It came as a shock when Dr. Baregard, Greenland's only dentist, called that
land "paradise." The old geography books tell us that Eric the Red, who discovered
Greenland, give that country a "false boom" by giving it such an alluring name.
Truly there is little verdure there. No trees, no grass, no flowers, except
in the very southern part, where lovely blue lupines and yellow poppies grow.
The Greenlanders lead a simple life - the life which always makes for greater
happiness. There is little struggle to "keep up with the Joneses'" because the
Joneses (or their Eskimo counterpart) live in the The hospitals, painted red,
the white churches and school houses are the most pretentious buildings. The
teachers are Danish, and of course the Danish language is taught in the schools.
Most of the Greenlanders have been taught about Jesus, and have accepted Christianity
with child-like faith. The churches are all Lutheran - because practically all
Denmark is Lutheran. Their language is quite interesting. Dr. Baregard told
me it is a poly-synthetic language - which made me look at him with the vacant
stare of an ignoramus. But he graciously loaned me his book, which explains
all. The Greenlandish (and outlandish) sentence starts with the most important
word; for instance, "kayak," which is qajaq" in their language. If they want
to express some simple thought about the kayak, their word, which is really
a sentence, is like this: "qajartutdlarqigsorasuangortipatigut." Let's cling
to our good old English. But the thing that makes the Greenlandish language
unique is the fact that they have no word for "war." They never heard of war
- until our American ships came up there to protect them. And that is why Dr.
Baregard is looking forward to his return, in June, to the land which he calls
Dr. Baregard's hobby is color photography - in lantern slides, and moving picture.
Where would he find brilliant color in cold, drab Greenland (except the extreme
south)? In the women's clothes. How they love color! I did not see the movies,
but the lantern slides and Mrs. Baregard's souvenirs (which I mentioned last
week, but the typesetter didn't) show the most amazing gift of harmonizing colors.
The Eskimos from Alaska who visited Cleveland wore the drab brown suits and
shapeless dress, made of animal skins without benefit of the dyer's skill. The
Greenlander women wear the most beautiful suits. The waist is trimmed with all-bead
collar, or Bertha, at least eight inches wide. The smart, well-fitting pants
have bands of intricate embroidery, done with beautifully dyed skins, cut to
less than 1/16 of an inch in width. Their trim boots, coming above the knees,
are made of the strongest skins, also gorgeously embroidered. The married women
wear blue boots; the unmarried, white. The Danish women have brought over some
modern hair-dressing ideas; and I want to tell you that some of those young
Greenland lassies are downright pretty. Now they must get their beads and all
imported accessories from the U.S. and Canada.
Mrs. Baregard, the dentist's sister-in-law, has charming souvenirs, in the
form of curious ivory figures, made from the walrus tusk; bead doilies; moccasins,
made of dog skin, with the white hair inside; embroidered belts; and a lovely
bag, made of sealskin. Now I must close - long before I'm finished with my story.
I'll just insert the line left out of last week's "poem" - not that it is important,
but makes sense, anyway, "While the drill-shaped road scraper" (Cuts a cute
Florence B. Taylor
Next - 3/26/42 - False Teeth. Odds and Ends
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