Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Spirit Walker

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Spirit Walker

Chronicles of Ancient Darkness #2

by Michelle Paver

Spirit Walker by Michelle Paver
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2006, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2007, 384 pages

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To research The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series, Paver spent time with a guide in the forests of Finland (some Finnish forests are still much as they would have been 6,000 years ago). She learned how the people lived by studying archaeology; and to understand what they might have thought she studied many groups including:

  • The San Tribe of South Africa (formerly known as the Bushmen).
  • The Ainu of Northern Japan.
  • The Inuit, (sometimes known as Eskimos, which simply means 'eater of raw meat', whereas their preferred name Inuit means 'the people' or 'real people').
  • The Sami of Northern Europe (the Sami were formerly known as Lapps which means 'a patch of cloth for mending' - like the Inuit and San, the Sami feel their former given name was derogatory.
Did you know?
If you're one of the generation that learned shorthand, there's a good chance you'd be able to understand the writing of many Inuits. The Inuits had no written form of language until the late 19th century when missionaries developed a symbolic language for the Cree people, based partly on Pitman shorthand, and then adapted it for the Inuit. It seems that this method of writing is still used by some Inuit in the Eastern Arctic. More about this.

Interesting Link:
The Society of Primitive Technology.

This article was originally published in March 2006, and has been updated for the February 2007 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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