Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/282

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


f?50 ?4ccount.of Danish Discoveries on the discoveries of Captain Danell, for not only does it show the islands of Hoidslen and Mmtelost Skib, but M. Graah has even discovered from the point whence he returned, three of the five islands of Danell. The only circumstance which appears to fayour the old opinion respecting the situation of that colony, is the phy- sical character of the men whom M. Graah has found there. They have little analogy with the Esquimaux, and resemble, on the con- trary, the Scandinavians of EurOpe. They have neither the fiat heads, short broad persons, nor the flabby fatness of the Esqui- maux, but are for the most part above the middle stature, having the European form of head and expression of countenance. Their persons are rather meagre, but nervous, and finely formed, without any appearance of weakness; and they are more active and robust than the inhabitants of the west coast. The colour of the skin of the women and children is quite as clear and pure as that of Euro- peans, and they have often brown hair, which is never seen on the other inhabitants of Greenland. Some of their men allow their mus- tachios to grow, others tattoo their arms, and all the women have their arms, hands, and chin tattooed--an operation which they exe- cute themselves. Exposed to the greatest physical suffering, and very often to famine, it is seldom that they live beyond the age of fifty; it is also alleged that the .p?opulation is decreasing; and be- tween the latitudes of CO � �M. Graah found only about five or six hundred inhabitants. The population appeared to have de- creased on the south side of the coast, some of the inhabitants having emigrated to a new mission of Moravian Brothers, which has lately established itself at Fredrichsthai; near to Cape Statenhuk. The missionaries are accustomed to collect the natives around them, and this facilitates, doubtless, their instruction and conver- sion; while, on the other hand, it increases the ravages of famine when the harvest fails. In the establishments of the Danish mis- siofiaries, the?y, prefer to allow the natives to pursue their wander- ing life, but ssithout losing sight of the object of the mission. ' With respect to their religious opinions, it is a subject on which M. Gl?ah does not enter into any detail, on account of his imperfect knowledge of their language. �It appears that, like the other Greenlanders, they adore two beings, a good and an evil deity. Lille them, too, they have sorcerers (angekoks), but theie !urinenee does not appear to be so great, and is probably diminish.. mg still more, because M. Graah observed, that the young people amused themselves vsdth laughing at them. In their moral cha- raeter they seem very estimable; and the reported good-nature of the husbands, the submission of their wives, the obedience of tho children, and the mutual affection. and confidence of the whole com- munity, make it difficult to remember that. they are pagans. lb was the good faith, the hospitality, the kind- and generous dispo- Dig,tiz?d by Google