November 13, 1988 |
The Inuits - or Eskimos - have a myth to explain the origin of the sun and the moon. Walter Vail of Pitman was delighted to tell the legend. "The sun and moon were sister and brother. But the brother made love to the sister in an igloo one dark night. She got so embarrassed she glowed red and melted the igloo and ran into the sky. The moon chased her - still chases her - but can never catch her. " Vail, 61, chuckled. "If you like that one, I'll tell you how the Inuits believed thunderstorms were made.
March 14, 1995 |
When archaeologists dug up the 800-year-old body of a tiny Eskimo girl last year, they needed an autopsy to figure out why she had died. It was a perfect case for pathologist Michael Zimmerman, a sort of Quincy for mummies. After months of puzzling over misleading clues, Zimmerman, who teaches at the University of Pennsylvania, says he discovered that a rare illness killed the girl, whose body remained frozen near Alaska's desolate northern coast. When erosion exposed the body last year, its skin, hair and face were remarkably well preserved.
April 22, 2001 |
For 11 years, Robin Heller has drawn what is arguably the world's only Eskimo comic strip. Mukluk and Honisukle, which chronicles the adventures of an Eskimo couple, their son Tobi and dog Hood and a handful of Alaskan neighbors, runs in about 25 newspapers, primarily in the 49th state and Canada. Heller, however, lives thousands of miles away from the tundra he animates using only black felt-tip pens and his vivid imagination. The 55-year-old artist is a resident of Perkasie.
January 14, 1986 |
The Interior Department's planned auction tomorrow of offshore oil-leasing rights in shallow Bristol Bay, the nation's richest salmon-fishing waters, was temporarily blocked yesterday by a federal judge. U.S. District Judge James A. von der Heydt, acting on suits filed by an unusual coalition of Eskimos, environmentalists and the state of Alaska, said the Interior Department had failed to adequately evaluate the effects that oil exploration and drilling would have on the subsistence lifestyle of Eskimos who live around the bay. A typical Eskimo household consumes about 600 pounds of the fish each year, according to surveys, and Eskimos also sell salmon.
November 14, 1986 |
For many Americans, Eskimos conjure up an image of a primitive people who huddle in igloos to stay warm, chew on seal blubber for sustenance and eke out a desperate living in the frozen wastelands of the far North. A new exhibit at the University Museum, "Raven's Journey: The World of Alaska's Native People," challenges those Hollywood images. The permanent exhibit, which opens tomorrow in honor of the museum's centennial, presents to the public more than 400 rare artifacts - many never before displayed - as well as large blowups of rare Alaskan photographs.
November 14, 1986 |
Among native Alaskans, the shiny, black-plumaged raven held an important mythological role. This large croaking bird was used to explain such phenomena as the creation of the world, the arrival of mosquitoes, and the ability to cook smoked salmon. The raven is a major figure in "Raven's Journey: the World of Alaska's Native People," which opens tomorrow at the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania. The collection includes nearly 400 art works that present a fascinating look into the culture and creativity of turn-of-the- century native Alaskans.
December 12, 1993 |
Late on Thursday afternoon, two old men named Hank and Jerry were having their customary sit on a bench on the boardwalk in Ventnor, N.J., when they encountered something unexpected. In the fading light of a beautiful late-fall day, a very tall and very skinny man, dressed in the style of an astronaut and carrying something over his head, passed before the two men. "Is that a boat?" Hank asked. "No," said the tall and skinny man, who was wearing two hats and whose name was Steve Burkardt.
May 22, 1987 |
Skeptics thought the Russians put one over on Secretary of State William Seward in 1867 when he bought Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million. They thought the region was a wasteland of ice and snow, calling the purchase "Seward's Folly" and "Seward's Icebox. " They were wrong. Alaska proved to be rich in fish, minerals, timber and potential water power. The value of resources taken from the region has paid back the purchase price - which worked out to less than 2 cents an acre - hundreds of times.
December 18, 1987 |
The caller on the language hotline of the International Visitors Center of Philadelphia sounded plaintive. "How do you say 'Happy Birthday' in Inuit?" she asked the staffer who took the call. "I have to put it on a birthday cake. " It wasn't Mission Impossible, as Ella Russell Torrey remembers, but it was close enough. Inuit is what some Eskimos call themselves and their language - and how frequently do you see it written or spoken in these parts? "Our people got right on it," Torrey was saying yesterday at the International Visitors Center office in the Civic Center, Civic Center Boulevard at 34th Street.
September 20, 1987 |
The Constitution's bicentennial will be rolling on for years, as people mark events in the ratification process and other milestones all the way up to the inauguration of George Washington in 1789 and the quiet passing of power from him to John Adams in 1797, which showed that the Constitution really could work. Many exhibits continue in Philadelphia, of course. But one of the best out- of-town offerings was set to open Thursday at the New-York Historical Society. Several hundred documents, letters, manuscripts, portraits and examples of decorative (and sometimes functional)