Alone with the Hairy Ainu

Alone with the Hairy Ainu

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Excerpt: ...then, intellectual education destroy our instincts instead of improving them? Tracking on sandy or tufaceous ground is an easy matter, as of course the foot leaves a well-marked print; but where I found real difficulty was over rocky ground, until I got used to it, and knew all the signs and what I had to look for. However, with a little practice, even over rocks which the sea has washed, it is not impossible to know if such and such creatures, human or animal, have passed that way. One of the first things in tracking is to look for marks where they are likely to be; and this is just where the instinct comes in. Next to this, a clear knowledge of the person's or animal's way of walking and general habits is necessary. For instance, when I tried to discern tracks of Ainu, I invariably looked for them along the sea-shore, and failing that, on the adjoining cliffs, as I well knew that if any Ainu had passed by there he would have kept either along the coast or not far from it. By examination it is easy to see if the ground has been in any way disturbed of late. Sometimes a small stone moved from the place where it had been for years shows a Pg 160 difference in colour where it has been affected by the weather and where not, thus giving a distinct clue of some passer-by, man or brute; and when once you have found what the characteristics of the tracks are, the most difficult part of the task is accomplished. On weather-beaten rocks the trail is more difficult to strike, and more difficult still on rocks over which the sea washes. "For," say the simple people, "how can you see tracks on hard stone? The foot certainly does not leave a print on rocks as on sand; and even supposing that the feet were dirty, the sea would wash away the marks, and you could not see anything." In my case I limited my search to bare-footed marks, as the Ainu generally go bare-footed. Everybody knows that dogs track by scent, and this is a sure proof that every footmark more

Product details

  • Paperback | 118 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 6mm | 227g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236721071
  • 9781236721075