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Inuit Poems and Songs
Folk poetry of East Greenland
William Thalbitzer, ed.; Torben Hutchings, trans.; William Thalbitzer, intro.

Adventures in New Lands

International Polar Institute
2016 • 128 pp. 4 1/2 x 7 1/2"
Poetry / Folk & Traditional Music / Arctic Studies

$19.95 Paperback, 978-0-9961938-2-5

Having devoted his life to study of the Eskimos, their language, spiritual life and religion, Thalbitzer found in their values his own mission to search for and preserve theirs

“These poems erupted in the East Greenlanders heart–the human sea at the outer limit of the north–on Earth's most desolate and rugged shores. They were found in the living tradition of a small, recently discovered Eskimo people that I (Thalbitzer) had gone to study. For the first time I heard their language as it sounded on people's lips, as it must have sounded through many generations. I understood that this was part of the Inuit people’s ancient poetry, and these songs and poems deserved to be written down for greater humanity.” —from the introduction

Equipped with the latest phonetic methods, WILLIAM THALBITZER (1873-1958) left Denmark in 1900 to spend a year in West Greenland. Throughout his research, Thalbitzer also worked to find other possible languages showing traces of kinship with the Inuit languages. He wanted to help the Greenlanders preserve their spiritual culture and hoped that his work would strengthen the values and consciousness of the indigenous community in light of increasing interaction with the dominant culture of the Danes.

Tue, 15 May 2018 13:38:58 -0500