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The Indians visit the fur-traders and trade their animal pelts for candied fruits and huge piles of sugar and then become flat-broke.

June 1, 1928


The Land of Feast and Famine - Summer on Great Slave Lake

Helge Ingstad

Pre-civilization races

This year there are two fur-traders in Snowdrift. From the very first, their stores are packed to the doors with Indians. Some are leaning over the counters, others are lying down on the floor, with sacks under their heads. Otter-, fox-, beaver-, marten-, mink-, and muskrat-skins find their way over the counter until there is a mighty mound of pelts. In front of each Indian there collects an evermounting pile of conglomerate trash and fripperies, until the last skin has been handed over. Whatever they may chance to desire must be theirs; otherwise they will tear up the store and make away with its entire contents. Autumn is still far distant, but no red hunter ever stops for an instant to think that he may be flat broke when the time comes for him to buy his winter gear. It is summer now, and a checkered shirt he must have, and red silk handkerchiefs he must have, and candied fruits and a huge pile of sugar he must have, as well. Later on he will somehow find a way.