An Eskimo term for early Western visitors. As ships came in the spring the better to explore and exploit to the maximum before winter returned, the Tununirmiut Eskimos called British whalers ‘the men of springtime’.

Lopez also mentions that Eskimos have referred to Westerners as ‘the people who change nature’.

‘Local Eskimo, the Tununirmiut,… traded informally with the British whalers, whom they called upirnaagiit, “the men of springtime”.’

See also my bestellar review of this wonderful book, complete with a mosaic of quotations, metaphors, triologisms and other alluring Eskimo words.


Source: Barry Lopez, Arctic Dreams, p. 6 and 39

Image credit: Noupload at

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