HUNTERS OF THE NORTHERN ICE by Richard K. Nelson

HUNTERS OF THE NORTHERN ICE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This book is the result of a study supported by the Air Force in order to enhance their survival techniques and it's a quite technically oriented, ethnographic presentation of the knowledge, techniques and equipment perfected by the Eskimo in the hunt. This encompasses a wide range of interrelated areas; the structure and varieties of ice packs and their movements; weather and the effects of wind and currents; methods of avoiding or combatting emergency conditions; the migratory and environmental patterns of polar bears, walrus, seal, fox, caribou, and whale. And the specific methods of hunting each species. It also points out the characteristics of the Eskimo as predator--his self-assured competence, respect for knowledge (which necessitates a respect for elders), perseverance, foresight, alertness, a cultivated cooperativeness and sense of humor. One sad fact illuminated here is that through a misplaced benevolence the U.S. has upset the balance creating a ""cultural limbo"" and a welfare class. The older hunters are dying out and their knowledge will only be preserved in books like this for the anthropologist or perhaps, future Pearys.

Pub Date: Aug. 26th, 1969
Publisher: Univ. of Chicago