Eskimo Folk-Tales: With Classics Illustrations
(, Aug. 6, 2020)
THE 53 Eskimo, or Inuit, folk tales contained herein were collected in various parts of Greenland, taken down from the lips of the Eskimo story-tellers themselves, by Knud Rasmussen [1879 - 1933], the Danish explorer, himself partly of Eskimo origin. Herein you will find 53 stories unlike any European märchen. There is no Puss in Boots, Cinderella or Snow White. Instead you will find stories and tales that the Inuit used to teach their children the moral lessons of life. Stories told around a camp- fire with great effect. Tales of NUKÚNGUASIK, WHO ESCAPED FROM THE TUPILAK, THE INSECTS THAT WOOED A WIFELESS MAN, THE VERY OBSTINATE MAN, THE DWARFS, THE RAVEN AND THE GOOSE, HOW THE FOG CAME, THE GIANT DOG and many more. The technique of the fairy tale is frequently apparent, as it is in most cultures. One test fulfilled is followed by the demand for fulfilment of another. The constellation of the Great Bear is explained in one story and is the origin of Venus in another. There is a version of the Bluebeard theme in Ímarasugssuaq, "who, it is said, was wont to eat his wives." Instances of friend- ship and affection between human beings and animals are found, as in the tale of the FOSTER-MOTHER AND THE BEAR. The 12 grey scale illustrations are by native Eskimo artists. are not drawn to illustrate the particular stories, but represent typical scenes such as they are described. As regards their contents, the stories present, more clearly, perhaps, than any objective study, the daily life of the Eskimos of old, their habit of thought, their conception of the universe, and the curious "spirit world" which formed their religion and mythology. In point of form they are unique.