LAND OF THE HIBERNATING RIVERS: Life in the Arctic by T. A. Cheney

LAND OF THE HIBERNATING RIVERS: Life in the Arctic

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

General characterization of the Arctic talga and tundra, depicted specifically via the life-styles of eastern Siberian herdsmen and Alaskan Eskimos. The taiga section includes some intriguing surprises for those unfamiliar with the region; ""dancing trees"" that have an underground water explanation; mosquitoes whose females need blood to lay their eggs; camp bets predicting the day ""break-up"" (of the winter ice) will begin; a broader understanding of the meaning of ""desert"" (the ice is too cold to humidify the air); ways of keeping down the size of reindeer herds by tribal custom control, etc. Kivalina, Alaska, is the ""analog area"" for tundra study, less fully investigated than the first section but with appropriate information about patterned ground, food chains, as well as the disenchanting news that Eskimos now prefer dental floss over caribou sinew for sewing mukluks. The ice cap and polar pack discussions are minimal, and the whole looks like a textbook right down to the clipped dry sentences but there is persistent and interesting attention to the region's ecosystems.

Pub Date: Nov. 6th, 1968
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World