Myths and Misconceptions About The Eskimo
There exist some very common erroneous ideas about the Inuit. These include:
- "They have thousands of words for snow." This is a gross exaggeration. See Eskimo words for snow. There are many words for ice, however, that describe its forms, colors, age, relative safety for crossing or traveling over, and other aspects. See Nelson 1969, "Hunters of the Northern Ice"
- "They live in igloos." Igloo simply means house. The snow house we think of was a temporary shelter during hunting seasons in the late winter and spring. It was an important survival skill making use of what materials were available and may still be used today in emergencies or for fun as part of the transfer of traditional knowledge between generations.
Read more about this topic: Eskimo
Famous quotes containing the words myths and, myths and/or eskimo:
“The poets were not alone in sanctioning myths, for long before the poets the states and the lawmakers had sanctioned them as a useful expedient.... They needed to control the people by superstitious fears, and these cannot be aroused without myths and marvels.”
—Strabo (c. 58 B.C.c. 24 A.D., Greek geographer. Geographia, bk. 1, sct. 2, subsct. 8.
“Two myths must be shattered: that of the evil stepparent . . . and the myth of instant love, which places unrealistic demands on all members of the blended family. . . . Between the two opposing myths lies reality. The recognition of reality is, I believe, the most important step toward the building of a successful second family.”
—Claire Berman (20th century)
“We all have bad days, of course, a secret that only makes us feel more guilty. But once my friends and I started telling the truth about how far we deviated from perfection, we couldnt stop. . . . One mother admitted leaving the grocery store without her kidsI just forgot them. The manager found them in the frozen foods aisle, eating Eskimo Pies.”
—Mary Kay Blakely (20th century)