skip over navigation
Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology
Subscribe to this news feed to receive comments posted to this page in any RSS reader.
The Expedition – James Mann Wordie
As my grandfather was a quiet gentleman, very few of his experiences have really passed down the family, so it is really interesting to read about these on the internet. More articles are being added daily, and I enjoy learning about my grandfather.
On a recent trip to Moscow, someone who had studied geography greeted me and commented how fundamental James Mann Wordie's work had been for Greenland. I was unaware of this, but learned that other countries obviously valued the work highly, and used the information to further their work.
Wim van Osch
In other aspects I consider this expedition rather successful and important. I followed some lectures by the late professor T.T. Paterson in the early seventies about his Management Theory and Job Evaluation which have influenced my professional life since then. In those lectures (and drinking scottish whiskey together afterwards) Paterson often referred to his experiences with the primitive organisation of the hunting teams and the communities of the Inuits he met on this expedition. And the life on board must have influenced his experiences as a trouble shooter for the RAF during the war, as described in his beautiful and famous booklet "Morale of Men in War and Work".
Domestic Life – Old man and family
Compliments to this view of the Arctic as it was generations past. I, being both of Inuit and French ancestry am joyed that this is available for public viewing.
Of note, Inuit translated to English is "the People" therefore, Inuit peoples refers to 'People peoples'. Just stating 'Inuit' would be preferable. Inuk is the singular, as in 'an Inuk man, or Inuk woman'.
Thanks to those who've made this collection available.
About this website
Thanks for creating this site. Last spring in May I and two friends camped in the Eglinton Tower photo on the Baffin page of your site. We skied, hauling sleds, from Clyde River to Pond Inlet to enjoy the wonderful scenery of this fiord country. It would be fascinating to be able to come to Cambridge and look at the photographs from the Wordie 1934 expedition. To see some photos from our trip last year you can go to my own web site at
Ed: Many of the photographs presented throughout this site will be on display in MAA from mid March until December 2008.
I think it is highly unlikely that the sea mammal in the photo is a walrus. Walrus pups weigh 100-160lbs at birth, and full-grown males reach 4,400lbs.
Seal Hunting – Spear thrower (detail)
This is a bird dart not a spear thrower. It would have been used in conjunction with a spear thrower or norsaq.
This detail photo is of a bird dart, not a spear thrower as stated in the description. A spear thrower is used to throw it, but is not in this photo. If the iron point of the dart misses the bird, its wings will probably be caught in the three bone parts illustrated.
Domestic Life – 24th August journal entry- Salmon leister
Salmon trout in Wordie's journal was probably referring to Arctic Char, which are similar to salmon (color of meat), but not actually salmon.
Aberdeen, Scotland to Cape Farewell, Greenland
The persons in photo, reading left to right, are:
Christopher Dalgety, Ritchie, Fletcher RN, Dr James Wordie (later Sir James Wordie), Harry Hanham, and Pat Baird, sitting is Tom Longstaff
A good title for main photo might be: "James Wordie (centre in hat) surrounded by expedition members including etc. etc"
© 2007: University of Cambridge
Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology