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Eskimo Life

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Overview

In later life the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian work, the Norwegian explorer and scientist Fridtjof Nansen (1861–1930) led the team that in 1888 made the first successful crossing of Greenland's interior. Finding themselves cut off from the rest of the world for the winter, Nansen and his men spent several months living among the Greenlandic Inuit. Although 'far too short a time in which to attain a thorough knowledge', it was nevertheless sufficient to form a strong acquaintance and affection. First published in 1893, this English translation of the 1891 Norwegian original offers a valuable insight into much that was, and remains, foreign and peculiar to European experience. The coverage ranges from culinary to linguistic observations, and Nansen is by turns repulsed, fascinated and full of compassion, asking what the future holds for a people 'already stung with the venom of our civilisation'.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781410206855
  • Publisher: Press Holdings International
  • Publication date: 6/28/2003
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.89 (d)

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CHAPTER IV THE ESKIMO AT SEA One often hears the Eskimo accused of cowardice. This is no doubt mainly due to the fact that his accusers have seen him only on land, or in fine weather at sea; and then he is too good-natured and easy-going to show any courage. It may be, too, they have not taken the trouble to place themselves in sympathy with his view of life ; or else they may have caiyflfcfcm him to do things which he neither understofH P cared about. If by courage we understand the tigerish ferocity which fights to the last drop of blood, even against superior forcethat courage which, as Spencer says, is undoubtedly most common among the lowest races of men, and is especially characteristic of many species of animalsit must be admitted that of this the Eskimos do not possess any great share. They are too peaceable and good-natured, for example, to strike back when attacked ; and therefore Europeans, ever since the time of Egede and the first missionaries, have been able to strike them with impunityand to call them cowardly. But this sort of courage is held in no great respect by the natives in Greenland, and I am afraid that they do not look up to us any the more because we exhibit a superabundance of it. They have from all time respected the beautiful Christian doctrine that if a man smite you on the right cheek, 3'ou should turn to him the left also. But to conclude from this that the Eskimo is a coward would be unjust. To estimate the worth of a human being, you must see him at his work. Follow the Eskimo to sea, observe him therewhere his vocation liesand you will soon behold him in another light; for, if we understand by courage that faculty which, in moments of danger, laysits plans with calmness and executes them with ready presence of mind, or whic...
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Table of Contents

Translator's preface; Author's preface; 1. Greenland and the Eskimo; 2. Appearance and dress; 3. The 'kaiak' and its appurtenances; 4. The Eskimo at sea; 5. Winter-houses, tents, woman-boats, and excursions; 6. Cookery and dainties; 7. Character and social conditions; 8. The position and work of women; 9. Love and marriage; 10. Morals; 11. Judicial proceedings, and entertainment; 12. Mental gifts and art; 13. Religious ideas; 14. The introduction of Christianity; 15. Europeans and natives; 16. What have we achieved; 17. Conclusion.
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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted September 19, 2011

    Terrible formatting

    This book has been poorly scanned. The OCR is awful; some words split across paragraphs, others include signs like $ or @ in the middle of words. Save your money.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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