Visitations: The Social and Cultural History of Polar Bear Narratives in Iceland and the North Atlantic

Kristinn Schram, Jon Jonsson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

While bears hold a significant place in world views, material and narrative cultures around the world, the polar bear has a particular significance in the folklore of the Arctic and sub-Arctic. It should come as no surprise that this powerful and majestic animal has been respected, feared and even worshipped since the Stone Age, 50,000 years ago.

In the worldview of northern peoples, polar bears have been considered among gods and in some cases the ancestors of men. The Arctic region even draws its name from the Greek root arktikos, or near the bear, referring to the constellation Ursa Major,...
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Bear: Culture, Nature, Heritage
EditorsOwen Nevin
Place of Publicationsuffolk
PublisherBoydell Press
Chapter12
Pages147-160
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameHeritage Matters
PublisherBoydell & Brewer

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