ESKIMOS OF THE WORLD by Paul Michael Elliott


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Elliott introduces the Eskimos--of Siberia, Alaska, Canada, and Greenland--as a people ""caught in between two different worlds"": witness Alaskan Charlie, whose favorite foods are pizza and whale meat with mashed potatoes, who speaks English, has never been hunting, and has never seen a car or TV. Most of this is a season-by-season description, dotted with arresting details, of the old world of snow houses, spirits, seal and caribou hunting, without need of leaders or formal laws. The picture encompasses both the joyous celebrations and easygoing old ways and, on the darker side, the wars we rarely hear of and the frequent starvation, sometimes necessitating cannibalism, that was an integral part of life then. Elliott goes on to chronicle the changes since white hunters brought disaster and, later, white governments stepped in with their combination of help and control. Elliott quotes an occasional Eskimo song, supplies photos and Eskimo drawings which illustrate the customs and practices discussed, and ends with the words of a modern leader: ""There are only very few Eskimos but there are millions of whites, just like mosquitos."" Personable.

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 1976
Publisher: Messner