A story of life and love in the actual Arctic

“Nanook of the North: A Story Of Life and Love In the Actual Arctic” (1922), documentary by Robert J. Flaherty.

«This picture concerns the life of Nanook (“The Bear”), his family and little band of followers, “Itivimuits” of Hopewell Sound, Northern Ungava, through whose kindliness, faithfulness and patience this film was made. The hunting ground of Nanook and his followers is a little kingdom in size – nearly as large as England, yet occupied by less than three hundred souls.

Chief of the “Itivimuits” and as a great hunter famous through all Ungava – Nanook, The Bear. Nyla [his wife] – The Smiling One.»

«Deep snow, packed hard by the wind, makes good ground for building the igloo, the snow dwelling of the Eskimo. So as to cut more easily, Nanook licks his walrus ivory knife, which instantly is glazed with ice. (…) To keep out the piercing cold, Nyla and Cunayou chink with snow every seam and gap in the igloo walls. (…) Complete within the hour. Now only one thing more is needed… To reflect the light through the window. From the inside Nyla cleans her brand-new ice window. (…)

A few robes of bear and deer skin, a stone pot and stone lamps is the list of their household belongings. (…) The hearthstone of the Eskimo… Seal oil for fuel – moss for wicking – a stone pot for melting snow.»


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