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Quotes

Quote #4

"Such hard work!" she gasped aloud. "No wonder this job is given to Eskimo men and boys." With a sigh she got to her feet, dragged the skin to her house, and laid it out to dry. Scraping and cleaning the skin was something she knew more about, for that was a woman's job, but she was too busy to do that now. (1.226)

Once again, we see a more practical (if a little sexist) side to these Eskimo traditions that so many people seem so willing to scoff at.

Quote #5

"Bladders hold the spirits of the animals," she said. "Now the spirits can enter the bodies of the newborn seals and keep them safe until we harvest them again." That night the bent woman seemed all violet-colored as she tied a piece of seal fur and blubber to Miyax's belt. "It's an i'noGo tied," she said. "It's a nice little spirit for you." (2.9)

The i'noGo tied is a perfect example of a beautiful Eskimo tradition. What a shame, then, that Julie later throws hers away because she's embarrassed by it.

Quote #6

Not far away the bent woman was dancing and was gathering invisible things from the air. Miyax was frightened but Kapugen explained that she was putting the spirit of the whale in her i'noGo tied.

"She will return it to the sea and the whales," he said. (2.18-19)

This tradition is all about communing with nature. Even though they've just killed a whale, the bent woman makes sure to send that whale's spirit back into the ocean, as a way of giving thanks.

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