[Page 181] Title See A List of Names by Rudyard Kipling, published in the Sussex Edition. Kipling notes that:
‘…the places named in the story can be found on maps of the country inside the Arctic Circle … Look them up. ‘
[Page 181, lines 1-11] The People of the Eastern Ice four couplets, collected as a ‘Chapter Heading’ in Songs from Books, with the subscript Translation.
Philip Holberton notes: this song is sung by one of Kotuko’s Inuit tribe in the accompanying story. Other tribes have been corrupted by contact with the white man, but his People still live their traditional life ‘beyond the white man’s ken.’
[Page 181, line 15] in the skin see p. 182, line 8.
[Page 182, line 9] blubber-lamp The lamp is a shallow bowl of soapstone, uusually shaped like the segment of a circle, with the wick stretching along the straight side. The wick is made of dried moss, or the
white, tufted seed-heads of arctic cotton-grass (Erioporum schevchzeri) and is carefully arranged along the straight edge of the oil to provide a bright steady flame. Soapstone is a soft, easily carved, grey-green mineral, consisting mainly of talc (Steatite).
Blubber is the thick layer of fat underneath the skin of seals and other marine mammals, from which a clear-burning oil is easily rendered.
[Page 182, line 28] whalebone or baleen refers to the series of flexible, horny plates grown in place of teeth in the upper jaws of the larger whales. They are finely fringed on their inner sides to act as a filter for the plankton on which such whales feed. The very long and flexible baleen from the arctic Bowhead Whale (Baleana myeticetus) was formerly used in the corset and umbrella industries beofre synthetic materials became available.
[Page 184, line 10] Labrador stretches from the northern tip of Newfoundland to the entrance of Hudson Strait at 60° N 65° W.
[Page 184, line 10] Hudson’s Strait Hudson Strait leads from Davis Strait in the Atlantic to Hudson Bay, Canada.
[Page 184, line 12] Melville Peninsula forms the western shore of Foxe Basin, north of Hudson Bay, from 66° to 70° N, between 82° and 87° W.
[Page 184, line 13] Fury and Heda Straits Fury and Heda Strait: the strait between the northern end of Melville Peninsula and Baffin island, named after HMS Fury and HMS Heda under Commander William Edward Parry and Lieutenant John Francis Lyon, which wintered at Igloolik at the eastern end of the strait in 1822.
[Page 184, line 14] Bylot’s Island Bylot Island, north of Baffin Island, forms the south-eastern entrance to Lancaster Sound from Baffin Bay.
[Page 184, line 14] Lancaster Sound North of Baffin Island.
[Page 184, line 17] North Devon Is this a memory of Westward Ho! ? Devon Island lies lies north of Lancaster Sound from roughly 74° N to 77° N, between 80° and 97° W.
[Page 184, line 18] Ellesmere Land Ellesmere Island lies north of Devon Island from 77° to nearly 83° N, between 62° and 92° W. Its northern extremity is only 450 miles from the North Pole.
[Page 184, line 21] Inuit — what you call an Esquimau Strictly speaking Kadlu was an Inuk, which is the singular form of ‘Inuit’ (meaning ‘The People’). However, ‘Inuit’ is widely used for both singular and plural, and also as an adjective.
‘Eskimo’ was widely used in the Canadian Arctic in the 1950s and 1960s but has now been replaced ny ‘Inuit’ , especially after the eastern arctic territory of Nuravut was created in April 1999, and the Inuit became largely responsible for running their own affairs. Note, however, that the Alaskan native peoples still call themselves ‘Eskimos’.
[Page 184, line 23] Tununirmiut This means ‘The People of the Country’.
[Page 184, line 25] Navy Board Inlet between Baffin Island and the Eastern side of Bylot Island.
[Page 185, line 14] offing What can be seen of the sea from the shore.
[Page 185, line 27] basking Both the Ringed Seal (Phoca Rispeda) and the Bearded Seal (Erignathus barbatus) bask on the fast ice and pack ice but never on the land.
[Page 185, line 29] reindeer A large arctic and sub-arctic deer: the North American species is known as caribou.
[Page 185, line 29] salmon the arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) which is a member of the family salmonidae.
[Page 186, line 3] musk-ox (Ovibus muscatus) is more closely related to sheep and goats than to cattle. Musk-ox range in arctic North America between latitude 64° N and the shores of the Arctic Sea.
[Page 186, line 5] dog-sleighs The sleigh originally consisted of two side-runners, obtained from driftwood, joined by wooden cross-pieces secured by raw-hide lashings. The runners were shod with pieces of ivory or whale-bone (real bone, not baleen, see the note above on page 182 line 28), held on by wooden or ivory pegs.
Nowadays sleigh-runners are made from heavy hardwood boards, imported by traders, screwed into place. These are then coated with frozen mud and glazed with ice to provide a smooth running surface.
[Page 186, line 6] woman-boats a ‘woman-boat’ is an umiok, a general-purpose craft used by both sexes. A ‘man’s boat’ is a kayak, a light wooden framework covered with sealskin.
[Page 186, line 14] soap-stone See the note on page 182, line 9.
[Page 186, line 18] narwhal horn The Narwhal is a small arctic whale, seldom seen south of 60° N. Its most characteristic feature is a long spirally-twisted tusk, which projects through the upper lip of the male. It is the left incisor, the right incisor remaining embedded in the upper jaw, although in a few males it will erupt as a tusk. Females normally lack tusks.
Narwhal tusks may have been used for tent-poles and harpoon shafts, but they were, and are still, far more valuable as articles of trade.
[Page 186, line 19] musk-ox teeth The estimate of their value (‘as valuable as pearls’) is open to doubt.
[Page 186, line 21] Exeter and Cumberland Sounds In south-eastern Baffin Island.
[Page 186, line 24] Bhendy Bazaar Not identified, possibly a memory of Calcutta.
[Page 187, line 9] Aurora Borealis ‘The Northern Lights’, an electrical phenomenon causing spectacular light displays in northern latitudes.
[Page 187, line 12] kit-fox More properly the Arctic Fox (Alopex lagopus). Found in the arid central plains of North America.
[Page 187, line 20] Spirit of the Reindeer The Inuit formerly thought of every stick and stone, cloud, beast and bird, as having a life and soul. To them nothing in nature simply just happened: it was always done by or through some spirit. See page 198, line 15 to page 199, line 8.
[Page 188, line 1] in the buckle See page 194, line 24.
[Page 189, line 8] button and loop i.e. a toggle. The dog’s trace is attached to the harness in the small of its back or on its rump, and does not go under either of its front legs.
[Page 190, line 10] pitu See page 188, line 20 for an explanation in the text.
[Page 190, line 15] from the back-rest Not in the First English Edition of the Second Jungle Book.
[Page 191, line 3] An-gutivaun See the verses at pp. 217-8.
[Page 191, line 24] Arctic Wolf The wolf of North America (Canis lupus).
[Page 192, line 28] Bylot’s Island was called ‘Bellot’s Island’ here in the First English Edition, but ‘Bylot’s’ on p. 184.
[Page 193, line 16] little skin hunting boats the kayak is light enough to be slid easily out of the water onto the ice, so that crushing is unlikely.
[Page 194, line 2] wolverine (gulo gulo) one of the larger members of the weasel family.
[Page 195, line 18] the light in the boat-shaped lamps would be two feet high This does not appear to make sense. The moss or cotton-grass wick produces a flame unlikely to be more then two inches (5 cm) high. A wick might be two feet (60 cm) long in a large lamp, if oil was plentiful, but a shorter length would be more likely.
[Page 197, line 7] hydrophobia Rabies.
[Page 197, line 9] dog-sickness Canine hysteria, as a result of cold and hunger.
[Page 197, line 21] the dogs knew it How did they know they could be eaten ? Presumably they were disturbed by the general atmosphere of fear and foreboding among the tribe.
[Page 198, line 16] hydrophobiaevery rock and boulder See the note above on page 187 line 20.
[Page 199, line 12] tornait is the plural of tornaq which is explained on page 98.
[Page 200, line 16] Great Bear The prominent constellation Ursa Major, which has various other names, including ‘The Plough’ and ‘The Big Dipper’. The two stars furthest from the handle are known as ‘the pointers’ because a line drawn through them points to the Pole Star.
[Page 201, line 4] flick like a flag It is a characteristic of the Aurora Borealis that its waves of light resemble curtains moving in a strong wind.
[Page 203, line 13] snow house or Igloo It is said to be possible to build one quickly with blocks skilfully cut from the snow, and for them to be impervious to the weather when completed. This one would be comparatively small, and without the exterior tunnel mentioned on page 82 line 20.
[Page 203, lines 17-22] a Thing … quivered a mirage, caused by the refraction of light in layers of air of varying temperature and density (‘hazy’, line 19). The object could have been some distance away.
[Page 203, line 24] Quiquern a phantom dog with six or eight legs described on p. 204. Parry’s journals and Lyon’s private journal, both published in 1824, are likely sources, and Kipling may alo have had access to accounts of whaling in Cumberland Sound which employed many Inuit in the hunts.
[Page 205, line 20] floe A detached portion of an ice-sheet.
[Page 206, line 11] Baffin’s Bay Baffin Bay lies between Baffin island and Greenland, at 75° N 70° W.
[Page 206, line 13] Bylot’s Island See the note above on page 192, line 28.
[Page 206, line 14] Lancaster Sound See the note above on page 184, line 15.
[Page 208, line 13] Melville Bay in north-west Greenland (76° N 62° W) produces large numbers of ice-bergs, which drift westwards across northern Baffin Bay, then southwards down the east coast of Baffin Island.
[Page 215, line 27] Ellesmere Land See the note on page 184, line 18 above.
[Page 216, line 3] Lake Netilling at Nikosiring In Baffin Island at 66° 58′ N 70° 50′ W.
[Page 216, line 5] Imigen Imigen Island in northern Cumberland Ssound, at 65° 58′ N 66° 57′ W.
[Page 216, line 11] Ceylon Now called Sri Lanka.
[Page 216, line 12] Cingalese or Singhalese, a native of Sri Lanka.
[Page 216, line 14] Colombo The capital of Sri Lanka.
[Pages 217 and 218] “Angutivaun Taina (“Angutivun Tina” in the First English Edition”) Six four-line verses with a heading explaing that this is ‘a very free translation’ of “The Song of the Returning Hunter”, see page 191, line 3. It is included in “Songs from Books” with a shorter heading.
[F. A. U.]
©F A Underwood 2007 All rights reserved