A Canadian Family

Genealogy & Vintage Postcards

An Eskimo Family, Greenland (Featured)

Postcard: An Eskimo Family, Greenland

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Transcript: Text on back of card

AN ESKIMO FAMILY, GREENLAND – This race of people are considered one of the most hardiest of the human family. They get their subsistence from hunting by sea, using for the purpose skin-boats where the sea is open, and dog sledges on the ice. From the skin, blubber and flesh of the seal and the cetaceous animals they procure clothes, light and food. They rarely withdraw more than twenty miles from the seashore. The Eskimo dog is a hardy and powerful animal, in form resembling the shepherd dog. He is used by the natives and explorers as a beast of burden.

Message for my Grade 6 students: Please don’t forget – in our classroom we refer to the original inhabitants of the Arctic as Inuit (not Eskimo) and we use the term ethnic group (not race).


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April 2, 2009 - Posted by | . |

12 Comments »

  1. Evelyn,

    You have a positively amazing collection of post cards! Thank you for sharing with all of us.

    Lucie

    Comment by Lucie LeBlanc Consentino | April 2, 2009 | Reply

  2. The front and back of this card are just marvelous! My sons jaw will drop when I show him. He reads everything he can get his hands on about the Inuit people. I’m glad that you added the special note to your students. That is something important for Noah to read too!

    Comment by Marie | April 3, 2009 | Reply

  3. A snapshot in time. Interesting facts on the card, but interesting too is the dated way it was written.

    Comment by Sheila | April 3, 2009 | Reply

  4. Are the terms “Eskimo” and “race” offensive in some way?

    Comment by Chris Overstreet | April 3, 2009 | Reply

  5. Hi Chris,
    The word “Eskimo” was coined by the Algonquin Natives and then adopted by the first European explorers. Its exact translation would be “raw meat eaters” and it was apparently a derogatory term. I don’t think present-day people use it as a derogatory term but the Arctic peoples of Canada have requested to be known as “Inuit”,
    The word “race” is not derogatory in and of itself, but one of the themes in our social studies courses is that the word is a social construct. For instance, terms such as Black or Coloured or White have different meanings in the southern U.S. and South Africa, and different meanings twenty years ago and today. In some places, a few drops of non-white blood have been all that is needed to be considered legally Black. Since the term is so loaded it’s useful to have the alternative “ethnic group”.
    My students and I are learning to use the term ethnic group to reflect the notion of possible blood bonds but also a shared history, culture, religion etc.
    Thank you for giving me a chance to reflect again on this important issue.
    Evelyn in Montreal

    Comment by evelynyvonnetheriault | April 3, 2009 | Reply

  6. Beautiful and very interesting postcard! You explanation about Eskimo and race is excellent. Thank you for sharing another PFF!

    Comment by Muse Swings | April 3, 2009 | Reply

  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Yes the vignette is real, I arranged it. Your postcards are very interesting.
    Judy

    Comment by Judy | April 3, 2009 | Reply

  8. Interesting card and explanation of terms.
    Regarding your comment about Postcard Scavenger Hunt–it lasts all month and you can link an older post. I couldn’t find your “Spring” card, but a card from last week would be fine. And this one would have been good for the “Dog” hunt. You can still link it or one of your other dog cards if you want to.

    Note from Evelyn:
    This is Postcardy’s url:
    http://postcardy.blogspot.com/

    Comment by postcardy | April 4, 2009 | Reply

  9. What an interesting card, and history lesson! I am learning the coolest things through PFF(better late than never, I guess 🙂 I can see getting a bit obsessed with postcards – especially since I’m visiting my home town this week

    Comment by Margo | April 7, 2009 | Reply

  10. A very nice card.It has very nice shaded colors and the fact that the dogs are also shown is interesting.

    Evelyn in Montreal: The tent was what first attracted to me this card because it will go well with your article on Inuit shelter – but I agree that the dogs are fascinating!

    Comment by Eric | April 9, 2009 | Reply

  11. I like your post card with the tent and the dog sleds!!!
    I find it very colorful!

    Note from Evelyn in Montreal: Colour isn’t something we really associate with the Arctic, but I think everything looks colourful when it’s set against a white or muted background.

    Comment by George | April 9, 2009 | Reply

  12. I collect postcards so its interesting because i have never seen an Inuit postcard so seeing this one it was really cool. I didn’t even know that the Inuit had postcards.

    Note from Evelyn in Montreal: I’m not sure, but it’s possible that the postcards were being made by European companies for visiting tourists. However soon I will be posting some Iroquois tourist postcards from Kahnawake.

    Comment by Kayla | April 9, 2009 | Reply


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