National Geographic : 1919 Dec
REINDEER MEAT DRESSED AT NOME, ALASKA, FOR MARKET IN THE STATES The meat has a flavor between beef and mutton. The carcass is frozen with the hide on and shipped to Minneapolis or Seattle for distribution. It is estimated that the tundras of Alaska can support io,ooo,ooo reindeer. Using her arms, hands, and fingers as anatomical measuring sticks, the Eskimo seamstress makes the hood a perfect fit, and trims it with a fringe of wolverine. The finest traveling outfit contains two parkas-one worn with the fur in and with the hood trimmed with wolverine; the other with the fur out and trimmed with wolfskin. As frost does not adhere to wolverine fur, the latter is especially desirable to wear next to the face. The tiny hairy icicles formed on other fur from con gealed moisture of the breath are most uncomfortable. The longer hair of the wolfskin trimming blows across the face, thus protecting it from icy blasts. Both parkas are worn at the same time. GIRLS USE THEIR TEETH TO SHAPE BOOTS In northern Europe reindeer gloves are highly prized by reason of their warmth and because moisture does not injure them. They command three times the price, on the European market, of their *closest rival, the heavy mocha glove. The Alaskans do not use reindeer hide for gloves, but they do make from it mit tens and a warm boot or muk-luk. The soles of the muk-luk are ingeniously shaped to fit the foot by expert Eskimo girls, whose crimping tools are none other than their teeth. The Bureau of Education, acting under the Department of the Interior, first in troduced the reindeer into Alaska, not as a live-stock proposition, but primarily to assist the Eskimo (who, like the Indian, is the ward of the Interior Department), and the industry has been developed by that department. The Eskimos own approximately 70 per cent of all the deer in Alaska, and the Bureau of Education has been much handicapped by the smallness of the $5,00ooo annual appropriation granted in recent years to care for the industry, in struct herders, and administer general supervision over herds which cover a stretch of territory more than a thousand miles in extent. DEER BROUGHT TO ALASKA TO AID THE ESKIMO Congress would do well to double the amount, for it is safe to say that few, if any, appropriations made by that body bring as big returns as the "reindeer ap propriation" handled by the Bureau of Education.