Greenland Eskimos

Author Subject: Greenland Eskimos
Anders Hede Posted At 06:46:09 02/18/2002
[Responding to claims that W. Greenland Eskimos do not make war...]

1. But the is a lot of evidence of war in the form of raids going on between the wikings and the western greenland eskimos during the wiking attempt to colonize Greenland (from about 900 AC to about 1300 AC - If I remember correctly).

Eventually the wikings died out being one of the very few instances where european cultures have given up colonizing. It is not known why the wikings died out in the end besides some climatic change, but war might have played a role.

There must be quite a bit published on this in english.

2. Secondly after what have read of reviews of eskimo tales and original drawings of tales there is a lot of violence going on, including capture of women. As far as I known the reference ("Sååledes skriver jeg, Aron" :
samlede fortæællinger og illustrationer af Aron fra Kangeq (1822-1869) / udgivet ved Kirsten Thisted) is not translated into English.

3. Some of your reasoning are dubious:
Travelling great distances can be easy in the Artic.
There is a huge variety in the quality of hunting grounds, especially caribou trekking routes and salmon runs, some might very well be worth fighting for.
Standing wealth can be very considerable. There are priceless depots of frozen food, pieces of meteor-iron, trained pulling dogs, sleighs, kayak, wife-boats, summertents, highly specialized winter clothing all of
considerable value, large pieces of driftwood etc. Few if any hunters has as much stuff as eskimos. In fact much of the womens time was spent making things.

Anders Hede

This post is part of the War and Gender forum.