Moose, By Kevin Jackson
Sunday 22 February 2009
The moose can boast an impressive array of accomplishments. In this entertaining survey of the animal’s place in history and culture, we learn that it provided Chipewyan tribes with “parchment, leather, lines and cords … thread and glue … handles … spoons … tools … gowns, firebags, mittens, moccasins, and trousers”. All this and food.
However, the Native Americans, for all their mythopoeic genius, have scattered few myths around the moose. While this might be ascribed to its relatively late arrival on the American continent, it seems more likely that this shy beast was as reluctant to step into the limelight in this respect as in any other.
The moose, or rather its relation, the extinct “Irish Elk”, became a chessboard king in the match between evolutionism and creationism. It is astonishing to read that the matter was only settled late in the last century. The thought that there is a charitable institution called “Women of the Moose” will keep me happy through many a rainy day.
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