[Ebook] ↠ Land of The Long Day Author Doug Wilkinson – Freeboooks.com


10 thoughts on “Land of The Long Day

  1. says:

    Informative, enlightening and passionate, Doug Wilkinson s 1955 non fiction memoir type account, Land of the Long Day presents his year of living with an Inuit family in Canada s High Arctic, and the book was required reading for us in grade seven Social Studies where one of the main topics of discussion and instruction was the flora and fauna of Canada s North and how the Inuit have lived and survived in often extremely cold weather conditions, and dealt with twenty four hour darkness during much of the winter and twenty four hour daylight during much of the summer And what I personally have always found the most interesting and most fascinating but also rather troubling at times both then when our class read Land of the Long Day in 1979 and now when I reread the book in early January 2018 are primarily the author s descriptions of and musings on Inuit diet and food choices their nutritional requirements , a diet that is by nature of necessity and basic geography almost entirely meat based in content Or rather one should say that the latter is what USED to be the case, as according to Doug Wilkinson, many of the health and poverty related issues faced and encountered by the Inuit such as for example the proliferation of tuberculosis, which was rampant and deadly amongst Canada s Inuit in the 1950s and is unfortunately still a very large and sadly looming universal health and welfare crisis up North, have in fact been the both direct and indirect result of the Inuit changing and actually often being both actively encouraged and even sometimes mandated, required to move from their traditional hunting and gathering lifestyles to a sedentary existence with imported Western style and often highly processed food staples, to the point that hunting was often and is even now still being loudly and publicly discouraged because the salient truth of the matter remains that for centuries, the Inuit had successfully lived and hunted in the High Arctic region of Canada and that of course their bodies had also concurrently evolved and adapted to thrive on a diet of what foods were most commonly and readily available, namely meat from hunting and fishing, with plant produce in the form of berries, grasses and the like only albeit eagerly consumed during the short summer months, but generally only as occasional and cherished candy like treats when or if available Highly recommended, and for a book published in 1955, Land of the Long Day still reads surprisingly respectfully towards Inuit culture and life, with only a limited amount of annoying authorial paternalism although the latter does indeed and unfortunately exist and yes, instead of using the word Inuit, Doug Wilkinson still calls them Eskimos, but that is truly and in fact a sign of the times, for even when we were reading Land of the Long Day for school in 1979, our Social Studies teacher was using the word Eskimo to describe the Inuit, as were we as students And further, I do have to leave the necessary caveat that if you are very squeamish about hunting and depictions of the consumption of masses of meat, I would most definitely stay away from Land of the Long Day, as Doug Wilkinson does indeed present both Inuit hunting practices and Inuit eating habits in rather minute detail and many of the latter do feature the consumption of often raw meat as well as unprocessed fat, some of which is actually melted and imbibed like water, interesting and informative, but definitely not for everyone.


  2. says:

    Doug Wilkninson, an ex army man and documentary film maker, found himself shooting public information items in the Canadian Arctic after the war From there he become interested in the life of the Eskimos native to that harsh area, culminating in his living with a small community of them the Aulatseevikmiut for a year in the Pond Inlet area of north Baffin Island.Given the adopted name of Kingmik , meaning Dog , which in the Eskimo scrip is close to his own name of Doug, he stays with Idlouk, an Eskimo father who takes him in as ilningwah in the likeness of my son for the year Idlouk is 5 foot 1 in his sealskin slippers with a vigorous, restless personality , the best hunter in the region.As you would expect, Wilkinson had some pretty wild experiences Almost caught adrift on thin ice, taking part in a three mile hunt on sled and foot after the Nanook polar bear , and almost freezing after having his tent pulled from over him as he slept by his own dogs as they chased a rival pack and all this just on the way to his new home Once there, he soon helps out in the single most important activity of all Eskimo males for time immemorial Seal hunting Commonly achieved by first locating an aglos breathing hole and then creeping up to the seal slowly behind a pure white screen before shooting them in the skull, it takes some skill and infinite patience.Before firearms, hunting seals had to be done entirely by stealth, imitation and a harpoon Idlouk demonstrates this, taking literally hours to approach one on his stomach, shunting forward by degrees, then pretending in body and vocalization to be seal himself every time his quarry looked up from its slumber, which watchful seals do every 10 30 seconds.Seal meat keeps the Eskimo alive Like all the meats of their diet except rabbit it is commonly eaten raw They also hunt Carabou, which are harder to find Once Wilkinson came across one by chance They hunt it down on foot, fooling it by acting as statues Once killed, they cut it into portions, eating strips of raw flesh as they go.Fishing is also a common activity, something which the boys of the community can do until it s their turn to join the seal hunts The fish are also eaten raw, while their great availability make them excellent food to cache for the dogs during the long, severe, sunless winters, alongside rotting carabou flesh, which is not fit for human consumption.During one memorable moment each year the Eskimo get to hunt the Narwhal as it migrates in mass schools close to their habitation This proves to be one of the most exciting passages in the book, as Wilkinson describes that year s hunt, an extremely dangerous pursuit over and across drifting, colliding expanses of ice.With gender roles highly regimented over centuries, as the men hunt and gather, Eskimo women exclusively look after the domestic concerns This involves all the parenting, cooking and the making and mending of clothes and bedding, a constant job Cleaning is not such a concern though, Eskimos are notoriously filthy.Grandparents help to look after the children, sometimes adopting the first born in line with a long held custom The boys are very much subject to their father s law until they start their own family, while the girls are reared only to be wives and mothers, sometimes having a husband chosen for them even before birth I really enjoyed this unique glimpse into the yearly cycle of Eskimo life It s an unenviable one, a daily struggle against the elements and the threat of an empty stomach, without privacy or comfort, without the luxury of the extraneous Fraternizing with the white man certainly brings comforts, but at what ultimate cost their nature, shaped by necessity from the merciless demands of their environment Wilkinson ponders this question The limited nature of the Eskimo lifestyle is reflected in the limited nature of the Eskimo mind Wilkinson has affection and respect for his adopted family, but recognizes and regrets their utter indifference to beauty and abstract thought Never is there a sign of expression of hope for a better life in the future the future is merely a continuation of the past To end on a culinary notes, how about this for a delicacy diced seal s fat, brain and eyeball, eaten raw immediately after the kill Yummy


  3. says:

    Terrific read from the old school approach of an author experiencing life in a particular setting, then sharing the details as well as the broad picture The author Wilkinson spends a year in Canada s north among his Eskimo friends He makes a point of submitting to the norms of the close knit society by becoming an honorary son, which means to be humble and do as one is told..Wilkinson has a keen eye, records the details of life, from the everchanging diet through the year based on what is available, to noting such fascinating aspects such as Eskimos are NOT particularly communal, rather very individualistic perhaps libertarian in some ways yet coming together to help each other out when a group effort is likely to be successful.Other fascinating points A diet of meat, meat, meat, is doable though a diet of meat and fat is actually what keeps people going Rancid meat has its own attributes, as does seal, rabbit, caribou He states that eating meat without chewing it is better, becuase as the stomach dissolves large chunks slowly, certain enzymes are released later into the small intestine All of which is counterpoint to our western school of thought that greens and small amounts of meat are the optimal Perhaps the point of agreement is that processed foods including chewing in certain cases are not as healthy The reader catches glimpses of the trajectory of ice health, buildup and decay, and how that affects living locations, and changing composition of food sources Want to know the ends and outs of seal life stages and amount of fat and that effect on how to hunt the animals it is all tied together.Excellent read without nostalgia, without judgement, and yet with many probing reflections of a way of life disappearing even in the early 1950s.


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  • Hardcover
  • 262 pages
  • Land of The Long Day
  • Doug Wilkinson
  • English
  • 11 September 2017

About the Author: Doug Wilkinson

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