The True Story of an Eskimo Hunter.
Photographs by Robert Flaherty. Text by Robert Flaherty and Edmund Carpenter.
David R Godine, Boston, 2004. 128 pp., 46 tritone illustrations and numerous line-drawings, 11x12".
Truth be told, this is one of the most fascinating adventure stories you'll ever read, told in the gentlemanly style of nineteenth century writers. Make a cup of coffee, turn on the fireside light, and escape to the wild, white North. In 1912, Robert Flaherty, the great pioneer filmmaker (who would later became known for his film Nanook of the North) chanced to see the landing of an overcrowded, leaking, sealskin-and-whale bone vessel outside the village of Cape Wolstenholme, on Hudson Bay, the northernmost edge of the North American frontier. The barely fifteen foot long boat, kept afloat by inflated seal bladders, held a hunter named Comock, his wife, their eleven children, and two dogs. When Flaherty and friends first spotted the boat, they were incredulous-the poor quality boat was barely afloat and the strange people were dressed, not in the seal or deerskin common to eskimos, but in the skins of the eider duck, feathers and all. Ten years earlier, Comock and his family had crossed the Hudson Bay's ice floes in search of a fabled island rich in caribou, walrus, and seal. They found their 'promised land'-Mansel Island, sixty miles west of Cape Wolstenholme. They were the island's only human inhabitants. The family, thanks to Comock's skill as a hunter, not only survived but thrived in one of the world's harshest environments. And then, a full decade later, they returned to their home amidst crises and hardships to tell their incredible tale. This is a classic of oral literature, full of cunning, ingenuity, and daring, Comock was originally published to critical acclaim in 1968. This new large format edition includes tritone illustrations, drawings, and several sections of previously omitted text.
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