Across Arctic America: Narrative of the Fifth Thule Expedition.

From ABEBooks, 9/4/17: Between 1921 and 1924, Knud Rasmussen led a small band of colleagues in a journey of investigation across the top of North America. The full scientific report of that 20,000-mile trek by dog sled from Greenland to Siberia, known to history as the Firth Thule Expedition, fills ten volumes. This single volume, Across Arctic America, is Rasmussen’s own reworking and condensation of his two-volume popular account written in Danish, and gives the essence of his experience of the Arctic and its people. It was the people who most captivated the Greenland-born Rasmussen, who had become a virtual adopted son to the Eskimos of the far northern district still known by the name of the trading post he established there, Thule. His first four Thule Expeditions extended the limits of the known world in Greenland solely, but Rasmussen s Fifth Thule Expedition demonstrated the unity of the Eskimo world from the Atlantic Ocean to the Chukchi Sea, proving the people all shared the same basic language and culture.

In effect a summary of the expedition, compressing the narrative and stories from the more scientific reports of the expedition. From 1921 to 1924 the expedition worked its way from Baffin Land to the Eastern Cape of Siberia, exploring the origins of the Eskimo race, its myths and stories, its spiritual life and its everyday hardships. In addition to Eskimo assistants, the expedition consisted of Peter Freuchen, Therkel Mathiassen, Kaj Birket-Smith, Helge Bangsted, Jacob Olson, and Peder Pedersen (Captain of its vessel, the Sea King). He sees a great deal of homogeneity over this 3000 mile track, emphasizing only the distinction of the land culture (mainly caribou) and the sea culture (open sea fishing), both of which ranged widely as hunting conditions dictated, but developed quite different cultures and habits. The work is a treasure trove of stories about Eskimos, as well as ethnological descriptions.