How did the Inuit Learn how to hunt seals from the Polar Bear?

The Inuit learned how to hunt seals in the summer from an unlikely teacher, the polar bear.

Emerging from below the ice after the long winter, seals liked to sunbathe on top of ice floes, where they often fell into a light sleep. When a bear on the hunt slowly crept up to a sleepy seal, he held a paw over his nose.

By covering up the only non-white part of his body, the bear made himself difficult to see against the white snow and ice. Copying the bear’s technique, Inuit hunters likewise camouflaged themselves by wrapping polar bear skins around their bodies.

When the sun hit the Arctic snow, the glare could be blinding. To protect their sight, Inuit wore goggles carved from ivory or wood.

Inuit heated their igloos with simple stone lamps that burned oil made from blubber. These lamps could raise the indoor temperature of a snow house to as high as 90°.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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