Page:Eskimo Life.djvu/235

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191
JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS, DRUM-DANCES, ETC.

or Herrnhut communities, of which there are several in the country, are forbidden to dance, and even to look at others dancing. If they do, they are excommunicated by the missionaries, or put down in their black books.

Among other amusements, church-going takes a prominent place. They find the psalm-singing extremely diverting, and the women in particular are very much addicted to it.

The women, however, find shopping at least as entertaining. As the time for opening the stores approaches, they are to be seen, even in the winter snowstorms, standing in groups along the walls and waiting for the moment when the doors of Paradise shall be swung wide and they can rush in. Most of them do not want to buy anything, but they while away the hours during which the store is open, partly in examining all the European articles of luxury, especially stuffs and shawls, partly in flirting with the storekeepers, and partly in exchanging all sorts of more or less refined witticisms and 'larking' with each other.

The rush is particularly great every summer, after the arrival of the ships with cargoes of new wares from Europe. Then the stores are literally in a state of siege the whole day long. Like their European sisters, the Eskimo women are fond of