Women On Adventure is a blog by K.L. Webber exploring our rich shared history of women's adventure writing. This curated collection of quotations showcases the opinions and experiences of influential female travellers in their own words.

"She laughed, saying that sand was good for the stomach!"

Monday, July 4. This evening I was treated to a native vegetable dish. Returning from a walk to Cape Cleveland, I met Mané and her children coming to meet me. She told me they eat the little purple flowers which bloom so abundantly almost everywhere in this vicinity, and asked me to try them. I found that they were quite as sweet as our clover blossoms, and they have, besides, a very aromatic flavor. Mané had brought two of our tin mess-pans with her, and we filled them with blossoms and sour-grass. On reaching Redcliffe Mané mixed the flowers and sour-grass, then, pouring a little water on them, put them on the stove. I suggested that she wash them so as to remove at least some of the sand, at which she laughed, saying that sand was good for the stomach; nevertheless, she made a show of washing them, and then let them boil for about fifteen minutes. The flavor was a peculiarly pleasant one, but I thought it a little sour, and added some sugar, which gave it something of the taste of rhubarb-plant stewed, only more aromatic. This concoction is the only vegetable dish that these people ever have, and this is only eaten by the women and children, not by the men. On the other hand, the men eat the eggs of the different birds, but will not allow the women to touch them. It was amusing to see both Mané and M'gipsu eat cake containing eggs, begging us not to tell their husbands, and consoling themselves with the reflection that eggs did not form the chief part of the cake. 

 

McCormick Bay, Greenland, 1892

 

Source: Josephine Diebitsch-Peary, My Arctic Journal: A Year Among Ice-Fields and Eskimos, London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1894

Further links:

https://archive.org/details/myarcticjournaly00pear

http://pubs.aina.ucalgary.ca/arctic/Arctic62-1-102.pdf

http://www.encyclopedia.com/women/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/peary-josephine-1863-1955

https://www.bowdoin.edu/arctic-museum/biographies/jpeary.shtml

http://www.une.edu/node/903/josephine-diebitsch-peary

http://www.portlandmonthly.com/portmag/2009/02/a-woman-in-full/

 

"...slew, wounded, embezzled, and roamed about till the present moment, when I place myself at the feet of your most illustrious Lordship."

WOA Image - Lake Natimuk, Victoria

WOA Image - Lake Natimuk, Victoria