An Inuit on the Underground

Ros Coward on how the hunter-gatherer world-view contains important lessons for humanity’s future in Hugh Brody’s The Other Side of Eden

The Other Side of Eden: Hunter-Gatherers, Farmers and the Shaping of the World - Hugh Brody

Anthropologist Hugh Brody describes the visit to London of Anaviapik, an Inuit who had never previously left the Arctic. Anaviapik is disgorged from a British Airways plane on a hot summer’s day swathed in a fox-fur- trimmed parka and ‘wearing sealskin boots with brown trousers tucked into their patterned tops’. To Brody’s relief, Anaviapik survives this visit with equanimity. One thing he never masters, however, is the built environment. Everyday Brody teases him, challenging him to find the short way home from the Tube. Everyday he fails: ‘How amazing that the Qallunaat [white people] live in cliffs. I would never be able to find my way here without you.’

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