John Muir


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ratio with the adults. When a child is to be nursed the mother merely pulls out one of her arms from the roomy sleeve of her parka and pushes it down until the breast is exposed. The breasts are pendulous and cylindrical, like those of the Thlinkets [Tlingits]. The dishes used in domestic affairs are of wood, and in the smallest of these the puppies, after licking them, were often noticed to lie down, so well that they seemed made specially for them. Dogs were eagerly licking the large kettles, also; in which seal meat had been boiled. They seemed to be favored in these establishments like the pigs in Irish huts. Spears, lances, guns and nets were fastened about the timbers of the roof and sides, but little food of any kind was visible. A pot was swinging over a small fire of driftwood when we entered one of the huts, and an old dame was stirring it occasionally, and roasting seal liver on the coals beneath it. On leaving we were each presented with a pair of fur mittens. One of the two men we had engaged to go with the sled party backed out at the last moment, the other stuck to his bargain, though he seemed unwilling to leave his family. His little boy cried bitterly and long when he learned that his father was going away, and refused all the efforts made by the women to comfort him, and when he had sped away over the ice in returning to the ship for a distance of half a mile we could still hear his screams. Just as the ship was about to weigh anchor, the second man again offered to go with us, but Joe said to the Captain, “More better not take that fellow, he had too much talk.” The group of lookers-on congregated on the edge of the ice was very picturesque seen from the vessel as we moved away. The Chukehi are taller and more resolute looking people than the Eskimos of the opposite coast, but both are Mongols and in dress and mode of life, nearly alike, as well in religion. [Drawing – “E. Cape.”]

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 11 x 18.5 cm.

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist