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WildFilmHistory » Home » Films » Qiviut - The Golden Fleece of Arctic

Qiviut - The Golden Fleece of Arctic  (1968)

Also known as: Qviute - Den Gyllene Ullen Från Arktis

This film follows on the story of Muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) domestication experiments from Eurek, 80 degrees North.  It opens on Ellesmere Island where the young freshly caught Muskoxen are seen to be settling down.  We see them beng fed and cared for.  Then comes the time to leave Ellesmere land and crates are prepared for transportation of the animals.  They are taken by DC4 to Fort Chimo.  This part of the story is quite interesting because in the last century the Hudson Bay Co. shot out all the local muskoxen apparently killing a population of something like 15,000 of them.  We see the local population out to watch the unloading.  The camera shows eskimos watching.  The muskoxen are released into large paddocks at Fort Chimo, there is great excitement and photographers are covering the event, it is interesting to see the muskoxen reaction to long grass in these paddocks.  All the first section is colour film, after a memorable shot of the young muskoxen in their new paddock forming a defence phalanx we go directly into black and white film for the rest of the production, which opens at the Fairbanks Alaska research Station.  This is Professor John Teal's muskoxen domestication research Institute where these animals are now farmed.  Apparently muskox can give the best woll in the world. We are shown the Institute and the farm grounds.  There is a 1930 distribution of Muskoxen and then the camera shows various groupings in paddocks.  Shows how tame they become.  We see groups of animals browsing amongst the trees and being fed by a warden.  All the animals are dehorned.  We see how the animals are moved into a tight timber corral for weighing.  How they are rounded up on motor scooters.  How two year old cows in calf are selected out and put into nursery paddocks.  We are shown how wool is taken from animals.  We see Professor Teal unwrapping the first commercially spun yarn and one of his daughters displaying the wool clothes made from it.  Apparently this wool is of the finest quality in the world.  The great textile manufacturing organisations and a great number of Governments are interested in the project.  It is an international project and it was decided that these experiments are of such internation importance that no particular Government or commercial body are allowed to be involved at this (1968) stage.  Any money that is made from the limited amount of all that can be supplied at the moment is being churned back into the Reasearch Institute's work on the Muskoxen.  We see animals being innoculated.  How playful thay are with keepers.  There are various scenes of animals in the paddocks and of Professor Teal with two eskimo visitors.

Copyright holder

Copyright Holder: Lars Åby

Film credits

Cameraman: Lars Åby
Director: Leif Nyton
Producer: Lars Åby
Production Organisation: Sveridges Radio