Krosa is Sanskrit for a cry, and thus has come to mean the distance over which a man’s call can be heard, roughly two miles. In the central forests of Sri Lanka calculations of distance are also made by sound: a dog’s bark indicates a quarter of a mile; a cock’s crow something more; and hoo is the space over which a man can be heard when shouting the word at the highest pitch of his voice. While in the Yakut language of Siberia, kiosses represents a specific distance calculated in terms of the time it takes to cook a piece of meat.
Archive for June, 2008
Inuit calendars have very charming names. January is siqinnaarut, the month when the sun returns; February is qangattaarjuk, referring to the sun getting higher and higher in the sky; March is avunniit, when premature baby seals are born: some make it, some free to death; April is natsijjat; the proper month for seal pups to be born May is tirigluit, when bearded seals are born; June is manniit, when the birds are laying eggs; July is saggaruunt, the sound of rushing water as the rivers start to run; August us akulliruut, when the summer has come and the caribou hair is neither too thin nor too thick but just right for making into clothing; October is ukialliruut, when the caribou antlers lose their covers; November is tusaqtuut, when the ice forms and people can travel to see other people and get news; December is taujualuk, a very dark month.