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Short Sketches from Oldest America

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Author: John Driggs
Published: 1905
Language: English
Wordcount: 19,804 / 62 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 63
LoC Category: G
Downloads: 305
Added to site: 2008.01.22 19811

During many years spent within the Arctic Circle of Northwestern Alaska, at Tig-a-ra (Point Hope Village), where I have lived at the mission station of the Episcopal Church, acting as medical man and teacher, and, later on, in deacon's orders, I have naturally become interested in these ancient people, and have written the following volume of short stories simply to show the nature, traditions and legends of the In-u-pash.[1] I have also introduced a few brief sketches, hoping to give a little insight into the simplicity of these primitive people who have been isolated from the outside world from the most remote time. There has been no attempt made to exhaust the subject.

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tly dove remaining down for quite a while, then floated to the surface, dead. Upon examining the body, it was found to be as large as that of a whale, at the same time resembling that animal in appearance, but in addition it had four legs. The mystery had been solved and Ahvooyoolach[=a] at last knew the fate of his three brothers.


There are two varieties of the whale much sought for on account of the baleen they yield. The Right Whale of the Behring Sea, as well as of other waters, and the Bow-head that makes its summer run along the American coast as far as the Arctic Archipelago. In September it strikes westward to Herald Island, and in October back to the Behring Sea, where it is supposed to spend the winter months at the southern edge of the ice. It is one of the large members of the whale family, sometimes attaining a length of sixty feet or more and yielding whalebone sometimes over twelve feet in length. The Bow-head is a timid, peaceful animal, preferring to visit t



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