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People Of The Twilight: Book Review

  • Submitted by: patonn89
  • on December 5, 2011
  • Category: Miscellaneous
  • Length: 1,631 words

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A review: The People of the Twilight.
Ian Cunningham

The People of the twilight is, at its beginning a classical ethnography.   The task of which was to examine the lives of the Coppermine Eskimos.   Looking at how they hunted for food, what was actually available for food?   How they would use the resources they had around them for survival.
This book was written pre-WWI, it is based on Victoria Island, Coronation Gulf and the surrounding area, in the Central Northern of Canada.   They practice fission and fusion as many other Eskimo tribes do.   As in the summer months they disperse across the north.   Their destination being one of the thousands of lakes teaming with fish.   They also search for caribou, a major resource and food supply.   Then as the days grow short and the night lengthens its stay, the temperature drops with haste.   The scattered tribes reunite for the harsh winter months.   They spend every monument of good sun hunting for the only readily accessible food source they have, seals.   Seal meat keeps them and their dogs fed, their fat is used as a fuel source for the small fire born in a hand carved soapstone dish.   This harsh climate yields little to no wood for these people to cook food, not that they do that much anyway, or give them light when the sun is hidden in the dark winter months.
This is the world Jenness is trying to open up, these are the people he will attempt to explain.   As he enters the far north of Canada he has a few companions (their names   and occupations here).   When he first arrives these are the people he seems to like, his own European   friends.   However he has his purpose and ventures out with interpreter to gather information about the people here.   He spends his first winter with some Eskimos.   One family in particular takes a special liking to him.   He at first attributes this to the items he has available to him, then available to them.   The native man who takes him in as his adopted son is named Ikpuc, he is a...

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