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manner, was a scene of their location, and that traces might there be found of them. Although Captain Graah, however, has not discovered the descendants of the Icelandic colonists, he has in the course of his travels added very considerably to our geographical knowledge-while his adventures, his descriptions, and his intercourse with the natives, are extremely interesting and valuable. To some of these incidents and descriptions, we shall now call the attention of our readers. It is proper and due to the gallant adventurer to preface his adventures, by mentioning that his companions and attendants, one by one, deserted him, till at length, and long before his return, he was left almost alone, a single family and some few others only, who, in the course of his adventures, became attached to him, following him wherever he went. The calm resolution, however, which he uniformly maintained amidst the dangers and privations to which he was exposed, deserve the highest admiration, while the manly, unadorned, and self-evidently faithful current of his narrative is not less becoming and agreeable.

It was exactly a year after the expedition had left Copenhagen, that it sailed from Nennortalik for the eastern coast of Greenland, consisting of four Danes, and a number of Greenlanders. In the course of the voyage along the coast, and among the adjacent islands, they sometimes fell in with tribes or families of the natives, and witnessed their peculiar manners and practices. In one place where the captain went on shore and visited this peculiar race in their tents, he was treated with the utmost civility, part of its demonstration being to help him to a mess of bear's fat and dried seal's flesh. His own tent here when he remained at home, was always filled with visitors, who would continue for hours to gaze at his prints. But the chief wonder to them was, that when they held to their ears his books, they did not hear them speak in a whisper, for they were persuaded such secret communications were made to their owner.

One morning Captain Graah heard the tambourine of the Greenlanders, which was made of a wooden hoop, and a piece of oiled skin tightened over it; and to the music of this rude instrument the party vigorously danced, but in a manner, which, he says, no one without seeing it, could fully comprehend. His description, however, is intelligible and good.

One of the party holds the instrument which the Captain has denominated a tambourine, and

"Taking his station in the centre, while the rest form a ring about him, and throwing off his jacket, strikes with a small wooden stick, extemporising, after a brief prelude, a song, the subject of which is the chase of the seal, or some other to them important incident or event, the whole assembly joining, at the end of every strophe, in the chorus of Eia-eia-a! Eia-eia-a!' During this performance he makes unceasingly a sort of

curtseying motion, and writhes and twists his head and eyes in the most laughable style imaginable. Nothing, however, can equal in absurdity the movements of his nether man, with which he describes entire circles, nay, figures of. This tambourine-dance is in high esteem among the Greenlanders. When about to take part in it, they put on their best holiday apparel, and the women take as much pride in performing it with what they consider grace, as our young belles in dancing a quadrille or a galoppe. It serves, however, not merely the purpose of amusement, but constitutes at the same time a sort of forum, before which all transgressors of their laws and customs are, in a manner, cited, and receive their merited reproof. When a Greenlander, to wit, thinks he has sustained a wrong or injury at another's hands, he composes a satirical song, which all his friends straightway learn by heart, and then makes known among the inhabitants of the place his intention of bringing the matter to arbitration. On the day appointed, the parties, with their partizans, assemble and form the ring, which done, the plaintiff, singing and dancing as above described, states his case, taking occasion to retaliate on his adversary, by as much ridicule and sarcasm as he can devise, to which, when he has finished, the other, singing and dancing in his turn, replies: and thus the cause is pleaded, till both have nothing more to say, on which the spectators pronounce sentence at once, without appeal, and the adversaries part as good friends as if nothing had happened to disturb the harmony of their friendship. In this way the debtor is sometimes reminded of his debt, and the evil-doer receives a just rebuke for his misconduct. In truth, a better system for the prevention and punishment of offences, one at least better adapted to the disposition of the people among whom it obtains, could scarcely be devised, as there is nothing of which the Greenlander is so much afraid as to be despised or laughed at by his countrymen. This apprehension, there can be no doubt, deters many among them from the commission of offences, and it is to be regretted that the missionaries, losing sight of this peculiarity in their temper, have abolished this national dance on the West coast."

It must also be said in its behalf that a better piece-making system has seldom prevailed in more formal courts of law, where, however decisive may be the judgment pronounced, and however strong against all appeals, the litigants generally depart more dissatisfied and wrathful than ever. But in Westminster, we fear, where the pleaders are hired, it would be difficult either to obtain on all occasions active dancers or witty poets. Fancy such men as and -- writhing and twisting their nether parts according to the figure of eight! Why, even Captain Graah, if a witness, would be obliged to confess, that the most laughable style of such performances is not to be discovered near to the Polar circle. We are not sure that his opinion is even to be assented to, when he says, it is to be regretted that the missionaries have banished the dance in question from the west coast of Greenland. Is it not more than probable that gross superstitions and reprehensible practices may have been so interwoven with the national pastime, and so strongly

perpetuated by it, that without compromising that poor and ignorant people's greatest interests, it was unsafe to allow them to adhere to the custom? But to proceed with our author, we find him a point of land named Kornouk, describing two huts, in which were a number of skulls and skeletons, besides several open untenanted graves, the starving inhabitants during a famine having prepared, with their own hands, a last resting place for their bodies. Afterwards we shall see that these singular people are in the practice of acting in anticipation of death with wonderful composure and resolution, indeed with appaling apathy, during the most alarming, affecting, and precious moments of human existence.

At the approach of winter, the expedition having by this time decreased in numbers, fixed their winter quarters at Nukarbik, not daring to venture farther southward. The sort of accommodation which the author and his few attendants enjoyed throughout the dreary months that ensued, and the manner in which they passed their time, it will be best to give in his own words.

"I had expected to find on my arrival at Nukarbik, our winter-dwelling ready to be roofed; but nothing whatever had been done to it. Ernenek, with his own and three other families, had quietly taken up his quarters in one of the houses, and left me, my Kajakker, and two Nennortalik women, to manage as we might for ourselves. There was of course nothing left for us but to set to work immediately, and this we did accordingly next morning; the earth, however, was already frozen so hard, besides being covered with snow, that we got on but slowly with our labour. The snow and cold continued, till at length, being absolutely unable to endure living longer in a tent, we were necessitated to move in, notwithstanding that our house was very far from being ready. The house where we now were destined to spend five tedious months, was about four yards long, by nearly as many broad. We divided it into three compartments, one of which I appropriated; one of my Nennortalik women, with her gallant the clown Minegeoak, the second; and the other with Black Dorothy the third. My boatwomen settled themselves, as far as circumstances permitted, quite in Greenland fashion: they ate, drank, slept, and worked upon their brix, cooked their mcals over their lamps, devoured the vermin which they caught about their beds and persons, sang psalms, laughed, cried, jested, scolded, arranged their beads, put on and took off their finery, and ever and anon anointed their hair with their urinary unguent. Ningeroak's whole employment was to beat the tambourine and sing songs, save now and then, when, with imperturbable gravity, he would deliver speeches, fragments, probably of sermons, picked up by him in his travels. The most amusing part of his exhibition was that, whenever he lost the thread of his discourse, he would begin counting in German, ein zwei, drey, &c., as far as sechs und dreyssig, where he would close with a solemnity of pathos which seemed to make a deep impression on his hearers. For my part, I employed the time of our detention here in learning the Greenland language, and constructing a chart of that part of the East coast I had explored. For the rest, I was indisposed the greater part of the

winter, so as to be unable to turn my attention to anything beyond this."

It is, of course, impossible that any one who has not visited the Polar Regions, can form an adequate conception of the severity of a winter in Greenland, or of the scenes that meet the eye. A country, the whole interior of which is one entire field of ice and snow, only varied by some stupendous elevations where the snow cannot adhere, must present a style of monotony, that to the organ of sight and to the imagination is awfully dreary and grand. Towards the shores again, rocky masses, mountains, and glaciers everywhere occur, unrelieved for numbers of miles even by so much of a beach as to allow a tent to be pitched, while the barriers that are thus girding or fencing the shore are ever and anon calving huge ice-bergs into the troubled deep, to the imminent peril of all who approach these shores. It is only in some parts, particularly on the western coast, that a less savage land near the beach prevails, affording anything like convenience for shelter, and on the shores of the numerous inlets, which being frequently contiguous to one another, enlarge the spaces for accommodation. Our author, however, was not located in one of these most favourable situations, nor indeed in the milder regions of those inhospitable shores, so that we may be satisfied that his was no feather-bed life of it. Indeed such is the severity of the climate, and the untoward nature of the oceans and mountains of snow and ice between Cape Farewell and Dannebrog's Island, that a population not exceeding four hundred and eighty, find means of a livelihood in all that stretch of district, while those that live farther to the north are sometimes driven to butcher and live upon one another by the agonies of starvation.

It appears from Captain Graah's account, that there is much difference in the exterior features and conformation of the Greenlanders on the Eastern and Western Coasts, when compared with the Esquimaux. Still he judges, from certain common points of a striking character, that they are all descended from the same stock, viz. that of the Esquimaux. The following are some particulars descriptive of the manners and the dress of the Eastlanders, of whom his work particularly treats.

"The women tie their hair in a large knot at the crown of the head, and cover it with a scrap of an old hide: or, if possessed of one, a handsome ribbon. They are, moreover, curiously tattooed on the hands, arms, chin, and breast. I have seen seen two men with their arms similarly tattooed. In their ears the women wear a small triangular-shaped piece of lead, and pendent from this, a string of beads half an ell long; while another of the same kind dangles from their forehead over the face.

"Their clothing is composed of seals'-skins; and the dress of both sexes is the same, with the exception of some slight difference in the cut of the VOL. III. (1837.) no. I.


jacket, that of the women having two skirts to it, in place of one. For the rest, the jacket, which is usually made of white skins, with the hairy side inwards, is sloped like a short petticoat, or shirt, closed, however, in front, and with a hood to draw over the head. Over this jacket the men wear, when at sea, or on the ice, another one, waterproof, made of seals'-gut. In summer, when at home, or in winter, when in their heated earth-huts, a scanty pair of breeches constitutes their entire dress. Their boots, the sole of which is shaped like a skate, are of waterproof skin. Those of the women, look like cavalry-boots. For great occasions they wear white ones, with a border of bears'-skin above the knee. All their articles of dress are edged with dog or seals'-skin, and their jackets have collars of the same, or of bear or foxes'-skin, or sometimes ravens' feathers,"

We shall now confine ourselves to a few notices concerning the habits, the resources, and the superstitions of the Eastlandersabridging some parts, and citing others in the author's precise words.

As to their marriages, these take place at an early age, the parties being generally of equal standing as to years. Lucre, taken in the sense of hoarded property, is not an object of ambition. Indeed, of such there can be but little in existence amongst these unsophisticated people. Fitness for enduring toil, beauty, and above all, chastity are, the chief recommendations of the female; and dexterity in seal-hunting, and such like feats, those of the male. A man seldom has two wives, and harmony is the prevailing state of wedded life with them-jealousy being the only thing to disturb it, which, for the most part is set to rights by a box on the ear. If the case be very serious the pair separate, which requires no other formality, than, after the husband has for some time worn a surly face, for him to absent himself for a few days. The hint is enough; the wife packs up and returns to her friends or family, taking the children with her. The manner in which these people rear and love their offspring, deserves to be quoted.

"The affection the Eastlanders have for their children is excessive, and they that desire to conciliate the former, cannot do so as effectually in any other way as by fondling the latter. Woe, on the other hand, to him that would rashly venture to chastise, or even to speak angrily to, one of these urchins; and it is, therefore, a happy circumstance, that noth withstanding the little care bestowed on them, they conduct themselves so well as seldom to provoke reproof. It is a prominent feature in the character of the East Greenlanders, that they look on begging, especially for food, as a disgrace. Rather than endure this degradation, I verily believe they would steal.

Children, until they reach their fourth or fifth year, are carried about by their mother wherever she goes, upon her back. While infants, they are cross and peevish to a degree, and scratch and strike their parents: offences for which they are never punished: particularly the boys, who, even at that early age, are looked upon with a degree of respect, as the future masters and supporters of a family. As soon as a boy can creep

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