Tuesday, 22 January 2013

My friend, my prey.

 I’ve mentioned before in this blog that a lot of the research I did for SONG HUNTER involved looking at the customs of the Inuit people of the far north.

 What I tend to do when researching a story is to read everything I can, on every even tangentially relevant subject, in the hope that a consistent environment for the book (I’d call it a reality, except of course that real is the last thing it is) settles itself in my brain.

 It means that a lot – most – of the research I do isn’t used at all. (Oh, but how tempting it is to squash in all these fascinating facts, even though I know they're knobbly and destructive of the story.)

 For instance (and I’ve been longing to tell someone this for over a year, now) an Inuit hunter is only allowed to kill a seal if he intends to eat it. To kill a seal for any other reason is wicked, and will lead to seals abandoning the hunting grounds. A seal killed for food gives itself willingly because it will be resurrected in the hunter once it is eaten.

 There we are: religion and conservation pulling in the same direction.

 Could the Inuit have survived without some rule like that?

 But who made up the rule?


And why?


  1. That is brilliant! What a good idea....they could not have survived without eating seals so HAD to hunt them. Worked out the rules to salve their consciences when they looked into those lovely seal-eyes.:)

  2. It gives the eater a responsibility to live well, too, doesn't it, because they are taking on another life with every mouthful.

    Unless it was an evil seal, I suppose...