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Sketch of the Esquimaux found in the Territory of Boothia Felix

This is an extract taken from the book "Appendix to the Narrative of a second Voyage in search of the North West Passage and of a residence in the Arctic Regions during the years 1829 - 1833" by Sir John Ross, Captain of the Royal Navy.

It has appeared to many of my readers, that the account I have given of the natives of Boothia in the Narrative of my Voyage was more limited than it ought, or would have been, had circumstances permitted — and that correct portraits displaying their features and dress—which I could not afford to give at greater length in the narrative would be acceptable in this portion of the work, I have commenced it, in the first place with a general sketch, and secondly with the individual description and history to accompany and explain each of the drawings.

I need not dwell much on their manners and customs, nor enter into any great details respecting their arts and inventions; since I could add little to what is already well known, and need not repeat what can be found in many books. As to their personal appearance, including, with their stature, forms, and physiognomy, their dresses, it so accurately resembles that of the other tribes of Esquimaux so often described, that I may almost pass it over, while referring to the different plates in this volume, and their accompanying explanations.

I had abundant reason, in the first place, to believe that the natives of this spot, uniting with these a few with whom we had but a temporary and slender communication, were entirely unacquainted with Europeans: while the nearest approach to any knowledge of them was, to have conversed with some one who had conversed with a third person who had seen them at Igloolik, and, possibly, elsewhere. Nor was this contradicted by their possession of a few European knives. Of these, they had indeed but three; nor did those on which the maker's mark could be traced, permit our believing that they had been obtained from Sir Edward Parry. In reality, they admitted themselves to have possessed those for a "very long time," while unable to explain whence they had been obtained; so that no conclusions of any kind could be drawn from this circumstance.

Thus ignorant of civilized society, they were equally unacquainted with the warlike tribes of America; whether those of their own race, or the races which are included under the general term Indians. The peculiar insulation of the tract to which they confine themselves, is not only the cause of this, but is likely to operate henceforward, without interruption. While that tract is sufficient to give room for their summer and winter migrations, it supplies all their wants, and therefore leaves them no temptation to wander eastward, where they might possibly hereafter come into contact with Europeans: while the nature of the country surrounding the isthmus which divides them from the larger mass of the continent of America, together with that of the country which must be traversed to reach this, as effectually precludes the visits of the Indians and the western Esquimaux, as it checks any desire on their parts to roam beyond their present limits.

Excepting, therefore, the people whom I found in 1818, and whom I termed Arctic Highlanders, the natives of this spot form the narrowest and most insulated tribe of men that has yet been discovered by navigators: a fact which gives interest to whatever their characters may present. Here, if any where, we ought therefore to find how the human mind is developed under the narrowest education, in what manner the "light of nature" as it is termed, operates on the moral character and conduct, and how far human reason can proceed, under the smallest possible quantity of materials to act on, and under a very narrow range of application. If also there are peculiarities of character, whether for good or evil, the moralist and metaphysician may here speculate on what belongs to the original mental constitution of these people, and what is derived from their narrow and limited intercourse with their own species, in a society so restricted in numbers, and so incapable of changing customs or altering habits, where there is nothing beyond themselves to see, and no one to imitate.

Whatever species of purity this may imply, the vices which they possess must, like their virtues, be those that originate among themselves: the natural produce of the human passions, acting where there is no control from religion, from the belief of an omnipotent Creator and Governor; and where checked, subject to none but those checks which the mutual convenience of the society renders necessary. It is at least certain that they had never possessed the opportunity of acquiring the vices of civilization when we first knew them; but I cannot confidently affirm that they learned no evil from us.

If the fondness of the Esquimaux race for their children has been noted by those who have preceded us in these regions, it is a portion of their character which has been amply confirmed by our own observations on the present tribe. The testimonies of this never failed; nor could they be flattered and gratified more than by the attentions and caresses bestowed by us on their offspring. It equally confirms prior observations to say, that we never saw any chastisement administered, nor ever witnessed even harsh language to them; while, in return, the children are affectionate, attached, and obedient. To say more on this subject would indeed be but to repeat what has already been noticed by Captain Lyon, in many instances, in his account of other tribes.

But there was one material point in which I must differ from my predecessors: though indeed I cannot call this differing, since each of us can but note what he has seen. It only follows, that from some cause, which neither I, nor they, I imagine, can assign, the people of this district differ in a very material point of character from those with whom they were so well acquainted ; as the superiority, in a very high degree, lies with those whose feelings and practices we had occasion to study. The facts, on both sides, were noted; and though I should not make the deductions myself, they could be made by any reader.

It cannot be forgotten, by those who have interested themselves in the history of the people of Igloolik, that the aged parent was neglected, and that the helpless or widowed females in particular, were not simply suffered to starve, but robbed of their little property. We had not the means of studying a very numerous tribe, and, of course, many facts could not have come under our notice; but, such as they were, they could not have been exceptions, since they seemed consistent with the whole feelings and course of the community, and may, therefore, be safely taken as instances of general character and practice. Not to name mere instances, we found the aged Iliikta drawn on a sledge by his companions, when the old man above alluded to was suffered to walk as he best could; as was equally the case with Tulluahin, whom we supplied with a wooden leg to replace his loss. If the ancient wife of the former was as well clothed and fed as any of the rest of the tribe, it was more remarkable to find two old and destitute females in the same good condition, and as well taken care of in every manner as if they were still of use.

If this feature of their character removes from these people that charge of most disgusting selfishness and inhumanity which rests will so much justice on those of Igloolik, according to the published accounts, I need but notice, that there exists here the sketch of the roothians.same custom of adoption as in that tribe, with the same consequences and practices, on both sides. If there was aught of difference, in any respect, it did not fall under our cognizance.

I do not know that there were any differences between the state of the connubial relations and practices in this place and at Igloolik, or wherever else these have been remarked; while there has been a little obscurity in some of the accounts of this subject. It is my business, at any rate, to relate what came to our knowledge.

A state of celibacy is unknown: the mere supposition of such a condition is treated as a chimera, nor did they know how to believe that any of us could be without wives. Every woman therefore finds a husband, as every man procures a wife: but, often, inevitably, under a system of polygamy; since the sexes cannot always be equal in numbers. The rule also appears to be, if it be not rather a natural arrangement than a law, that the most expert hunters obtain the superfluous women, as best able to maintain them; though we did not know of any instance of a man possessing more than two wives; of which the first, or eldest, is the senior in command and respect. In the same way, it is the strongest or most useful woman who most readily obtains a second husband: while, under either mode of this polygamy, or, possibly, only bigamy, the most perfect harmony seems always to subsist among the parties. If, never witnessing any angry word between husband and wife, and seeing each for ever treating the other with indulgence and frankness, we were willing to conclude that these people had attained that perfection of domestic happiness which is so rarely found any where, it is in conclusion, I fear, that reflection would not justify, and that a more intimate experience perhaps would not have confirmed.

The forms of matrimony seemed here not to differ from what has been observed in other tribes of the Escpuinaux, excepting that the young female must make her choice as soon as she is marriageable—but, the contract, such as it is, is settled between the parents for their children, and often at a very early age: the time of marriage seems to be about the age of fifteen; and there is no other form but that of the female going to the hut of her destined husband.

I believe that the practice of repudiation and change, whether of husbands or wives, has been found in all the Esquimaux who have come under the notice of navigators. Be that as it may, it is the custom in this district, though it was not easy to trace the extent to which it is carried. How far it may depend on satiety or disagreement, we could not discover, or on the desire of change, or on more improper feelings, on either side: but where the morals and the feelings are both so extremely lax on this subject as we found them, it would be an idle and silly defence of this or any other mode of the savage condition, to suppose that vice, or what at least we must consider such, was a frequent source of this practice. It has been the custom, on one side, to overrate the virtues of savage nations, and, on the other, to exonerate their vices. These things must be left to the novelist, and to the navigator who desires to emulate him, for the sake of producing an effect; to the fall philanthropist and the lover of paradox; and to him whose temper may have been soured by such collision, or who may have commenced with a prejudice distorting all that he saw. But the passions of our nature will strive to break forth, under all the restraints that society and religion can impose; and how should they not actually reign, where there is neither to check their operation, where there is nothing to say, This is wrong; still more, where there is no inconvenience contemplated, to balance that which is gratifying, and may also be convenient?

But if there is no vice where there are no religion and no moral law to say, This is disobedience to God, and where custom and admission say that no injury is committed against our fellow-creatures, then is there also no vice in that want of chastity which is as remarkable here as it has been found among all the scattered tribes of the. Esquimaux on the American shores. Who is there among the moralists to settle this question? Be it determined as it may, that "moral sense" on this subject, which is so generally diffused, is here deficient; since it is grossly unjust to attribute to selfishness alone, the respect entertained for chastity in the female sex; in whatever manner the value of this in the other is judged of. The Esquimaux of Igloolik, at least, are proved to be in the last degree selfish: yet the virtue in question is held, by them, in no repute.

We at least must speak as we, under civilization, feel. The conduct of the present people, as of all the rest of this race, is not more pure than that of the brute beasts: it is far less so than that of the pairing animals. But I need not dwell on a disgusting and improper subject it has been told once; and it must suffice that it has been once told.

If I have already noticed the custom of adoption, I need not dwell on it: the reasons are the expected services from the subsidiary child: and the new attachment, on both sides, is equal to that between the natural parent and progeny. Thus also it is, that the widow with children, most especially if those are boys, becomes a prize, be her age what it may compared to that of the suitor; since these become equally the property of the husband and bound to support both.

Respecting their treatment of dead relations, or of the dead in general, we had a good opportunity of judging; as two deaths occurred within our experience. Illictu, the old man, was long left in the hut. where he died, and would have been devoured by foxes and bears, had we not interred his remains. The incision found in his abdomen was unquestionably made after death: but we never learned its purpose, and could not conjecture whether it was a superstitious practice. The boy who had been killed by a stone was not found, and we were ignorant what became of him. But as we observed many graves in different places, it is evident that those who formerly inhabited this country conformed, in this, to those of other tribes. On his death, there was an appearance of much despair, ending in anger directed toward us: but we had reason to understand that their lamentations for death, though severe, were soon over, nor could we hear of any ceremonies used on this occasion or on that of a funeral.

That these people are as egregiously conceited as all other savage tribes, can be no matter of surprise, when it is the character, not of nations alone, but of individuals, to be conceited in proportion to their ignorance. The land which they inhabit was, of course, the best of all possible lands; and it was equally matter of course, that those who had been born at one spot should extol its superiority over every other in the same district. But this is the attachment to home: it is what no sound moralist should blame, notwithstanding its occasional inconveniences, political or otherwise; since it is that source of happiness and contentment which has been beneficently given to all mankind, in whatever situation necessity or expediency has placed them. We were quite content, ourselves, that they should prefer a covering of snow to the green face of nature, and should make themselves happy with blubber, oil, and sleep; nor indeed would it be easy to dispute most of those points with them, when they could travel easier than we, could house themselves with a hundredth part of the labour, could find delights where we experienced only suffering, could outdo us in killing the seal, could regale on abundant food where we should starve because we could not endure it, and found ours as nauseous to them as theirs was to us.

That they have never known war, it is perhaps superfluous to state, but it was interesting to discover in what light they considered the crime of murder, to which some punishment has been assigned by every people, in whatever condition. We could only, however, hear of one instance on record; where, in a quarrel about the division of a reindeer, one of the disputants had stabbed the other. What we could understand was, that the murderer's punishment consisted in being banished to perpetual solitude, or shunned by every individual of the tribe; insomuch that even his sight was avoided by those who might inadvertently meet him. When asked why his life was not taken in return, it was replied that this would be to make themselves equally bad, that the loss of his life would not restore the other; and that he who should commit such an act would be held equally guilty. To these arguments, I imagine, no reply could easily be made, where there was no positive law to quote, within the compass of their understanding: but it would not be easy to deny that they carried in them an air of reflection and of humanity not undeserving of praise.

It could not be conjectured that any one of the tribe possessed authority over the rest, that there was any one in the nature of a patriarch, where there was no chief. If superior age or talents commanded any respect, neither of these appeared to possess any influence. There seemed not the slightest approach, even to that insensible government, which, generally, in some manner, acts so as to unite a tribe in one common pursuit, or to combine them in a single society, so that the conduct of the whole, in their migrations and occupations, is similar and simultaneous. Here, every family decamped and travelled as its own views or caprices dictated; all being as independent as they seemed, since each could soon construct its own habitation without the aid of others, and proceed to procure its own sustenance without the help of society.

The selfishness of this race, as known to Sir Edward Parry, cannot be more strongly marked than he has done it in his description of his intercourse with them. It admits of no dispute: yet such was not the character of the present tribe. I have already said that they paid as much attention to the aged and destitute as could have been done by any civilized people: and we had opportunities of observing, that so far from seeking the exclusive gratification of their own hunger or appetites, (the ever ready and most marked test of animal selfishness,) they were always ready to divide their provisions, even where they had not enough for the next day, with those who were in want.

The striking and most repulsive want of gratitude in those who came under the cognizance of that observer, was certainly not evinced by the present tribe. So far from this, our experience led us to assign them a character the very reverse-though the virtue of gratitude, if it be practically esteemed a virtue, as men may safely doubt, is not so very abounding or so much cultivated, even under civilization and the lights of morals and religion, as to have led to any great censure of these people had they been without it. If those against whom the charge of ingratitude has been, and with unquestionable justice, brought, are what men ought not to be, there is that to be recollected, which, though not an exculpation, forms a solution of an imagined difficulty, which has possibly been overlooked: in civilized society, it is acknowledged and admitted that ingratitude is a vice: but it is a profitable or an advantageous one, and, while practised as such, it becomes necessary to conceal or suppress, as far as that is possible, the open and shameless display. The "children of nature," as they are, customarily, though very idly termed, go direct to the mark which others reach in a more circuitous and hidden manner: there is no check, from opinion, or usage, or morality: it is a convenient or profitable usage, and the shortest road to the desired end is taken. Where the extreme of self-love forms the basis of a character, whether it be that of a whole tribe at Igloolik, or of an individual in England, ingratitude becomes an affair of course: it is a portion of the same virtue, where it is the custom to consider selfishness as the most needful of those, and thus, under such a code of brute morality, the most laudable.

Be the fact as it may, however, as far as these general views are concerned, we must have been egregiously deceived, or, possibly, have contributed to our own deception, if the tribe on our acquaintance, here, did not display as much gratitude as could have been expected any where, if they did not impress us with the conviction that this formed a portion of a character which appeared in general so amiable, or, at the very least, so unexceptionable.

It is not only, that, far exceeding the usual short and dry form of thanks, so general among this race, they seemed truly sensible of the favours conferred; but the impression was found to remain. The thanks were renewed long after the services had been rendered, and when, according to the common course of things, these should have been forgotten; while they were often accompanied by a free gift of some kind. It is but a part of the same character, that they were ever ready to confess a fault, and to make reparation, as they best could, either by apology, or restoration, or services; while ever seeming uneasy till they were forgiven and restored to favour.

I may indulge in relating one petty history, by which this part of their character will be better illustrated than by any general statements, and I have no right to consider it the exception, rather than the rule, where no similar opportunity offered; since it seemed to be consistent with their general character; and in other points than tins.

It had been settled, early in the spring, that Ooblooria and Awack, the son and nephew of Ikmallik, should provide themselves with a sledge, dogs, and provisions, and accompany Commander Ross, who was to furnish his own supplies and carriage, and to proceed to Neitchillee, about fifty miles off, under their guidance. They accordingly came, at the appointed time, which was fixed by counting on the fingers, and by drawing on the snow the appearance which the moon would then present; the stipulated quota of provisions being for five days.

On arriving, however, they found that four families, including some relations, were hutted near the ship, and had been unsuccessful in their hunting; on which they unpacked their sledges, and gave up so much of their stores as only to leave themselves enough for two days. This was barely sufficient to carry them on to Neitchillee, yet not enough to maintain them during their return; but they had expected to find a deposit of fish at that place. Unluckily, a storm of snow detained the whole party; and, in the calculated time, the provisions of the guides were exhausted. The needful supply was therefore given them from our own stores, which they promised to replace on their arrival at Neitchillee.

Here, however, when they at length arrived, their deposits could not he found, from the mass of snow by which they had been overwhelmed; in consequence of which they were again supplied with food enough to enable them to return to the ship. Here they related all that had been done for them, with the strongest expressions of gratitude; adding that their parents would come and thank Commander Ross, when he returned, for the kindness which he had shown. This was done on the next day, by our furnishing the means of that journey after we had accommodated them on board for the night; when the father and mother arrived with a present of seal-skins of the best quality, and an offer to make them up into the water-proof boots for which they were intended ; while they seemed exceedingly pleased that we accepted them without offering any remuneration. In a few days they returned with the manufactured articles; nor did their gratitude end even then, since it was often expressed afterwards, and, even at the distance of four months, with a promise of a similar pair when the ship should arrive at Neitchillee.

If the Esquimaux race has often been noted for cheerfulness and good temper, we found that confirmed here. Under the latter quality, if kind in their domestic relations, as I formerly noticed, so were they to their dogs; unlike to many of their maternity, who have been noticed for their ill-treatment of these useful animals.

That these dogs were in bad training, was a natural consequence. Their cheerfulness was often vivacity, so that we might consider them a lighthearted people; and they seemed to possess great command of temper. The only show of resentment for what was thought an offence, was silence, after which they commonly left us and returned to their homes.

The thievish propensities of savage nations are familiar : there is not a voyager's narrative which does not dwell on them; and such excuses or defences have been made as these narrators could best contrive. I need not repeat the satirical defence which asks, what civilized Europeans, under equal temptations, and no restraints from divine or human laws, would act in a different manner. It seems a very simple question after all. Here, at least, whatever it may be elsewhere, there is no written divine law against theft, nor does there appear to be any moral sense which says that it is, abstractedly, and universally, wrong. Human laws there are none; and there can therefore be no check but that of the inconvenience: as some modern pedants write, they are governed by the principle of utility. But while there is much convenience in acquiring the coveted property, there is no counterbalancing evil: the society suffers nothing, while many or all may gain. The case of a wreck on our own shores is not essentially different: the resemblance to an enemy's town subjected to plunder is still more perfect. The thefts of savages are a warfare on property which seems placed in their power; it has been open warfare and bloodshed whenever they have dared; and when too feeble, it is such plunder as is attainable, without hazard, and by whatever dexterity. That such is the principle by which they are guided in this case of theft, seems indeed fully proved by the fact that they do not rob each other; the evil in such a case would be felt and remedied.

The reasoning of these Esquimaux, however, seemed of a different nature, and of a more "liberal" character: it has often been used in far other lands, and lias been considerably acceptable to the multitude, before the days of Wat Tyler and since; as it is a rule of action for Dim who pilfers a book from a library or a rare shell from a cabinet. Not only are the sea and the land, with the animals which they bear, the common property of those who want them, but the same is true of every thing which can be found 011 the face of the earth. It is the want alone, therefore, with the power of using, which constitutes the right to possession: but it is a corollary from the general argument, which might not be so acceptable to those who use it among ourselves, under which they restore the stolen article when they find the original owner to be in want of it.

In this manner did they practically conduct themselves toward us. No secret was made of the theft among themselves, so that the knowledge soon came to the owner, to whom the stolen article w as returned on demanding it. Nor were the accusation, and the term thief, more than a matter of merriment: though after we had taken some trouble to explain to them that to steal was "bad," very few-instances of a similar nature occurred. In one case, the husband, aware of his wife's propensitics, always brought back what she had taken away.

The extremely envious disposition of some of the Esquimaux has been noticed, among their other faults. I must not be quite sure that we were not inclined to see every thing here in the most favourable light: but while admitting that every man wished to possess, by purchase, whatever his neighbour had obtained, we did not observe any workings of that bad passion in this desire.

We did not observe any propensity to falsehood, or disposition to deceive; and, on every occasion, there seemed a desire to communicate all the information in their power, while, as far as we examined, this also proved correct. It was on the same principle, that we could always trust their promises ; there was the "point of honour" engaged; and on the only occasion on which they broke one, in not keeping an appointment as guides, they long after accused themselves of "being very bad" for not giving notice; though, to have done so, would have been to lose a day of their hunting when they were without provisions.

Such is the little we could discover or infer respecting the moral character of these people. It ought not to be an unexpected one, considering the mild dispositions of this race in general, and the circumstances in which they are placed in this narrow community and district. May I not say that it is a good one, and that the man of these lands may be considered a "virtuous savage?" May I ask where are the civilized communities in which there is a more favourable balance of the vices and virtues? since it is thus, and not by the varied action of either, that this question must be judged. This at least I may say, that the all-wise and beneficent Creator has not neglected this race, and that in giving them the means of animal happiness united to the desires which prefer those means to all others, he has also, in his own way, instilled into them such principles as tend to preserve their moral happiness and order: while it is not for man to say in what manner he will hereafter judge those who have obeyed the impulses to good, and those who have indulged the propensities to evil.

But, of Him, they have no knowledge: in this they resemble all their unconverted brethren of the same great tribe; while I need not repeat the remarks so often made on this subject. Like others, we found nothing that even approximated to this wide-spread piece of knowledge; and could only conclude that their opinions respecting a future state coincided with those which prevail among the Esquimaux at large. If they were influenced by any superstitions which have a reference to a Providence or a future life, we did not discover them: and though possessing an angekok, like all the others, he did not seem to be treated with much deference or any respect.

We discovered in them a strong propensity to imitation and to mimicry: a property which they converted to immediate use, in learning to feed themselves in the same manner as we did, and with the same utensils; and under which also they sometimes amused themselves in aping our gait and manners: above all, in the English custom of uselessly walking up and down under the notion of exercise: a practice which they could as little comprehend as the Orientals, to whom it is so often a subject of wonder.

This principle extended also to drawing, in which, even with our pencils, they were speedily proficients: while further rendering this talent very useful to us, in delineating the geography of the country; as has been found equally common in the other tribes of these people. All their geographical knowledge seemed very accurate; and, to every river, hill, bay, or lake, there was a name: while it seemed to give them great pleasure to be able to communicate this information.

Notwithstanding the vanity which made them prefer whatever was there own, despising, or affecting to despise, even our guns, in comparison with their own weapons, they were very desirous to know the name and use of every thing; nor had we any difficulty in making them comprehend the latter, in spite of our ignorance of their language. I must, in reality, consider them as an acute-minded people, who would be ready, after a little while, to receive instruction, and probably to adopt some inventions, and customs also, as far as these could be admissible under the circumstances in which they are placed.

Of their intellectual faculties, beyond these points, it is difficult to form any judgment, so limited is the scope for the exertion of those; nor can I refer to aught more than their dexterity in hunting, and the practice of those useful arts which I shall immediately notice. But they are an energetic and active people; and though given to great excess in eating, like all others of their race, never appearing to give way to pure indolence, even when well fed. On the contrary, they seemed always busied in something, even when at home: as some of us were inclined to think that much of their eating arose rather from the necessity of doing something than from appetite.

In procuring their food, they seemed also more provident and systematic than the Esquimaux have generally been found.

Nothing can be more regular and orderly than their migrations from one place to another, in pursuit of the different kinds of game; while their system of storing up provisions, and oil for fuel, in different places, to meet future wants, seemed as perfect as possible. These are prepared in advance, at the several stations where the musk ox, the reindeer, and the seal are to be hunted; and thus they can undertake their furthest migrations with the most perfect security.

No one expects to hear that they are a more cleanly people than their fraternity elsewhere, and I need not repeat the disgusting details. Man is permitted to be more dirty than the beasts, and he is certainly not slow in taking advantage of this privilege wherever he dares. But, here there is really some excuse, and the people were not unwilling to be clean. They cannot well avoid contamination from the oil which they use as food and fuel; as, in a confined hut, where every thing must be dried at the flame of the lamp, the effects of smoke are equally inevitable. But the excuse, above all, is the want of water: and it has been resorted to as an excuse for similar neglect where it is not the rare and expensive article which it is here. The expenditure of fuel required to thaw what they drink is very great, as the quantity of water which they thus consume is enormous; very often they cannot procure enough, or suffer severely from thirst should their oil be expended: so that we need not be surprised if they do not wash themselves in winter: while the habit of ten months in every year of life can scarcely be broken through in the two short ones during which water can be procured.

Yet they wash their faces at least, by using a piece of wetted bear-skin as a towel; while they were well pleased to be put into good order on board, even to the act of combing and cutting their hair, and the loss of their beards under the barber's hands. The hair of the men is indeed kept quite short, being an evident improvement of their appearance as compared with the longhaired tribes, as well as a decided peculiarity : it is the women alone who wear it long, and tied into two bundles, or long cues, hanging over the two shoulders.

They seem little addicted to ornaments, and were very indifferent to our beads; it was on the children almost solely that these were placed : while their own consisting of fringes of skin, teeth, and other things, were similar to those which have often been described.

Their dresses being shown in plates and described in the explanations, I may omit any notice of those, as of many other matters. As elsewhere, the outer dress is always taken off and cleared of snow on entering the huts, altering their appearance in such a manner that they can scarcely be recognised. The snow sofas on which they sleep have no covering of branches, as is common elsewhere : the first layer is that of seal-skins, above which are deer-skins with the hair uppermost, being the sheet or blanket; while a similar skin forms the coverlet. In what manner they sleep, I need not repeat; and the beds are not cold, except in very severe weather, though the temperature of the walls cannot be above the freezing point. The lamp is ever burning; since it is the fire for cooking when not required as light.

Their snow huts have been so particularly described that it is superfluous to speak of them again: while I have also noticed their method of proceeding with the construction in the course of the preceding journal. I need only name what has not yet been mentioned, namely, their method of procuring the ice window, which, in this country, is not to be found on the surface of a pond. For this purpose, a seal-skin is laid on the snow, so managed at the edges that it may contain two inches of water in depth, procured by thawing snow before the lamp. This is immediately frozen into a transparent plate: and such, I presume, is esteemed the value of the fuel used for this purpose, that these windows are always removed and carried with them in their migrations. It is already equally known, that when the roofs of the snow huts begin to melt under the influence of the sun, they are removed, and a covering of skins substituted, as the summer tents consist of skins raised into a conical form by means of a central pole, from which lines are extended, and surrounded at the base by circles of stones.

The walrus does not frequent these straits : and whether it is that the whale is rare or not, we could not understand that they ever took any, and many had never seen one. The seal, the musk ox, the reindeer, the fox, and the hare, form their quadruped game: they kill but few grouse, which, being considered delicacies, are reserved for the women and children; but their supplies of fish seem to be very considerable. This last is eaten raw, if often half dried: the flesh of animals seems acceptable in any way, but it is always cooked, if possible, apparently for the sake of the oil soup.

In the method of taking these several animals, there is nothing which has not been often described. The reindeer are generally shot by arrows, in the water,, as is usual elsewhere; and, in their canoes, there is nothing to notice, if I except their manner of ferrying the women and children, by stuffing the latter within the skin of the boat, and making the former lie flat behind her husband; in a rather dangerous position, when the least movement would upset the whole crew

Under the great scarcity of wood here, since very little is ever drifted oil these shores, and in the want of the walrus and the whale, they are almost limited to the use of the reindeer's horn in the making of their spears and other weapons; but these so nearly resemble those noticed by Crantz and others, that I need not describe them, unless indeed the fish-spear be not different from any of which I have read. The shaft of this, seven or eight feet long, is made of wood, if that can be procured; if not, of horn; and is furnished at the end with three points, so as to resemble u trident, of which, the central one is plain, and the two outer barbed, as may be seen by one of the plates.

This want of materials compels them also to adopt a method of constructing their sledges, which differs very materially from all others hitherto described. A number of salmon are packed together into a cylinder about seven feet long, and wrapped up in the skins taken from the canoes, which cease to be of use when the frost is arrived. Being then well corded with thongs, two of these cylinders are pressed into the shape of the runners, and, having been left to freeze, are secured by cross spars made of the legs of the deer or musk ox, so as to form the bottom of the sledge. This being done, the bottom of the runner is covered with a mixture of mossy earth and water, which soon freezes, to the depth of two inches; after which comes the final process of plating the surface, that it may run smoothly over the snow. The operator takes some water in his month, and, when somewhat mixed with saliva, it is deposited on a bear-skin which is then rubbed over the runner, as by a brush, gradually, till a coating of half an inch thick is produced, when the work is finished; the ice produced in this manner -having an unusual degree of tenacity, and being also more slippery than the ordinary material.

These carriages travelled much more lightly than our own, which were shod with iron; but as they cease to be of use as soon as the thermometer reaches the freezing point, they are taken to pieces; the fish being eaten, and the skins converted into bags, while the bones are reserved for the dogs. In the preceding journal I have noticed the sledges made of ice.

In their miserable singing there is nothing which has not often been described; and this is equally true of their dances, or rather dance, which seems intended to imitate the motions of a bear.

Kawalua, Tiagashu and Adlurack

Tiagashu and his wife are represented as clothed in seal-skins over deer-skins, and a staff of bone in the hand of the former. This individual was about seventy years of age, infirm, and bent so that his stature did not exceed five feet; he was remarkable for being the person selected as a sacrifice on the first day of our communication, being-placed on a sledge about ten paces in front of the column consisting of thirty men, three deep, who being armed with knives were waiting in breathless anxiety to behold the manner in which their aged companion would be treated, and on which depended their conduct towards us. He remained on the sledge with his arms folded, and with a countenance perfectly resigned to his fate, until Commander Ross approached and caressed him: even then he seemed to doubt that he was not destined to be the first to receive the poniard; and it was not until unequivocal proofs of friendship were interchanged with the whole party that he appeared satisfied his last moments had not arrived. He was much pleased to have his sledge drawn to the ship by myself and the sailors, and he was one of those first brought on board to see the wonders of the interior. He never visited the ship after the first day, and his death was announced to us on the second of March by an old woman and his eldest son Tiagashu, who took particular care of him, and who abundantly shed tears on acquainting us of his demise. He had four sons who all paid him great attention, and he lived to see his great-grandchildren. He left a widow about ten years younger than himself. On examining his corpse a large but not deep incision was found in the abdomen evidently made long after his death, and probably to prove that he was really dead. The whole of the party left the snow huts at North Hendon, where he died, on the following day, leaving a small piece of wood 011 the top of the hut, and, after the party had gone out of our reach, his remains were interred by us to prevent its being devoured by foxes. Before leaving Felix Harbour the surgeon procured the skull, which I intended for the Phrenological Society, but which was one of the many valuable specimens of natural history which was of necessity left behind when we abandoned the ship at Victoria Harbour—his eyes were black and very small; his hair, of winch I have preserved a specimen, was grey approaching to white, when he died he was corpulent, and seemed to have no disease but old age.

Kanguagiu, his widow, was afterwards found in possession of Poweytak, whose kindness to her, although helpless from infirmity and old age, will appear hereafter. She was certainly above sixty, about the middle size, and rather corpulent, her hair was grey and her face much wrinkled as well as tatooed. She was triply clothed in reindeer-skins, and was never seen out of the hut within which she is represented to be sitting, excepting when the family were removing to another station.

Tiagashu was the eldest son of Alictu, and who took particular care of his father; he was five feet six inches and five-eighths high, slender and weaker than the rest, his eyes were very small, and he appeared to be of a mild disposition. He was extremely industrious, ami anxious to support his family, which consisted of a wife, three children of his own, and one of hers by a former husband, besides his father: he was not very successful. In May, 1830, he was reduced to absolute starvation, when he was assisted by Ikmallik's party as long as they could, but afterwards by us, for which he was very grateful, but never had it in his power to make a return. He shed tears on his father's death, and seemed anxious that we should refrain from going to the hut where he was left.

Adlurak, his wife, was one of the best looking; she was remarkable for having large eyes, while those of her husband were very small, and she was perfectly aware of the peculiarity she possessed. She was of a lively disposition and was proud of having four children, two of which were still at the breast'; for some time she was a daily visitor, and was one of the most honest.

Kawalua was about sixteen years of age, five feet seven inch J high and well made; he had neither father nor mother, but being-nephew to Ikmallikl was an inmate with his family. This lad was one of the most inquisitive, and soon became a favourite with us all:

I therefore fixed on him to remain on board, with the intention of teaching him to read; and having on board an Esquimaux bible and the grammar published by Fabricius, I had hoped to make him useful. For this purpose he remained on board, and I began to teach him his letters; but on the second day he came to me and said, that Aglngga had told him that he was not to stay any longer, and nothing could persuade him to remain. My good intentions were therefore completely frustrated, which I had subsequently great reasons to regret. On the second year we met with him several times, and he was always rejoiced to meet us, enumerating at each interview the presents he had received.

Illictu and Otoogiu

Are represented standing at the pool of Shagavoke, where both salmon and reindeer are killed in the autumn; the piles of stones are erected by the natives, for the purpose of preventing the reindeer from passing along the shore when they wish to drive them into the pool. A man or a dog being sent among them make all to appear moving, which alarms the animals and causes them to take the water; where they are attacked and killed by men in canoes.

Otoosriu was five feet three inches and five-eighths high, inclining to corpulency, his face broad; he was always clad in deer-skin jacket and seal-skin trousers. He was called an angekok or conjuror, but no one had any faith in his predictions, which were always a subject of merriment. He was among the first to show a disposition to possess himself of what he saw, and his taking out of my cabin the magnifying lens, which he is represented to be holding in his right hand, gave us a good opportunity of convincing him and his companions of the danger of meddling with what belonged to us—as related in the Narrative. His wile's name was Kuauii'a, who had two children; she was five feet three inches and a quarter high and rather good looking.

Illietu, the son of Kunaua was a very fine lad about fifteen years of age, five feet six inches high. He was one who accompanied Commander Ross on his expedition to the north. When two musk oxen were killed on this occasion, he demonstrated that he was very fond of fresh beef, and that he could eat without being satiated for one whole day. We found him on the following year with his father near Cape Lawrence, and very much improved. He had been successful in hunting both reindeer and seals, and supplied me with skins and oil for fuel on the journey in which the Magnetic Pole was discovered.

Otoogiu is represented with the magnifying lens which he had stolen in one hand, and a knife made of bone in the other. Illictu has in one hand a rod made of reindeer's horn, used for probing the depth of the snow, and in the other a fish-hook made of bone, which I purchased of him, and which now is in my possession. When we met him at Padliak, on the following year, he supplied us with about fifteen pounds of excellent venison, for which he was well rewarded. On seeing the surgeon with a swelled face, he ran suddenly to him, blew in his face, and hit him a pat on the face, which we understood afterwards, was a cure for every complaint; and as the surgeon very soon got well after that ceremony, his recovery was entirely attributed to that charm. At that moment he had suspended to his neck a small phial containing an emulsion which the surgeon had given to him six months before, which instead of taking inwardly, as intended, was hung to his neck as a charm.


This native, both in features and character, differed considerably from the rest; he measured five feet eight inches and five-eighths, was of a robust and healthy appearance; his forehead appeared lower than it really was, from his eyebrows being very much arched; he was the most successful of all the hunters, particularly in killing bears, and lie was constantly clad in bear-skins. Illictu, before mentioned, was his son by a first wife, which he had probably spared to a friend. By his second wife, which we saw at Cape Lawrence, he had two young children. His hut was almost entirely covered with snow at that, time, but he had a large store of seal-oil, reindeer flesh, and salmon, buried under the snow, also skins of every kind; and from him I bought a very large deer-skin, which was my bed during my fatiguing journey from Victoria harbour to Fury beach, and is now in possession of Sir Felix Booth. He informed us that Kablala (a woman who had a club foot, and who was highly respected by all on that account) had been with him, and had departed only a few days before with Tulooah, her husband. Kunana was one of those who gave us many supplies, consequently he was well stored with knives, spear-heads, hooks, See., which he had received in exchange. On my return from Artists' bay, he convoyed us several miles, pointing out the names of the various capes, rivers, and stations, which we passed, and and kindly directed us to the best route to Cape Isabella and Padliak. His wife Nangiak seldom came to the ship, and never without her husband. As they were the most successful, they were never in want, nor were they at all covetous or inclined to pilfer. Her stature was four feet nine inches and one-eighth, her complexion like that of her husband, lighter than the others, and her appearance healthy. She had two young children besides Illictu, and the family were always thankful for what was given them.


Hibluna was remarkable for being the plainest-looking woman in the whole tribe, and also for being the most lively; when a present was made to her of any useful article, such as a tin preserved meat case, her joy knew no bounds. Above, she is represented in one of her ecstasies 011 receiving a woman's knife which she holds in her right hand, and in her left a bone knife, while she is .jumping up and exclaiming, Owhee! Ou hee! by which name she was soon known to the sailors. On this occasion, she had brought us u fine piece of a musk ox in a frozen state, and which we found to be most excellent food. She was one of our daily visitors, having with her an infant which she used to produce quite naked, even when the thermometer was 43° below zero of Fahrenheit. Her height was five feet three inches and a quarter, was near forty years of age, and extremely dirty and badly clothed; her lace was broad,, her nose flat, and the want of her fore teeth, added to her unseemly appearance; her husband's name was Ivunana (-2d), and she had two young children; however she was so good humoured and merry that she was a favourite among the sailors.

Eringahrin, Hibluna's sister, was so extremely like her, that when they were apart it was difficult to discern which was which; but when together it was more easy, as the former was only four feet ten inches high. She had also lost her front teeth, and in habit and appearance was equally disgusting. Her husband's name was Ootoonina, who being as ill-looking as herself was an excellent match. They were both our guides and companions during our journey in 1831 across the lakes to the western sea. She was also of a lively disposition, and the sailors, who could not pronounce her name, christened her Nancy, to which she answered with perfect readiness; and was likewise a favourite with the sailors. Her husband was a very successful fisherman, and they had always plenty; but she seemed to be a very bad housekeeper, and was not so industrious as the rest, and was never neatly dressed or clean. One of her children was at the breast, and the other was about five years old, which in the summer ran about naked.

Manellia and Adelik

Manellia was the wife of Nullmftiak, and one of the prettiest of the females; her stature was only four feet seven inches and a half; her features were small and regular, and her hands and feet were in proportion, very little; and she was, notwithstanding her dirtiness, rather interesting. She is represented in the plate with a child on her back, which was born at North Hendon, but which died on the following year. Her manner was much milder than the rest, nor did she appear to covet what she saw.

Adelik is an old woman who was a daily visitor to the ship. She appeared to observe with great attention every occurrence which took place, also to mimic or imitate people's actions. She is represented in the plate ludicrously imitating one of the officers who used to walk up and down near the ship's side for exercise, of which she could not see the utility. The staff* in her hand is one of the spears with which seals are killed. She appeared about fifty-five years of age, and being rather bent was only about four feet seven inches in stature. She was supported by her children, and she was daily employed gleaning at the place where sweepings had been previously deposited 011 the ice at a little distance from the ship. Her face was much weather-beaten, and had in it the delineation of care and anxiety. She was never detected in dishonest practices.

Hanellia and her husband returned to North Hendon in the following or second summer, where there infant died, soon after which they departed and took up their station at Padliak, where we found them living on erkalook, a small sea fish, which has been already described.

Poyettak, Kakikagiu and Aknalia

Kakikagju is represented standing between her two husbands She was a native of Akullee, and by far the most robust woman we met with ; her stature was five feet three inches and a quarter; her face Mas broad, her eyes, nose, and mouth small, as also her hands and feet, in proportion to her figure which was completely en bon point; her favourite husband was Aknalua, who was decidedly better looking than Poyettak, accordingly the latter was sent out to hunt and procure food whilst the other remained at home, and it was rather surprising to see how cheerfully he would obey from time to time this, which appeared to us, unfair command, of a capricious or partial wife, and bring home the fruits of his labours to be equally divided! On one of these occasions, Poyettak was sent to guide Commander Koss to the Uniiugmak (musk ox) mountains, and was absent a whole week. It was this woman who had obtained some knowledge of the ships under Sir Edward Parry, and by whose advice the party advanced to communicate with us; when Poweytag had lost his adopted child, the fury of the old man was appeased by her interference, and she was one of the most useful and intelligent in giving us information about the coast, rivers, stations, &c. Latterly she was not very honest, and Aknalua made her return a carpenter's rule which she had taken and concealed. She was about twenty-five years of age.

Poyettak was about twenty-eight years of age, he measured five feet four inches and Eve-eighths; his complexion was darker than that of Aknalua, and his features not so pleasing, though small in proportion; he was however a successful hunter, and very active.

Aknalua was about twenty-six years of age, measured five feet eight inches, was strong and well made; his complexion was not so dark as many of them, and his features were very pleasing; lie seemed to have a very good temper, and often came to the ship, but never was accused of taking any thing away. Being his wife's favourite, he generally came to the ship with her, and was neither covetous nor dishonest.

We did not see this family after the first year.


This young woman, who was the most corpulent of the whole tribe, is represented as sitting on the bed within a snow lint, to have the tatooing udelineated; this consisted of three lines horizontally across each cheek, and three vertically across the chin, a double: line round the neck and breast above the shoulder, another below the shoulder, and a third above the elbow; between each of these lines, which encircled the arms and parallel to each other, there were ornamental devices, but without any meaning; and all the women were tatooecl exactly in the same way. She was five feet four inches and a quarter high, and was about twenty-five years of age. Her husband's name was konag, who was also young, but they had no children, which is considered a great reproach to both parties. They went to the western sea in the summer of 1830, but returned in 1831 to us at Sheriff's harbour, at which time she had become much more corpulent, and was still without a family. Her skin was a dirty copper colour, her face was broad, her brow very low, her eyes, nose, and mouth small, and her cheeks very red. She seemed very indolent, as well as her husband ; and, at one time, they were so unsuccessful that we had to relieve their wants to keep them from starving. Iler mother, v\ hose name was Nimna Milium, but nicknamed by the sailors, Old Greedy, as well as herself, was a constant visitor to the ship, and generally carried off something which she had picked up. On one occasion, when coming up the ladder, she was tumbled off by the surgeon, and falling on her back, pretended to faint; from which, although all the doctor could do could not recover her, she was restored by the offer of an empty tin case, which had contained preserved meat: a stratagem which she subsequently tried more than once without success. She was about sixty years of age, five feet two inches high, extremely ill-looking, and decidedly the most disgusting of the whole tribe.


Kanayoke came to the ship at Felix harbour, in the spring of 1830; he had wintered at Padliak, and, having crossed the isthmus, joined a party about six miles to the northward, one of whom guided him to us. It appeared that he was the father of Poyetta, by Ivanguagiu, Alictu's widow, now the wife of his brother, Poweytag. He was about sixty-five years of age, was five feet eight inches high, and remarkable for being darker in colour than any of the rest. It appears that he lived to the westward, and had communication with a tribe in that direction where the females were most numerous; and when a wife was wanted for some of his own party, he transferred to him his own wife, and went for another to himself, a friendly service which we understood he had performed 110 less than five times; and he had now brought his sixth spouse, by whom he had three young children, to visit three of his former wives, and we witnessed the whole party living together in perfect harmony ! The advantages of this, as far as he was concerned, were obvious; for in each of the five different families he had a son or two, so that in his old age he might, according to custom, claim support from all or any of them, or from the most successful in hunting, as he was entitled to the share of a father.

He brought several good specimens of natural history, for which he was well rewarded, and he gave us some valuable information respecting the western sea and the nature of the country to the westward. He also informed us, that Kablala, who had a clubfoot, and her husband, were to be at Padliak, and that we should see them next year. On the second visit, he brought his present wife and children to see us, whose description will occupy the next page.

Ooblooria, Paningavoke, Amingo and Nuningilak

Amingo, the sixth wife of Kinyoake, is represented sitting at the table in the cabin of the Victory, between her two children, and an infant on her shoulder whose name was Aknallna. She was extremely well clothed in deer-skins, and so were her children, of whom the parents were very fond. Her complexion was much lighter and paler than the other females, and her behaviour very modest and unassuming. She sat at the table, and viewed the pictures that were set before her with great delight, pointing out to her children every thing she thought wonderful, as soon as it had been explained to herself. Her children were also very pretty, the eldest about four years old, the next two and a half, and the youngest about six months. After remaining some time, she returned to the huts, about six miles off, and we had not an opportunity of seeing her again. We understood that the whole family had gone off, with that of Kablala, to the westward.

Ooblooria, who is represented standing with a whip in one hand and a coil of line m the other, came with them. He was the eldest son of Ikmallik and Apelagiiu, about seventeen years of age; his stature was live feet two inches and three-quarters, stout made; his dress, on this occasion, was rather ornamental as well as useful, having above his deer-skin jacket, a tippet made of the bell}' part of the deer-skin, which being white, had a very pretty, as well as comfortable appearance; he was one of the guides which Commander Boss had on his first journey to Neitchillee and Padliak, on which occasion his provisions ran short, and his gratitude, as well as that of his parents, has been dwelt upon already in the Narrative. He was a fine active and intelligent lad, and was, consequently, a great favourite with us. He was married to Shullaiiina, Tulluahiu's daughter, and his own cousin, his mother, Apellagliu, being Tulluahiu's sister. We had no reason to doubt that he was strictly honest, as also the whole family, who were certainly, and very deservedly, the favourites; and as they showed no disposition even to covet, they were always presented with more of what was useful to them than the rest.

Neweetioke was brother to Ikmallik, and certainly the tallest of the Boothians, being five feet ten inches high, but he had been described to us much taller before he came to us the second year at Sheriff's harbour; but when he stood up beside Mr. Abernethy, who was six feet two inches, he looked so much shorter that his brother was quite astonished. He is dressed in a bear-skin jacket with deer-skin sleeves, and his trousers were bear-skin. He had, of course, been told all about us before he came, and his brother having received a great many things, he was led to expect the same; he had, however, very little to give in exchange, and consequently was disappointed, and when nothing else would do lie fell on an ingenious stratagem to obtain a piece of wood which he had fixed his mind upon. Having consulted his companions, it was agreed that they were to show us their method of killing seals, accordingly one personated a seal lying on the ice, now and then pretending to sleep, and sometimes holding up his head as if to look around; while the others, watching his motions, gradually approach by creeping on their bellies, with a spear. Neweetioke, while this farce was going on, and supposing that our attention was entirely engrossed with it, slipped away, and having got the piece of wood, placed it along his spear, and on each end put over boot, as if to carry tlieni for the purpose of drying them by suspending them across his shoulders; but he did not escape the vigilance of our look-out men, who caught him in the act, which was fatal to his obtaining any thing he wanted, and had he not been Ikmallik's brother, he would have been sent off in disgrace. He had a wife and two children, the eldest of which was one of the performers in the stratagem. The detection, however, caused a hearty laugh. Although his forehead was low, his features were larger than most of them, and he appeared to be about forty-five years of age.

Konyaroklik (or Bald-head) came at the same time with Neweetioke, and had one son, called Ulla, of whom he was very proud; he was still more so of his bald head, which was unique here, being the only instance we saw of it. He was five feet six inches high, about fifty years of age, and rather good-looking. He brought us some skins, for which he was liberally paid, and was delighted when he saw his portrait, which I made of him. His costume was a dark deer-skin jacket and bear-skin trousers.

Udlia, Awtigin, and Pallrak.

Awtigin is represented in the engraving standing between his two wives. This family came to us at Sheriff's harbour in the spring of 1831, having learnt of our position from our former friends. His jacket is of reindeer-skin, as also those of his wives ; his trousers are of bear-skin, and his wives' seal-skin, as also their hoots. They had several good skins to dispose of, and left us well pleased with what they had in exchange. It appeared that he had first taken Udlia for a wife, and, in consequence of her having no child, he took Palurak in addition, by whom he has a son; notwithstanding this, the two wives appeared on perfect good terms with each other, and were equally beloved (if I may so call it) by their husband. Awtigin was five feet six inches high, stout made, but had rather a stupid look. He was very desirous to possess many things which he saw, but was not detected in pilfering.

Udlia was five feet one inch and a half high, and rather delicately made; she could not be above twenty-five years of age, while her copartner was two inches shorter, and about two years younger. The child's name was Karuktachiu, and was about two years old. These females were delighted with the presents which we gave them, and showed no disposition to covet or to steal. After remaining with us about a week they departed to fish on one of the lakes.

Like the rest, they promised to return, but our departure would disappoint them, as we left Sheriff's harbour in the August following.

Shullanina, Tulluahiu, and Tiriksjij

Tulluahiu, liis wife Tirikshiu, and his daughter Shullanina, being the most remarkable family we met with; a plate of them has been given in the book, and their names are so often introduced that little of their history remains to be told. The former, whose name signifies a young raven, was about forty years of age, he measured five feet eight inches, and was rather more corpulent than the rest, probably from being unable to take exercise; his features and costume are well represented, as also those of his wife and daughter. When we approached them on the first day of communication, Tulluahiu was stationed in the middle of the column, standing on one leg, and supported between Ikmallik and another, and was armed with a long knife, which he kept behind his back until peace was established. He was one of the first we had on board, and was remarkable for imitating every thing he saw done. It has been already mentioned that the wooden leg which we gave him was the means of establishing friendship between us, and he was always grateful for that signal service which we rendered to trim. He was never detected stealing, but his wife was not so honest, and when she did succeed in carrying any thing away, her husband always made her bring it back. In the plate she is represented concealing a piece of wood, in which she was detected. She was sister to Ikmallik, and being live feet five inches and a quarter high, was one of the tallest of the women; her name signified an ermine, and she was about thirty-eight years of age. Shullanina, her daughter, was the eldest of three children; she was decidedly the prettiest girl and had the best figure; her cheeks were rosy, and, when washed with soap and water, she looked very well, and appeared to have every amiable quality. The proof she gave of her obedience, by consenting to be exchanged for a wooden leg, has already been dwelt upon in the Narrative, as well as her subsequent marriage with her cousin Ooblooria, Ikinalhk's son. After which T met with the whole family at Lindsay river. At Sheriff's harbour, a very short time after, they paid us a visit. Tulluahiu had damaged the trunk part of his wooden leg; this was repaired by bands of copper, and several spare legs given to In in before we parted for the last time, and which excited new demonstrations of their gratitude and regard.

Ikmallik and Apellagliu

Ikmallik, and his wife Apellagliu, were certainly the best of the whole of the natives, and they seemed most respected by the rest. They are represented in the Narrative as drawing a map of the country; and, from the information which he likenise gave us, he obtained the name of the "Hydrographer," and we always found what he, or his son Ooblooria, told us to be correct. They brought us every thing they could procure, leaving it entirely to us what they were to have in exchange, and were always contented with whatever was given to them; by this kind of conduct they gained our confidence and esteem, and in the end they got best rewarded. They were extremely attached to their children, and for any kindness shown to them their gratitude knew no bounds. The mutual desire to oblige each other, and every one else, was at once manifest and delightful. Ikmallik was the first who remained a whole night and slept 011 board, having been employed by me in building my magnetic observatory of snow, which he did cheerfully and extremely well. His youngest child, about two years old, was called Camuka, and was very pretty; she was clothed in skins so as to resemble a ball, and was often entertained with prints in the cabin. Besides their own three children, two of which were at the breast, they had supported two nephews who had lost their parents ; one of which, Awack, had now grown up, and was the companion and friend of Ooblooria; lie was one of the most active and expert hunters, as well as the most successful of the whole, and was one of Commander Ross's guides on the first journey. I met with him afterwards in Thorns bay, and he was the means of our discovering the great Salmon (Lord Lindsay) river.

Apellagliu was five feet three inches and a half high, rather corpulent, and by no means good looking; she was sister to Tulluahiu, in whose features there was a family resemblance, and was about thirty-six years of age. Awaek was about twenty-two, had a very pleasing countenance, and was five feet eight inches high.

Ikmallik had another brother, besides Neweetioke, who was named Atayaraktak, who was an active young man, about thirty, and five feet eight inches and a half high ; his wife was a very delicate person, and they had two children. It was this man and Ookurahiu who first conducted me to Neitehillee, while Commander Ross was on a journey to the westward. Ookurachin was also a nephew to Ikmallik, but lived with his mother Alurak.

Ajoua, Auowairiu, and Naquassiak

Ajoua was an old woman, the mother of Tulluahiu and Auo-wahriu, who was very much bent, and could not walk without the aid of a staff; she was very covetous, and asked for almost every thing she saw ; at length I proposed that she should carry off the ship on her back, which had the appearance of being bent for receiving a burden, at which her sons were much amused ; we received, however, from her a curious piece of wood which had been given to her by Cablala, and would have been a passport if we had succeeded in getting to the westward. This curiosity I have still in my possession : of course she was well rewarded for it; but she always put us in mind that her parting with it was a great favour. Auowahriu was her second son, and was also ;i cripple from accident; he had been a very powerful man and an excellent hunter, and was remarkable for the nice order in which he kept his spears, bows, and arrows. He was very dexterous at killing salmon, and in the management of a canoe; we met with him for the last time at the salmon fishery, at the mouth of Lindsay river. He had three children who had lost their mother. Naquassiak, the eldest, was about sixteen years of age, very tall and thin, but not very active; when he went to show Commander Ross the way to Shagavoke, he was detected in telling a falsehood, and thereby obtained the nickname of Shaglo, which signifies a lie; but he never was offended at this appellation, which indeed was a source of merriment] whenever it was mentioned. The other two children were infants; but when Tiagashu died, his widow Alurak became the wife of Auowahriu, and took charge of the children. This family were not covetous nor inclined to pilfer, and were therefore always in favour.

Noyennak and Iblushe Tikatagiu

These young men were brothers of Tiagashu, Poyettak, and Aknallua, by the same mother, but by a different father. Noyen-nak was about twenty-five years of age, five feet four inches and three-eighths high; his complexion was lighter and more sallow than his brothers, and he seemed very quiet and inoffensive; he contributed to the support of his aged mother, and when his father Alictu died he was much grieved. Iblushe, his brother, was about thirty years of age, five feet five inches and three-quarters high, and also of a light sallow complexion. He was remarkable for wearing ornaments of foxes' teeth hung round his forehead, and at each temple a bear's tooth; his countenance bespoke extreme goodnature, which we found completely verified. W e understood that this family suffered considerably for want of food after they left us, and we did not meet them again on the second year.

Tikatagiu was one of those who did not come to us until late in the first season. lie was a very fine young man, about twenty-six years of age, and measured five feet nine inches. His wife, whose name was Kuria, was a very shy delicate woman, and had one infant named Karuktachiu. He was an excellent hunter, and had a very superior dog, of which he was very fond, and could not be bribed to part with him. He came and built a snow hut very near to the ship, and remained until he had exchanged skins and other articles which he could spare, for wood and iron. I met him some time afterwards at Neitclnllee, and obtained a supply of fish, which were then in great plenty.

Life with the Esquimaux
The Narrative of Captain Charles Francis Hall, of the Whaling Barque "George Henry" from the 29th May 1860 to the 13th September 1862 with the results of a lomg intercourse with the Innuits, and full description of their mode of life, the discovery of actual relics of the expedition of Martin Probisher of three centuries ago and deducations in favour of yet discovering some of the survivors of Sir John Franklin's expedition in two volumes (1864)

Here are some videos for you to watch...

Short History of the Canadian Inuit People

An Inuit/Eskimo family in the Arctic 1959
The barren life of an Inuit family and their children in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Arctic Canada more than fifty years ago.

On Thin Ice: Inuit Way of Life Vanishing in Arctic
NBC's Ann Curry reports from Greenland, providing a rare glimpse of Inuit hunters facing a rapidly changing way of life in the Arctic

Canada Inuit Music

Are Canada's Inuits Being Forgotten? (1999)

Inuits fishing in the ice 1967

Inuit life on Baffin Island during the changing seasons,1952

The Last True Eskimos in Alaskan Northwest

Eskimos of Canada as a Minority Group
Social and Cultural Perspectives (1969) (pdf)

The Owl Who Married a Goose
By National Film Board of Canada; Canada. Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. Based on an Eskimo legend on a theme of nature, this imaginary tale done in animated style unfolds with subtle humor the interaction between an owl and a goose and the owl's attempts to follow the goose's lifestyle. Only sounds used are actual Eskimo voices imitating the geese and owl noises. mp4 video format.

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