Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/853

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Popular Science Monthly


���Photo by Bureau of Education, Washington

Ready to start a reindeer race at Igloo, Alaska. Two hundred Eskimos, all of them engaged in the reindeer industry, fourteen wild deer and numerous collie dogs took part in the sport

��How the Eskimos of Alaska Held an Exciting Reindeer Fair

THE first reindeer fair held in Alaska took place recently at Igloo. It was attended by about two hundred Eskimos, all engaged in the reindeer industry on Seward Peninsula. The fair was a great success; for it gave the Eskimos a chance to exchange views on such problems as the best way to raise and drive reindeer and the best types of sleds and harness.

A herd of eight hundred deer was ex- hibited. They were not confined in a corral, but were kept in place by the crowd of eager sightseers, ever alert to prevent an ex- cape. Intelligent, train- ed collie dogs hovered around the outskirts of the crowd to round up a deer that might break through.

Interesting features of the fair were the lassoing contests and the races. Thirty minutes each day for three days were de- voted to lassoing. Only bulls without horns were lassoed. The winner of the contest had eleven deer to his credit. The bulls are difficult to lasso because of their wariness.

The driving race was held over a course a mile long. There were four- teen wild deer in it.

���Photo Museum of American Indian

��A "swallow stick

old relic from the Virgin Islands

��The Old Indian Priests Had No Easy Time of It

THE Indians are faith curists. But in South America certain tribes, more highly developed than others, had priests instead of medicine men in their religious ceremonies. These tribes were very partic- ular about their priests. They argued that in order to be a successful intermediary the priest must be thoroughly cleansed of all impurities himself.

To make perfectly sure that the priest was worthy, a "swallow stick," such as the one shown in the illustration, was thrust down his throat. This, of course, acted as an emetic, and satisfied the audience that the priest was purged of his iniq- uities and could proceed with the ceremony.

The "swallow stick" in the photograph is one of four specimens brought from the Virgin Islands to the United States by Captain Theo- dore De Booy, explorer for the Museum of the American Indian, of New York City. It is esti- mated to be over four hundred years old, and is made of the rib of a sea cow. Three inlays of mother-of-pearl form the teeth. The eyes are shells set into hollows.

��a 400-year-

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