My Life with the Eskimo
January 1, 1913
"An adventure of a lifetime. He lived in the Canadian Arctic with the Inuit and ate only what they ate." -Dr. Colbert's Keto Zone Diet (2017)
"Stefansson knows how to face and overcome every problem of the North–the ability to live off the land itself." - New Outlook (1922)
"Stefansson began the study of life in the Arctic by living with the Eskimos and learning to live off the land." - Air Sea Rescue Bulletin (1944)
"No single person is more responsible for the world's enlightenment on the Arctic." -Across the Top of the World (1947)
"The Stefansson parties depended so largely on hunting that they seldom had occasion to use substitutes." -U.S. Army Arctic Manual (1940)
Vilhjalmur Stefansson (1879 – 1962) was a Canadian Arctic explorer and ethnologist. Stefansson's splendid volume is a mine of interesting observation for different branches of science. It is a fascinating book of description and adventure that has been written by the famous traveler and explorer, who has passed years of his life within the Arctic Circle. Mr. Stefansson has had a vast amount of material from which to draw and he has made his selection wisely. He has lived with the Eskimo for long periods; he knows their language; he has subsisted on their food; he has heard their legends; he has seen them in their daily lives as have few explorers. Consequently his remarks about this primitive and matter-of-fact people are shrewd, true, and frequently amusing. The experiences and tales which he recounts, mirroring the hardships and the inspirations of life in a fearful but wonderful country, compose a work quite the most absorbing on it that has ever been published.
In 1908 the American Museum of Natural History organized an expedition to the Arctic under the leadership of Vilhjalmur Stefansson and Rudolph M. Anderson. The object of this enterprise was to make anthropological and zoological studies on the coast between the Mackenzie River and Hudson Bay and on the adjacent islands. The expedition was to be known as the Stefansson-Anderson Arctic Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History. The plan of the leaders was to travel by land and water with a party of Eskimo and to depend entirely upon their own resources as to food and clothing. The Canadian Government also aided the expedition with funds and equipment for geographical and geological observations.
Messrs. Stefansson and Anderson returned to the Museum in September, 1912, after four years of continuous exploration. A full statement of the itinerary is given in Stefansson's My Life with the Eskimo.
Mr. Stefansson succeeded in visiting thirteen groups in that territory and determining approximately their respective habitats. He noted the peculiar suggestions of European blood among these Eskimo.
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