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Inuit Folk-Tales
Knud Rasmussen, compiler; Bergit Kleist Pedersen, intro.; Jette Rygaard, intro.; W. Worster, afterword; W. Worster, trans.




International Polar Institute
2009 • 320 pp. 4 1/4 x 5 1/4"
Arctic Studies / Explorations

$19.95 Paperback, 978-0-9821703-1-1



“Rasmussen and members of his expedition investigated ancient and modern Eskimo sites from Greenland to Siberia and collected more than 20,000 Eskimo implements . . . the explorer... [continued in Reviews below]”—The New York Times

Back in print, “Eskimo” folklore collected by pioneering northern anthropologist Knud Rasmussen

Native languages and ways of living, including the arts of sea kayaking and dog sledding, fascinated Knud Rasmussen, himself of Inuit and Danish descent. Rasmussen devoted much of his life to ethnological and cultural studies throughout Arctic North America. Establishing a base station in Thule, Greenland, in 1910, he visited as many Inuit peoples as he could, taking meticulous notes and making sketches, collecting artifacts and compiling hundreds of Native legends and songs. The tales are grounded in the Inuit belief system, itself defined by superstition and transformation. Thanks to his own mixed heritage, Rasmussen understood Inuit stories at a deeper level than did most observers, and documented many priceless legends that the West might have otherwise not have noticed.

From his Thule station, Rasmussen led many ambitious Arctic expeditions. His famous “Great Sledge Journey” resulted in this priceless and beloved collection and descriptions of Inuit folktales, songs, and poetry, now finally back in print in English.

Reviews / Endorsements

“Rasmussen and members of his expedition investigated ancient and modern Eskimo sites from Greenland to Siberia and collected more than 20,000 Eskimo implements . . . the explorer brought back a vast array of notebooks which he had filled with Eskimo folk-tales. He lived with them and had them dictate their stories to him . . . [their narratives show a] high authenticity.”

The New York Times

“A fascinating tale of far northern life which carries a broad, general appeal to those living on the ‘outside’ . . . [a] picture of the grim North the author knows so well . . . the folk-lore of the Eskimos […] is something of a startling revelation to the dwellers in the South.”—Overland Monthly and Out West Magazine



KNUD JOHAN VICTOR RASMUSSEN (1879–1933) was a Greenlandic polar explorer and anthropologist. He has been called the “father of Eskimology” and was the first to cross the Northwest Passage via dog sled.



Sat, 2 Dec 2017 11:58:28 -0500