The lamp of the Eskimo

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Government printing office, 1898 - Eskimos - 1 pages
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Page 1030 - With all the lamps lighted and the hut full of people and dogs, a thermometer placed on the net over the fire indicated a temperature of 38...
Page 1030 - ... 25 below zero. A greater degree of warmth than this produces extreme inconvenience by the dropping from the roofs. This they endeavour to obviate, by applying a little piece of snow to the place from which a drop proceeds, and this adhering is for a short time an effectual remedy; but for several weeks in the spring, when the weather is too warm for these edifices, and still too cold for tents, they suffer much on this account.
Page 1030 - ... a bed is capable of affording not merely comfort, but luxurious repose, in spite of the rigour of the climate. The skins thus used as blankets are made of a large size and bordered, like some of the jackets, with a fringe of long narrow slips of leather, in which state a blanket is called keipik. The fire belonging to each family consists of a single lamp, or shallow vessel of lapis ollaris, its form being the lesser segment of a circle. The wick, composed of dry moss rubbed between the hands...
Page 1030 - ... the straight side, and a greater or smaller quantity lighted according to the heat required or the fuel that can be afforded. When the whole length of this, which is sometimes above eighteen inches, is kindled, it affords a most brilliant and beautiful light without any perceptible smoke or any offensive smell.
Page 1028 - These lamps, which were shallow dishes, usually of stone, semicircular in form, were sometimes two feet in length. Of the mosses and vegetable fibres which their section supplied they formed the wicks. "The Eskimo," says Hough, speaking of the lamp, " present the spectacle of a people depending for their very existence upon this household belonging. Indeed, it is a startling conclusion that the lamp has determined the occupancy of an otherwise uninhabitable region by the Eskimo, or, in other words,...
Page 1039 - Koraks construct around the inner circumference of the tent small, nearly air-tight apartments called pologs, which are* separated one from another by skin curtains, and combine the advantages of exclusiveness with the desirable luxury of greater warmth. These pologs are about four feet in height, and six or eight feet in width and length. They are made of the heaviest furs sewn carefully together to exclude the air, and are warmed and lighted by a burning fragment of moss floating in a wooden bowl...
Page 1036 - Eskimo have been simmering meat, especially seal, in their boiling-pots, they pour off the liquor and mix it with about an equal quantity of blood ; this makes a thick and rather greasy soup that must be quite nourishing; the children are very fond of it. It seems possible that from this dish has originated the popular error that these people drink oil, a notion that is simply preposterous. I found among some of these people a little spoon, or rather a miniature scoop, made of ivory...
Page 1040 - ... family unit, each head of the family (the woman) having her lamp; that the invention of the lamp took place on some seacoast, where fat of aquatic mammals of high fuel value was abundant, rather than in the interior, where the fat of land animals is of low fuel value ; that the typical form of the lamps arises from an attempt to devise a vessel with a straight wick edge combined with a reservoir, giving the vessel an obovate or ellipsoidal shape.
Page 1036 - ... of it a cavity had been cut, at the bottom of which a stone was placed of the size of a man's fist, on which there burned with a good flame a piece of moss intersected with blubber; and as the ice melted at the sides of the cavity, the water collected at the bottom in a small, clear pool, whence it was consumed by the many parched mouths by sucking it up through hollow reindeer marrow-bones, in exactly the same manner as we enjoy a sherry cobbler through a straw.
Page 1030 - Innetat, is intended for the reception of any wet things, and is usually loaded with boots, shoes, and mittens. The fire-place just described as situated at the upper end of the apartment, has always two lamps facing different ways, one for each family occupying the corresponding bed-place.

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