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Julie of the Wolves

Julie of the Wolves

by Jean Craighead George

Tradition and Customs Quotes Page 1

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

She smoothed the silver hairs of her beautiful wedding parka, then carefully took it off and rolled it up. Placing it and her fur pants in a bag made of whale bladder, she tied it securely so that no moisture would dampen her clothes while she left. This she had learned in childhood, and it was one of the old Eskimo ways that she liked, perhaps the only one. She had never violated it even in the warm, gas-heated house in Barrow, for damp clothes could mean death in the Arctic. (1.89)

This tradition has a totally practical purpose. It's not about ritual or spirituality or history. It's about survival.

Quote #2

"Kapu," she whispered. "We Eskimos have joking partners – people to have fun with – and serious partners – people to work and think with. You and I are both. We are joking-serious partners." (1.120)

"Kapu," she whispered. "We Eskimos have joking partners – people to have fun with – and serious partners – people to work and think with. You and I are both. We are joking-serious partners." (1.120)

Quote #3

When a boy caught his first bird in Nunivak, he was supposed to fast for a day, then celebrate the Feast of the Bird. When he killed his first seal his mother took off her rings, for he was a man, and this was her way of bragging without saying a word. (1.177)
You know what's interesting? It seems like a lot of the Eskimo traditions are also ways of communicating. The women are communicating their pride using a tradition instead of talking. Take a look at the "Language and Communication" theme for more on this.

Silly, she said to herself, but nevertheless she sang Kapugen's song of the Bird Feast.

Tornait, tornait,
Spirit of the bird,
Fly into my body
And bring me
The power of the sun. (1.177-78)

What's so silly about that, Miyax? Sounds like a nice song to Shmoop. We think she should get over her hang-ups about Eskimo traditions and start embracing her heritage. After all, it's totally coming in handy.

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