Sunday, September 23, 2012


From 'The People of the Deer', Farley Mowat:

"The Ihalmut do not fill canvasses with their paintings, or inscribe figures on rocks, or carve figurines in clay or in stone, because in the lives of the People there is no room for the creation of objects of no practical value. What purpose is there in creating beautiful things if they must be abandoned when the family treks out over the Barrens? But the artistic sense is present and strongly developed. It is strongly alive in their stories and songs, and in the string-figures, but they also use it in the construction of things which assist in their living and in these cases it is no less an art. The pleasure of abstract creation is largely denied to them by the nature of the land, but still they know how to make beauty.

They know how to make beauty, and they also know how to enjoy it - for it is no uncommon thing to see an Ihalmio man squatting silently on a hill crest and watching, for hours at a time, the swift interplay of colors that sweep the sky at sunset and dawn. It is not unusual to see an Ihalmio pause for long minutes to watch the sleek beauty of a weasel or to stare into the brilliant heart of some minuscule flower. And these things are done quite unconsciously, too. There is no word for "beauty" - as such - in their language, it needs no words in their hearts."

Page 159

No comments:

Blog Archive