• The Iñupiat Origin of Santa Claus

    Author(s):
    Oliver D. Smith (see profile)
    Date:
    2021
    Subject(s):
    Folklore, Mythology
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Santa Claus, Alaska, North Pole
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/4h9g-hj98
    Abstract:
    This paper rejects the idea the legendary character Santa Claus traces back to Saint Nicholas and instead proposes a more recent historical figure – Walter Clement Shields (1884–1918) who organised reindeer fairs in Seward Peninsula, Alaska between 1915 and 1918. Shields died of an influenza epidemic in 1918 but was by venerated by indigenous inhabitants of northwest Alaska, the Iñupiat. Stories of Shields in Iñupiat folklore became embellished when retold and they were spread by traders of reindeer meat across the US in the 1920s
    Metadata:
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives

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