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Arctic: Haig Thomas

A fascinating glimpse into the world of the Ellesmere Island Inuit. Footage from the Haig-Thomas Arctic Expedition 1937-1938

Documentary 1937 18 mins Silent


This footage provides a fascinating insight into the everyday world of the Ellesmere Island Inuit. These masters of the snow and ice are filmed going about their daily activities which range from hunting birds and walrus to ice fishing, while the younger generation dance and play. Highlights include the children imitating a dog-drawn sleigh as well as learning how to make animal hides for use in the cold arctic climate.

David Haig-Thomas (1908-1944) was an ornithologist and explorer. A man of many talents, he was also an Olympian who competed at the ‘1932 Summer Olympics’ in the British rowing team. Haig-Thomas served as a commando in the British Army; he was killed in action on the D-Day landings, June 6th 1944. From 1937–1938, he led a British Arctic Expedition in northwest Greenland and Ellesmere Island, accompanied by John Wright and Richard Hamilton where this footage was captured.