Storyteller breathes life into history

Ice Coast travels inland

Danielle Sachs
Northern News Services
Published Saturday, September 21, 2013

THEBACHA/FORT SMITH
Jim Green’s third spoken word recording focuses on a period of time just over 40 years ago, when he moved from Yellowknife to Taloyoak – then a part of the NWT.

Green took notes. Years later, he has recorded them in the storytelling genre.

Yellowknife: Notes from the Gold Range was released in June 2012 and, just over a year later, Magic Words: Travel Tales from the Ice Coast joins his collection of recordings.

Magic Words is Green’s third album release, his first, Flint and Steel with Pat Buckna was originally out on cassette in 1983. It has since been re-released in CD format.

Green worked in Taloyoak for the GNWT in the early seventies. He observed and noted everything he could.

“I’ve been writing and taking notes for years,” said Green.

“I have a lot more stories where these came from.”

From the nostalgic to the hilarious, Green stories interweave his own stories with Inuit legends and stories with his own – keeping them separate but side-by-side.

Green’s poignant voice effortlessly brings the listener back to a time they may never have seen, and a place they may never have visited.

“Everybody has a flood story, one time there was a big giant and he was real hungry, so he waded into Pelly Bay, not very far south from where we were at Netsiksiuvik, to hunt seals,” said Green.

As a giant, he was quite well endowed and because of an unfortunate hunting accident the giant fell backwards and caused a tsunami that flooded the low lying areas, Green says on track two.

Green describes taking a boat with a friend, dodging rocks, through narrow inlets, and the story tells of why the rocks are no longer exposed as they were before.

From the humorous to the stark and realistic, Green brings you into his living room before opening the curtains and taking you out on the land with him.

“At low tide, or when the wind is honking in out of the north, the nets are a jumbled mess of grinding collisions of ice…” Green describes the seal hunting camp and talks about bobbing from ice pan to ice pan whenever a seal is spotted.

His descriptions of butchering seals, with the sound of the slide whistle in the background, brings the listener to the camp. We can smell the warm blood in the air, and hear the dog teams begging for their piece of the action.

Listeners will be mesmerized and find themselves listening to Green’s tales again and again.

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