Darkness prevailed everywhere. Beside her igloo, a woman sat in the windsinging softly to herself while beating the snow from her husband's seal fur clothing. Her voice and mind drifted with the soft tones of the nearby kooa player. Her song was about her work, but her unfocused eyes revealed a growing distance. The darkness seemed to confine her, and the singing voice seemed not to be her own.
The realization struck! "I am dead, or at least the others believe I am",she thought. Already she hears the pounding of the tribe's hands packing down the snow on her icy grave as they sing their song of farewell. The rhythm of death sounds in her ears.
She feels cold no more as her worst fears are realized. She has been sentto the "Land of the Crestfallen", where only the spirits of poor hunters and badly tatooed women spent eternity snapping at butterflies. But wait! Even worse! Instead of butterflies, the dreaded Arctic locust swarmed into the evening air devouring all in their path.
The men in the tribe had become aware of the woman's hysterical sufferingand joined in a circle to sing a chant of releasement. "Chukaroq, chukaroq, chukaroq, ei", they sang, until finally the woman once again returned to beating the snow mindlessly from her husbands clothing, virtually unaware of what had happened as her song of work faded into the wind.
WOMEN CANNOT GO OUT IN MOONLIGHT. ESKIMOS BELIEVE THE MOON ISMALE AND WILL IMPREGNATE WOMEN.
SOME NEWBORN INFANTS ARE KILLED SECRETLY, DRIED OUT, AND PLACEDIN A BAG WHICH IS WORN BY A PERSON OR STUFFED INTO A KAYAK NOSE. THIS IS SAID TO IMPROVE HUNTING.
A MENSTRUATING WOMAN IS NOT ALLOWED TO GO OUTSIDE WITHOUT FIRSTBATHING IN THE URINE OF A CHILE.
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"Arctic Hysteria" as written by Homer Flynn Hardy Winfred Fox
Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
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