aseantoo submitted to medievalpoc:
Kalicho, an Inuk from Frobisher Bay
Verso: Arnaq and Nutaaq, Inuit from Frobisher Bay; wearing a sealskin jacket with hood and tail and long boots
Leaf from a volume (now consisting of 113 leaves of drawings), after John White; standing to front and looking to right, wearing a sealskin jacket with hood and tail, holding a bow and paddle Watercolour, with pen and grey ink
The English explorer Sir Martin Frobisher (c. 1535 or 1539 – 1594) is famous for exploring the New World in search of the Northwest Passage. What’s less well-known is how he kidnapped three Inuit and brought them back to Bristol in 1577.
The three hostages were a man, a woman and a child. The man’s name is recorded as “Calichough”, the woman as “Ignorth” and the child as “Nutiok” - but the last two are just versions of the Inuit words for “woman” and “child.”
The Canadian Museum of History states:
At a reception held by the Mayor of Bristol, the Inuit man demonstrated the use of his kayak and bird-spear to hunt ducks on the Avon River. The occasion was recorded by an artist, and versions of the resulting engraving were published in many European countries.
Only a few scattered hints tell us of the lives that these people led aboard ship, and later in England. We know that they were very courteous to one another and cared about each other’s welfare. They enjoyed music, and quickly learned English songs:
"They wondred muche at all our things, and were afraide of our horses, and other beastes, out of measure. They beganne to growe more ciuill, familiar, pleasaunt, and docible amongst vs in a verye shorte time."
(George Best’s account of the 1578 voyage)
When the Inuit man fell ill, he wisely refused to have his blood let by the surgeon who was called. This decision was supported by Frobisher’s people, with whom he was living. The surgeon blamed his death on their kindness in providing him too much food and preventing him from receiving medical care.
Calichough died from pneumonia aggravated by broken ribs, an injury which probably occurred when he was originally captured. The woman died the following week. The infant survived his mother, and was sent to London in care of a nurse. However, the child also fell ill and, despite medical attention, died before he could be presented to Queen Elizabeth. He was buried at St. Olave’s church in London.
Inuit in England