinese and many of the Indian

In the second group, which corresponds to our minor key, we frequently
find the fourth, while the sixth only appears twice and then as a
subordinate tone (in No. XV). We furthermore find the major seventh in
the lower position leading back to the beginning, i.e., the key note.
The essential components of this key are:

  [Music: g# a b c d e]

Professor R. Succo calls attention to the fact that the relation of the
melodies to their key note resembles that of the Gregorian chants,
especially the psalmodic ones among them.

If we, in accordance with our ideas, suppose the melody--No. XIII, for
example--to begin in C major, it nevertheless does not conclude in the
same key, but in E. We would say that No. XIV is written in A minor;
still it ends in E. We find the same in the Gregorian chants. They also
resemble the songs of the Eskimo in the retention of the same note
during a large number of consecutive syllables.

On the whole the melodies, even to our musical sense, can be traced to a
key note. However, changes often occur as well (see No. VI). A very
striking construction appears in No. XIII, where the oft-repeated E
forms a new key note, while at the conclusion the melody leaps back
without any modulation to C through the peculiar interval, ḇ, c.


  Carving representing whale. (In the possession of Mrs. Adams,
    Washington.) 1/1
  Carving representing whale. (National Museum, Washington. 29998.)
  Carving representing seal. (National Museum, Washington. 29991.)



  Carving representing narwhal. (In the possession of Capt. John O.
    Spicer, Groton. Conn.). ½
  Seal. (Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin.) 1/1
  Walrus head. (National Museum, Washington. 10414.) 1/1
  Polar bear. (Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin.) 1/1
  Sealskin float. (Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin.) 1/1
  Seal. (Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin.) 1/1
  Knife. (Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin.) 1/1
  Spyglass. (Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin.) 1/1



  A-ja-ja, adlenaipa, adlenaitariva silekdjua una aujaratarame.
  A-ja-ja, A-ja-ja, A-ja.]


  Angutivun taina taunane taina, auvasimameta avavasimameta
  neriopaluktunga--, hanga anga; hanga anga agaga.

  Angutivun taina taunane taina, auvasimameta
  avavasimameta neriopaluktunga; hanga anga agaga.]


  Savu saujaqdjuin tetetlirpavun, aqtungan.
  Surqarmun pilaktutu aχi lurpa, aqtungan.]


  _Adagio non troppo._
  A-ja. Aχagodlo palirtugun; uangnangmun tipavunga,
  i-ja ji-ja a-ja-ja. A-ja.]


  A-ja. Tavunga tavunga tavunga tavunga.
  Tavunga tavunga tavunga tavunga tavungadlo tavunga. A-ja.]


  A-ja. Adlenaipunganema adlenait.
  Adlenaipunganema adlenaipunganema adlenait. A-ja.]


  A-ja. A-ja-ja-ja a-ja-ja-ja a-ja-ja a-ja-ja-ja a-ja-ja
  a-ja-ja a-ja-ja-ja-ja-ja.]


  Haja-jaja ha-ja-ja haja-jaja ha-jaja haja-jaja hajaja
  haja-jaja ha-jaja.]


  Savungaja a-ja a-ja Sama a-ja-ja a-ja. [FINE.]
  Nunataχatoq sedna--, sersertaχatoq sedna. [_D. C. al Fine._]]


  (National Museum, Washington. _a_, 10395; _b_, 68146; _c_, 10396;
    _e_, 10394.)



  Sourme oχomejame--, kangedlirpiuk ta-ja-ja-ja-ja. [FINE.]
  RECITATIVE [_Slowly._]
  Irdning-- nuχingnaq-- ujarqamoma-- satuaitiem--
  aqbiranga pirietukilaunga. [_Song Da Capo_]]


  A-a-ja a-ja a-ja a-ja-ja a-ja a-ja a-ja-ja.
  A-a-ja a-ja a-ja a-ja qilirsiutarata taunane.
  Arnaqdjuqpun una qiavoqtung qitungnaqdjuago nutingmen.]


  Ananema Padli unguatane naunirpunga ananega oqsomiksema
  qijanurpomena kijutaidle noutlarputin kungesiening qaqoamudle
  noutlarputidle a-ja.]


  Tavungavunga pisupagasupunga pisupagasupunga silapotuadnun
  [_rit._] tigmidjen nunanun tavungaja i-ja-a-ja. [FINE.]

  Nutitavun okoa quliqdjuaq una niguviksao adjirdjangirtun
  qangiqsao adjirdjangirtun kissieni okoa
  oχomeangitigun majoardlunga tavunga
  imma pisutalupurmalirmijunga. [_D. C. al Fine._]]


  Sake-etan sungmunpingmeta naumunpingmeta
  qaujarajuva udlujarajuva
  amutai qimutai idlo-oma una qagiela una
  idnir sorivara inung ikoa oaitiangikoa audlertouqikoa
  togitjugitjuge togitjugitjuge setidle-- sinadle--
  arnarisaigneman tigmidjen arnaining tunigo
  anejuidla qausirtuming ita itjamuna
  majaoadlelatit ikuseka-- avasituko--
  oqsukena taotugnite akataotuktara
  sugavikana kananepa iluqio gnariputit
  aaiqtodlutidlo-- nesertodlutidlo


  χolurpajause χolupirpajause surivanga pangmane majoriva pangmane.]

XVI. From Parry, Second Voyage, p. 542, Iglulik.

  Amna a-ya a-ya amna ah
  amna a-ya a-ya amna ah ah

The sixteenth bar is probably [Music]

  [Transcriber’s Note: b flat rather than the printed a]

XVII. From Lyon, Private Journal, p. 135, Iglulik.

  Pilitai, avata vat . . .
  ah! hooi! ah! hooi!]

According to Parry, p. 542, the fourth bar of XVII is written: [Music];
the eighth, [Music]; Lyon bar after the twelfth bar [Music] inserted.

  [Transcriber’s Note:
  Fourth bar: b gg instead of the printed d gg
  Eighth bar: ends in d e instead of the printed d d
  Inserted bar: g g g g after two bars of a g g g]

XVIII. From Kane, Arctic Explorations. The Second Grinnell Expedition,
I, p. 383. From Ita, Smith Sound.

  Amna gat amnaya amna ja amnayet.]

XIX. From Bessels’s Amerikanische Nordpol-Expedition, p. 372.

  Ahjajajajajajajajaja ahjajajajajajajajaja ahjajajajajajajajaja ah.]




#Adlipar´miut#, the inhabitants of the country farthest below; from
_at_, below; _-lirn_, being in a certain direction; _-pāng_,
superlative; _-mio_ (plural, _-miut_), inhabitant of.

#A´dlirn#, a small lamp on the floor of the hut; from _at_, below;
_-lirn_, being in a certain direction.

#Adli´vun#, those beneath us; from _at_, below; _-lirn_, being in a
certain direction; _-vun_, possessive first person plural.

#A´gdlag#, black bear.

#Agdliaq#, a small spear; from _ake-_, across; _-dlivoq_, he provides
with; _-aq_, past participle.

#Ag´girn#, a species of duck (_Anas glacialis_).

#Aiss´ivang#, spider.

#A´jang#, beam of kayak; from _ajaq-_, to support.

#Aja´rorpoq#, he plays the game cat’s cradle.

#Aje´gaung#, a game.

#Ajokitarpoq#, a game.

#Ajuktaq´tung#, batting the ball.

#Akparaik´tung#, hook for preventing the loss of harpoon.

#Akud´nang#, paddle handle; from _ako_, middle.

#A´kuk#, lateral strips of wood used in boat; from _ako_, middle.

#A´lirn#, harpoon line.

#A´maroq#, wolf.

#A´ming#, skin of land animals, cover of boat and kayak.

#Ang´akoq#, a magician, conjurer.

#Angakunirn#, the art of the angakoq.

#Ang´akut#, plural of angakoq.

#Angiaq#, spirit of a murdered child (Greenland).

#Ang´un#, paddle.

#Anguta´#, his father.

#Angu´vigang#, lance; from _anguvoq_, he goes sealing with the harpoon.

#Aning´a#, her brother (the moon).

#A´no#, dog harness.

#A´pumang#, gunwale.

#Aqo´jang#, stern of kayak.

#Aqsar´dnirn#, wind blowing down a valley.

#Arau´taq#, snow beater (Aivillik dialect).

#Arng´oaq#, amulet.

#Ase´dlun#, flat receptacle for the harpoon line on kayak.

#Asimau´tang#, piece of board or whalebone on which skins are cleaned.

#Atau´ta#, neck of sealskin float; from _atav-_, to be connected.

#Audliti´ving#, vault back of snow house.

#Avangna´nirn#, northwestern gales along the coast of Baffin Land.

#Avau´tang#, sealskin float.

#Avautapāq´#, large sealskin float; from _avautang_, sealskin float;
_-pāq_, superlative.

#A´vignaq#, lemming.

#Aχi´girn#, ptarmigan.


#Eχalū´jang#, carved ivory fish, used as bait; from _eχaluq_, salmon;
_-ujang_, similar to.

#Eχaluq#, salmon.


#Idluk´#, a fabulous fish.

#Igdl´u#, snow house.

#Igdl´uarn#, a vault attached to snow hut; from _igdlu_, snow house;
_-arn_, small.

#Igdlukitaq´tung#, playing with two balls, tossing them up alternately;
from _igdlung_, both; _-kitarpoq_, he uses at the same time.

#Igdlu´ling#, second vault of snow house; from _igdlu_, snow house;
_-ling_, with.

#I´gimang#, ball-and-socket joint of harpoon and lance; from _igipā´_,
he throws it off.

#Ikan´#, store room supported by stone pillars; from _ikarpoq_, it
stretches from one support to another.

#Ikirt´suq#, wind blowing from the open sea.

#Ilaga#, my friend (Netchillik).

#Ilupi´qang#, lining of snow house; from _ilo_, inner.

#Imiti´jung#, drinking water; from _imiq_, fresh water.

#Inetang#, hoop with net of thongs to dry clothing etc. in snow house;
from _inivā´_, he hangs it up.

#In´ua#, its man, owner; possessive third person of _inung_, man.

#Inug´sung#, cairn; from _inung_, man.

#Ipar´ang#, harpoon line.

#Ip´un#, oar, a spear.

#Irqata´tung#, a certain circuit among the huts.

#Issumau´tang#, a chief; from _issu´mavoq_, he thinks.

#Itigega#, boot (Iglulik).

#Itir´bing#, cross piece abaft the hole in kayak; from _itiq_.


#Kabliaqdjuq#, wolverine (Iglulik).

#Kaitikpoq#, a game.

#Kaiviti´jung#, a game.

#Kaki´vang#, fish spear.

#Kaklio´kia#, hook (Iglulik).

#Kalu´giang#, a heavy lance (_qalugiang?_).

#Kang´o#, a species of goose.

#Ka´pun, Spear#; from _kapivā´_, he stabs him.

#Ka´teng#, entrance to stone hut.

#Kentun#, drumstick.

#Kidlu´lirn#, lamp standing in the rear of the hut.

#Ki´glo#, boat post.

#Kilaut#, drum.

#Koukparmiu´tang#, a certain amulet at point of hood.

#Ku´jang#, keel of kayak.


#Ma´ling#, paddle blade.

#Ma´mi#, membrane or inner side of skin.

#Ma´sing#, cross piece before hole in kayak.

#Mir´qun#, needle.

#Mirquss´ang#, two masked persons.

#Mumipoq#, he dances.


#Nabi´ring#, a loop; from _nā´poq_, he hinders a motion.

#Na´po# (plural _napun_), cross bar of sledge.

#Naqeta´run#, lashing for the sledge; from _naqigpoq_, it is pressed

#Nau´lang#, harpoon head.

#Ne´tivang#, _Phoca cristata_.

#Ni´girn#, southeast.

#Niksiang#, hook.

#Niksiar´taung#, fish hook.

#Nirt´sun#, small ropes used in sledge and house.

#Niuq´tung#, drill bow with string; from _niorpoq_, he drills.

#Niu´tang#, hoop with skin stretched over it; beam of kayak.

#Nuglu´tang#, a certain game.

#Nu´irn#, bird spear.

#Nulianititi´jung#, exchange of wives.

#Nunajisar´tung#, a certain festival.

#Nuqsang#, throwing board.

#Nussueraqtung#, a certain festival.


#Oqur´tsuq# (Akudnirn), southeast, blowing from Oqo; from _oqo_, weather


#Pa#, hole of kayak.

#Pakijumijar´tung#, game of hook and crook.

#Pa´na#, double edged knife.

#Parti´rang#, button for closing the _pitu_; from _pārpa_, he meets him.

#Pauk´tun#, pegs.

#Pau´ting#, double bladed kayak paddle.

#Pi´laut#, large knife.

#Pilek´tung#, cutting something.

#Pi´main#, chief, he who knows everything best by practice.

#Pi´ningnang#, true south.

#Pir´qang#, shoeing of runners of sledge.

#Pitiq´se#, bow.

#Pitkusi´rarpoq#, a certain game.

#Pi´tu#, a stout thong, consisting of two parts to fasten traces to

#Poviu´tang#, pipe for inflating skins; from _pō-_, to blow.

#Pukiq#, the white part of a deerskin.


#Qadlunait#, Europeans.

#Qag´gi#, singing house.

#Qailerte´tang#, a certain masked figure.

#Qai´vun#, drill.

#Qa´jaq#, kayak.

#Qa´mun#, sledge runner.

#Qa´muting# (dual of _qamun_), sledge.

#Qana´ra#, east-northeast (Nettilling); from _qaning_, falling snow.

#Qang´ing#, a toggle.

#Qang´irn#, a ventilating hole in snow house; from _qa_, above.

#Qa´ning#, a certain rib of kayak.

#Qa´ningnang#, east-northeast; from _qaning_, falling snow.

#Qaq´djung#, arrow.

#Qa´reang#, annex of house for an additional family.

#Qar´mang# (plural _qarmat_), stone or bone house.

#Qarmau´jang#, similar to a _qarmang_; suffix, _-ujang_, similar to.

#Qasi´giaq#, _Phoca annellata_.

#Qatilik#, a spear (Iglulik); from _qatirn_, ivory head of harpoon
shaft; _-lik_, with.

#Qa´tirn#, ivory head of harpoon shaft.

#Qatu´rang#, a boot ornament.

#Qaumarteng´a#, days without sun, but with dawn.

#Qau´mat#, a kind of fire (?); from _qauq_, daylight.

#Qaumati´vun#, sun (in the sacred language of the angakut).

#Qauma´vun#, moon (in the sacred language of the angakut).

#Qauq#, daylight.

#Qidja´rung#, whirl; from _qipivā´_, he twists it.

#Qijuqteng´a#, harpoon shaft; from _qijuq_, wood.

#Qilaq#, sky.

#Qiler´tuang#, clasp for holding the coils of the harpoon line; from
_qilerpā´_, he ties it with a knot.

#Qing´ang#, a hole to look out of snow house.

#Qing´miaq#, mouth piece of drill.

#Qipeku´tang#, rod to indicate approach of seal to his hole.

#Qi´piq#, blanket.

#Qi´qirn#, phantom in the shape of a huge, hairless dog.

#Qoqsiuariva#, the ceremony of washing children with urine.

#Qudlipar´miut#, the inhabitants of the country farthest above; from
_qu_, above; _-lirn_, being in a certain direction; _-pāng_,
superlative; _-mio_ (plural, _-miut_), inhabitant of.

#Qudlirn#, a lamp; from _qu_, above; _-lirn_, being in a certain

#Qudli´vun#, the uppermost ones; from _qu_, above; _-lirn_, being in a
certain direction; _-vun_, possessive first person plural.

#Qudluqsiu´ta#, ring on a paddle.

#Qu´ming#, a certain lamp.

#Quqar´taun#, an implement to string fish.

#Quvie´tung#, a festival.


#Sadni´riaq#, cross piece, a certain button, from _sadne_, side, across.

#Sadni´run#, a yard.

#Sāketān´#, roulette; from _sakagpā´_, he pushes it.

#Sakie´taun#, the Pleiades.

#Sakurpāng´#, whale harpoon; from _sako_, weapon; _-pāng_, the largest.

#Sa´ving#, knife.

#Seligo´ung#, scraper; from _selivā´_, he cleans a skin.

#Siad´nirn# (plural, _siadnit_), lateral strip in kayak; from _siaq-_,
to place in a row; _-nirn_, being.

#Siat´ko#, harpoon head (Iglulik).

#Siek´tung#, the three stars in Orion’s belt: those standing in a row.

#Sir´dloang#, store room of snow house.

#Siring´ilang#, the excepted month in balancing Eskimo calendars, the
month without sun; from _sirinirn_, sun; _-ngilang_, he has not.

#Sirinikteng´a#, the first days with sunlight; from _sirinirn_, sun;
_-tang_, new; _-a_, possessive third person singular.

#Sirmi´jaung#, scraper for kayak; from _sirming_, thin ice.

#Sulubaut´#, bunch of hair projecting from forehead.

#Sului´tung#, festival in which a knife (_sulung_) is used.

#Su’lung#, wing; knife shaped like a wing.


#Tagusiar´bing#, eye (of harpoon).

#Taguta´#, a thong (of harpoon).

#Teliq´bing#, certain piece on harpoon line.

#Tesir´qun#, scraper; from _tesivā´_, he stretches it.

#Tigdluiq´djung#, blow with the fist (of a stranger); from _tigdlugpā´_,
he strikes him with the fist.

#Tika´gung#, support of hand in throwing harpoon.

#Ti´kiq#, thimble.

#Tik´ping#, rib of kayak.

#Tiluq´tung#, snow beater; from _tiluqpā´_, he strikes it, in order to
shake something off.

#Tingmi´ujang#, images of birds (used for dice); from _tingmiang_, bird;
_-ujang_, similar to.

#To´kang#, harpoon head.

#Toq´sung#, vaulted entrance to snow house.

#Tor´naq#, a guardian spirit.

#Tornarsuq#, the great _tornaq_.

#To´ung#, tusk, point.

#Toung´a#, point of spear.

#Tugliga#, a tress.

#Tuktuq´djung#, the constellation of the Reindeer, or the Great Bear,
Ursa Major; from _tukto_, caribou (deer).

#Tumi´ujang#, a certain lamp resembling a footprint; from _tume_,
footprint; _-ujang_, similar to.

#Tuniq´djung#, stern of kayak.

#Tu´pilaq#, spirit of a deceased person.

#Tu´piq#, tent.

#Tupu´tang#, plugs for closing wounds.

#Tuta´reang#, a certain buckle.

#Tu´ving#, strip in the boat nearest the gunwale; from _tuk-_, to stop a
motion; _tupā´_, he makes it fast.


#Ua´dling#, first vault of snow house.

#Uang´nang#, west-northwest, Cumberland Sound; west-southwest in

#Udleq´djung#, Sword of Orion: following one another.

#Ui´nirn#, head of sledge runner.

#U´kusik#, soapstone kettle.

#U´lo#, woman’s knife.

#Uluq´saq#, green slate, material for women’s knives; from _ulo_ and
_-saq_, material for.

#U´miaq#, large skin boat.

#Uming#, beard.

#U´mingmang#, musk ox.

#Umī´ujang#, needle case.

#U´nang#, sealing harpoon.

#Unaqiu´ta#, ring on shaft of sealing harpoon; from _unang_; _-iarpā´_,
he fastens it; _-ta_, past participle.

#Unarteng´a#, iron rod of sealing harpoon; from _unang_; _-tang_,
belonging to; _-a_, possessive.

#Uqsirn#, implement for fastening traces to sledge.

#Usujang#, stern projection of kayak; from _usung_, penis; _-ujang_,
similar to.




#Aggirtijung#, abounding with ducks.

#Aggo#, the weather side.

#Aggomiut#, the inhabitants of Aggo.

#Agpan#, loons.


#Aivillik#, with walrus.

#Aivillirmiut#, the inhabitants of Aivillik (the walrus country).

#Akudnirmiut#, the inhabitants of Akudnirn.

#Akudnirn#, the intervening country.

#Akugdlirn#, the central one.

#Akugdlit#, the central ones.



#Akuliarmiut#, the inhabitants of Akuliaq.

#Amaqdjuaq#, the large place where children are carried in the hood.

#Amartung#, a woman carrying a child in the hood.

#Amitoq#, the narrow one.

#Anarnitung#, smelling of excrements.

#Anartuajuin#, the excrements.


#Angiuqaq#; from _angivoq_, it is large.

#Angmalortuq#, the round one.

#Angmang#, jasper.

#Angmartung#, the open one (not frozen over).

#Aqbeniling#, six; so called because reached after six days’ travel.

#Aqbirsiarbing#, a lookout for whales.

#Aqbirtijung#, abounding with whales.

#Aqojang#; from _aqo_, stern.

#Aqojartung#; from _aqo_, stern.


#Audnerbing#, place where seals are approached by the crawling hunter.

#Augpalugtijung#, with many red places.

#Augpalugtung#, the red one.

#Aulitiving#, an annex of the snow house; hills lying at the foot of
steep cliffs.

#Auqardneling#, with many places where the ice melts early in spring.


#Avaudjeling#, with a low saddle.


#Eχaloaping#, with common salmon.

#Eχalualuin#, the large salmon (plur.).

#Eχaluaqdjuin#, the small salmon (plur.).

#Eχaluin#, the salmon (plur.).

#Eχaluqdjuaq#, the shark.



#Idjorituaqtuin#, the only places with an abundance of grass.

#Idjuk#, the testicles.

#Igdlumiut#, the inhabitants of the other side.

#Igdlungajung#, the bandy legged man; so called from a fabulous tribe.

#Igdluqdjuaq#, the large house.

#Iglulik#, with houses.

#Iglulirmiut#, the inhabitants of the place with houses.

#Igpirto#, with many hills.

#Igpirtousirn#, the smaller place with many hills.


#Ikaroling#, with a ford.

#Ikerassaq#, the narrow strait.

#Ikerassaqdjuaq#, the large narrow strait.

#Iliqimisarbing#, where one shakes one’s head.


#Imigen#, with fresh water.

#Ingnirn#, flint.

#Inugsuin#, the cairns.

#Inugsulik#, with cairns.

#Ipiuteling#, with an isthmus.

#Ipiuting#, the isthmus; literally, the traces of a dog.



#Isoa#, its cover.

#Issortuqdjuaq#, the large one with muddy water.

#Ita#, food.

#Itidliaping#, the common pass.

#Itidlirn#, the pass.

#Itijareling#, with a small pass.

#Itirbilung#, the anus.

#Itivimiut#, the inhabitants of the coast beyond the land.


#Itutonik# (Etotoniq).


#Kaming´ujang#, similar to a boot.

#Kangertloa´ping#, the common bay.

#Kangertlua´lung#, the large bay.

#Kangertlukdjuaq#, the large bay.


#Kangertlung#, the bay.

#Kangia#, its head, its upper part (of a bay).

#Kangianga#, its upper part.

#Kangidliuta#, nearest to the land.

#Kangivamiut#, inhabitants of Kangia.

#Kautaq#, diorite.

#Kilauting#, the drum.

#Kingnait#, the high land.

#Kingnaitmiut#, the inhabitants of Kingnait.


#Kitigtung#, the island lying farthest out toward the sea.

#Kitingujang#, the gorge.


#Koukdjuaq#, the large river.

#Kouksoarmiut#, the inhabitants of Kouksoaq.

#Koukteling#, with a river.

#Kugnuaq#, the small nice river.


#Majoraridjen#, the places where one has to climb up.

#Maktartudjennaq#, where one eats whale’s hide.


#Manirigtung#, with many eggs.

#Manituling#, with uneven places.

#Metja#, the lid.

#Midlurieling#, where stones are thrown (for catching white whales).

#Miliaqdjuin#, the small ones, which shut it up(?).

#Miliqdjuaq#, the large one, which shuts up(?).

#Mingong#, the beetle.




#Nanuqtuaqdjung#, the little bear.

#Nanuragassain#, abounding in young bears.



#Naujan#, the gulls.

#Naujaqdjuaq#, the large gull.

#Naujateling#, with gulls.


#Nedlung#, peninsula from the point of which deer are driven into the
water; from _nedlugpoq_, he swims.

#Nedluqseaq#; from _nedlugpoq_, he swims.

#Neqemiarbing#, where something is carried in the hand.

#Nerseqdjuaq#, the large valley.

#Netchillik#, with seals.

#Netchillirmiut#, the inhabitants of Netchillik (the seal country).

#Nettilling#, with seals.

#Niaqonaujang#, similar to a head.

#Nikosiving#; from _nikuipoq_, it stands erect.

#Nirdlirn#, the goose.

#Niutang#, hoop used in whaling.

#Nudlung#, the posteriors.

#Nudnirn#, the point.

#Nugumiut#, the inhabitants of the point.


#Nuratamiut#, the inhabitants of Nurata.

#Nuvujalung#, the large cape or point.

#Nuvujen#, the points.

#Nuvukdjuaq#, the great point.

#Nuvukdjuaraqdjung#, the little Nuvukdjuaq.

#Nuvuktirpāng´#, the greatest point.

#Nuvuktualung#, the only great point.

#Nuvung#, the point.


#Okan#, the codfish (plural).


#Operdniving#, place where one lives in spring.

#Oqo#, the weather side.

#Oqomiut#, the inhabitants of Oqo.



#Padli#, with the mouth of a river.

#Padliaq#, the little mouth of the river.(?)

#Padlimiut#, the inhabitants of Padli.

#Padloping#; from _padlorpoq_ (lying on the face?).

#Pamiujang#, similar to a tail.

#Pangnirtung#, with many bucks.

#Pikiulaq#, _Uria grylle_.

#Piling#, with many things (i.e., game).

#Pilingmiut#, the inhabitants of Piling.



#Pujetung#, with plenty of blubber.



#Qaggilortung#; from _qaggi_, singing house.

#Qairoliktung#, with plenty of seals (_Phoca grœnlandica_).



#Qarmang#, walls.

#Qarmaqdjuin#, the large walls.

#Qarussuit#, the caves.

#Qasigidjen#, _Callocephali_.

#Qaumauang#; from _qauq_, daylight.

#Qaumauangmiut#, the inhabitants of Qaumauang.

#Qaχodlualung#, the large fulmar.

#Qaχodluin#, the fulmars.

#Qeqertakadlinang#; from _qeqertaq_, island.

#Qeqertalukdjuaq#, the large island.

#Qeqertaq#, the island.

#Qeqertaujang#, similar to an island.

#Qeqertelung#, the large island.

#Qeqerten#, the islands.

#Qeqertome itoq tudlirn#, next to the island.

#Qeqertuqdjuaq#, the large island.

#Qerniqdjuaq#, the great black place.


#Qimissung#, the snow drift.

#Qimuqsuq#; from _qimuqpoq_, he draws the sledge.


#Qingua#, its head.

#Qinguamiut#, the inhabitants of Qingua.

#Qivitung#, the hermit.

#Qognung#, the narrow place.

#Qogulortung# (Qaggilortung?).

#Qordluving#, where the water runs in a solid stream.




#Sagdlirmiut#, the inhabitants of Sagdlirn.

#Sagdlirn#, the island nearest the sea.

#Sagdlua#, its Sagdlirn.

#Sakiaqdjung#, the little rib.

#Sarbaq# (_sarvaq_), the rapids.

#Sarbaqdjukulu#, the small rapids.

#Sarbaqdualung#, the large rapids.

#Sarbausirn#, the smaller rapids.

#Sarbuqdjuaq#, the large rapids.

#Saumia#, its left side.

#Saumingmiut#, the inhabitants of Saumia.

#Saunirtung#, with many bones.

#Saunirtuqdjuaq#, the great one with many bones.

#Sednirun#, the yard.

#Siegtung#, the scattered ones.

#Sikosuilaq#, the coast without ice.

#Sikosuilarmiut#, the inhabitants of Sikosuilaq.

#Sini#, the edge.

#Sinimiut#, the inhabitants of Sini.

#Sioreling#, with sand.

#Sirmiling#, with a glacier.

#Sulung#, the valley through which the wind blows howling.

#Surosirn#, the boy.


#Talirpia#, its right side.

#Talirpingmiut#, the inhabitants of Talirpia.

#Tappitariaq#, the pass crossing two isthmuses.

#Tappitaridjen#, the passes crossing two isthmuses.


#Tarionitjoq#, the salt water basin.

#Tarrionitung#, the salt water basin.


#Tessiujang#, similar to a pond.

#Tikeraqdjuaq#, the great point.

#Tikeraqdjuausirn#, the smaller great point.

#Tikeraqdjung#, the small point.

#Tikeraqdjuq#, the small point.

#Tininiqdjuaq#, the large beach.

#Tiniqdjuaurbing#, the great place with a high tide.

#Tiniqdjuarbiusirn#, the smaller great place with a high tide.

#Tornait#, Spirits.







#Tukia#, its farthest corner.

#Tulukan#, the ravens.

#Tuniqten#, those lying behind it.


#Tununirmiut#, the inhabitants of Tununirn.

#Tununirn#, the country lying back of something.

#Tununirusirmiut#, the inhabitants of Tununirusirn.

#Tununirusirn#, the smaller Tununirn.

#Tunussung#, the nape.

#Tupirbikdjuin#, the tent sites.


#Udlimauliteling#, with a hatchet.

#Ugjuktung#, with many ground seals.

#Ugjulik#, with ground seals.

#Ugjulirmiut#, the inhabitants of Ugjulik (the ground seal country).


#Uglirn#, walrus island.

#Uglit#, the walrus islands.

#Uibarun#, the cape.

#Ujaraqdjuin#, the large stones.

#Ujaradjiraaitjung#; from _ujaraq_, stone.

#Ukadliq#, the hare.

#Ukiadliving#, the place where one lives in the fall.

#Ukiukdjuaq#, the great winter.

#Ukusiksalik#, the place with pot stone.

#Ukusiksalirmiut#, inhabitant of Ukusiksalik.

#Umanaq#, the heart-like island.

#Umanaqtuaq#, the great heart-like island.

#Umingman Nuna#, the land of the musk ox.



#Ussualung#, the large penis.



After the preceding paper was in type some additional information was
received from whalers who returned from Cumberland Sound in the autumn
of 1887. In the following notes I give the substance of these reports:


Page 467. Since 1883 the whalers have been more successful, and
consequently more ships visit the sound. In the present
winter--1887-’88--one American and two Scottish whaling stations are in
operation in Cumberland Sound; a new station was established in Nugumiut
two years ago, and the Scottish steamers which used to fish in Baffin
Bay and the northern parts of Davis Strait are beginning to visit
Cumberland Sound and Hudson Strait. The whaling in Baffin Bay shows a
sudden falling off and it seems that the number of ships will be greatly
reduced. This cannot be without influence upon the Eskimo, who will
probably begin again to flock to Cumberland Sound and Nugumiut.


Page 538. In 1884 and 1885 a lively intercourse existed between Padli
and Cumberland Sound, and in the spring of the latter year the dog’s
disease broke out for the first time on the coast of Davis Strait, and
spread, so far as is known, to the northern part of Home Bay.


Page 574. A peculiar game is sometimes played on the ice in spring. The
men stand in a circle on the ice, and one of them walks, the toes turned
inward, in a devious track. It is said that only a few are able to do
this in the right way. Then the rest of the men have to follow him in
exactly the same track.

One of their gymnastic exercises requires considerable knack and
strength. A pole is tied with one end to a stone or to a piece of wood
that is firmly secured in the snow. A man then lies down on his back,
embracing the pole, his feet turned toward the place where the pole is
tied to the rock. Then he must rise without bending his body.

In another of their gymnastic exercises they lie down on their stomachs,
the arms bent so that the hands lie close together on the breast, palms
turned downward. Then they have to jump forward without bending their
body, using only their toes and hands. Some are said to be able to jump
several feet in this manner.


Page 582. In the Report of the Hudson Bay Expedition of 1886, p. 16,
Lieut. A. Gordon remarks that the same custom is reported from Port
Burwell, near Cape Chidleigh, Labrador. He says: “There lived between
the Cape and Aulatsivik a good Eskimo hunter whose native name is not
given, but who was christened by our station men ’Old Wicked.’ He was a
passionate man and was continually threatening to do some bodily harm to
the other more peaceably inclined natives. * * * His arrogance and petty
annoyances to the other natives became at length unbearable. It appears
that these unfortunates held a meeting and decided that Old Wicked was a
public nuisance which must be abated, and they therefore decreed that he
should be shot, and shot he was accordingly one afternoon when he was
busily engaged in repairing the ravages which a storm had made in his
‘igdlu’ or snow house. The executioner shot him in the back, killing him
instantly. The murderer or executioner (one hardly knows to which title
he is more justly entitled) then takes Old Wicked’s wives and all his
children and agrees to keep them * * * so that they shall be no burden
on the company.”

The fact that the custom is found among tribes so widely separated will
justify a description of those events which came under my own
observation. There was a native of Padli by the name of Padlu. He had
induced the wife of a Cumberland Sound native to desert her husband and
follow him. The deserted husband, meditating revenge, cut off the upper
part of the barrel of his gun so that he could conceal it under his
jacket. He crossed the land and visited his friends in Padli, but before
he could accomplish his intention of killing Padlu the latter shot him.
When this news was reported in Qeqerten, the brother of the murdered man
went to Padli to avenge the death of his brother; but he also was killed
by Padlu. A third native of Cumberland Sound, who wished to avenge the
death of his relatives, was also murdered by him. On account of all
these outrages the natives wanted to get rid of Padlu, but yet they did
not dare to attack him. When the pimain of the Akudnirmiut in
Niaqonaujang learned of these events he started southward and asked
every man in Padli whether Padlu should be killed. All agreed; so he
went with the latter deer hunting in the upper part of Pangnirtung,
northwest of Padli, and near the head of the fjord he shot Padlu in the

In another instance a man in Qeqerten had made himself odious. After it
was agreed that he was a bad man an old man of Qeqerten, Pakaq, attacked
him on board a Scottish whaler, but was prevented from killing him.


Page 594. The following performance was observed in Umanaqtuaq, on the
southwestern coast of Cumberland Sound, in the winter of 1886-’87: An
angakoq began his incantations in a hut after the lamps were lowered.
Suddenly he jumped up and rushed out of the hut to where a mounted
harpoon was standing. He threw himself upon the harpoon, which
penetrated his breast and came out at the back. Three men followed him
and holding the harpoon line led the angakoq, bleeding profusely, to all
the huts of the village. When they arrived again at the first hut he
pulled out the harpoon, lay down on the bed, and was put to sleep by the
songs of another angakoq. When he awoke after a while he showed to the
people that he was not hurt, although his clothing was torn and they had
seen him bleeding.

Another angakoq performed a similar feat on the island Utussivik in the
summer of 1887. He thrust a harpoon through his body and was led by
about twenty-five men through the village. It is said that he imitated
the movements and voice of a walrus while on the circuit.

Still another exhibition was witnessed by the whalers in the fall of
1886 in Umanaqtuaq. An angakoq stripped off his outer jacket and began
his incantations while walking about in the village. When the men heard
him, one after the other came out of his hut, each carrying his gun.
After a while the angakoq descended to the beach; the men followed him,
and suddenly fired a volley at him. The angakoq, of course, was not
hurt, and then the women each gave him a cup of water, which he drank.
Then he put on his jacket, and the performance was ended. The similarity
of this performance with part of the festival which is described on pp.
605 et seq. is evident.


Page 606. The same feast was celebrated in 1886 in Umanaqtuaq, in
Cumberland Sound, where all the Talirpingmiut had gathered. The
witnesses of this festival describe it exactly in the same way as I
described it above. One thing ought to be added, which I did not mention
because it seemed to me accidental, but as it was repeated in the same
way in 1886 it must have some meaning. I noticed that the Qailertetang,
after having invoked the wind, hop about, making a grunting noise and
accosting the people. When doing so they are attacked by the natives and
killed. According to the description of the whalers they imitate
sometimes deer, sometimes walrus. Perhaps this fact gave rise to
Kumlien’s description of the “killing of the evil spirit of the deer.”
It is remarkable that in 1883 in Qeqerten and in 1886 in Umanaqtuaq the
festival was celebrated on exactly the same day, the 10th of November.
This can hardly be accidental, and does not agree with the idea
sometimes advanced, that the festival refers to the winter solstice.
Unfortunately Hall (I, p. 528) does not give the dates of the festival
in Nugumiut. On the western coast of Hudson Bay a festival in which
masks were used was celebrated about the end of January, 1866 (Hall II,
p. 219), but it is hardly possible to draw conclusions from Nourse’s
superficial account of Hall’s observations.


Page 615. It may be of interest to learn that in 1885 and 1886 two
instances of this kind occurred in Cumberland Sound. There was a very
old woman in Qeqerten by the name of Qaχodloaping. She was well provided
for by her relatives, but it seems that one of the most influential men
in Qeqerten, Pakaq, whom I mentioned above (p. 668) as the executioner
of a murderer, deemed it right that she should die. So, although she
resisted him, he took her out of her hut one day to a hill and buried
her alive under stones. Another case was that of an old woman whose
health had been failing for a number of years. She lived with her son,
whose wife died late in the autumn of 1886. According to the religious
ideas of the Eskimo, the young man had to throw away his clothing. When,
later on, his mother felt as though she could not live through the
winter, she insisted upon being killed, as she did not want to compel
her son to cast away a second set of clothing. At last her son complied
with her request. She stripped off her outside jacket and breeches, and
was conveyed on a sledge to a near island, where she was left alone to
die from cold and hunger. The son who took her there did not use his own
sledge nor any other Eskimo sledge for this purpose, but borrowed that
of the Scottish whaling station.


  Adlet and Qadlunait, origin of the 637
  Adlet or Erqigdlit 640
  Aggomiut Eskimo tribe, situation and subdivisions of 442-444
  Agutit Eskimo tribe, situation of 450, 451
  Aivillirmiut Eskimo tribe, situation of 445-450
  Akudnirmiut Eskimo tribe, situation of 440-442
  Akuliarmiut Eskimo tribe, situation of 421
  American Museum of Natural History, acknowledgments to 409
    figured specimens from 472, 517
  Anderson and Stewart, cited 458, 459
  Ardnainiq, fabulous tribe in Eskimo tradition 640

  Back, cited 485
  Baffin Land, description of 415, 416
    distribution of tribes in 421-444
    traditions of, with comparisons 641-643
  Berliner Gesellschaft für Anthropologie etc., Verhandlungen der,
      cited 409, 616
  Bessels, Emil, cited 412, 460, 486
  Boothia Felix and Back River, tribes of 452-459

  Collinson, cited 503
  Cranz, D., cited 412, 586, 590
  Cumberland Sound, description of settlements of 428-440

  Davis Strait Indian tribes, snow houses of 541-544
  Dease and Simpson, cited 458
  Dogs and sledges of Eskimo 529-538

  Eenoolooapik, cited 410, 425, 464
  Egede, H., cited 412
  Ellesmere Land, natives of 459, 460
  Emigration of the Sagdlirmiut 616-620
  Erdmann, F., cited 412, 597

  Fishing, Eskimo methods of 513-516
  Flight to the moon 598, 599
  Frobisher, M., cited 410, 469, 558
  Frobisher Bay, use of, by Eskimo 423

  Geography, Eskimo knowledge of 643-647
  Gilder, W. H., cited 411, 456, 457, 458, 459, 466, 498, 522
  Glossary of Eskimo terms 663-669
  Gordon, A. R., cited 412, 463

  Hall, C. F., acknowledgments to 409
    cited 411, 422, 432, 442, 443, 444, 445, 446, 447, 448, 449, 450,
      452, 456, 457, 459, 462, 463, 464, 486, 499, 503, 509, 547,
      578, 583, 589, 594, 595, 596, 601, 602, 606, 607, 608, 611,
      614, 615, 639
  Harpoons of Eskimo, mode of constructing 489-494
  Hudson Bay, tribes of western shore of 444-452
  Hudson Bay district, geographic description of 414-418
  Hudson Bay Indians, snow houses of 547
  Hunting, Eskimo methods of 471-513

  Igdlumiut Eskimo tribe, situation of 463
  Igdlungajung, fabulous tribe in Eskimo tradition 640
  Igimarasugdjuqdjuaq the cannibal 633, 634
  Iglulik Eskimo tribe, snow houses of 546, 547
  Iglulirmiut Eskimo tribe, situation of 444
  Ijirang, fabulous people in Eskimo tradition 640
  Inuarudligang, fabulous tribe in Eskimo tradition 640
  Inugpaqdjuqdjualung 638
  Inuit race, divisions of 420
  Ititaujang 615-618
  Itivimiut Eskimo tribe, situation of 463

  Kadlu the thunderer 600
  Kalopaling 620, 621
  Kangivamiut Eskimo tribe, situation of 463
  Kayak, construction of 486-489
  Kingnaitmiut Eskimo tribe, situation of 424
  Kinipetu or Agutit Eskimo tribe, situation of 450, 451
  Kiviung 621
  Kleinschmidt, Eskimo orthography of 413
  Klutschak, H. W., cited 411, 448, 449, 451, 457, 458, 459, 466,
      502, 509, 510, 516, 552, 553, 570, 582, 595, 596, 614, 615
  Kouksoarmiut Eskimo tribe, situation of 463
  Kumlien, L., acknowledgments to 409
    cited 412, 471, 474, 475, 482, 483, 524, 549, 550, 567, 589, 596,
      606, 607, 610

  Lepsius, cited 413
  Lyon, G. F., cited 410, 451, 463, 487, 497, 511, 579, 585, 586,
      587, 588, 589, 590, 592, 593, 610, 612, 613, 614, 615

  M’Donald, A., cited 410
  M’Clintock, Captain, cited 411, 455, 456, 458
  Manufactures, Eskimo 516-526
  Mason, O. T., acknowledgments to 409
  Mintzer, W., acknowledgments to 409
  Moravian missionaries, cited 463
  Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin, acknowledgments to 409
    figured specimens from 472, 473, 474, 477, 479, 480, 481, 483,
      486, 487, 488, 496, 508, 513, 514, 515, 518, 519, 520, 523,
      531, 532, 554, 555, 556, 557, 565, 566, 567, 568, 569, 570,
      571, 576, 613, 634, 644
  Music and poetry of the Eskimo 648-658

  Narwhal, origin of the 625-627
  National Museum, acknowledgments to 409
    figured specimens from 474, 479, 480, 481, 487, 488, 489, 490,
      492, 493, 494, 495, 496, 502, 503, 504, 505, 506, 507, 512,
      513, 515, 516, 518, 521, 522, 523, 524, 525, 526, 530, 531,
      532, 535, 539, 555, 556, 559, 560, 563, 565, 566, 576
  Navigation, Eskimo proficiency in 643
  Netchillirmiut Eskimo tribe, situation of 452-458
  Northeastern America, geography of 414-418
  North Greenlanders 460
  Nourse, cited 452
  Nugumiut Eskimo tribe, situation of 424

  Oqomiut Eskimo tribe, situation and subdivisions of 424-440
  Origin of the Adlet and the Qadlunait 637
  Origin of the narwhal 625-627

  Padlimiut Eskimo tribe, situation of 440-442
  Parry, W. E., cited 410, 443, 444, 447, 451, 458, 464, 474, 475,
      478, 487, 492, 494, 502, 509, 510, 517, 523, 533, 544, 545,
      547, 552, 556, 557, 558, 559, 572, 574, 603, 614
  Penny, cited 425
  Petermanns Mitteilungen, cited 409 _note_
  Petitot, É., cited 412, 516
  Pilingmiut Eskimo tribe, situation of 444
  Poetry and music of the Eskimo 648-658

  Qailertétang, fabulous people in Eskimo tradition 640
  Qaudjaqdjuq 628-633
  Qaumauangmiut Eskimo tribe, situation of 421, 422
  Qingnamlut Eskimo tribe, situation of 424

  Rae, John, cited 411, 445, 446, 448, 450, 451, 452, 455, 459, 478,
      485, 510, 597
  Religious ideas of the Eskimo 583-609
  Rink, H., cited 411, 420, 580, 586, 587, 590, 591, 598, 599
    acknowledgments to 412
  Ross, J., cited 410, 451, 453, 454, 455, 456, 458, 469, 471, 478,
      485, 508, 552, 553, 579

  Sagdlirmiut Eskimo tribe, situation of 444
  Sagdlirmiut of Southampton Island 451
  Saumingmiut Eskimo tribe, situation of 424
  Schwatka, F., cited 445, 457, 458, 459, 464, 465, 470
  Science and the arts among the Eskimo 643-658
  Seal hunting, Eskimo method of 471-501
  Sedna and the fulmar 583-587
  Sedna feast 594
  Sikosuilarmiut Eskimo tribe, situation of 421, 463
  Simpson, J., cited 411, 597
  Simpson, T., cited 410, 458
  Singing house of Eskimo 600-602
  Sinimiut Eskimo tribe, situation of 451
  Sledges and boats, description of Eskimo 527-538
  Smith Sound, Eskimo tribes of 459, 460
  Snow houses, of Davis Strait Eskimo 541-544
    of Iglulik Eskimo tribe 544
    of Hudson Bay Indians 547
  Social life and customs of Eskimo 574-578
  Spicer, J. O., acknowledgments to 409
    cited 489, 511, 587, 588, 611
  Sturgis, A., acknowledgments to 409
    cited 491

  Talirpingmiut Eskimo tribe, situation of 424
  Tents of Eskimo, mode of construction of 551-553
  Tornait and angakut 591-598
  Tornit, the 634-636, 640
  Trade and intercourse between Eskimo tribes 462-470
  Tununirmiut Eskimo tribe, situation of 442-444
  Tununirusirmiut Eskimo tribe, situation of 442-444
  Turner, L. M., cited 420, 462, 520, 565, 567, 608 _note_

  Udleqdjun 636, 637
  Ugjulirmiut Eskimo tribe, situation of 458
  Uissuit 621
    fabulous people in Eskimo tradition 640
  Ukusiksalirmiut Eskimo tribe, situation of 458
  Ungavimiut Eskimo tribe, situation of 463

  Warmow, cited 425, 583

       *       *       *       *       *
           *       *       *       *

Errors and Inconsistencies (noted by transcriber)

The word “invisible” means that there is an appropriately sized empty
space, but the letter or punctuation itself is missing.

_List of Illustrations_
  437. Niu´tang, with floats  [Niū´tang]

_List of Sources_

  Her Majesty’s Discovery Ship “Plover.” (Cited, Simpson.)
    [_closing parenthesis missing_]
  author of ‘Grönland geographik og | statistick beckrevest,’ etc.
    [_missing close quote_]
    [_spelling as shown, but the book’s correct subtitle is
      ‘Grönland geographisk og statistisk beskrevet,’ etc._]
  David Cranz | Historie | von | Grönland ...
    [_in this and the following citation, all umlauts are printed
    as small “e” above the primary vowel_]


  dtl--ṯ of Lepsius’s standard alphabet.
    [_probably an error for tl alone: dtl does not occur_]

_Primary Text_

  being immediately stored for future use (p. 269).
    [_opening parenthesis missing_]
  since the preceding fall (p. 260).  [(p. 260.)]
  (see, also, Fig. 393) ... (tikagung; see, also, Fig. 418)
    [_punctuation unchanged_]
  FIG. 417. Large kayak harpoon for seal and walrus
    [_“l” in “seal” invisible_]
  FIG. 434. Nuqsang or throwing board, (_a_ front and (_b_ back view.
    [_printed as shown_]
  FIG. 435. ... (From a photograph.)
    [_closing parenthesis missing_]
    [_final . missing or invisible_]
  FIG. 441. ... (National Museum, Washington. 10270.)
    [_closing parenthesis missing_]
  At some places wears are built
    [_spelling “wears” unchanged_]
  with a bit of bone, asbestus, or wood
    [_spelling “asbestus” unchanged_]
  or, more frequently, are steadied by stones.
    [_final . missing_]
  FIG. 500. ... (From a drawing by L. Kumlien.)
    [_closing .) missing_]
  FIG. 507. ... (Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin. IV A 6850.)
    [_closing ) missing_]
  ... threads of leather hanging down from it. This ornament is not
  uncommon also in the outer jackets of the men. When seal-hunting ...
    [_punctuation transposed at consecutive line-ends:_
      ... leather hanging down from it-
      ... jackets of the men. When seal.]
  but use to a great extent amulets (arngoaq)
  a man sits on the bed-platform,  [platorm]
  stamping rhythmically with the feet  [rythmically]
  Every one is screaming, running, jumping, spearing, and stabbing
    [_“i” in “running” invisible_]
  After awhile the old woman became jealous
    [_spacing of “awhile” unchanged_]
  Qangatirgakulung uaijuvara.  [_printed without space_]
  in a major ninth (No. V), one  [ninth No. (V), one]


  #Arng´oaq#, amulet.  [#Arm´goaq#]
  #Kang´o#, a species of goose.  [#Kan´go#]

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Central Eskimo - Sixth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the - Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1884-1885, - Government Printing Office, Washington, 1888, pages 399-670" ***

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