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"1682 First Mention EVER Of Eskimos/Inuit On British Isles?" Topic


10 Posts

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609 hits since 30 Apr 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP30 Apr 2018 6:07 p.m. PST

Had they been mentioned before that in the UK or elsewhere in Europe (East of Iceland)? Medieval records perhaps?

link

picture

Dan
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Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP30 Apr 2018 7:32 p.m. PST

Just before 1000 AD, unusually warm weather allowed Viking traders to settle in Greenland, looking for furs and ivory. The first Vikings arrived in 986 AD, just as the Tuniit began to move southward into Greenland. The Inuit apparently heard rumors maybe from their Tuniit neighbors about these Vikings who, like East Asian traders, would buy furs and ivory and sell you iron knives.

Inuit fur traders headed east across northern Canada, and many Inuit people settled in Labrador, Newfoundland, and Greenland. The Inuit used their dogs and boats and weapons to push aside the Tuniit people they found there. They also brought with them the Mongol recurved bow, which worked well for killing enemies as well as for hunting.

But about 1350 AD this warmer weather ended and there was instead a period of colder weather called the Little Ice Age. Sailing from Greenland to Norway got harder with more danger from floating ice. At the same time, North Africans started to trade more with West Africa, where they could get higher quality elephant ivory. The Vikings slowly stopped trading with the Inuit. The Vikings abandoned their last settlement in Greenland soon after 1408 AD, just as the Inuit finished conquering Greenland from the Tuniit. After the Vikings left, the Inuit dropped out of popular ken but I doubt they were completely forgotten.

Bill N01 May 2018 5:54 a.m. PST

Interesting information. To what extent though were Europeans of the time aware of the differences between these groups?

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP01 May 2018 5:57 a.m. PST

Dunno, but those blokes in the link are bonkers!

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP01 May 2018 6:19 a.m. PST

To what extent though were Europeans of the time aware of the differences between these groups?

Good question. People in the past didn't necessarily view things with scientific rigour but , at different times, there was often a curiosity about exotic people & places.

The obvious example in this topic about sloppy thinking was the use of the word "Eskimaux" which is, I believe, an Algonquin word used to describe their enemies &, hence, a bit of an insult. I also understand the word "Inuit" isn't exactly adequate either as it applies onlt to some of the group we apply it too.

Nomenclature can be such a pain.

Legion 401 May 2018 6:56 a.m. PST

My friend's wife is Inuit … I'll have to ask her.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP01 May 2018 8:53 a.m. PST

Maybe the sudden appearance had something to do with some extreme weather cycles back then, and perhaps even … climate change. :)

Dan

charared Supporting Member of TMP01 May 2018 1:51 p.m. PST

Wasn't there a dying/dead "Eskimo" in a small fishing vessel found in English waters during Elizabeth I's reign?

Asiatic features made the English believe that an easier route to the orient was available…

Frobisher and others were sent packing looking for the Northwest Passage.

Seem to remember reading this, but hey…

I'm an old fart

Charlie

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP01 May 2018 2:50 p.m. PST

Charlie

Wow! That's an amazing tale, and would make perfectly reasonable excuse to set out looking for it.

Dan

jeeves Supporting Member of TMP03 May 2018 5:40 p.m. PST

"The Inuit apparently heard rumors maybe from their Tuniit neighbors about these Vikings who, like East Asian traders, would buy furs and ivory and sell you iron knives."

What's the source on this? Far as I can tell neither the Inuits nor the Tuniits were writing at this point. We wouldn't have a record of this unless the Scandinavians wrote down that the Native Americans were hearing rumors.

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