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Bill Hillman's 
EduTech Research Project
Presents
John Tyman's
INUIT ~ People of the Arctic
Unit II: FOOD SOURCES
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 Part 4: COOKING AND EATING
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63. Most fish is still eaten raw. 
You simply cut off a piece with your knife.
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64. However, with the assistance of the flavorsome soup powders
now available from the store, fish heads 
and the like are sometimes stewed.

65. This means that saucepans, plates and spoons 
are now needed  in summer fishing camps.
66. In town fish that is not eaten immediately may be filleted,
either for drying or storage fresh ...

67. In a home freezer -- alongside other "country foods "
(including wildfowl and pieces of caribou).
68. When dried fish is eaten it is commonly dipped
into a container of rancid seal blubber to moisten it ...

69. And then well chewed.
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70. At a summer hunting camp geese are cut up 
and eaten raw with a minimum of fuss.

71. Similarly at home when friends come round to share 
a brace of ptarmigan these are arranged on a sheet of cardboard. 
The guests sit on the floor also, as they would in a tent, 
and there is no washing up to do later.
72. On other occasions the birds 
may be plucked in preparation for cooking ...

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73. And the feathers saved for use in pillows.

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74. When a seal is brought home it is arranged belly-up 
on the kitchen floor (as it would have been in an iglu) 
and opened up using an ulu. 
The blood is first salvaged for use in a stew 
(or, may be today, fed to the dogs) ... 

75. And the seal is then dismembered piece by piece, 
with nothing wasted.

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76. On a winter seal hunt men frequently take the liver from the seal 
(as it is rich in vitamin C) and eat it while it is still warm; 
but their commonest form of refreshment today is the tea break -- 
with hard dry crackers (as fancy biscuits would freeze solid).

77. On fishing trips in the spring the tea is usually made in
the lee of the sled-box, as a shelter from the wind.
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78. Tea, and kettles, have long been available
from fur trading companies, and the leaves of some local plants 
were used in drinks before that.

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79. When caribou is on the menu at home
you simply place a hunk of it on the table, on a piece of cardboard..
80. Guests remove their portion with a knife (yours or theirís) ...

81. And chew on it, as with dried fish.
82. Change is inevitable, and seal meat is sometimes boiled today.

83. But the only meat that is always cooked (or should be) is polar bear
-- because they carry the 
trichinosis parasite as a result of eating carrion. 
Their liver must never be eaten, though, even when cooked, for it is 
so rich in vitamins as to be toxic both to men and dogs..
84. Apart from tea the other useful foodstuffs 
introduced by fur traders a century ago 
were the flour and lard used in making bannoch -- 
eaten today with margarine or butter 
and sometimes dotted with dried fruit.


BACK TO INUIT CONTENTS PAGE:
Dr. John Tyman
PHOTOS & RECORDINGS


I. Environment:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
II. Food Sources: 
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
III: Clothing/Shelter:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
IV. Family: 
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
V. Community:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
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Text, photos and recordings by John Tyman
Intended for Educational Use Only.
Copyright Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford University, 2010.
Contact Dr. John Tyman for more information regarding licensing.

Photo processing, Web page layout, and formatting by
William Hillman | www.hillmanweb.com
Assistant Professor ~ Faculty of Education ~ Brandon University ~ Brandon, Manitoba ~ Canada