National Geographic : 1940 Jul
The National Geographic Magazine Captain Bob Is Still Mother's Boy Every summer before starting his cruise to Greenland, he visits her at her cottage in Brigus, Newfoundland (page 114). She is now 88 years old, yet retains a youthful spirit and reads her Bible without aid of glasses. Next to her explorer son, her pride is her lovely garden, which she tends herself. been won. Peary said that on his arrival in Greenland few Eskimo men had a knife and few women a needle-a steel needle, of course he meant. Bone needles they fashioned for themselves from animal bones. Few of these isolated Cape York, Green land, Eskimos had kayaks, or skin boats, and the man who had a spear or a harpoon shaft made of a single piece of wood was rich. But when Peary said goodbye to Cape York and his Eskimo friends, he left them almost miraculously wealthy-for Cape York. There were knives and needles of steel, and almost every man and half-grown boy had a kayak. They also had seal spears and sledges and wood for lance making. The wealth that Peary scattered in tools produced other wealth, until the Cape York Eskimos were im proved in every phase of their lives. They had all the food they could use; their better weapons saw to that. They had many more dogs and better dogs. And the improved diet showed, in the years during which Peary took ob servations, a marked decrease in the death rate and a sharp rise in the birth rate. All of this Peary noted with pride and a warm heart, for he loved these sturdy, in dependent men of his North. White Men's Ways and the Eskimos What, I often won der, would the great Peary say if he could observe the Greenland Eskimos we see each summer when the boys of the Morrissey fare forth again along the water highways sailed by him? In place of the old fashioned stone igloos of the early expedi tions, he would see Eskimo houses of wood. In them he would hear the blare of the radio and the monotonous droning of the gramophone. Where, forty years ago, Peary saw Eskimos eating a soup of seal meat and seal innards, with a porridge composed of the ground bones of animals-happily smacking their lips and rubbing their bellies-today he would see them in store clothes dropping in at the trading post to buy the white man's tea and coffee and imported biscuit! Instead of the old animal-skin boots, pa tiently sewed by Eskimo women from skins their men had taken from the animals they had killed, the Admiral would see his brown friends pull on knee-high rubber boots on a wet day, or store-made leather boots for dry weather.