A romantic Inuit, by Peter Freuchen

Peter Freuchen and Knud Rasmussen
Peter Freuchen and Knud Rasmussen – Photo: Arktisk Institut

The explorer and ethnologist Peter Freuchen (1886–1957) spent a large part of his life in Northern Greenland, exploring it in depth, trading with Inuits and making friends with them. He even married an Inuit girl, Navarana. Living in the most hostile environment in earth, Inuits held a very pragmatic point of view on many matters. In particular, they considered marriage as an economic and family association between a man and a woman, based on solidarity, but without any commitment to conjugal fidelity in relation to love or sex; often men lent their wives to other men, or borrowed their wives, or swapped wives with them, for purely utilitarian motives; they could also see their wives prostituting themselves to Europeans as a good business. Such exchanges were generally decided by husbands; as hunters feeding their family, they considered themselves as superior to women. Inuit men were basically macho, proud of their manly ways. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…