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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 38.djvu/235

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DRESS AND PHYSIQUE OF THE ESKIMOS.

or in old times the bow, in a case slung across the back, by a string passing round the chest.

The women do not have such good figures, but are inclined to slouchiness, which they perhaps get from trotting ahead of the dogs when traveling with sledges. They are seldom inclined to be fleshy, though their plump, round faces, along with their thick fur clothing, often give them the appearance of being fat. They generally have round, full faces, with rather high cheek-bones, small, rounded noses, full lips, and small chins. Still, you now and then see a person with an oval face and aquiline nose. Many of the men are very good-looking, and some of the young women are exceedingly pretty. Their complexion is a dark brunette, often with a good deal of bright color on the cheeks and especially on the lips. They sunburn very much, especially in the spring, when the glare of the sun is reflected from the snow. They have black or dark-brown eyes and abundant black hair. The women's hair is often long and silky. When they are young they have white and regular teeth, but these are worn down to stumps before middle life is reached. Cheerful and merry faces are the rule, and they are altogether pleasant people to see and to associate with. The men cut their hair square across the forehead and comb it down into a regular "straight bang," with long locks on each side of the head, covering the ears, but clip a round spot on the crown of the head like a monk's tonsure, and a strip about two inches wide from this tonsure down the back of the head to the nape of the neck. They say that, unless the hair is clipped off on the crown and back of the head, the man will suffer from snow-blindness in the spring. The women part their long hair smoothly down the middle from the forehead to the back of the neck, and gather it into a braid on each side behind the ear. When they are dressed up, these braids are wound round and round with a long string of small, bright-colored beads, and the whole finished off with a flat brass button fastened into the hair behind each ear. They wear ear-rings, too, usually made of long glass beads, dangling from a little ivory hook which fits into the hole in the ear. They are all tattooed with one, three, or five narrow blue lines running from the under lip to the chin. The men are seldom tattooed, but instead, they wear the curious labrets, or lip-studs, which are peculiar to the Eskimos of the Northwest. These are large studs of stone or bone, like sleeve-buttons, which are buttoned into holes in the under lip, one at each corner of the mouth. At first sight, these ornaments appear a hideous disfigurement, but it is surprising how quickly one gets used to them. The most fashionable labrets, which are worn on "swell" occasions, are made of white marble in the form of flat disks, about an inch and a half in diam-