January 1922. With powerful forces a new century pressing in around them, Danish explorer and scientist Knud Rasmussen visits the isolated camp on the great Iglulik shaman, Aua. For Rasmussen and his protege, the young anthropologist Therkel Mathiassen, arriving at Aua's family camp is like falling into Paradis, an artic Garden of Eden with an intoxicating mix of spiritual and physical vitality, joyful intelligence and exuberant generosity. What the Danes don't realize is Aua's temporary fortress of beauty and tranquillity stands surrounded by the steamroller of the twentieth century - the introduction of Inuit-language Christian bibles, increasing dependence of foreign trade good and the first police investigation of a murder of a white man - and that nomadic Inuit can't stay in one place even if there's nowhere safe to go.

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