NUNAGA: Ten Years of Eskimo Life by Duncan Pryde

NUNAGA: Ten Years of Eskimo Life

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Mr. Pryde, a resilient, bluntly independent product of Scots orphanages, arrived in the Canadian north at 18 and graduated from fur trading (""too soft and civilized"") to trading-post manager in isolated Eskimo communities. Although there was an obvious satisfaction in running a tight -- and sober -- shop, in driving a dangerous bully from the settlement after an all-night battle, and mastering the Eskimo language, Pryde's greatest pleasure was the acceptance and friendship given him by the Eskimos whom he genuinely liked and respected. During the hunting trips and rigors shared, community galas, births and deaths, the jovial spouse sharing (Pryde recounts his falls from Western morality with a careful modesty which will fool no one), he became an active participant in the community and after leaving his last settlement Pryde was elected to the Northwest Territorial Council in 1965. By the '70's he had a firsthand knowledge of both the ""Stone Age"" and ""New"" Eskimo of alarm clocks and cornflakes. Pryde champions the latter: ""People. . . forget (that) Eskimos are human beings. They don't want. . . to live in a crummy snowhouse, to be bitterly cold. . . and hungry most of the time."" A likable adventurer who tells his story well.

Pub Date: March 6th, 1972
Publisher: Walker