March 17, 2004

No snow

Laputan Logic, informative as always, presents the Inuit legend of Sedna, after whom the newly-discovered planetoid 2003 VB12 has tentatively been named. In the Inuit narrative, there is no snow or ice: "Soon they arrived at an island. Sedna looked around. She could see nothing. No sod hut, no tent, just bare rocks and a cliff."

There's no snow in these two Inuit folk tales either. I wonder whether the widely-presupposed centrality of snow in Inuit culture might be just as exaggerated as the widely-asserted numerousness of their snow words.

Posted by Mark Liberman at March 17, 2004 11:44 PM