Monday, June 05, 2006


In movies, the wagon train moving westward across the desert would inevitably meet up with the skull of a cow lying bleached along the side of the trail. Its implications were obvious: beware, death is near.

Up here you run across many bones, most frequently caribou skulls and rib cages, and along the shoreline, the vertebrae of beluga whales which children often play with because they look like airplanes.

Unlike in the westerns, these bones mean life rather than death (at least from the point of view of humans): there presence implies someone has had a successful hunt, and there has been fresh meat on the table.

On the 1990s, there were several economic development projects aimed at collecting caribou antlers, either those shed or lopped off penned animals, for shipment to the Orient to be used in traditional medicines. Apparently, ingesting ground caribou antlers are believed to make men in China more sexually verile.

This market quickly dried up with the commercialization of Viagra in China and Korea. Maybe Inuit should start compensation litigation against Pfizer for destruction of economic opportunity.


Blogger Fuff said...

Well, at least tigers get to keep their manhood, for which I am certain they will be very grateful to Pfizer for.

9:21 AM  
Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

Apparently powdered Caribou antler is working for the Chinese as it is getting so you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a Chinaman. Maybe you all could work out an “Antler for Oil” treaty or something…

10:31 AM  
Blogger nanuk said...

fuff: and bears get to keep their gall bladders. I'm not one to knock traditional knowledge in medicine, but I think we should really stick with the botanicals.

TPK: The funny thing is that oriental women are by and large quite attractive, so the notion of needing an extra inducement strikes me as a bit strange.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Annie Drogynous said...

Is where you live really as desolate and depressing as you make it sound?! lol

6:29 PM  
Blogger nanuk said...

Blair Bitch: Depressing? In a town of 1200, we have between 4 and 10 suicides a year. Today was no exception.

6:53 PM  
Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

Yeah, it is mystifying, maybe the Chinese men are buying into all the "ED" commercials on TV... I guess it helps them shoot for a boy baby, so to speak - that's improtant to them...

5:19 PM  
Blogger DutchBitch said...

So what you are really saying is that caribous are amongst those 1200 and THIS particular one in the pic was suicidal?

5:23 PM  

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