In Inuit oral history, the Tuniit loom both large and small.
They inhabited the Arctic before the Inuit came, and they were a different stock of people — taller and stronger, with the muscularity of polar bears, the stories say. A Tuniit man could lift a 1,000 pound seal on his back, or drag a whole walrus. Others say the Tuniit slept with their legs in the air to drain the blood from their feet and make them lighter, so they could outrun a caribou.
But despite their superior strength and size, the Tuniit were shy. They were “easily put to flight and it was seldom heard that they killed others,” according to one storyteller in the book “Uqalurait: An Oral History of Nunavut.” The Inuit took over the best hunting camps and displaced the conflict-averse Tuniit. Soon enough, these strange people disappeared from the land.
This week, the prestigious journal Science published an unprecedented paleogenomic study that resolves long-held questions about the people of the prehistoric Arctic. By analyzing DNA from 169 ancient human specimens from Canada, Alaska, Siberia, and Greenland, the researchers concluded that a series of Paleo-Eskimo cultures known as the Pre-Dorset and Dorset were actually one population who lived with great success in the eastern Arctic for 4,000 years — until disappearing suddenly a couple generations after the ancestors of the modern Inuit appeared, around 1200 A.D. There is no evidence the two groups interbred.
The Dorset are almost certainly the Tuniit of Inuit oral history.
“The outcome of the genetic analysis is completely in agreement, namely that the Paleo-Eskimos are a different people,” says Eske Willerslev, a co-author of the Science study.
It’s not the first time his genomic research has synchronized neatly with indigenous oral traditions.
In February, when Willerslev and colleagues announced they had sequenced the genome of a 12,500-year-old skeleton found in Montana, the results showed that nearly all South and North American indigenous populations were related to this ancient American. Shane Doyle, a member of the Crow tribe of Montana, said at the time: “This discovery basically confirms what tribes have never really doubted — that we’ve been here since time immemorial, and that all the artifacts and objects in the ground are remnants of our direct ancestors.” The sequenced genome of an Aboriginal from Australia also revealed findings in line with the local communities’ oral histories, Willerslev says.
“Scientists are sitting around and academically discussing different theories about peopling of Americas, and you have all these different views on how many migrations, and who is related to,” he says. “Then when we actually undertake the most sophisticated genetic analysis we can do today, and this is state of the art, genetically — we could have just have listened to them in the first place.”
He was laughing when he said that. But he and many others are serious when they say that scientists need to revaluate the weight they give traditional indigenous knowledge.
“This is a pretty common theme. It’s really surprising that scientists and general commentators don’t appreciate the knowledge collection and transmission of indigenous peoples, given the wealth of knowledge about medicine, physiology, geology, earth sciences, wind patterns, ice fluctuations — the incredible scope of knowledge that indigenous people have and have sustained them in North America for tens of thousands of years,” says Hayden King, director of the Centre for Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University and a member of the Beausoleil First Nation on Georgian Bay.
“It defies logic that this knowledge they’ve generated and transmitted wouldn’t be accurate and helpful in myriad ways.”
AQUARIUS – Does It in the Water (January 20 to February 18)
Trustworthy. Attractive. Great kisser. One of a kind. Loves being in long-term relationships. Tries hard. Will take on any project. Proud of themselves in whatever they do. Messy and unorganized. Procrastinators. Great lovers, when they’re not sleeping. Extreme thinkers. Loves their pets usually more than their family. Can be VERY irritating to others when they try to explain or tell a story. Unpredictable. Will exceed your expectations. Not a fighter, but will knock your lights out. 2 years of bad luck if you do not share this post.
PISCES – The Partner for Life (February 19 to March 20) Caring and kind. Smart. Likes to be the center of attention. Very organized. High appeal to opposite sex. Likes to have the last word. Good to find, but hard to keep. Passionate, wonderful lovers. Fun to be around. Too trusting at times and gets hurt easily. VERY caring. They always try to do the right thing and sometimes get the short end of the stick. They sometimes get used by others and get hurt because of their trusting. Extremely weird but in a good way. Good sense of humor!! Thoughtful. Loves to joke. Very popular. Silly, fun and sweet. Good friend to others but needs to be choosy on who they allow their friends to be. 5 years of bad luck if you do not share this post.
ARIES – The Aggressive (March 21 to April 19) Outgoing. Lovable. Spontaneous. Not one to mess with. Funny… Excellent kisser. EXTREMELY adorable. Loves relationships, and family is very important to an Aries. Aries are known for being generous and giving. Addictive. Loud. Always has the need to be ‘Right’. Aries will argue to prove their point for hours and hours. Aries are some of the most wonderful people in the world. 16 years of bad luck if you do not share this post.
TAURUS – The Tramp (April 20 to May 20) Aggressive. Loves being in long relationships. Likes to give a good fight. Fight for what they want. Can be annoying at times, but for the love of attention. Extremely outgoing. Loves to help people in times of need. Good kisser. Good personality. Stubborn. A caring person. They can be self-centered and if they want something they will do anything to get it. They love to sleep and can be lazy. One of a kind. Not one to mess with. Are the most attractive people on earth! 15 years of bad luck if you do not share this post.
GEMINI – The Twin (May 21 to June 20) Nice. Love is one of a kind. Great listeners. Very good at confusing people. Lover not a fighter, but will still knock you out. Geminis will not take any crap from anyone. Geminis like to tell people what they should do and get offended easily. They are great at losing things and are forgetful. Geminis can be very sarcastic and childish at times and are very nosy. Trustworthy. Always happy. VERY Loud. Talkative. Outgoing. VERY FORGIVING. Loves to make out. Has a beautiful smile. Generous. Strong. THE MOST IRRESISTIBLE. 9 years of bad luck if you do not share this post.
CANCER – The Beauty (June 21 to July 22) MOST AMAZING KISSER. Very high appeal. A Cancer’s love is one of a kind… Very romantic. Most caring person you will ever meet in your life. Entirely creative person, most are artists and insane, respectfully speaking. They perfected sex and do it often. Extremely random. An ultimate freak. Extremely funny and is usually the life of the party. Most Cancers will take you under their wing and into their hearts where you will remain forever. Cancers make love with a passion beyond compare. Spontaneous. Not a fighter, but will kick your ass good if it comes down to it. Someone you should hold on to! 12 years of bad luck if you do not share this post.
LEO – The Lion (July 23 to August 22) Great talker. Attractive and passionate. Laid back. Usually happy but when unhappy tend to be grouchy and childish. A Leo’s problem becomes everyone’s problem. Most Leos are very predictable and tend to be monotonous. Knows how to have fun. Is really good at almost anything. Great kisser. Very predictable. Outgoing. Down to earth. Addictive. Attractive. Loud. Loves being in long relationships. Talkative. Not one to mess with. Rare to find. Good when found. 7 years of bad luck if you do not share this post.
VIRGO – The One that Waits (August 23 to September 22) Dominant in relationships. Someone loves them right now. Always wants the last word. Caring. Smart. Loud. Loyal. Easy to talk to. Everything you ever wanted. Easy to please. A pushover. Loves to gamble and take chances. Needs to have the last say in everything. They think they know everything and usually do. Respectful to others but you will quickly lose their respect if you do something untrustworthy towards them and never regain respect. They do not forgive and never forget. The one and only. 7 years of bad luck if you do not share this post.
LIBRA – The Lame One (September 23 to October 22) Nice to everyone they meet. Their love is one of a kind. Silly, funny and sweet. Have own unique appeal. Most caring person you will ever meet! However, not the kind of person you want to mess with… you might end up crying. Libras can cause as much havoc as they can prevent. Faithful friends to the end. Can hold a grudge for years. Libras are someone you want on your side. Usually great at sports and are extreme sports fanatics. Very creative. A hopeless romantic. 9 years of bad luck if you do not share this post.
SCORPIO – The Addict (October 23 to November 21) EXTREMELY adorable. Loves to joke. Very good sense of humor. Will try almost anything once. Loves to be pampered. Energetic. Predictable. GREAT kisser. Always get what they want. Attractive. Loves being in long relationships. Talkative. Loves to party but at times to the extreme. Loves the smell and feel of money and is good at making it but just as good at spending it! Very protective over loved ones. HARD workers. Can be a good friend but if is disrespected by a friend, the friendship will end. Romantic. Caring. 4 years of bad Luck if you do not share this post.
SAGITTARIUS – The Promiscuous One (November 22 to December 21) Spontaneous. High appeal. Rare to find. Great when found. Loves being in long relationships. So much love to give. A loner most of the time. Loses patience easily and will not take crap. If in a bad mood stay FAR away. Gets offended easily and remembers the offense forever. Loves deeply but at times will not show it, feels it is a sign of weakness. Has many fears but will not show it. VERY private person. Defends loved ones with all their abilities. Can be childish often. Not one to mess with. Very pretty. Very romantic. Nice to everyone they meet. Their Love is one of a kind. Silly, fun and sweet. Have own unique appeal. Most caring person you will ever meet! Amazing in bed!!! Not the kind of person you want to mess with- you might end up crying. 4 years of bad luck if you do not share this post.
CAPRICORN – The Passionate Lover (December 22 to January 19) Love to bust. Nice. Sassy. Intelligent. Sexy. Grouchy at times and annoying to some. Lazy and love to take it easy, but when they find a job or something they like to do they put their all into it. Proud, understanding and sweet. Irresistible. Loves being in long relationships. Great talker. Always gets what he or she wants. Cool. Loves to win against other signs in sports, especially Gemini’s. Likes to cook but would rather go out To eat at good restaurants. Extremely fun. Loves to joke. Smart. 24 years of bad luck if you do not share this post.
Walt Disney Animation Studios revealed plans today for Moana, a sweeping, CG-animated comedy-adventure about a spirited teenager on an impossible mission to fulfill her ancestors’ quest. In theaters in late 2016, the film is directed by the renowned filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker (The Little Mermaid, The Princess and the Frog, Aladdin).
In the ancient South Pacific world of Oceania, Moana, a born navigator, sets sail in search of a fabled island. During her incredible journey, she teams up with her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui, to traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous sea creatures, breathtaking underworlds and ancient folklore.
“John and I have partnered on so many films—from The Little Mermaid to Aladdin to The Princess and the Frog,” said Clements. “Creating Moana is one of the great thrills of our career. It’s a big adventure set in this beautiful world of Oceania.”
“Moana is indomitable, passionate and a dreamer with a unique connection to the ocean itself,” Musker said. “She’s the kind of character we all root for, and we can’t wait to introduce her to audiences.”