Carib

St. Lucia, St Lucia

First Contact:

10
70
20
gather% / fish % / hunt %
fat % / protein % / carb%

A rough estimate to help us understand how carnivorous and how ketogenic these people were before being exposed to western civilization

1/0

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About the Tribe

Who were the Carib? - Possibly a carnivore population.


Importance of Animal Products

The Carib Indians were primarily fishing people. They took to sea in their long canoes to catch fish, crabs, and other seafood. Hunters also shot birds and small game.

Importance of Plants

In some Carib communities, farming was an important food source, with cassava, beans, squash, and peppers being grown. Other Carib groups did little farming and acquired peppers and cassava through trade or raiding.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5545405/?page=4

Transition to Industrialized Food Products

Observations on the Diseases Which Appeared in the Army at St. Lucia in 1778 and 1779. To Which Are Prefixed Remarks, Calculated to Assist in Explaining the Treatment of Those Diseases. With an Appendix, Containing a Short Address to Military Gentlemen on the Means of Preserving Health in the West Indies


In the fourth chapter the author describes the situations of the island, in which the men specified in the table were fixed, and endeavours to determine which are the most healthy. For this purpoSe he gives a comparative view of the health of the natives compared with that of the troops.

He observes, that "at Carenage-town the People are:

  • short-lived,

  • have annual attacks of fever,

  • yellow and meagre countenances,

  • small legs, except when edematous,

  • so that they have the appearance of persons worn out by disease.

At Gros Met, we are told:

  • the inhabitants live longer,

  • are not fo subject to disease, at least not the same degree or duration,

  • and that they are fuller in the face,

  • and more hearty.

At Souffrir the inhabitants have:

  • cheerful countenances,

  • and nearly in a state of health with those of Gros Islet,

but this, our author thinks, may be attributed to a better diet rather than situation. "

On the extensive plain to windward of this place very few diseases appear, and they are mostly internments : the countenances here of the women, of the children, and even of the men, have some degree of resemblance to those of the European, the female has the red on her cheek, and the child has all the marks of health.


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5545405/?page=4


Carenage, formerly known as Le Carenage, is one of the most popular bays located in west Trinidad. This bay, which is a famous sea bathing and liming area, got its name out of the practice of "careening", or cleaning out the waste materials in sea vessels, which was carried out in the area for centuries.

Initially, Le Carenage was the name given to the river flowing into this bay as well as the valley were the river flowed.

The Carenage valley, possibly because of its extremely fertile soils was essentially an agricultural area where crops sugar-cane, cotton and coffee were grown. In fact, the area contained ten sugar mills, five rum distilleries and a workforce consisting of 607 enslaved Africans and 131 'free' people of colour. Owners of the estates comprised of 19 families (64 whites), including the Dumas, Noel, Dert, Mercie families. http://www.trinbagopan.com/Townsandvillages/Carenage2.html


Carenage, formerly known as Le Carenage, is one of the most popular bays located in west Trinidad. This bay, which is a famous sea bathing and liming area, got its name out of the practice of "careening", or cleaning out the waste materials in sea vessels, which was carried out in the area for centuries.

Initially, Le Carenage was the name given to the river flowing into this bay as well as the valley were the river flowed.

The Carenage valley, possibly because of its extremely fertile soils was essentially an agricultural area where crops sugar-cane, cotton and coffee were grown. In fact, the area contained ten sugar mills, five rum distilleries and a workforce consisting of 607 enslaved Africans and 131 'free' people of colour. Owners of the estates comprised of 19 families (64 whites), including the Dumas, Noel, Dert, Mercie families.

In 1849, Lord Harris made the Carenage area into district into a ward. Also, a few years later in 1851, an inland postal service was inaugurated in Trinidad, making Carenage one of the first places to receive mail in the country. Carenage was also one of first areas to set up primary schools in the country.

Despite the area's popularity as a fairly prosperous agricultural region, the face of Carenage seemed to change by the 1870's becoming a poor fishing village, although many were still involved in agriculture. It was at this time that parish priest (or abbé) Antoine Poujade came to assist the poor and helped to erect a chapel and a statue of St. Peter overlooking what is now known as St. Peter's Bay.


Gros Islet (English: Large Island) is a community near the northern tip of the island country of Saint Lucia, in the Gros Islet Quarter. Originally a quiet fishing village, it has gone on to become one of the more popular tourist destinations in the country.

Settled by the Carib (and possibly Arawak), the area was first identified as Gros Islet in a French map from 1717. The community was a Roman Catholic parish, as the first priests who arrived on the island settled in the village in 1749.


https://www.diffordsguide.com/producers/174/st-lucia-distillers/history

John Rollo

Observations on the Diseases Which Appeared in the Army at St. Lucia in 1778 and 1779. To Which Are Prefixed Remarks, Calculated to Assist in Explaining the Treatment of Those Diseases. With an Appendix, Containing a Short Address to Military Gentlemen on the Means of Preserving Health in the West Indies

Dr Rollo, who later recommended a meat diet, writes 20 years earlier while stationed in St Lucia, that the civilized town Carenage with sugar production had far greater disease than the fishing village of Gros Islet and attributes it to a difference in diet.


Observations on the Diseases Which Appeared in the Army at St. Lucia in 1778 and 1779. To Which Are Prefixed Remarks, Calculated to Assist in Explaining the Treatment of Those Diseases. With an Appendix, Containing a Short Address to Military Gentlemen on the Means of Preserving Health in the West Indies 


in the fourth chapter the author describes the situations of the island, in which the men specified in the table were fixed, and endeavours to determine which are the most healthy. For this purpoSe he gives a comparative view of the health of the natives compared with that of the troops. 


He observes, that "at Carenage-town the People are:

  • short-lived, 

  • have annual attacks of fever, 

  • yellow and meagre countenances, 

  • small legs, except when eedematous, 

  • so that they have the appearance of persons worn out by disease. 

At Gros Met, we are told:

  •  the inhabitants live longer,

  • are not fo subject to disease, at least not the same degree or duration,

  •  and that they are fuller in the face,

  •  and more hearty.

At Souffrir the inhabitants have:

  •  cheerful countenances, 

  • and nearly in a state of health with those of Gros Islet, 

but this, our author thinks, may be attributed to a better diet rather than situation. "


On the extensive plain to windward of this place very few diseases appear, and they are mostly internments : the countenances here of the women, of the children, and even of the men, have some degree of resemblance to those of the European, the female has the red on her cheek, and the child has all the marks of health.


http://www.trinbagopan.com/Townsandvillages/Carenage2.html


Carenage, formerly known as Le Carenage, is one of the most popular bays located in west Trinidad. This bay, which is a famous sea bathing and liming area, got its name out of the practice of "careening", or cleaning out the waste materials in sea vessels, which was carried out in the area for centuries.

Initially, Le Carenage was the name given to the river flowing into this bay as well as the valley were the river flowed.

The Carenage valley, possibly because of its extremely fertile soils was essentially an agricultural area where crops sugar-cane, cotton and coffee were grown. In fact, the area contained ten sugar mills, five rum distilleries and a workforce consisting of 607 enslaved Africans and 131 'free' people of colour. Owners of the estates comprised of 19 families (64 whites), including the Dumas, Noel, Dert, Mercie families.


https://www.diffordsguide.com/producers/174/st-lucia-distillers/history


Gros Islet (English: Large Island) is a community near the northern tip of the island country of Saint Lucia, in the Gros Islet Quarter. Originally a quiet fishing village, it has gone on to become one of the more popular tourist destinations in the country.[3]

Settled by the Carib (and possibly Arawak), the area was first identified as Gros Islet in a French map from 1717.[4] The community was a Roman Catholic parish, as the first priests who arrived on the island settled in the village in 1749.[5]


Who were the Carib? - Possibly a carnivore population. 


The Carib Indians were primarily fishing people. They took to sea in their long canoes to catch fish, crabs, and other seafood. Hunters also shot birds and small game. In some Carib communities, farming was an important food source, with cassava, beans, squash, and peppers being grown. Other Carib groups did little farming and acquired peppers and cassava through trade or raiding.

Letters of the present rector of St. Peter's-by-the-Sea, of Sitka, the Reverend Henry H. Chapman.

Eskimo natives had a range of cooking styles and mostly carnivorous diets but did not suffer from cancer until modern foods entered their diet.

In reply to a further query, the rector wrote again from Sitka on September 16, 1958. He confirmed that he had lived at Anvik all but three of the years between his birth in 1895 and his first journey in 1908 when he went out to become a graduate of Middlebury College, Vermont. “I returned to Anvik as a missionary in 1922 and lived there until 1948, except for furloughs and the four years I was in Fairbanks.

“The native people of the Anvik area are Athapaskans. During my youth the main parts of their food were meat (caribou, rabbits, grouse, waterfowl, beaver, porcupine, black bear and lynx) and fish (salmon, whitefish, shellfish, loche and lampreys). The loche has a large liver which is said to be even richer in vitamins than ordinary cod liver. The Indians also ate raw foods such as berries, wild rhubarb, and a root which they called ‘mouseberries’ because it was gathered and hoarded by field mice.

“They obtained fat from caribou, black bear, and beaver tails. The lampreys were rich in oil, which was highly prized. They also bought seal oil from the Eskimos. Even in my boyhood they supplemented their native diet with white man's food, including lard ...

“The usual way of cooking meat was either boiling or frying. As a boy I was once invited by a party of Indians to eat bear meat with them. It was boiled and well done ... I do not know that any flesh foods were eaten raw, except for dried fish ...”

Neither does the published literature on the forest Indians report that any flesh foods were customarily eaten raw by the forest Indians of Alaska or northern Canada. Indeed, the name “Eskimos” is believed by many to have been derived from an Algonquin expression meaning “they eat their meat raw.”

When I went down north along the Mackenzie, in 1906 and 1908, I now and then heard talk of how horrified the Athapaskans had been when they first saw white men of the Northwest Company and Hudson's Bay Company eating the customary British underdone roast meats. In 1910, when we met the Athapaskans northeast of Great Bear Lake — Dogribs, Slaves, and Yellowknives — we found that they were still mildly horrified to see the Hudson's Bay Company Canadian Joseph Hodgson and the Old Country British John Hornby and Cosmo Melvil, who were then living among them, eating rare caribou steaks and roasts.

In a presentation of evidence regarding the views of frontier doctors on the incidence of cancer, it is of consequence to make clear that early testimony regarding the rarity or absence of malignancies is as clear and strong for the forest Indian north as for the grassland Eskimo country. Some of the early medical missionaries — notably Dr. Hutton in Labrador — have inclined to credit a diet of raw flesh with that former absence of cancer in which they believed. To emphasize this point let me quote again Dr. Hutton's book Health Conditions (1925), Page 35:

“Some diseases common in Europe have no t come under my notice ... Of these diseases the most striking is cancer ... In this connection it may be noted that cookery holds a very secondary place in the preparation of food — most of the food is eaten raw ...”

If only Eskimos are considered, in relation to the alleged former absence of cancer, and of these only the Labradorians, then the logical deduction for one who believes nutrition to be fundamental in relation to malignancy, is that actual rawness of food may be the crucially important cancer-inhibiting factor. But the force of this logic diminishes as we go westward from Labrador, among the Eskimos. Without cancer's appearing at all, cooking grows steadily more important as we move west. From Dr. Hutton's and other accounts, the Labradorians, east of Hudson Bay, were the greatest raw-flesh eaters of the whole Eskimo world. West of the Bay the boiling of flesh increases; and inland from the Bay, among the Caribou Eskimos, the roasting of caribou supplements the boiling. At Coronation Gulf, near where Dr. Jenness and I spent the first years during which the Copper Eskimos ever associated closely with Europeans, the years 1910 to 1915, there was considerable summer use of roasting, though the winter cooking, if any, was by boiling. Among the Mackenzie Eskimos, as described from the 1860's by Father Emile Petitot and from the early 1900's by myself, boiling and roasting were both considerable. These methods were even a bit more common in northern Alaska, as described by John Simpson in the 1850's and Murdoch in the 1880's. In southwestern Alaska as described by Dr. Romig in the manuscript he submitted to our Encyclopedia Antarctica, for the last decade of the nineteenth century and the first one of the twentieth, the cooking of flesh foods reached its Eskimo high point.

Yet the mission testimony, starting from Labrador, remains equally clear, from east to west: the medical missionaries all looked for cancer, and they never found it among the “primitive,” though they did find it among the “modernized.”

Thus clarification is important for whoever expects a nutritional key to this Eskimo cancer situation. Among the Athapaska and western Eskimos cooking was hardly ever carried to the point of “well done,” or “boiled to pieces.” Instead the native meats resembled our fashionable roasts, which have a well-done layer on the outside, medium done just under that, and the center pink or red. And so it was with the forest Indians — at least with those Athapaskans from Great Bear Lake to just west of the Mackenzie, with whom I hunted and lived — though they insisted on some cooking, they were in practice as careful as Eskimo cooks to see that the centers of most pieces were pink.

To sum up the raw and cooked-food elements of northern medical missionary theorizing about cancer:

During the time when large numbers of non-Europeanized northern natives were allegedly free of cancer, there was little cooking of flesh foods beyond the degree which we call medium. Among grassland and coastal Eskimos raw flesh eating ranged from a great deal in northern Labrador to a good deal in southwestern Alaska. Only among forest Indians were raw flesh foods avoided, and even among these there was little use of overcooked flesh.

Vegetable foods, where eaten at all, were always raw, among prairie and woodland natives alike. Among Eskimos, vegetable foods were important only in the farthest west — along the west coast of Alaska, among the Aleutians, and along the south coast of Alaska. In the most northerly region from Baffin Island, Canada, to Point Barrow, Alaska, vegetable eating was negligible, except in time of famine. Among woodland Indians, vegetables were negligible with the Athapaskans from the west shore of Hudson Bay to beyond the Mackenzie. In Alaska the eating of raw vegetables by forest Indians increased westward along the northern belt and then increased still more southward, into the country of the Tlingit.

During the time when the medical missionaries reported cancer difficult or impossible to find among large numbers of primitive natives, there was no usual cooking of any vegetables, whether among grassland or forest natives. The cooking of vegetables is part of that Europeanization which is considered by some missionaries to be responsible for the introduction of cancer, or for the change from its being hard to find to its being impossible not to notice.

The European-style application of intense heat to food through frying was new to all northern North American natives.

Book of the Eskimos

Peter Freuchen and Knud Rasmussen take part in a food orgy where fermented narwhale skin kept in a meat cache for several years is shared. This is called rotten mattack and tastes like walnuts and roquefort cheese.

I was early acquainted with the magnificent hospitality of the Polar Eskimos. Knud Rasmussen and I even skipped unloading the little ship Motor in which we went to Thule together in order to take part in a food orgy which he got started by announcing that he had been longing to taste the good things the place had to offer. We were invited to Uvdluriak's and there for the first time I tasted rotten mattak. This dish, which is a great delicacy for the Eskimos, consists of huge flakes of narwhale skin that have been kept in meat caches for several years. In the low temperature they do not become rancid, they just ferment, so that the skin tastes very much like walnuts while the blubber, turned quite green, tastes sharp—almost like roquefort cheese. Next we went to the house of Tornge, who served caribou meat with tallow. Knud let it be known that he would consider it an offense not to visit all the other tents, where people no doubt were expecting us with such specialties as they had in store. At last, we were so gorged that we both lay down on the bunk where we happened to be and fell asleep. We were awakened by a message from the irate captain of Motor, who asked us if we had any intentions of further activity in this place.

Book of the Eskimos

The role of women at feasts of the Hudson Bay Eskimos is described while the men share boiled meat.

Among the Hudson Bay Eskimos, the women are not allowed to take part in these feasts. It is thought that boiled meat is man's food, too good for women to have, and a man would make himself ridiculous if he ate it in the company of his family. No, he goes outside his house and announces loudly that there is boiled meat. This is an invitation for all the other men in the village to come to a feast. With serious faces, they form a single file and enter the house of their host. They have their big knives in their hands and hold them up in front of themselves like sabres. Inside the house, they take position in a circle without saying a word.

The host begins the proceedings by making a little speech that is always approximately the same: "Alas, I have waited so long before inviting you because I was embarrassed on account of my bad house. I do not know how to build houses as big and handsome as yours. Moreover, I have nothing decent to offer you. The rest of you, you are used to catching young, fresh, and good-tasting animals; I must be content with half-dead carrions that are an insult to the palate. And finally I have only the miserable wife who sits here. She is unfit for any work, and she is particularly impossible at cooking meat, so this meal is going to be a terrible scandal for my house."

Whereupon the men sit down, and the wife starts serving the meat. This is her only function at the meal. She has a kind of fork made from a caribou antler or a walrus rib, with which she lifts a lump of meat from the pot. She then licks it carefully so that soup and blood won't drip too much over her husband's fingers.

The husband takes the meat and puts it in his mouth—or at least, as much as he has room for. He then cuts off the rest and hands it to his neighbor, who cuts off a mouthful and passes it on to the next man in the circle. The lump of meat keeps circling like this until it is eaten up, and the host receives a new lump from his wife. It is desirable to have a little fat with the meat from time to time, so the host cuts off a piece of blubber and sends it around the circle in the same manner. The men rub the various pieces around on their faces so that the blood and smear often cover even the foreheads. If a piece is lost on the floor, the man who picks it up is expected to lick it clean. Water to drink with the food is provided in a basin made of walrus skin or seal skin. The water is from melted snow, but it is far from crystal clear, for it has been melted in the same pots the meat is cooked in. And these pots never get washed, only wiped off with a piece of skin at every new moon. The water is therefore brown like thin coffee, and on its surface caribou hairs, matches, and other little things are afloat. On these occasions my beard was very useful, as I let it sift the water for me. Afterward, when I wiped the beard with my hand and saw the amount of dirt and slime it contained, I was ever so happy that I had avoided using the razor.

As you may easily understand, I much preferred life with the Thule Eskimos. There, the fair sex were allowed to enliven the parties with their charm, the pots were kept fairly clean without any consideration of the position of the moon, there was always freshly melted water, and each man got his individual piece of food untouched by others except, perhaps, the hostess, who handed it to him only to press him to eat more.

Health Conditions and Disease Incidence among the Eskimos of Labrador

Dr Hutton: I have not seen or heard of a case of malignant new growth in an Eskimo.

I shall quote and summarize the view Dr. Hutton held in 1925 as to the relation of the former Labrador way of life to cancer, to certain other diseases of which he found no case, and to health in general. Most of the following quotations are from Dr. Hutton's Health Conditions and Disease Incidence among the Eskimos of Labrador.

Under the section heading, “Some Diseases Not Observed,” page 35, Dr. Hutton says:

“Some diseases common in Europe have not come under my notice during a prolonged and careful survey of the health of the Eskimos. Of these diseases the most striking is cancer. I have not seen or heard of a case of malignant new growth in an Eskimo. In this connection it may be noted that cookery holds a very secondary place in the preparation of food — most of the food is eaten raw, and the diet is a flesh one; also that the diet is rich in vitamins. The nomadic and open-air life may also play a part.

“I have not seen rickets among the Eskimos, though it occurs rather frequently among the children of European residents ... most European mothers resident on the Labrador coast find themselves unable to suckle their babies — the breasts are full of milk for a few days after birth, and then the supply ceases — the result, no doubt, of the preponderance of tinned and dried foods in the dietary of the European residents. The Eskimo mothers suckle their babies often for two years; the milk supply is plentiful, and the babies grow fat and strong, able to walk at eleven months ...

“I have never observed true asthma in an Eskimo ... Disease of the Fallopian tubes appears to be rare ...

“Appendicitis is another of the diseases which rarely appear among the Eskimos. I have seen one case in a young man, but in one living on ‘settler’ dietary; among the real meat eating Eskimos I have found no record suggestive of the occurrence of this disease ... The settler dietary consists of tea, bread, ship's biscuits, molasses, and salt fish or pork.”

Scattered through Dr. Hutton's writings are references to other diseases, omitted from this section, which were noted by him during the 1902-13 period but which were found only among white settlers or among Eskimos whose way of life had been influenced markedly by whites. Among these troubles scurvy and tooth decay are frequently mentioned.

Dr. Hutton says on page 9: “The Eskimo is meat eater; the vegetable part of his diet is a meager one ... Only the small black waterberry, empetrum nigrum, is eaten to any extent ... In spring the buds of the sedum roseum and the young shoots of the willow, salix argyrocarpa, are gathered and eaten. The Eskimos themselves cultivate no plants whatever, though in their inter course with missionaries they have shown a taste for garden produce, and eat what they can get. Turnips and cabbages are favorites, and are usually eaten raw; but only the few who work in the missionary households have any considerable share in this scanty garden produce. The dandelion, taraxacum, grows in plenty but is mt eaten by the natives. We may, therefore, say that the normal Eskimo dietary is poor in vegetable constituents.

“On the other hand, the native flesh foods are numerous, and of them all the flesh of the seal is most important and the most used ... Plain raw flesh is the Eskimo's favorite food; but seal's flesh is also eaten frozen (raw), dried in the open air without salt, boiled or even rotten ... The blubber, or outer fat of the seal, is usually eaten with the dried meat.

“Other flesh foods, less important because less plentiful than the seal's flesh, are walrus meat, caribou meat, bear, fox, and various birds. These are eaten raw or boiled.

“Fish is the staple food during the warmer part of the year. Trout and cod are to be had in plenty and are eaten either fresh (raw or boiled) or dried without salt. Salted fish is used by the English-speaking settlers in the southern part of the coast, and by the Eskimos who live in contact with them; but as a general rule it may be said that Eskimos do not use salt in their food ... mussels are gathered from the rocks in the spring, and sea-urchins are fished up from the sea bed in the autumn, and both of these are eaten raw.

“A certain amount of carbohydrate food enters the Eskimo dietary; the people obtain flour, ship's biscuits and molasses, and use these particularly when their native flesh foods are scarce. It should be noted that cod liver oil is used considerably; the natives dip their dried fish in it.

“To summarize ... the diet is mainly flesh and fish; vegetable foods are decidedly scanty.”

Longevity is touched upon in Health Conditions in several places. One such is page 17:

“Old age sets in at fifty and its signs are strongly marked by the time sixty is reached. In the years beyond sixty the Eskimo is aged and feeble. Comparatively few live beyond sixty and only a very few indeed reach seventy. Those who live to such age have spent a life of great activity, feeding on Eskimo foods and engaging in characteristically Eskimo pursuits ... Careful records have been kept by the missionaries for more than a hundred years ...”

(Further details of Labrador Eskimo length of life will be found in Chapter 14, “The Longevity of ‘Primitive’ Eskimos.”)

Page 18: “Perhaps the most striking of the peculiarities of the Eskimo constitution is the great tendency to hemorrhage ... young and old alike are subject to nose-bleeding, and these sometimes continue for as much as three days and reduce the patient to a condition of collapse.” Dr. Hutton says that menorrhagia and haemoptysis are also common.

Page 20: “Scurvy in its typical form is rare among the Eskimos. I have seen but one case of it in a pure-blooded Eskimo: and the fact that the other members of that woman's household show an unusually strong tendency to boils, abscesses and ulcers, leads me to attribute the scurvy to the adoption, in the case of that household, of a semi-European dietary.

“Seal's flesh, especially when eaten raw, has reputed anti-scorbutic properties. Certainly, when seal's flesh is plentiful the health of the Eskimos is good; and the tribe in the far north, who get very few berries or other forms of vegetable food, but who have seals all the year round, are free from true scurvy ...”

Page 21: “In passing, it is interesting to note the effect on the Eskimo of a European dietary adopted as a habit of life.

“On the southern part of the Labrador coast there are numbers of English-speaking settlers ... these poor folks live for the most part on tea, bread and salt fish or pork, and among them scurvy is common ... The Eskimos living among these settlers have to an extent adopted the ‘settler’ dietary instead of the normal flesh diet of the true Eskimos; and not only does scurvy occur among them in its typical form, but their physique is less robust than is that of their northern brethren ... They endure fatigue less easily, and their children are puny and feeble.”

In various places Dr. Hutton agrees with the common view that an important benefit from European contact is the decrease of childbirth mortality, both of mothers and of children. He considers tuberculosis to be probably of white introduction and to have been the worst killer during his time on the Labrador.

Page 66: “Europeanization, especially in matters of foods, is a detrimental influence of comparatively recent development, but an influence of great importance ... Hospital experience among the Eskimos has proved beyond doubt that the native foods are best suited to the native constitution ...”

We have gone so extensively into Dr. Hutton's views on the general health of the Labrador Eskimo, before and during his 1902-13 clinical experience, because of the impression derived from the total of his later writings — that he considered the extreme rarity or absence of native cancer, in which he believed, to be a by-product of an over-all good Eskimo health, which deteriorated with the advance of Europeanization.

Kabloona: Among the Inuit

Poncins talks of a meal with the Eskimo where he eats caribou, fish, musk ox and seal.

"That night for the first time I ate at the same meal caribou, seal, frozen fish, and musk-ox. The caribou was excellent, especially after it had been smoked during the summer. The fish, too, despite the fact that it was frozen so hard that it could not be chewed. Seal meat was less to my taste, and as for musk-ox, I never want to eat it again. Chewing its fat is exactly like chewing tallow."

Kabloona

The Kabloona eats the largest feast he ever has, describing the seal, fish, and caribou as well as the remaining rice he owned, realizing in the process that the meat really was necessary to stay alive in the cold.

"That night I ate the biggest meal I have ever eaten. I was hungry, I was exhausted, the cold was as severe as ever, and I had taken almost no food since leaving the Arviligjuarmiut camp. Algunerk was already hacking away at a seal when we straightened up in the igloo. The seal had been dragged into the middle of the igloo by a rope run through its nose. Then Algunerk's axe had been thawed out, for otherwise it would not have cut. Now he was going at the seal like a woodman chopping down a tree. We were too hungry to wait until he had finished, and we grabbed at the chips as they flew through the air and swallowed them where we stood. 


We ate for twenty hours. What a farce the white mann's table is! Whole quarters of seal were swallowed, snow and all; and the snow grated between our teeth as we bit into the meat. This cold dish finished, we began on the next course. I had contributed half a sack of rice, which was boiled with ten or twelve pounds of caribout meat; and while we chewed seal blubber from one hand, we dipped the other into the steaming vessel of caribou and rice.


Next morning we had hardly awaken before the feast continued. Frozen fish was our first delicacy, even befor the tea was brewed; and the fish was f ollowed by seal. This time it was one of Ittimangnerk's seals that went; and we were still in our sleeping-bags as we chewed it. The turn of the dogs would come later, and what we had eaten, they would eat. Ittimangnerk, who was well bred, had begun by cutting away the coicest morsels of seal and passing them to his host, and Algunerk had put them aside without a word.


Between meals, as it were, we ate peep-se, dried fish. It tasted as if smoked and made an excellent appetizer. Innumberable mugs of black tea were drunk, and then, our appetite returning, we stripped off long slices of lake fish and passed them round, each taking his bite, cutting the rest off with his knife close to the lips, and handing on what remained. A fish would go round so swiftly that I could scarcely swallow fast enough. I had to pass my turn twice, which made them laugh. There was a little boy of six years, and he was brought into the circle: it would teach him to be a man. 


How I understood Ka-i-o(Father Henry)! How clear it was that if I had tried, in this land, to subsist upon white man's grub, I should long ago have frozen to death!



Kabloona

Poncins writes that "Thanks to the abundance of seal, these people exhibited to me a powerful and dignified community, a life that might have gone on in an ancient civilization." He has found a people that engage in facultative carnivory and thrive doing so.

"All this luxury was explained by the presence of seal in quantity, whereas round King, seal is, to say the least, not plentiful. 


Back of each lamp, on a sort of platform of snow, lay the usual larder of the Eskimo rich in provisions, into which every visitor was free to put his knife and draw forth the chunk of seal or caribou or musk-ox that he preferred. 

....

Thanks to the abundance of seal, these people exhibited to me a powerful and dignified community, a life that might have gone on in an ancient civilization with its matrons, its patriarchs, its forum in which the will of a people expressed itself in common discussion and decision. Each detail of life was here an episode: the waking in the morning and first trimming of the lamps; the feeding of children and men and dogs; the hubbub of departure for the sealing; the chatter of the matrons, and their housekeeping; the return when evening fell amid the barking of the dogs, the swearing of the men, the hauling in of the seals; and finally tea, the women sewing or serving while the men stood waiting for their steaming mugs to cool, snorting, joking, cutting off large chunks of meat, and feeling themselves indeed that which their name implied, Inuit, "Men, preemintently." What I was seeing here, few men had seen, and it was now to be seen almost nowhere else-a social existence as in olden days, a degree of prosperity and well-being contrasting markedly with the pseudo-civilized life of the western Eskimo and the pitiful, stunted, whining life of the King William clan with its wretched poverty, its tents made of coal-sacks, its snuffling, lacklustre, and characterless men clad in rags; that life like a dulled and smutted painting with only here and there a gleam to speak of what it had once been. 


Page 198-199 Kabloona

Kabloona

“He’d been living on nothing but caribou, seal and fish for six years, yet he was none the worse for it.”

Tom Naughton writes on fathead-movie.com 

He soon realizes it’s not such a bad idea to toss bloody seal guts into the corner of an igloo when you’ll abandon that igloo in a couple of days and move on. He even begins to appreciate the simplicity of living in a shelter that’s basically an icebox: catch your fish, toss them into the corner, and they’re preserved by the cold. Wake up, warm the fish with your hands and breath, then enjoy cold sushi for breakfast.

He’s also amazed by the endurance of the Eskimos. The nutritionists who parrot their textbook knowledge that “you need carbohydrates for energy!” should read this book. Poncins recounts running along trails with Eskimos for hours – he was fatigued and panting, while they barely seemed to notice the effort. After a year in the Arctic, Poncins finds he is beginning to prefer their diet, even though he had supplies of “white man” food on the sled carrying his belongings. As he explains in one passage, boiled rice could warm him up temporarily, but then he’d feel colder an hour or two later. By contrast, raw meat or raw fish was cold going down, but then he felt warmer for the rest of the day.

In the far northwest Arctic, Poncins eventually meets up with a priest who’d been living among the Eskimos for six years. The priest was a fellow Frenchman, and Poncins had brought him some “civilized” food as a gift – a block of cheese being the real prize. But the priest, Father Henry, politely explains that he’s lost his taste for civilized foods. He no longer likes rice, biscuits, or cheese. As Poncins writes, “He’d been living on nothing but caribou, seal and fish for six years, yet he was none the worse for it.”

Cancer, Journal of the American Cancer Society, Vol. V (1952)

A 70 year old Eskimo dies of cancer in 1949 but was likely eating a diet of largely flour, sugar, and tea in his latter two decades of life.

 

Some thirteen years after the above-mentioned Canadian government expedition a similar medical research expedition was sent into the Canadian eastern Arctic by Queens University of Kingston, Ontario. Their report, as pertains to cancer, is by Drs. Brown, Cronk, and Boag and refers to Dr. Rabinowitch and his “one suspicious case.” I quote from Cancer, Journal of the American Cancer Society, Vol. V (1952):

“It is commonly stated that cancer does not occur in the Eskimos, and to our knowledge no case has so far been reported. Rabinowitch (1936) mentions the absence of reports of its occurrence and gives details of a suspicious case ... In August, 1949, the opportunity came to the Queens University Arctic Expedition to carry out an autopsy on an elderly Eskimo man who had died of a wasting illness. Histological study of a mass in the neck has shown carcinomatous tissue. The patient was a pure blooded Ivilik of about 70 years.”

This being a positively identified case, although questioned by a pathologist, and as such the first in the region, it is unfortunate that the authors do not say anything about the way of life of the “pure blooded Ivilik of about 70 years” who is our first known local native malignancy victim. However, the usual diet and way of life of the Iviliks are well known, The Indians of Canada (1932) by Dr. Diamond Jenness being the frequently revised authority. In 1949, the discovery date of this first certified malignancy, Dr. Jenness was the chief Eskimo specialist of the Canadian government. Discussing our region, he says, on pages 421-22 of his 1932 edition:

“The Eskimos of eastern Canada ... have been in contact with Europe for more than two hundred years ... partly from a misguided imitation of Europeans, many Eskimos now wear woolen clothing and even the complete European costume, although their earlier garments of loosely fitting caribou were more picturesque and hygienic, and offered greater protection against the cold.

“Very few Eskimos now hunt intensively during the winter months; instead they trap foxes which are useless to them for either food or clothing. In order to maintain their families during the season they buy European food from the fur traders, largely flour, sugar and tea.”

These paragraphs written around 1930, give an approximate picture of how the first known cancer victim of this district must have been living for some decades prior to his death in 1949.

Vilhjalmur Stefansson

Rare Footage of Vihljalmur Stefansson the Arctic Explorer.

Vilhjalmur Stefansson appears on a television interview to talk about his balanced all meat diet of protein and fat.

Question: "Let's get to the fod. You must have longed for a green vegetable once"


VS: "I had to become a guest of the Eskimos and for four and a half months, I lived on literally nothing but fish and water, well, we had some blubber, some polar bear blubber, but apart from that, and at the end of four and a half months I was healthier than I ever been before. I'm enjoying every meal and feeling fine.


And this is on an exclusive meat diet? 


Exclusive fish in this case. I have since then spent more than six aggregated years on red meat. That is seal meat, caribou meat, musk-ox meat, polar bear, grizzly bear and so on. You have to have fat with the lean, as lean and fat together make a perfect and balanced diet. You have everything you need if you have lean and fat. You don't need to eat organs. That's a curious folklore. People don't eat the organs except in emergencies. 




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