Chukchi people and housing encountered by Captain Cook on his third voyage

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Chukchi people and housing encountered by Captain Cook on his third voyage (1777–1780). Engraving by D Lerpiniere after J Webber, 1780/1785–. Described in the online catalogue of the Royal Museums Greenwich as follows (with opposite orientation to the present print): "Cook travelled to Chukotski Peninsula, Siberia on August 10, 1778. In this engraving, two Chukchi men are armed with bows and arrows at left, and a third figure and a dog are at right. Three summer huts (yarangas) are at right. In the background behind the figures a hillock (semidugout) serves as another habitation underground. The tents are summer huts of the Chukchi, which Cook describes as 'pretty large, and circular and brought to a point at the top; the framing was of slight poles and bones, covered with the skins of sea animals … About the habitations were erected several stages ten or twelve feet high, such as we had observed on some part of the American coast, they were built wholy of bones and seemed to be intended to dry skins, fish &ca upon, out of the reach of their dogs…' The hillock on the far left appears to be a winter house of the natives, of which Cook observed that the floor 'is sunk a little below the surface of the earth.' It was of an oval form, with a framing of wood and whale bones. 'Over this framing is laid a covering of strong coarse grass and over it a covering of earth; so that on the out side it looks like a little hillock, supported by a wall of stone, about 3 or 4 feet high which is built round the two sides and one end, at the other end the earth is raised sloaping to walk up to the entrance which is by a hold at the top of the roof over that end.' The 'semisdugouts' had two entrances: a corridor in winter 'and a round opening on the top, closed with a whale's shoulder blade and used only in summer.'". Created between 1780 and 1785. Chukchi. Ethnology. Chukchi Peninsula (Russia). Contributors: John Webber (1751–1793); Daniel Lerpinière (1745–1785). Work ID: xju5jstn.

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