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A Treasury of Eskimo Tales   By: (1848-)

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First Page:

A TREASURY OF

ESKIMO TALES

BY

CLARA K. BAYLISS

Author of "A Treasury of Indian Tales," "Old Man Coyote," etc.

ILLUSTRATED IN COLOR BY GEORGE CARLSON

NEW YORK THOMAS Y. CROWELL COMPANY PUBLISHERS

COPYRIGHT, 1922, By THOMAS Y. CROWELL COMPANY Second Printing

Printed in the U. S. A.

[Illustration: HE SUMMONED HIS MASCOT WHICH WAS A HUGE WHITE BEAR]

PREFACE

The Central Eskimo live away up north in that great American archipelago which lies between Hudson Bay, Baffin Bay, and the Arctic Ocean; an archipelago in which the islands are so large, so numerous, and so irregular in outline that, as one looks at a map of them, he could fancy they were "chunks" of the continent which had been broken to pieces by some huge iceberg that bumped into it.

The land is ice bound during so much of the year that the inhabitants cannot depend upon getting a living by the cultivation of the soil, and have to subsist almost entirely upon meat which they get from reindeer, seal, bear, whale, and walrus.

In summer their clothing is of sealskin and fishskin; and in winter it is of the thicker reindeer hides. Their life is a hard one owing to the rigorous climate, and they make it harder by their superstitions, for diseases are supposed to be cured by charms and incantations of the shaman or priest; and everything in the way of hunting, fishing, cooking, or of clothing themselves must be done in a prescribed way or it is "taboo" or "hoodoo" as the negroes say. When you read "The Baby Eskimo" you will see just a tiny bit of the hardships, but I should not like to tell you how much more terrible a time he might have had, if he had happened to be a girl baby.

By referring to the Table of Contents you will note that the first group of tales were told by the Central Eskimo. The second group were derived from the Eskimo living along Bering Strait, to the west; and it is interesting to compare many of these folk tales along similar subjects.

The writer is indebted to the Sixth Ethnological Report, issued by the U. S. Government, for many of the legends found in the Central Eskimo group; and to the Eighteenth Report for many of those from Bering Strait. She wishes to express her thanks for this invaluable and unique material.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

CENTRAL ESKIMO TALES

I. THE BABY ESKIMO 1

II. KIVIUNG 3

III. THE GIANT 12

IV. KALOPALING 14

V. THE WOMAN MAGICIAN 18

VI. THE BIRD WIFE 23

VII. THE SPIRIT OF THE SINGING HOUSE 28

VIII. THE TORNIT 30

IX. THE FLIGHT TO THE MOON 33

X. WHAT THE MAN IN THE MOON DID 37

XI. THE GUEST 41

XII. THE ORIGIN OF THE NARWHAL 43

BERING STRAIT TALES

XIII. WHAT THE ESKIMO BELIEVES 49

XIV. THE FIRST MAN 52

XV. THE FIRST WOMAN 57

XVI. OTHER MEN 61

XVII. MAN'S FIRST GRIEF 65

XVIII. UP TO THE TOP OF THE SKY, AND DOWN TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA 69

XIX. TAKING AWAY THE SUN 76

XX. THE DWARF PEOPLE 82

XXI. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE LONE WOMAN OF ST... Continue reading book >>




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