THE people of the North (as I revealed at the beginning of this book) are exposed to nights of great length; consequently they use various kinds of lights to carry out the indispensable duties that contribute to their ease at home. It must therefore be indicated that in winter men and women in the sub-polar regions pursue their lives using the fat of sea-beasts to procure every advantage for themselves, as I shall later describe when I discuss the benefits derived from whales and seals. 1 This fat the common folk call traan, or lyse (from the light it gives), for when it is poured into lamps it shines very clearly and brightly, 2 particularly in the houses of great families, and in churches, where an ever-present illumination is needed in veneration of Our Lord’s Body. But to avoid its being drunk up by night ravens or owls or bats, they keep the mouths of the lamps closed off with small iron grilles, as I shall show below when I deal with the different species of night-birds. 3

Various kinds of lights

Use of fish fat

Traan or lyse