in touch with my Scottish heritage hasn’t affected my taste for Inuit
food. I continue to enjoy the bounty of the Arctic land and sea.
However, I might get serious about following up on a recipe for caribou
haggis sent to me sometime ago by John MacDonald. John must be the only
Scot who’s made such food from Arctic wildlife. It’s very fitting for
him to have found the right blend of ingredients (chopped caribou organs
laced with onions, spices, and oatmeal).
now keenly interested to learn what parts of a sheep are prepared in
what way by people who make haggis, so I can apply the methods with
parallel ingredients taken from caribou. Who knows? Tuktuviniq
(caribou) haggis might eventually be exported to Scotland!
Eating haggis in London was what swept me into the world of Scottish
cuisine, and I will eat this dish any chance I get. My body seems to
have a deep craving for haggis, perhaps because the Scottish parts of me
have a lifetime’s worth of eating it to catch up on. And, for me,
there’s no contradiction in being a connoisseur of both igunaq
(fermented meat), and caribou haggis.
listening more often to Scottish dance music. From the earliest days of
contact with whalers and traders, Inuit have danced to Scottish jigs and
reels. Many are played to a beat fast enough for Ungava coast dancers to
do some damage to the dance floor when they tap to its beat. Previously,
I had regarded slow airs, strathspeys, marches and Gaelic waltzes as
lively-rhythm-challenged sukkaitunngajaat (tunes played to
reserved, deliberate slowness). Now, even these sound great!
There’s a tune the Scots call My Love She’s But A Lassie Yet,
which I’ve heard played as Fisherman’s Reel by musicians in
Atlantic Canada. The Inuit of Puvirnituq call the same tune
Aviliajuapii Pimmaajaa. The tune Soldier’s Joy would have the
alternate Inuktitut name of Arnamingai Sivurarmikamai, which
would be translated as (What Joy It Is) To Have a Woman In Front of
Me! Perhaps I can take this up with the Royal Scottish Country Dance
Society sometime, and ask if they’d consider adopting Inuktitut names
for some of their standard tunes.
days, I often find myself humming tunes which I seemed to have known
eons ago, in another age beyond memory, but had long forgotten. These
are tusarnitualuit (greatly pleasant to the ear) Scottish jigs
and reels, and they seem to take great pleasure in re-introducing
themselves to me!