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106 Western American Literature grosbeaks, and the moth that makes a beeline to the flame. His perspective on life makes little things important. This earth, “a minor planet” in “an immoderacy of stars” is important. “I am / In a garden on the edge / Of nowhere, life and death / In my lap. of course, it’s important.” His poems are well-crafted, yet simple. His voice is quiet but firm, and reaches the reader with an almost religious faith in love and life. HEMANT KULKARNI, Utah State University Survival: Life and Art of the Alaskan Eskimo. By Barbara Lipton. (Dobbs Ferry: Morgan & Morgan, Inc., with The Newark Museum and the American Federation of Arts, 1977. 96 pages, $7.95.) Upon leafing through the book I was first struck by the beautiful full color ‘Frontispiece.’ a mask of wood depicting a wolf. I’d seen it before in The Art of The Eskimo by Shirley Glubok. The text of that book began: “Not far from the North Pole, on the frozen shores of the Arctic Ocean, live a hardly, cheerful people we call Eskimos.” I thought ‘Oh no, not another one.’ But no, Survival is not another one of those. Then I realized that I was looking at an expensive four color exhibition catalogue. There have been a fair number of these around in the past few years, ‘modified’ for public consumption and pushed on the coffee table book market in the hopes of at least covering printing costs. This book does catalogue the 214 objects of the Newark Museum exhibition of Eskimo art; but Survival is more than just a catalogue. Survival is a 96 page, 8/2” X 10/i" volume, with some 50 pages of text artfully balanced with 12 fullcolor plates and 42 black and white illustrations. Exhibition Guest Curator Barbara Lipton contributed 13 pages explor­ ing survival: “Survival of the Alaskan Eskimo people in a difficult and often hostile environment. . . . Survival of a culture and a continuing way of life. . . . And now, the threat to survival of this ancient people and their tradi­ tional patterns from the impact of modem society. . . She delves into the oft heard damnations of the English language, Christianity, money economy, and art for sales’ sake, but to her credit concludes: “If art can be considered as a statement of man’s inner self and his culture, then Eskimo art will also adapt itself to the Eskimo’s self-image and new way of life.” Lipton’s text is followed by a five page conversation with artist Lawrence Ahvakana who adds, “Basically, everything will change. So art will change with it and be stronger. . . .” Following the ten page catalogue list are 12 pages of Annotated Bibliog­ Reviews 107 raphy pertinent to the art and life of the Alaskan Eskimo which was mostly selected from the literature of the field of anthropology including archae­ ological reports, ethnographic accounts, and recent publications on Eskimo change and adaptation. The last page lists 51 museums in the U.S., Canada, and Europe that have important Eskimo collections. Survival is therefore a valuable book for students of Eskimo art and culture. I do wonder, however, how long it’s going to take for the American public to discard that questionable word Eskimo for the proper word Inuit. The only other thing that bothered me about Survival was the blood and guts seal butchering splash on the back cover. What did it have to do with the book unless depicting that survival is warm liver as well as canned muktak? That’s about as subtle as a large hammer. In my opinion, there is no question of the survival of Inuit art and culture. In Lawrence Ahvakana’s words: “We’re not a dying race, we’re not a dying people. I think we can run our own lives. The language is a lot stronger now. Our dance is living and reliving and is being relearned.” Survival assured. JIM GREEN, University of the North, Fort Smith, N.W.T. Crinoline to Calico. By Nan Heacock. (Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1977. xi + 242 pages, $7.95.) Pioneering has been a favorite subject of novelists since long before the process...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 106-107
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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