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Boas, Franz. Race, Language and Culture – T49


The Folk-Lore of the Eskimo 11

The Eskimo inhabit the whole Arctic coast of America and many
islands of the Arctic Archipelago. Their habitat extends on the
Atlantic side from East Greenland to southern Labrador, and thence
westward to Bering Strait. A few colonies are even located on the
Asiatic shore of Bering Strait. Their culture throughout this vast area
is remarkably uniform. A certain amount of differentiation may be
observed in the region west of the Mackenzie River, where the neighboring
Indian tribes, and probably also the tribes of the adjoining parts of
Asia, have exerted some influence upon the Eskimo, whose physical type
in this region somewhat approaches that of the neighboring Indian
tribes. The foreign influences find expression particularly in a greater
complexity of social life, — in a higher development of decorative art,
in the occurrence of a few inventions unknown to the eastern Eskimo
(such as pottery and the use of tobacco), and in religious observances,
beliefs, and current tales not found in more eastern districts.

Unfortunately the folk-lore of the tribes west of the Mackenzie River
is only imperfectly known, so that we cannot form a very clear idea of
its character. Judging, however, from the fact that quite a number of
Eskimo tales which are known east of Hudson Bay are known to the
Chukchee of northeastern Siberia, 22 we are justified in assuming that
these tales must also be known — or have been known — to the Alaskan

The present state of our knowledge of the Eskimo warrants us in
assuming that the most typical forms of Eskimo culture are found east
of the Mackenzie River, so that we may be allowed to base our description
of Eskimo folk-lore on material collected in that area. A clear insight
into the main characteristics of the folk-lore of the western Eskimo
cannot be obtained at present, owing to the scantiness of the available

The collections of eastern Eskimo folk-lore consist principally of H.
Rink's Greenland Series, 13 G. Holm's tales from East Greenland, 24 A. L.
Kroeber's account of Smith Sound traditions, 35 F. Boas's records from
Baffin Land and Hudson Bay, 46 and Lucien M. Turner's collections from
Ungava Bay. 57 From the region of the Mackenzie River and farther
west we have to consider principally the tales collected on the Mackenzie
River by E. Petitot, 68 and those recorded by E. W. Nelson, 79 Francis
Barnum, 810 and John Murdoch 911 in Alaska.

The most striking feature of Eskimo folk-lore is its thoroughly human
character. With the exception of a number of trifling tales and of a
small number of longer tales, the events which form the subject of their
traditions occur in human society as it exists now. There is no clear
concept of a mythical age during which animals were men capable of
assuming animal qualities by putting on their blankets, and consequently
there is no well-defined series of creation or transformation
legends. The world has always been as it is now; and in the few stories
in which the origin of some animals and of natural phenomena is related,
it is rarely clearly implied that these did not exist before.

I will first of all discuss the group of tales that may be interpreted as
creation legends. Most important among these is the legend of the
“Old Woman.” It seems that all the Eskimo tribes believe that a female
deity resides at the bottom of the sea; and that she furnishes, and at
times withholds, the supply of sea-mammals, the chief source of subsistence
of the Eskimo. The Central Eskimo say that at one time she
504had been a woman who escaped in her father's boat from her bird-husband,
and who, on being pursued by her husband, was thrown overboard
by her father. When she clung to the gunwale of the boat, her
father chopped off her finger-joints one after another. These were
transformed into seals, ground-seals, and whales (in the Alaska version,
into salmon, seals, walrus, and the metacarpals into whales 112). After
this had happened, she was taken to the lower world, of which she became
the ruler. In South Greenland, where this tale also occurs, 213 the
“Old Woman” plays an important part in the beliefs and customs of
the people, since she is believed to be the protectress of sea-mammals.
Evidently the tale is known to all the tribes from Greenland westward to
Alaska, since fragments have been recorded at many places.

In another tale the origin of the walrus and of the caribou are accounted
for. It is said that they were created by an old woman who
transformed parts of her clothing into these animals. The caribou was
given tusks, while the walrus received antlers. With these they killed
the hunters, and for this reason a change was made by which the walrus
received tusks, and the caribou antlers. 314

The different races of man, real and fabulous, are considered the
descendants of a woman who married a dog, by whom she had many
children who had the form of dogs. Later on they were sent in different
directions by their mother; and some became the ancestors of
the Eskimo, others those of the Whites, while still others became the
ancestors of the Indians and of a number of fabulous tribes. 415

In a legend which is common to all the Eskimo tribes, 516 it is told that
Sun and Moon were brother and sister. Every night the sister was
visited by a young man who made love to her. In order to ascertain
the identity of her lover, she secretly blackened his back with soot while
embracing him. Thus she discovered that her own brother was her
lover. She ran away, carrying a lighted stick for trimming the lamps,
and was pursued by her brother. Both were wafted up to the sky, where
she became the sun, and he became the moon. 617505

It would seem that in the beginning man was immortal. According
to Egede, a dispute arose between two men regarding the advantages of
having man die. Since that time man is mortal. 118 This legend is not
quite certain. If correct it must be related to the tradition of the origin
of day and night told on the west coast of Hudson Bay, 219 and to the
numerous analogous Indian tales. 320

There are quite a number of insignificant stories of hunters, of people
quarrelling, etc., who were wafted up to the sky and became constellations. 421
Thus an old man who was being teased by a boy tried to catch
him, and both rose up to the sky, where they became stars. A number
of bear-hunters, their sledge, and the bear which they were pursuing,
rose to the sky and became the constellation Orion. 522

Similar to these are a number of trifling stories telling of the origin
of certain animals, and in which their peculiarities are explained. Examples
of these are the story of the Owl and the Raven, in which it is
told that the Raven makes a spotted dress for the Owl, while the latter,
in a fit of anger, pours the contents of a lamp over the Raven, making
him black; 623 and the story of the grandmother who kept on walking
along the beach while her grandson was drifting out to sea until the
soles of her boots turned up and she became a loon. 724 All these stories
are brief, almost of the character of fables or anecdotes.

There are a few creation stories, in which the creation of a certain animal
appears as an incident of a purely human story. Here belongs the
tradition of the origin of the narwhal. A boy, wishing to take revenge on
his mother, who had maltreated him while he was blind, pushed her
into the sea, where she was transformed into a narwhal, her topknot
becoming its tusk. 825 Similar in general character to this is the tradition
of the girl who was maltreated by her parents, and who was gradually
transformed into a black bear. 926506

Another tale explains how thunder and lightning are produced by
two women who live by themselves; still another one tells that in olden
times children were not born, but found in the snow, and that the new
order of things originated when a child climbed into the womb of a
woman along her shoe-strings, which had become unfastened.

It will be noticed that in none of these creation legends is there any
inner connection between the whole trend of the story and the incident
of creation. It is not clearly stated, and in many of these stories it is
not even necessarily implied, that the animals created did not exist before
the creation recorded in the story. The animals created are rather
individuals than the first of their species. The general conditions of life
supposed to prevail at the time of the story are the same as the conditions
of life at the present time. This is exemplified in the story of the origin
of the sea-mammals, in which it is in no way stated that the game animals
were created to supply the needs of man. So far as the story shows,
these animals might have existed before they were created from the
finger joints of the “Old Woman.” Neither does it appear from the tale
of the origin of the sun and moon that there was no daylight before this

The complete absence of the idea that any of these transformations or
creations were made for the benefit of man during a mythological
period, and that these events changed the general aspect of the world,
distinguishes Eskimo mythology from most Indian mythologies. Almost
all of these have the conception of a mythological period, and of a series
of events by means of which conditions as we know them now were
established. It is true that in Indian legends also the story implies natural
and social surroundings similar to those in which the Indians live,
and that this sometimes leads to contradictions of which the Indians
do not become conscious, the fact being forgotten that a number of
things necessary for life had not yet been created. Nevertheless, the
fundamental idea in Indian legends is, on the whole, the relation of the
thing created to human life, which point of view does not appear at all
in the myths of the Eskimo.

The absence of the idea that during the mythological period animals
had human form, that the earth was inhabited by monsters, and that
man did not possess all the arts which made him master of animals and
plants, is closely connected with the striking scarcity of animal tales.
While the bulk of Indian myths from almost all parts of our continent
treat of the feats of animals, such stories are rare among the Eskimo.
507The creation legends referred to before can hardly be classed in this
group, because the animals do not appear as actors possessed of human
qualities — excepting, perhaps, the story of the woman who married the
dog. Here belongs, however, the legend of the man who married a
goose. 127 This story, in its general character, is closely related to the
swan-maiden legends of the Old World. A man surprises a number of
girls bathing in a pond. He takes away their feather garments and
marries one of their number, who later on resumes bird shape by placing
feathers between her fingers, and flies back to the land of the birds,
which is situated beyond the confines of our world, on the other side
of the hole in the sky.

The incident in the story of the origin of the narwhal, of the goose
which takes a blind boy to a lake and dives with him, thus restoring his
eyesight, also belongs here. Furthermore, we must count here the widespread
Eskimo story of the girls who married, the one a whale, the other
an eagle, and who were rescued by their relatives; that of the woman
who invited the animals to marry her daughter, but declined the offers
of all until finally the foxes came and were admitted to the hut, where
they were killed; and the tale of the man who married the fox, which,
on taking off its skin, became a woman, with whom he lived until she
was driven away by his remark that she smelled like a fox. Besides these,
hardly any animal stories are found east of Alaska, excepting a very
considerable number of trifling fables. These show a gradual transition
to the more complex animal stones such as were mentioned before. An
instance of this kind is the Greenland story of the man who was invited
in first by the Raven, then by the Gull, and who was given such kinds
of food as these birds eat. This story occurs in a much more trifling
form in Baffin Land. 228

It is remarkable that almost all the important animal stories are common
to the Indian tribes and to the Eskimo. The dog-mother tradition
is known over a large part of North America, along the North Pacific
coast as far south as Oregon, on the Plains, in the Mackenzie basin,
and on the Missouri and upper Mississippi. The second legend of the
series, that of the man who married a goose, occurs among the Chukchee,
and was found by John R. Swanton among the Haida of Queen
Charlotte Islands. At present its occurrence in British Columbia seems
508isolated, but probably it will be found among the tribes of southern
Alaska and among the Athapascan, since many stories appear to be
common to this area. The whole first part of the story of the origin of
the narwhal, which contains the incident of the boy whose eyesight is
restored by a goose, is common to the Eskimo, to the Athapascan of the
Mackenzie area, and to the tribes of the central coast of British Columbia. 129
I do not know the story of the girls who married the whale and
the eagle from any tribe outside of the Eskimo and Chukchee; while the
next one, the legend of the woman who called one animal after another
to marry her daughter, reminds us forcibly of the Tsimshian story of
Gauo's daughter. 230 The first part of the tale of the man who married
the fox is identical with analogous tales of the Algonquian and Athapascan
of the north. 331 It is the story of the faithless wife who was surprised
by her husband when visiting her lover, a water-monster. The
second part, in which it is told that the man married a fox who had
taken off his skin, also finds its counterpart in a group of tales of similar
character that belong to the Athapascans. 432

Thus it will be seen that every single pure animal story of the Eskimo,
with the exception of one, finds its counterpart in Indian folk-lore.
Their total number is six. It is probable that the number of such tales
in Alaska is much greater, since we know from Nelson's and Barnum's
records that many of the animal tales of the Indians of the North Pacific
coast and of the Athapascans have been introduced among them.
A few additional animal tales have also been found on the west coast of
Hudson Bay, but these are also of Indian origin throughout, being evidently
borrowed comparatively recently by the Eskimo from their
neighbors; otherwise they would have spread more widely among the

I think it is justifiable to infer from these facts that the animal myth
proper was originally foreign to Eskimo folk-lore. The concept that
animals, during a mythic age, were human beings who, on putting on
their garments, became animals, and whose actions were primarily human,
does not seem to have formed a fundamental part of their

This does not exclude the clearly developed notion that, even at the
present time, animals may become the protectors of men, to whom they
will give instruction; and that man, by means of magic, may assume
the form of animals. We also find that animals are conceived as human
beings who retain animal characteristics in all their actions. A good
example of this concept is the tale of the transmigrations of the soul of
a woman, 133 in which the manner of life of various animals is described.
The soul of the woman, upon entering an animal, converses with other
individuals of the same species as though they were human beings, and
their actions are like those of human beings. Another story of a similar
kind describes a family wintering in a village of bears. 234 Stories of girls
marrying monsters 335 may also be mentioned as examples of the anthropomorphic
concept of animals.

The characteristic point in all these stories seems to be that the actions
of the anthropomorphized animals are strictly confined to anthropomorphic
interpretations of animal activities; as, for instance, in the
tale of the transmigration of the soul of the woman, to explanations of
how the walrus dives and how the wolves run, and in the tale of the
bear, to remarks on the large size and voracity of the bear people. There
do not seem to be any stories of undoubted Eskimo origin in which
animals appear really as actors in complex adventures, as they do in
the coyote, rabbit, or raven stories of the Indians, or in the fox stories of
the Japanese, or in other animal stories of the Old World, in which the
peculiarities of the animal determine only the general character of its
human representative, while the scope of the adventures is entirely outside
the range of animal activities, the stories being based on a variety
of incidents that might happen in human society.

I consider this restriction of the field of animal tales one of the fundamental
features of Eskimo folk-lore, and am inclined to believe the few
tales of different character as foreign to their ancient culture.

The great mass of Eskimo folk-lore are hero-tales in which the supernatural
plays a more or less important role. In this respect Eskimo folklore
resembles that of Siberian tribes; although the adventures are, on
the whole, of a quite distinct character, which is determined by the
general culture of the Eskimo.

Many of these stories appear to us so trifling that we might be inclined
510to consider them as quite recent, and as tales of incidents from
the life of an individual not long since dead, distorted by the imagination
of the story-teller. That this assumption is not tenable is shown
by the wide distribution of some of these stories. A striking example of
this kind is the story of Iavaranak, which is known in Greenland, Cumberland
Sound, and in Labrador. 136 It tells of a girl of a tribe of inlanders
who lived among the Eskimo, and who betrayed them to her own tribesmen.
One day, while the Eskimo men were all absent, she led her
friends to the Eskimo village, where all the women and children were
killed. She returned inland with her friends, but eventually was killed
by a party that had gone out to take revenge. Still more remarkable is
the tale of Sikuliarsiujuitsok, 237 which occurs both in Labrador and Cumberland
Sound. It is told that a very tall man, who was so heavy that
he did not dare to hunt on new ice, was much hated because he took
away the game from the villagers. One day he was induced to sleep in
a small snow-house, in which he lay doubled up, and allowed his limbs
to be tied in order to facilitate his keeping quiet in this awkward position.
Then he was killed. A third story of this character is that of
Aklaujak, 338 which is also known both in Labrador and in Cumberland
Sound. It is the story of a man whose wife was abducted by his brothers.
He frightened them away by showing his great strength. While sitting
in his kayak, he seized two reindeer by the antlers and drowned them.
Even the names of the heroes are the same in these tales. Since intercourse
between the regions where these tales were collected is very
slight, — in fact, ceased several centuries ago, — we must conclude that
even these trifling stories are old. In fact, their great similarity arouses
the suspicion that many of the apparently trifling tales of war and hunting,
of feats of shamans and of starvation, may be quite old. The conservatism
of the Eskimo in retaining such trifling stories is remarkable,
but is quite in accord with the conservatism of their language, in which
the names of animals that occur in southern latitudes are retained in the
far north, where these animals are absent, and where the names, therefore,
receive an altered meaning. Thus the names agdlaq (“black
bear”), sigssik (“squirrel”), umingmak (“musk-ox”), are known on
the west coast of Baffin Bay, although none of these animals occurs in
that area. The amaroq (“wolf”) and the avignaq (“lemming”), which
511are not found in West Greenland, are there considered as monsters. In
the same way the adlet, the name for “Indians,” occurs in Greenland
and Baffin Land as a designation of a fabulous inland tribe.

The same conservatism manifests itself in the faithful retention of
historical facts in the folk-lore of the people. In South Greenland the
memory of the contests between the Eskimo and the Norsemen which
took place between 1379 and 1450 survives. 139 In southern Baffin Land
the visits of Frobisher in 1576-1578 are still remembered. 240

The fabulous tribes described in Eskimo folk-lore are numerous.
Those most frequently mentioned are the tornit, the adlet or erqigdlit,
and the dwarfs. 341 The tornit are described as a race of great strength
and stature, but rather awkward, who at an early period inhabited the
country jointly with the Eskimo, but who were ultimately driven out.
On the whole, they are good-natured, and the stories tell mostly of
friendly visits, although hostile contests also occur. 442 The adlet or
erqigdlit are described as having the lower part of the body like that
of a dog, while the upper part is like that of man. They are ferocious
and fleet of foot, and encounters between them and Eskimo visitors
always terminate in a fierce battle, which generally ends with the death
of the adlet. In some cases the visitors are saved by the kindness of a
single individual. 543 The dwarfs are of enormous strength; they carry
short spears, which never miss their aim. 644 They sometimes visit the
villages. There are tales of intermarriages of all these fabulous people
with the Eskimo.

Besides these fabulous tribes, giants and cannibals are often mentioned
in the tales. There are giants 745 of such size that they scoop up
hunters and their boats in the hollow of their hands. Their boots are
so large that a man can hide in the eyelet through which the shoelacing
is drawn. In tales of marriages between giants and man the incongruity
of their sizes forms the subject of coarse jokes.

The tales of monsters relate of hunters who vanquish them after
fierce combats 846 and of girls married to monsters. 947512

The tales of quarrels and wars give us a clear insight into the passions
that move Eskimo society. The overbearance of five brothers or cousins,
the middle one being the most atrocious character, or simply of a number
of men, their tyranny over a whole village, and their hostility
against the suitor of their sister, form favorite themes. 148 We find also
many tales of a powerful man who holds the whole village in terror, 249
and who is finally slain. Often those who attack the overbearing
brothers or the master of the village are introduced as visitors from a
distant place to which they have fled or which is their home. They are
first hospitably treated, and afterwards the customary wrestling-match
— which is a test between the residents and the new-comers — is arranged, 350
and in this match the quarrel is fought out. 451 Sometimes the
theme of the tale is the maltreatment of a poor orphan boy by the whole
village community, which is eventually punished for its malice. 552 In
many cases the poor boy is described as living with his grandmother or
with some other poor old woman, or with an old couple. While he is
growing up, he secretly trains his body to acquire strength, and is admonished
by those who take care of him not to forget his enemies. 653
Tales of poor maltreated children who later on become very powerful
are a frequent and apparently a favorite subject of story-tellers.

A peculiar trait of Eskimo tales is the sudden springing up of hatred
between men who had been the best of friends, which results in treacherous
attempts on life. 754 The causes for this sudden change from love to
hatred are often most trifling. In one of the stories quoted here the
reason given is the failure of one of the friends to come back from the
interior in season to take his share of the seals caught by his friend. In
the second story the reason is that one man shoots the dog of another on
being requested to do so. In the third no reason whatever is given.

No less curious is the boldness of visits of men to their enemies, whom
they intend to kill, and among whom they settle down and live until
finally the struggle begins. 855

The reasons for quarrels are generally disputes over property rights,
jealousies, tale-bearing of old women, and often resentment against
513tyranny. Many stories begin with an incident of this kind, and end with
the tale of revenge. In a few cases the reason for a person becoming a
murderer is his despair over the loss of a relative. 156

Tales of shamans are quite numerous. Some tell of their visits to
other worlds, while others illustrate their supernatural powers. These
stories presuppose a knowledge of the fundamental mythical concepts
of the Eskimo, who believe in a number of worlds above and below
to which the spirits of the dead go. The mistress of the lower world is
the “Old Woman,” the mother of sea-mammals, which she withholds
whenever she is offended by man. Therefore many tales tell of the
shaman's visit to her abode, whither he goes to propitiate her. His body
is tied with thongs; he invokes his guardian spirits, and his soul departs.
The difficulties of approach to her are described in great detail in the
Greenland traditions. 257 It is worthy of notice that some of the dangers
the shaman has to pass on his way to her are described also by the Central
Eskimo as found on the trail to the country of the birds beyond the
hole in the sky. 358 The Greenland tradition mentions that on the way to
the dwellings of the happy dead, an abyss and a boiling kettle have to
be passed, and that terrible monsters guard her house, while in the
entrance of her house is an abyss that must be crossed on the edge of a
knife. The dangers on the trail to the land beyond the sky are the boiling
kettle, a large burning lamp, the guardian monsters, two rocks which
strike together and open again, and a pelvis bone. The principal office
of the shaman, after reaching the “Old Woman,” is to free her of the
unconfessed abortions — the greatest sin in the eyes of the Eskimo —
which infest her and cause her anger. 459

Other shamans' tales relate of a visit to the Moon, 560 who is described
as a man who lives in a house, in the annex of which the Sun resides.
The visitor has to witness without laughing the antics of an old woman,
otherwise she will cut out his entrails and give them to her dogs to eat.

The shamans perform their supernatural feats by the help of their
guardian spirits, which are mostly animals, but also the spirits of the dead
or those residing in certain localities or in inanimate objects. The
514obeying spirit appears on the summons of the shaman, and takes him
away to distant countries 161 or assists him against his enemies. 262 Amulets
consisting of pieces of skin of animals enable the wearers to assume the
form of the animal. 363 Shamans are able to change their sex, 464 and to
frighten to death their enemies by tearing the skin off their faces or by
other means. 565 Many tales also deal with witchcraft and with shamans
overcoming the wiles of witches. 666 Witchcraft is practiced by means of
spells or by means of bringing the food of an enemy into contact with
a corpse, which results in making the person who eats it a raving
maniac. 767 Spiders and insects are also used for purposes of witchcraft.

The sexual element, which plays a prominent part in the tales of the
Indians of the Pacific coast, is present only to a slight degree in Eskimo
tales. Among the whole mass of Eskimo traditions collected and retold
without omission of passages that in our state of society would be
deemed improper, very few obscene incidents are found.

All the ideas, the most important of which I have briefly described
here, are welded into the hero-tales of the Eskimo. The tales themselves
may be roughly grouped into those describing visits to fabulous tribes
and encounters with monsters, tales of quarrels and wars, and those of
shamanism and witchcraft. Of course, all these elements appear often
intimately interwoven; but still the stories may readily be grouped with
one or another of these types.

The first group, the tales of visits to fabulous tribes, embraces many
legends of the adventures of hunters who travelled all over the world.
The best known of these is perhaps the story of Kiviuk, 868 who went out
in his kayak, and, after passing many dangerous obstructions, reached a
coast, where he fell in with an old witch, who killed her visitors with her
sharp tail, by sitting on them. After escaping from her by covering his
chest with a flat stone, he came to two women who lived by themselves,
and whom he assisted in obtaining fish. Finally he travelled home and
found his son grown up. Characteristic of Greenland are the numerous
traditions of visits to a country beyond the sea, and of adventures there.
515These do not seem to be so common among the central tribes, although
among them similar tales are not missing. 169 An example of these is the
tale of two sisters who were carried away by the ice to the land beyond
the sea, where they subsisted for some time on salmon and seals which
they caught. They were discovered by two men whom they married.
They gave birth to two daughters, whereupon the husband of the one
threatened to kill his wife if she should give birth to another daughter.
Therefore they made their escape back to their own country across the
ice. Their brother, induced by their tales of the abundance of game
in the country across the sea, set out on a visit, giving his boat three
coverings, which he cut off in succession when they became wet. He
caught much game, and killed the men who had threatened his sisters
by causing them to drink water mixed with caribou-hair taken from
the stocking of a dead person. By this means the enemies were transformed
into caribou, which he shot. 270

The most famous among the tales of cannibals is that of the man
who fattened his wives and ate them, until the last one made good her
escape and reached her brothers, who killed the cannibal. 371

Among all these hero-tales very few, if any, stories, or even elements
of stories, are found which are common to the Eskimo and to their
Indian neighbors, while some of these tales are quite similar to those
of the Chukchee and even of the Koryak, whose culture has been directly
influenced by that of the Eskimo. We may, therefore, consider
them the most characteristic part of the Eskimo folk-tales. They reflect
with remarkable faithfulness the social conditions and customs of the
people. They give, on the whole, the impression of a lack of imaginative
power. I indicated before that the few animal tales of the Eskimo are
largely the common property of the Indian tribes of the Mackenzie
basin and of the Eskimo. Although a few of them — such as the story
of the man who recovered his eyesight — have been found as far east
as Greenland, the greater number of such stories are found on the coasts
of Hudson Bay, where the Eskimo are neighbors of the Athapascans,
and we have seen that they are probably originally foreign to the
Eskimo. Nevertheless they have come to be among the most important
and most popular tales of the Eskimo tribes.516

11 Journal of American Folk-Lore, vol. 17 (1904), pp. 1-13.

22 Waldemar Bogoras, “The Folk-Lore of Northeastern Asia as compared with
that of Northwestern America,” American Anthropologist, N.S. vol. 4 (1902), pp.

31 H. Rink, Eskimoiske Eventyr og Sagn (Copenhagen, 1866) (second part), 1871;
Tales and Traditions of the Eskimo (London, 1875), translation of part of the contents
of the Danish edition; unless otherwise stated, this translation is quoted.

42 G. Holm, “Sagn og Fortaellinger fra Angmagsalik,” Meddeleser om Grønland,
vol. 10.

53 A. L. Kroeber, “Tales of the Smith Sound Eskimo,” Journal of American FolkLore,
vol. 12 (1899), pp. 166 et seq.

64 F. Boas, “The Central Eskimo,” 6th Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology
(1888), pp. 339-669; quoted Boas, 1; F. Boas, “The Eskimo of Baffin Land and
Hudson Bay,” Bulletin American Museum of Natural History, vol. 15 (1901), pp.
1-370; quoted Boas, 2.

75 Lucien M. Turner, “Ethnology of the Ungava District, Hudson Bay Territory,”
11th Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology (1894), pp. 159 et seq.

86 E. Petitot, Traditions indiennes du Canada nord-ouest (Paris, 1886).

97 E. W. Nelson, “The Eskimo about Bering Strait,” 18th Annual Report of the
Bureau of Ethnology
(1899), pp. 1-518.

108 Francis Barnum, Grammatical Fundamentals of the Innuit Language (Boston,
1901), pp. 384.

119 John Murdoch, “A Few Legendary Fragments from the Point Barrow Eskimos,”
American Naturalist (1886), pp. 593-599.

121 Boas, 2, p. 359. I give in the following footnotes references to this book, in
which the versions from various regions have been collected.

132 H. Rink, The Eskimo Tribes (Copenhagen, 1891), p. 17.

143 Boas, 2, p. 361.

154 Ibid., p. 359.

165 This story is also widely known among Indian tribes. See James Mooney in
19th Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology (1900), pp. 256, 441.

176 Boas, 2, p. 359.

181 According to Egede. See Rink, p. 41; also David Cranz, Historie von Groenland
(Barby, 1765), p. 262.

192 Boas, 2, p. 306.

203 G. B. Grinnell, Blackfoot Lodge Tales, pp. 138, 272; W. Matthews, Navaho
, p. 77; A. L. Kroeber, “Cheyenne Tales,” Journal of American Folk-Lore,
vol. 13 (1900), p. 161; C. G. Du Bois, “Mythology of the Diegueños,” Ibid., vol. 14
(1901),p. 183; James Mooney, “Myths of the Cherokee,” 19th Annual Report of the
Bureau of Ethnology
(1900), p. 436.

214 Boas, 2, p. 174.

225 Ibid., p.360.

236 Ibid., pp. 220, 320.

247 Ibid., p. 218.

258 Ibid., p. 168.

269 Ibid., p. 171.

271 Boas, 2, p. 360. References to the following stories will be found at the same

282 Rink, p. 451; Boas, 2, p. 216.

291 See Boas, 2, p. 366.

302 See F. Boas, “Tsimshian Texts,” Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 27
(1902), p. 221; Indianische Sagen von der Nordpacifischen Küste Amerikas, p. 281.

313 Rink, p. 143; Boas, 2, p. 222; Petitot, loc. cit., p. 407.

324 Boas, “Traditions of the Tsʼetsʼā'ut,” Journal of American Folk-Lore, vol. 9,
pp. 263, 265; Petitot, loc. cit.., p. 120.

331 Boas, 2, pp. 232, 321.

342 Rink, pp. 177 et seq.

353 Ibid., pp. 186 et seq.

361 Rink, pp. 174, 175; Boas, 2, p. 207.

372 Rink, p. 449; Boas, 2, p. 292.

383 Rink, p. 449; Boas, 2, p. 270.

391 Rink, pp. 308 et seq.

402 Hall, Life with the Esquimaux (London, 1865), p. 247.

413 Rink, pp. 46 et seq.

424 Boas, 2, pp. 209 et seq., 315; Rink, pp. 47, 217, 438.

435 Rink, p. 116; Boas, 2, pp. 302 et seq.

446 Rink, p. 48; Boas, 2, pp. 200 et seq., 316.

457 Boas, 2, p. 360; Rink, p. 430.

468 Rink, p. 116.

479 Ibid., p. 186.

481 Rink, pp. 346, 351, 362; Boas 2, p. 288.

492 Rink, p. 135; Boas, 2, pp. 283, 290.

503 Boas, 2, p. 116.

514 Rink, pp. 2o6, 211.

525 Ibid., p. 83.

536 Ibid., pp. 202, 339, 347, 364.

547 Ibid., pp. 119, 215, 333.

558 Ibid., p. 205.

561 Rink, p. 213; Boas, 2, p. 299. This attitude is also found among Indians who
wish to recover their equanimity by making others suffer in the same way as they
have suffered.

572 Rink, p. 40.

583 Boas, 2, p. 337.

594 Rink, p. 40; Boas, 2, pp. 120 et seq.

605 Boas, 2, p. 359.

611 Rink, p. 45.

622 Boas, 2, p. 184.

633 Rink, pp. 7, 16, 23.

644 Boas, 2, pp. 248, 249.

655 Rink, p. 52; Boas, 2, pp. 249, 255.

666 Rink, p. 69.

677 Ibid., p. 6.

688 Ibid., p. 157; Boas, 2, p. 182; Kroeber, loc. cit.., p. 177. See also Rink, p. 222;
Holm, p. 48.

691 Rink, pp. 169, 248, 270; Boas, 2, p. 191.

702 Rink, p. 169.

713 Boas, 2, p. 360.