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Saullu Nakasuk

Saullu Nakasuk
But [women] delivered at any time, no matter when it was, early in the morning or during the day, anytime. People used to come and ask us to come even during the night. We didn’t have telephones so they just came and asked us to come. We just put on our clothes very quickly. When my younger sister was close to delivering, I did not sleep too well. I knew they would come and get me when she was ready to deliver. I did not even cut the nail of my middle finger. This is the only thing I used to break the water with. I used to have the fingernail long because that was the only thing to break the water with. Some [sacs] are thick, some are thin. That is why it takes so long to deliver. Once it’s broken, the baby comes out.
(Pages 75-76)

Saullu Nakasuk
Saullu Nakasuk was born in 1926 in Uummanarjuq. Her paternal grandfather, known as Jason, was a qallunaat, most probably Scottish. She gave birth 12 times during her life and adopted 3 children.

An experienced midwife, Saullu answered the students' many questions with enthusiasm. She learned her role as a midwife through observation, in the traditional Inuit way. "Before I was an adult, I used to be present at births. I didn't think I was learning from them. (But) that is how I learned." (Page 73)

Saullu paints a realistic portrait of the life of women in another era. She talks about taboos, births, illness and the many hardships of daily life in the camps.