- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
36

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
36
presented them with some bread, which was a great
success. But the impression created by a bottle of
whisky was a far greater one. The bottle quickly
passed from mouth to mouth and after one round came
back to the chief, who was not content with his first
drink and whose face shone with the most heartfelt
satisfaction as he held up the bottle in our faces and
patted himself gleefully on the stomach.
They showed us various things, but none of special
value. They brought some fish out of a box in their
boat. They were of the salmon species ; as far as I
could see, they were " muksun," which is also found in
the Yenisei ; a broad fish with large bright scales and a
comparatively small head. The largest fish were quite
a foot in length. They were badly salted and did not
smell nice ; some were a little fresher, and they gave
us a few of these as a present, no doubt in return for
what we had given them. We tried one of them for
supper, but fresh it certainly was not. When we asked
wrhere these fish had been caught, they pointed to land
ward ; but whether they meant on the coast or inland
on Yalmal, I could not make out ; lam inclined to
think it was in the lakes of the interior.
Then they started scraping the scales off some of
the raw fish and began to eat them. They cut them
up lengthways, put the long strips into their mouths,
and cut them off just in front of their lips, holding the
end of the strip with the other hand. This is exactly
the same way of eating as the Eskimo’s, the only differ
ence being that he brings his knife downwards to
cut off the piece of meat or fish at his mouth, while
these people cut upwards from below. Both are very
expert and never cut off their noses or lips. It did
not take them long to dispose of a big raw fish in this
way.

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