. Northern Hunter and Dusky Carib: Frederick Albion Ober and his Followers (1877–1907)

Peter Hulme

in Remnants of Conquest

Published in print November 2000 | ISBN: 9780198112150
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670688 | DOI:
. Northern Hunter and Dusky Carib: Frederick Albion Ober and his Followers (1877–1907)

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When Frederick Albion Ober got back in 1879 from his long trip to the Caribbean, Lucy Larcom, a well-known New Englander and neighbour of the Ober family, wrote a poem about him called ‘The Cry of the Sunset Bird’. The appended note to the name ‘sunset bird’ explains that ‘the cry of this bird, just before nightfall, is supposed by the Caribs to be the voice of a spirit; and they believe that whoever tries to follow it will be led into some dreadful calamity’. While the ‘dusky Carib’ cowers fearfully, a man of destiny strides forward. The fearless northern hunter ignores the words of superstition and sets off after the bird. Ober was a scientist adventurous enough to investigate nature in spite of the Carib's superstitious warnings, and he was able to demonstrate to them the baselessness of their way of interacting with the natural world.

Keywords: Frederick Albion Ober; Lucy Larcom; sunset bird; Caribs; spirit; dusky Carib; northern hunter; superstition; natural world

Chapter.  22911 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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