Historical Events

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The question is: In which tent is the best meat being cooked? There is a great difference between lean and fat caribou meat, not to speak of fat mutton, which stands in a class by itself. First the children fly from one tent to another, apparently on an errand of some sort, but with the definite intention of funding out where supper should be taken.

October 7, 1949

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Nunamiut, Among Alaska's Inland Eskimos

Helge Ingstad

Man The Fat Hunter
Facultative Carnivore
Eskimo
Carnivore Diet

When the time for the evening meal approaches, a regular gang of children gets busy. The question is: In which tent is the best meat being cooked? There is a great difference between lean and fat caribou meat, not to speak of fat mutton, which stands in a class by itself. First the children fly from one tent to another, apparently on an errand of some sort, but with the definite intention of funding out where supper should be taken. When that question is settled they vanish into the open air, to plunge into the chosen tent with incredible punctuality ten seconds after the dish of meat has been placed upon the willow-bough floor. They usually remain standing just inside the door, staring fixedly at the food. At length someone beckons to them to come and sit down in front, and they lose no time in doing so. 


It is the established custom that all who are in the tent when the food is served shall take part in the meal. Thus there is unlimited hospitality.