Sunday, January 25, 2009

Snow, what kind of snow?

The Inuit have many words for snow. On the Internet i find that this is kind of a myth. Well i have to go up North and ask them my self, because to me it makes very much sense to have many words for snow. And i believe they do.
Today i want to talk about 'aput' meaning, 'snow on the ground'.
Lately the 'aput' has changed because of the weather. Because of the warm weather and now cold, the top layer of snow has become a crust. Walking in it very uncomfortable, because the crust is not strong enough to hold me.
That's where snowshoes come in very handy. I snowshoed all the trails around the house.


Matt, Kara and Hunter said...

We lived in the arctic and yes, the Inuit have many, many words to describe the different types of snow. Really not much different than in English! There are so many ways to describe snow throughout the winter!!

Murray said...

We have lots of multi-word terms for snow (such as "snow with an icy crust"), but the Inuit use single words for the condition because it happens so often. Seems logical to me.

christopher said...

I'm saddened that you can find misinformation like that on the Internet. I knew about the Inuit having so many different words for snow in the early seventies. How it came up was in comparing the Inuit and winter to the Hindus and consciousness because there are single terms for many states of consciousness in Sanskrit just like there are these single terms for snow in the Inuit languages.

That is because the ancient Indians were experts in consciousness. There are these many terms because they were used so much. It is a practical matter.

We can say the same about snow and about consciousness by using phrases. Except there is a certain lack on our part due inexperience, both with snow and with consciousness.

jozien said...

Thanks so much!
Now i feel i can happily go back and play in that shoh (Gwich in).
Hoping it is mauja (deep and soft, Inuktitut)
And christopher I like your comparison of snow and consciousness for one more reason. When the snow is on the ground here, i become much more meditative, finding more consciousness' maybe.

maicher said...