Kittybrewster story box project

As the first school to work with us on the Explore Your Archive story box project, Kittybrewster Primary School P7 class has spent the last few weeks developing an exhibition on the David Cardno story box. After visiting the Special Collections Centre to see the original Cardno archive items and also exploring the Yup’ik exhibition of Inuit and Eskimo material culture at King’s Museum, the class then decided for themselves the direction they would take, focussing on Cardno’s observations and memories of the Inuit people he met on Baffin Island. Below is their report on the project so far.

Hello, we’re Kittybrewster Primary School primary 7. We’re working on the story box project which will be exhibited at The Sir Duncan Rice Library.

We went to the University to learn about the Inuit and David Cardno. David Cardno was a whaler in Aberdeenshire who travelled to a lot of places. We split into two groups. Half of them were making Inuit masks and half of them visited the King’s Museum. At the Special Collections Centre we saw David Cardno’s real journals from long ago and they were fascinating.

Inuit-style mask

Making Inuit-style masks in the Special COllections Centre

When we were back at school we started reading the journals that were printed off and the pages about the Eskimo deities. It was interesting because it was the real thing. A few weeks later we started to learn about the gods and then we chose which one we would like to do a “wanted” poster about. The Inuit prayed to the deities for deer so that they wouldn’t starve or freeze. David Cardno wrote about 10 of them but there were at least 30 more. We were surprised that they had so many gods and that they varied in so many ways. One is a man who is naked, fat and short and he dances underwater to make waves. Another is a bird which has a head of a bird and the body of a man and he is one of the strongest gods. He delivers meat to the Eskimos.

wanted poster for Inuit god

We didn’t know the difference between the Arctic and the Antarctic so we had to learn about them. We listened to a song about the seven continents. Then we learned that there are seven continents and four major oceans. We learned about lines of latitude and longitude. We learned about hemispheres, and that there are different seasons in the different hemispheres because the earth is tilted in space. The earth goes round the sun. We learned the song and it was interesting, funny and awesome. For the song we have Joy as the main singer, Max and Michael as the dancers, and even though it’s good we are all still slightly embarrassed!

rehearsing for the continents song

We also made anti-racism posters. We made them because people call the Inuit Eskimos and they don’t like it. We used different tints and shades. A tint is when you use white with a colour, and a shade is when you mix black with a colour. The purpose of our posters was to show that everyone is made up of different skin tones but we’re all the same inside, and that the Inuit are people just like us.

Racism artworks

We chose different arctic animals and then we drew them and ripped up catalogues and stuck them on. We used catalogues because we were re-using them to protect the Arctic from global warming. Polar bears are becoming critically endangered because the ice is melting and they end up drowning.

Arctic hare

It was interesting how David Cardno learned how to survive in the Arctic and how the Inuit survived. We pitched a tent in the school garden but it wasn’t as windy or as cold as the Arctic. We learned that the Inuit were tough, heroic, indestructible and hard working. We should respect them.


Our exhibition is showing for a week from Monday 18th November until Sunday 24th November. Come to our exhibition because we’ve worked hard, it’s free, educational and epic!

Come along to The Sir Duncan Rice Library to see the full exhibition! Running 19th-24th November during Explore Your Archive Week in the events space, 09:00-20:00 each day. Free.


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