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March 2, 1578

Fred Bruemmer

Arctic Memories

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"What is the most important thing in life?" He reflected for a while, then smiled and said: "Seals, for without them we could not live." Seal meat and fat, raw or cooked, was the main food of most Inuit and their sled dogs. The high-calorie blubber gave strength, warmth, and endurance to the people; it heated them from within.

After two hours, I had run out of poetry and patience. After three hours, I felt stiff, cold, and exhausted. The total lack of movement, the absence of any stimuli, grated on my nerves. After six hours, I gave up. I was cold, creaky, cranky, and intensely annoyed with myself, but that was about as much as I could take. Yet the Inuit did this nearly every day for ten to fifteen hours, and sometimes they got a seal and often they did not. Their concentration was total, their patience endless, for to Inuit (and polar bears) the seal was everything. I once asked Inuterssuaq of the Polar Inuit, "What is the most important thing in life?" He reflected for a while, then smiled and said: "Seals, for without them we could not live." 


George Best, captain and chronicler of Martin Frobisher's 1578 expedition to Baffin Island, said of the Inuit: "These people hunte for their dinners... even as the Beare." Inuit and polar bear do, in fact, use similar seal-hunting methods. Both wait with infinite patience at agloos, hoping for seals to surface. 


In late spring and early summer, seals bask upon the ice, and Inuit and polar bears synchronize their patient stalk with the sleep- wake rhythm of the seals. Typically, a seal sleeps for a minute or so, wakes, looks carefully all around to make certain no enemy is near, and then, satisfied that all is safe, falls asleep for another minute or two. The moment the seal slumps in sleep, the bear advances. The instant the seal looks up, the bear freezes into immobility, camouflaged by its yellowish-white fur. At 20 yards (18 m) the bear pounces, a deadly blur across the ice, and grabs and kills the seal. 


In the eastern Arctic, Inuit stalk a seal on the ice hidden behind a portable hunting screen, now of white cloth, formerly of bleached seal or caribou skin. In the central Arctic, Inuit do not use the screen. Instead they employ a method known to Inuit from Siberia to Greenland: they approach the seal by pretending to be a seal. They slither across the snow while the seal sleeps. When it wakes, the hunter stops and makes seal-like movements. To successfully impersonate a seal, a hunter told me, "you have to think like a seal." It is a hunt that requires great skill and endurance. They hunted seals at their agloos, they stalked them with screens on the ice. They waited for them at the floe edge and they harpooned them from kayaks. 


They hunted seals in fall on ice so thin it bent beneath the hunter's weight. They hunted them in the bluish darkness of the winter night, and they invented and perfected an entire arsenal of ingenious weapons and devices to hunt the seal. For, to Inuit, the seal was life, and their greatest goddess was Sedna, mother of seals and whales. 


A few inland groups lived nearly exclusively on caribou. The Mackenzie Delta Inuit are beluga hunters. Many Inuit of the Bering Sea and Bering Strait region live primarily on walrus. In Greenland and Labrador, Inuit hunted harp seals and hooded seals (the Polar Inuit drum Masautsiaq made for me as a farewell present is covered with the throat membrane of a hooded seal). But, for most Inuit, two seal species were of truly vital importance: the large bearded seal that weighs up to 600 pounds (270 kg), and the smaller - up to 180 pounds (81 kg) - but numerous ringed seal. These two seals were the basis of human life in the Arctic. 


I spent the spring of 1975 with the walrus hunters of Little Diomede Island in Bering Strait, between Alaska and Siberia. Among our crew was Tom, Jr., or Junior as everyone called him, the eleven-year-old son of Tom Menadelook, captain of the large walrus-skin-covered umiak, the traditional hunting boat of the Diomeders. On one of our trips into the pack ice, Junior shot his first seal. His father was typically gruff and curt, but we could see that he was pleased and proud. The crew made much of the boy and he glowed in their praise. That night, his mother, Mary Menadelook, cut the seal into many pieces, and following ancient custom, the boy took meat to all the households in the village, including to my shack, thus symbolically feeding us all. He was a man now, a provider, who shared in traditional Inuit fashion. 


Seal meat and fat, raw or cooked, was the main food of most Inuit and their sled dogs. The high-calorie blubber gave strength, warmth, and endurance to the people; it heated them from within. Rendered into seal oil, it burned in their semicircular soapstone lamps, cooked their meals, heated their homes, and, most importantly, melted fresh-water ice or snow into drinking water. Lack of blubber meant hunger, icy, dark homes, and excruciating thirst. Although Inuit were hardy and inured to cold, and dressed in superb fur clothing, their high-calorie, high-protein meat-fat diet also helped them to withstand the rigors of winter, for it raised their basal metabolic rate by 20 to 40 percent. Fortunately for the Inuit, blubber is a beneficial fat. Scientists were fascinated that Inuit who, a recent study says, "traditionally obtained about 40 percent of their calories from fat," had, in the past, no heart disease because their diet "although high in fat, is low in saturated fat.. and that presumably explains their freedom from disease." 


Seal oil, in the past, was stored in sealskin pokes and kept in stone caches, safe from arctic foxes, for spring and summer use. At Bathurst Inlet, Ekalun once showed me a great, solitary stone pillar, too sheer and high for bears or foxes to climb, upon which, in the past, Inuit had stored pokes of oil (they used a sled as a ladder to climb to the top). Even now, after decades of disuse, the distinctive, cloying smell of ancient seal oil clung to the pillar. 


The Inuit of Little Diomede eat seal oil with nearly all their meals. When they have to go to hospital in Nome or Anchorage, they take a bottle of seal oil along, because without it, they say, "food just doesn't taste right." Seal oil is their main preservative: they store in it the thousands of murre eggs they collect in summer, and bags of greens - and both keep reasonably fresh for about a year. They even had a type of chewing gum made of solidified seal oil and willow catkins, and a mixture of whipped blubber and cloudberries is known in Alaska as "Eskimo ice cream."

August 5, 1804

Lewis and Clark Journals

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Quotes from the Lewis and Clark expedition show how reliant upon meat the explorers were, and would especially look for fattier animals, finding others "very poor, meager, or lean & unfit for to make use of as food." Meanwhile, beaver tail was loved.

Nov 19: Monday — a Cold day the ice continue to run our Perogue of Hunters arrive with 32 Deer, 12 Elk & a Buffalow, all of this meat we had hung up in a Smoke house, a timeley supply. Several Indians here all day. the wind blew hard from the N.W. by W, our men move into their huts, Several little Indian aneckd" [anecdotes] told me to day 20':' 


Nov 20 Tuesday 1804 — Cap Lewis & my Self move into our hut,^ a very hard wind from the W. all the after part of the day a temperate day. Several Indians came Down to Eat fresh meat, three Chiefs from the 2*1 Mandan Village Stay all Day, they are verry Curious in examining our works.


Dec 7, 1804 - Cap Clark Set out with a hunting party Killed 8 Bulfalow & returned next day — a verry cold day wind from the NW. the Big White Grand Chief of the Village, came and informed us that a large Drove of Buffalow was near and his people was wating for us to join them in a chase. Cap Lewis took 15 men & went out joined the Indians, who were at the time he got up, Killing the Buffalow on Horseback with arrows which they done with great dexterity,^ his party killed 10 Buffalow, /x'f of which we got to the fort by the assistance of a horse in addition to what the men Packed on their backs, one cow was killed on the ice after drawing her out of a vacancey in the ice in which She had fallen, and Butchered her at the fort, those we did 


Biddle gives a more detailed account of the Indians' buffalo hunt. Gass says (p. 89) that Lewis took eleven men with him, who killed 11 buffalo, while the Indians killed 30 or 40. — Ed. 

 AT FORT MANDAN not get in was taken by the indians under a Custom which is established amongst them i e. any person seeing a buffalow lying without an arrow Sticking in him, or some particular mark takes possession, many times (as I am told) a hunter who kills many Buffalow in a chase only Gets a part of one, all meat which is left out all night falls to the wolves which are in great numbers, always in the neighborhood of the Buffalows.


13th of January Sunday 1805 -- On a Cold Clear Day, a great number of Indians move down the River to hunt. Those people Kill a Number of Buffalow near their Villages and Save a great proportion of the Meat, their Custom of making this article of life General leaves them more than half of their time without meat.

 Their Corn & Beans & they keep for the Summer, and as a reserve in Case of an attack from the Soues, [of] which they are always in dread and seldom go far to hunt except in large parties, about the Mandans nation passed this today to hunt on of Tribe.


23rd January 1805 Wednesday A Cold Day Snow fell 4 Inches deep, the occurancies of this day is as is common. I went up with one of the men to the villages. They treated us friendly and gave us victuals. After we were done eating they presented a bowlful to a buffaloe head, saying, " eat that."' Their superstitious credulity is so great, that they believe by using the head well, the living buffaloe will come, and that they will get a supply of meat. — Gass (pp. 98, 99).


[Feb. 5 and two frenchmen who together with two others, have established a small hut and resided this winter within the vicinity of Fort Mandane under our protection, visited by many of the natives today, our stock of meat which we had procured in the Months of November & December is now nearly exhausted ; a supply of this articles is at this moment peculiarly interesting as well for our immediate consumption, as that we may have time before the approach of the warm season to prepare the meat for our voyage in the spring of the year. Capt. Clark therefore determined to continue his rout down the river even as far as the River bullet' unless he should find a plenty of game nearer, the men transported their baggage on a couple of small wooden sleighs drawn by themselves, and took with them 3 pack horses which we had agreed should be returned with a load of meat to fort mandane as soon as they could procure it. no buffaloe have made their appearance in our neighbourhood for some weeks {time shorter) ; and I am informed that our Indian neighbours suffer extremely at this moment for the article of flesh. Shields killed two deer this evening, both very lean, one a large buck, he had shed his horns.


Feb 8 - the chief dined with me and left me in the evening, he informed me that his people suffered very much for the article of meat, and that he had not himself tasted any for several days.


Feb 16 — The Buffalow Seen last night proved to be Bulls. lean & unfit for to make use of as food, the Distance from Camp being nearly 60 miles and the packing of meat that distance attended with much difficulty. Determined me to return and hunt the points above, we Set out on our return and halted at an old Indian lodge 40 miles below Fort Mandan, Killed 3 Elk, & 2 Deer. 


Feb 17 — a cold Day wind blew hard from the N.W. J. Fields got one of his ears frosed determined to lay by and hunt to day killed an Elk & 6 deer, all that was fit for use [of] this meat I had Boned and put into a Close pen made of logs.


Feb 22 Capt Lewis returned with 2 Slays loaded with meat, after finding that he could not overtake the Soues War party, (who had in their way distroyed all the meat at one Deposit which I had made & Burnt the Lodges) deturmined to proceed on to the lower Deposit which he found had not been observed by the Soues. He hunted two day Killed 36 Deer & 14 Elk, Several of them so meager, that they were unfit for use, the meat which he killed and that in the lower deposit amounting to about 3000 pounds was brought up on two Slays one Drawn by 16 men had about 2400 pounds on it.


April the 2nd, Friday (Tuesday) 1805 — a cloudy day, rained all the last night we are prepareing to Set out all thing nearly ready. The 2nd Chief of the 2nd Mandan Village took a miff at our not attending to him particularly after being here about ten days and moved back to his village. The Mandans Killed twenty one elk yesterday 15 miles below this, they were So Meager that they [were] Scercely fit for use. 


Biddle describes the manner in which the Indians capture buffaloes which, trying to cross the river, have become isolated on ice-floes. Mackenzie states that the Indians on the Missouri also search eagerly for the carcasses of buffaloes and other drowned animals that float down the river in the spring season ; these, although rotten and of intolerable stench, "are preferred by the Natives to any other kind of food. ... So fond are the Mandans of putrid meat that they bury animals whole in the winter for the consumption of the spring " — Ed.


Thursday April \ith. Set out at an early hour; I proceeded with the party and Capt. Clark with George Drewyer walked on shore in order to procure some fresh meat if possible, we proceeded on about five miles, and halted for breakfast, when Capt. Clark and Drewyer joined us ; the latter had killed, and brought with him a deer, which was at this moment excep[t]able, as we had had no fresh meat for several days, the country from fort Mandan to this place is so constantly hunted by the Mountainaries that there is but little game, we halted at two P.M. and made a comfortable dinner on a venison steak and beaver tails.


Capt. Clark walked on shore this morning, and on his return informed me that he had passed through the timbered bottoms on the N. side of the river, and had extended his walk several miles back on the hills; in the bottom lands he had met with several uninhabited Indian lodges built with the boughs of the Elm, and in the plains he met with the remains of two large encampments of a recent date, which form the appearance of some hoops of small kegs, seen near them we concluded that they must have been the camps of the Assinniboins, as no other nation who visit this part of the missouri ever indulge themselves with spirituous liquor, of this article the Assinniboins are pationately fond, and we are informed that it, forms their principal inducement to furnish the British establishments on the Assinniboin river with the dryed and pounded meat and grease which they do. they also supply those establishments with a small quantity of fur, consisting principally of the large and small wolves and the small fox' skins, these they barter for small kegs of rum which they generally transport to their camps at a distance from the establishments, where they revel with their friends and relations as long as they possess the means of intoxication, their women and children are equally indulged on those occasions and are all seen drunk together, so far is a state of intoxication from being a cause of reproach among them, that with the men, it is a matter of exultation that their skill and industry as hunters has enabled them to get drunk frequently, in their customs, habits and dispositions these people very much resemble the Siouxs from whom thev have descended. The principal inducement with the British fur companies, for continuing their establishments on the Assinniboin river, is the Buffalow meat and grease they procure from the Assinniboins, and Christanoes, by means of which, they are enabled to supply provision to their engages on their return from rainy Lake to the English river and the Athabaskey country where they winter ; without such resource those voyagers would frequently be straitened for provision, as the country through which they pass is but scantily supplyed with game, and the rappidity with which they are compelled to travel in order to reach their winter stations, would leave them but little leasure to surch for food while on their voyage. while the party halted to take dinner today Capt. Clark killed a buffaloe bull ; it was meagre, and we therefore took the marrow bones and a small propor- tion of the meat only, near the place we dined, on the Lard, side, there was a large village of burrowing squirrels.


April 18th - 1805 -- Went out to hunt, Killed a young Buck Elk, & a Deer, the Elk was tolerable meat, the Deer very poor. Butchered the meat and continued untill near Sunset before Cap' Lewis and the party came up, thev were detained by the wind, which rose soon after I left the boat from the N W. & blew very hard until very late in the evening.


in the after part of the day we passed an extensive beautiful plain on the Starside which gradually ascended from the river. I saw immense quantities of buffalow in every direction, also some Elk deer and goats ; having an abundance of meat on hand I passed them without firing on them ; they are extremely gentle, the bull buffalow particularly will scarcely give way to you. I passed several in the open plain within fifty paces, they viewed me for a moment as something novel and then very unconcernedly continued to feed. 


May 5 --In the evening we saw a Brown or Grizzly bear on a sand beech, I went out with one man Geo Drewyer & Killed the bear, which was verry large and a turrible looking animal, which we found verry hard to kill. We Shot ten Balls into him before we killed him, & 5 of those Balls through his lights. This animal is the largest of the carnivorous kind I ever saw we had nothing that could weigh him, I think his weight may be stated at 500 pounds, he measured 8 feet 7 In! from his nose to the extremity of the Toe, 5 feet around the breast, i feet 11 Ins: around the middle of the arm, 3 feet 11 In! arround the neck his tallents was 4 Inches long, he was [in] good order, and appeared very different from the common black bear in as much as his claws were blunt, his tail short, his liver & lights much larger, his maw ten times as large and contained meat or flesh & fish only, we had him skined and divided, the oil fried up & put in Kegs for use. we camped on the StarSide, our men killed three Elk and a Buffalow to day, and our Dog cought an antilope a fair race, this animal appeared very pore & with young.


There were three beaver taken this morning by the party, the men prefer the flesh of this animal, to that of any other which we have, or are able to procure at this moment. I eat very heartily of the beaver myself, and think it excellent; particularly the tail, and liver.


Sent out some hunters who killed 2 deer 3 Elk and several buffalow ; on our way this evening we also shot three beaver along the shore ; these animals in consequence of not being hunted are extremely gentle, where they are hunted they never leave their lodges in the day, the flesh of the beaver is esteemed a delicacy among us ; I think the tail a most delicious morsal, when boiled it resembles in flavor the fresh tongues and sounds of the codfish, and is usually sufficiently large to afford a plentiful meal for two men.

January 10, 1806

A Monstrous Fish

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Lewis and Clark travel to the site of the beached whale. They encountered a group of Native Americans from the Tillamook tribe who were boiling blubber for storage. Clark and his party met with them and successfully bartered for 300 pounds (136 kg) of blubber.

What is now Cannon Beach, as well as the coastal area surrounding it, is part of the traditional territory of the Tillamook tribe.

William Clark, one of the leaders of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, journeyed to Cannon Beach in early 1805. The expedition was wintering at Fort Clatsop, roughly 20 miles (32 km) to the north near the mouth of the Columbia River. In December 1805, two members of the expedition returned to camp with blubber from a whale that had beached several miles south, near the mouth of Ecola Creek. Clark later explored the region himself.[7] From a spot near the western cliffs of the headland he saw "...the grandest and most pleasing prospects which my eyes ever surveyed, in front of a boundless Ocean..." That viewpoint, later dubbed "Clark's Point of View," can be accessed by a hiking trail from Indian Beach in Ecola State Park.

Clark and several of his companions, including Sacagawea, completed a three-day journey on January 10, 1806, to the site of the beached whale. They encountered a group of Native Americans from the Tillamook tribe who were boiling blubber for storage. Clark and his party met with them and successfully bartered for 300 pounds (136 kg) of blubber and some whale oil before returning to Fort Clatsop.[8] There is a wooden whale sculpture commemorating the encounter between Clark's group and the Tillamooks in a small park at the northern end of Hemlock Street.[9]

Clark applied the name "Ekoli" to what is now Ecola Creek.[10] Ehkoli is a Chinook word for "whale".[10] Early settlers later renamed the creek "Elk Creek", and a community with the same name formed nearby.[11]


A “Monstrous Fish”

Two days after Christmas 1805, Clatsop Indians told the Corps of Discovery that a whale had washed ashore southwest of Fort Clatsop near a Tillamook village (modern day Ecola State Park.) Because of adverse weather conditions, Clark and other members of the Corps did not reach the whale until January 8. Sacagawea, who insisted on seeing “that monstrous fish” and the ocean, accompanied them.

By the time the party reached the beach, only the whale’s bones remained. The Nehalem Indians who had gathered much of the whale’s remains were reluctant to part with any of it, but Clark did manage to obtain approximately 300 pounds of blubber to add to the food supply and a few gallons of rendered oil. Lewis sampled the blubber and found it “not unlike the fat of Poark tho’ the texture was more spongey and somewhat coarser. I had a part of it cooked and found it very pallitable and tender, it resembled the beaver or the dog in flavour.”

October 29, 1830

Trappers and Mountain Men - American Heritage Junior Library

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"In addition to his other talents, the mountain man had to be a master of buffalo hunting, for meat comprised almost one hundred per cent of his normal diet. Buffalo meat has been called the greatest meat man has ever fed on. He cracked the marrow bones to make "trapper's butter."

The mountain man was a rugged individualist of whom Washington Irving wrote, "You cannot pay a free trapper a greater compliment than to persuade him that you have mistaken him for an Indian." In fact, he virtually had to become an Indian in order to survive. "A turned leaf," wrote George Frederick Ruxton in Adventures in Mexico and the Rocky Mountains, blade of grass pressed down, the uneasiness of wild animals, the flight of birds, are all paragraphs to him written in Nature's legible hand." 


In addition to his other talents, the mountain man had to be a master of buffalo hunting, for meat comprised almost one hundred per cent of his normal diet--at least when in the buffalo country. As in everything else, he had to develop new techniques for "making meat." When hunting horseback, according to the traveler Rudolph Kurz, the hunters (those operating from fixed forts, at any rate) did not use long-barreled rifles because "they think the care required in loading them takes too much time unnecessarily when shooting at close range and, furthermore, they find rifle balls too small. The hunter chases buffaloes at full gallop, discharges his gun [a short- harreled shotgunk and reloads it with out slackening speed.


Buffalo meat has been called the greatest meat man has ever fed on. The mountain man usually boiled the outs from the hump, and roasted other pieces. He cracked the marrow bones to make "trapper's butter", or he used the marrow to make a fine thick soup.

September 17, 1832

Journal of Researches into the Natural History & Geology of the countries visited during the voyage round the world of H.M.S. Beagle

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Charles Darwin: I had now been several days without tasting anything besides meat: I did not at all dislike this new regimen; but I felt as if it would only have agreed with me with hard exercise. I have heard that patients in England, when desired to confine themselves exclusively to an animal diet, even with the hope of life before their eyes, have hardly been able to endure it. Yet the Gaucho in the Pampas, for months together, touches nothing but beef.

September 16th.—To the seventh posta at the foot of the Sierra Tapalguen. The country was quite level, with a coarse herbage and a soft peaty soil. The hovel was here remarkably neat, the posts and rafters being made of about a dozen dry thistle-stalks bound together with thongs of hide; and by the support of these Ionic-like columns, the roof and sides were thatched with reeds. We were here told a fact, which I would not have credited, if I had not had partly ocular proof of it; namely, that, during the previous night, hail as large as small apples, and extremely hard, had fallen with such violence as to kill the greater number of the wild animals. One of the men had already found thirteen deer (Cervus campestris) lying dead, and I saw their fresh hides; another of the party, a few minutes after my arrival, brought in seven more. Now I well know, that one man without dogs could hardly have killed seven deer in a week. The men believed they had seen about fifteen dead ostriches (part of one of which we had for dinner); and they said that several were running about evidently blind in one eye. Numbers of smaller birds, as ducks, hawks, and partridges, were killed. I saw one of the latter with a black mark on its back, as if it had been struck with a paving-stone. A fence of thistle-stalks round the hovel was nearly broken down, and my informer, putting his head out to see what was the matter, received a severe cut, and now wore a bandage. The storm was said to have been of limited extent: we certainly saw from our last night’s bivouac a dense cloud and lightning in this direction. It is marvellous how such strong animals as deer could thus have been killed; but I have no doubt, from the evidence I have given, that the story is not in the least exaggerated. I am glad, however, to have its credibility supported by the Jesuit Dobrizhoffer, who, speaking of a country much to the northward, says, hail fell of an enormous size and killed vast numbers of cattle: the Indians hence called the place Lalegraicavalca, meaning “the little white things.” Dr. Malcolmson, also, informs me that he witnessed in 1831 in India a hail-storm, which killed numbers of large birds and much injured the cattle. These hail-stones were flat, and one was ten inches in circumference, and another weighed two ounces. They ploughed up a gravel-walk like musket-balls, and passed through glass-windows, making round holes, but not cracking them.


Having finished our dinner of hail-stricken meat, we crossed the Sierra Tapalguen; a low range of hills, a few hundred feet in height, which commences at Cape Corrientes. The rock in this part is pure quartz; farther eastward I understand it is granitic. The hills are of a remarkable form; they consist of flat patches of table-land, surrounded by low perpendicular cliffs, like the outliers of a sedimentary deposit. The hill which I ascended was very small, not above a couple of hundred yards in diameter; but I saw others larger. One which goes by the name of the “Corral,” is said to be two or three miles in diameter, and encompassed by perpendicular cliffs between thirty and forty feet high, excepting at one spot, where the entrance lies. Falconer gives a curious account of the Indians driving troops of wild horses into it, and then by guarding the entrance keeping them secure. I have never heard of any other instance of table-land in a formation of quartz, and which, in the hill I examined, had neither cleavage nor stratification. I was told that the rock of the “Corral” was white, and would strike fire.


We did not reach the posta on the Rio Tapalguen till after it was dark. At supper, from something which was said, I was suddenly struck with horror at thinking that I was eating one of the favourite dishes of the country, namely, a half formed calf, long before its proper time of birth. It turned out to be Puma; the meat is very white, and remarkably like veal in taste. Dr. Shaw was laughed at for stating that “the flesh of the lion is in great esteem, having no small affinity with veal, both in colour, taste, and flavour.” Such certainly is the case with the Puma. The Gauchos differ in their opinion whether the Jaguar is good eating, but are unanimous in saying that cat is excellent.

September 17th.—We followed the course of the Rio Tapalguen, through a very fertile country, to the ninth posta. Tapalguen itself, or the town of Tapalguen, if it may be so called, consists of a perfectly level plain, studded over, as far as the eye can reach, with the toldos, or oven-shaped huts of the Indians. The families of the friendly Indians, who were fighting on the side of Rosas, resided here. We met and passed many young Indian women, riding by two or three together on the same horse: they, as well as many of the young men, were strikingly handsome,—their fine ruddy complexions being the picture of health. Besides the toldos, there were three ranchos; one inhabited by the Commandant, and the two others by Spaniards with small shops.


We were here able to buy some biscuit. I had now been several days without tasting anything besides meat: I did not at all dislike this new regimen; but I felt as if it would only have agreed with me with hard exercise. I have heard that patients in England, when desired to confine themselves exclusively to an animal diet, even with the hope of life before their eyes, have hardly been able to endure it. Yet the Gaucho in the Pampas, for months together, touches nothing but beef. But they eat, I observe, a very large proportion of fat, which is of a less animalised nature; and they particularly dislike dry meat, such as that of the Agouti. Dr. Richardson, also, has remarked, “that when people have fed for a long time solely upon lean animal food, the desire for fat becomes so insatiable, that they can consume a large quantity of unmixed and even oily fat without nausea:” this appears to me a curious physiological fact. It is, perhaps, from their meat regimen that the Gauchos, like other carnivorous animals, can abstain long from food. I was told that at Tandeel some troops voluntarily pursued a party of Indians for three days, without eating or drinking.


https://www.gutenberg.org/files/3704/3704-h/3704-h.htm#page123

Ancient History

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