These passages come from The
biophilia hypothesis edited by Stephen Kellert and Edward Wilson. (
Press, 1993). If you like this writing, I encourage you to order a copy of this excellent collection of writings.
Searching for the Lost Arrow: Physical and
Spiritual Ecology in the Hunter’s World
Just below the
the temperature minus twenty degrees; the air adrift with frost crystals, presaging the onset of deeper cold.
Five men—Koyukon Indians—are leaning over the carcass of an exceptionally large black bear. For two
days they have
traversed a sprawling tract of the
entered hibernation dens. The animals are in prime condition at this season, but extremely difficult to find. Den
entrances, hidden beneath eighteen inches of powdery snow, are betrayed only by the subtlest of clues—patches
where no grass protrudes above the surface because it has been clawed away for insulation; faint
concavities hinting of footprint depressions in the moss below.
Earlier this morning the hunters made their first kill, a yearling. It was discovered by the group’s leader,
Moses Sam, who has trapped in this territory since childhood, following trails established long before by
his father. Moses is in his early sixties. He is known for his detailed knowledge of the land and his
extraordinary skill and success as a bear hunter. “No one else has that kind of luck with bear,” I am told.
“Some people are born with it. And he always takes good care of his animals—respects them. That’s
how he keeps his luck.”
A few minutes later, Moses pulls a small knife from his pocket, kneels beside the bear’s head, and
carefully slits the clear domes of its eyes. Vitreous fluid glistens on his fingers. “Now the bear won’t
see,” he explains softly, “if one of us makes a mistake or does something wrong.”
In Koyukon tradition, there are hundreds of rules for proper treatment of killed animals. A bear’s feet
should be removed first, for example, to keep its spirit from wandering. And certain parts are eaten away
from the village at a kind of funeral feast attended by men and boys. Koyukon hunters know that an animal’s
life ebbs slowly, that it remains aware and sensitive to how people treat its body. This is especially true for
the potent and demanding spirit of the bear.
Speaking of the black bear’s larger relative, a Koyukon elder once told me: “Every hair on a brown bear’s
hide has a life of its own…so it can’t keep still; it can’t keep its temper. It takes a few years for all that
life to be gone from a brown bear’s hide. That’s the kind of power it has.”
Perhaps the most important observation to be made about this episode is that contemporary Euro-Americans
are likely to find it exotic. Yet over the long run of history, stories like this have been utterly commonplace,
the essence of our interactions with the natural world, the very crux of human experience. For 99 percent of
our history, as anthropologists Richard Lee and liven DeVore have pointed out, human beings lived exclusively
as hunter-gatherers. On a relative time scale, agriculture has existed only for a moment and urban societies
scarcely more than a blink.
From this perspective, much of the human lifeway over the past several million years lies beyond the grasp
of urbanized Western peoples. And if we hope to understand what is fundamental to that lifeway, we must
look to traditions far different from our own.
I can imagine nothing for which this is more true than the human relationship to life-forms other than
ourselves. Probably no society has been so deeply alienated as ours from the community of nature, has
viewed the natural world from a greater distance of mind, has lapsed to a murkier comprehension of its
connections with the sustaining environment. Because of this, we are greatly disadvantaged in our efforts
to understand the basic human affinity for nonhuman life.
Here again, I believe it’s essential that we learn from traditional societies, especially those in which most
people experience daily and intimate contact with the land—above all, those who harvest a livelihood from
the wild environment: the hunters, fishers, trappers, and gatherers. In such communities, we find knowledge
similar to that achieved by our own scientific disciplines. And we are given important insights about how
humans engage themselves with the living process, insights founded on a wisdom that we had long forgotten
and are now beginning to rediscover…
Moreover, it’s difficult to find words that summarize the intricate interplay between hunter-gatherers and
the natural communities in which they hold membership. Our books and essays reduce to a few pages the
nearly infinite complexities of a human lifeway. We might best hope to create a metaphor, an image that
hints of something much larger and deeper than we’ve been able to penetrate.
Here is an example. A Navajo elder named Claus Chee Sonny recited texts from the Deer Huntingway
religious tradition which were recorded by ethnographer Karl Luckert. Among the instructions given to
hunters is this statement attributed to the divine Deer-people: “Animals are our food. They are our thoughts.”
Reading this statement is like walking through a doorway into a wild and illimitable terrain: it opens in all
directions. For me, these few words epitomize the pervasiveness of animals—and the natural world as a
whole—in the lives and minds and cultures of hunting-gathering peoples like those who inhabited much of
When I first went to live with Eskimo people, I often doubted things they told me or had difficulty taking
them seriously. Somehow I had learned that Western knowledge, embedded in our own scientific tradition,
carried a more substantial weight of truth than what was often termed “folk knowledge.” But the longer I
stayed, the more I trusted their assertions, because experience so frequently showed them right.
For example, hunters say the behavior of ringed seals surfacing in open leads is a reliable way to forecast
the weather. And because a sudden gale can set people adrift on the pack ice, accurate prediction can be a
matter of life and death. When seals raise chest-high in the water, snout pointed skyward, acting as if they’re
in no hurry to go anywhere, it indicates stable weather conditions. But if they surface briefly, head low, snout
parallel to the water, and tend to show themselves only once, a storm may be approaching. These indicators
are most important when combined with others, such as frequent howling by the sled dogs, stars twinkling
erratically, and current running from the south. My own experiences with seals and storms through the course
of winter affirmed what the Eskimos had said.
Many times I found that the seemingly mystical abilities of Inupiaq
hunters rested on the keen edge of intimate knowledge. Like a young Inupiaq in training, I grew less skeptical
and began consistently applying what I was told. Had I ever been rushed by a polar bear, for example, I would
have jumped away to the animal’s right side. Inupiaq elders say polar bears are left-handed, so you have a slightly
better chance to avoid their right paw, which is slower and less accurate. I’m pleased to say that I never had the
chance for a field test. But when we’re judging assertions like this, we should remember that Eskimos have had
close contact with polar bears over a period of several thousand years.
A hunter named Migalik recalled spotting a polar bear that was waiting beside a seal’s breathing hole in a
large area of flat ice. He couldn’t hope to approach it undetected, so he watched from the concealment of a
nearby ice ridge. As the hours passed, the animal took turns lifting first one foot, keeping it up for awhile,
easing it quietly down, and then lifting another. From this, Migalik concluded that the soles of a polar bear’s
feet are sensitive to the moist, salty, frigid surface of young sea ice. When at last the bear gave up and headed
for rough ice, Migalik predicted its direction, circled out ahead, and waited until it came within easy hunting
During the winter, ringed and bearded seals maintain tunnel-like breathing holes in ice many feet thick.
These holes are often capped with an igloo-shaped dome created by water sloshing onto the surface when
the animal enters from below. Inupiaq elders told me that polar bears are clever enough to excavate around
this dome, leaving it perfectly intact but thin enough so a hard swat will shatter the ice and smash the seal’s
skull. I couldn’t help wondering if this were true; but then a younger man described tracking a bear for many
miles, and along the way it had excavated one seal hole after another, waiting unsuccessfully at each before
moving on to try again.
When I lived in the
had a remarkable sense for animals—a genius for understanding and predicting their behavior—as if he
could penetrate their minds. Although he was no longer quick and strong, he joined a crew hunting bowhead
whales during the spring migration, his main role being that of advisor. Igruk had hunted bowheads since
childhood and probably knew them better than anyone else. Yet each time he spotted a whale coming from
the south, he counted the number of blows, timed how long it stayed down, and noted the distance it traveled
along the open lead, until it vanished toward the north. He never tired of studying whales and passing along
what he had learned to the other hunters.
Knowledgeable elders like Igruk are held in great respect; they are the masters of vital skills, the learned
intellectuals in their communities, the living libraries of tradition. These stories illustrate the way hunters
accumulate knowledge through patient observation and close interaction with their surroundings…
I’ll risk carrying the interchange between Eskimos and animals a step further to suggest that people have
not only learned about animals, but also from them. We’ve already seen how polar bears hunt seals by waiting
at their winter breathing holes, although I omitted details about keeping silent, staying downwind from the
hole, and knowing when a seal comes up for air.
Polar bears use a completely different method to hunt seals in the spring, when they crawl upon the ice to
bask in the sun. This tactic involves stalking over the ice until they’re close enough to catch the seal before
it can slip into a hole or crack. Here again, the bear’s success depends on keeping silent, avoiding detection
of its scent, moving at appropriate times, using concealment, and being still whenever the seal looks around.
(According to elders, the approaching bear will even use a paw to cover its conspicuous black nose.)
Eskimo methods for hunting seals, both at breathing holes and atop the spring ice, are essentially identical
to those of the polar bear. Is this a case of independent invention? A kind of convergent evolution? Or is it
possible that ancestral Eskimos learned the techniques by watching polar bears, who had perfected an
adaptation to the sea ice environment long before humans arrived in the arctic?
The hunter’s genius centers on knowing an animal’s behavior so well he can turn it to his advantage. For
instance, an Inupiaq method of hunting polar bears is to mimic a seal lying atop the ice, enticing the bear to
stalk within shooting range. This may be the only way to take a bear that’s on the far side of an open lead or
in a large flat area where it would see anyone trying to approach.
Here is another example. A polar bear will occasionally charge someone, especially if the bear has been
wounded. It’s hard to imagine a situation where the incorrect response would have a more immediate and purely
Darwinian result. Inupiaq elders warn that bullets sometimes glance off a bear’s skull, so you should wait until
the animal raises its head and then aim for the neck. Failing this, shoot for the bulging hindquarter, because a
bear hit in that spot will turn and bite the wound, exposing its neck for a deadly shot. One man said that when
he was charged by a bear, he stood up and ran straight at the animal, certain that it would stop—as it did—giving
him a clear, unmoving target.
Earlier I mentioned the great hunter Igruk, who understood animals so well he almost seemed to enter their
minds. In April 1971, I was in a whaling camp several miles off the Wainwright coast. Onshore winds had
closed the lead that whales usually follow in migration; but one large opening remained, and here the men
placed their camp. For a couple of days there had been no whales, so everyone stayed inside the warm tent,
talking and relaxing. The old man rested on a soft bed of caribou skins with his eyes closed. Then, suddenly,
he interrupted the conversation: “I think a whale is coming, and perhaps it will surface very close.”
To my amazement, everyone jumped into action, although none had seen or heard anything except Igruk’s
words. Only he stayed behind, while the others rushed for the water’s edge. I was last to leave the tent.
Seconds after I stepped outside, abroad, shining back cleaved up through still water near the opposite side
of the opening, accompanied by the burst of a whale’s blow.
Later, when I asked how he’d known, Igruk said,”There was a ringing inside my ears.” I am surely not a
mystic; I have no explanation other than his; and I can only report what I saw. None of the Inupiaq crew
members even commented afterward, as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened.
It’s important to say that Eskimos are not strict empiricists; they have a complex religious tradition that
imbues all of nature with spiritual powers. This aspect of Inupiaq life was mostly inaccessible to me, perhaps
because Christian beliefs have supplanted many of the ancestral ways. But elders sometimes talk about animal
abilities that we would call supernatural. Men speak carefully about their hunting plans, for example, because
animals are said to hear and understand, even from afar.
An Inupiaq hunter is taught never to boast of his skills or say demeaning things about animals, especially
large and dangerous ones like the polar bear, whale, and walrus. Offended animals may take revenge or shun
those who are disrespectful. “When you hunt walrus,” I was advised, “you must not act like a man. Do not
be arrogant; be humble.” Sometimes a few walrus are shot on an ice floe, but others from the herd refuse
to leave, surfacing at the edge, snorting and glaring. The men stand facing them, extend their opened arms,
and beg them to go away.
One Inupiaq elder recalled the ideals he was taught as an apprentice hunter: “When I was young, the
old-timers always told me to respect all the birds and animals, and don’t ever kill any unless you want it.
That way you can live a long time.”…
For the Koyukon, animals, plants, and elements of the physical world possess qualities that are both natural
and supernatural. The environment is inhabited by watchful and potent beings who feel, who can be offended,
and who should be treated with respect.
Consider the Koyukon hunters I described earlier having taken a black bear in its den. From the beginning,
they knew a great power had revealed itself to them. No one discovers a bear by skill and cleverness alone—
or purely by accident—because in the Koyukon world animals give or withhold themselves. A hunter’s “luck”
with a particular species depends on the respect he has shown toward it, which keeps him in a state of
harmony or grace. When Koyukon people talk about luck in hunting, they might say bik’ohnaatltonh,
“something took care of him.” This “something” is the animal’s spiritual power.
A bear hunter, confronting this power, should carefully follow the many rules for proper behavior toward
the animal. Earlier I mentioned slitting its eves and taking off its feet as the first step in butchering. Fresh
bear meat should also be kept strictly away from women, whose own feminine spirituality could alienate all
bears from the hunter. Although Koyukon women hunt and trap, they are prohibited from taking bears and
certain other spiritually powerful animals, such as wolves and otters.
When he comes home, a successful bear hunter should wait a while and then make a cryptic comment like:
“l found something in a hole.” This avoids any semblance of boasting or reveling in the animal’s demise, a
breach of etiquette that could case bad hunting luck, sickness, even death to a hunter or a member of his family.
Several days or more after a bear is killed, men and boys gather away from the village—exchange stories,
talk about bear hunting, and cook certain parts of the animal over an open fire. Elders say this is done to honor
the bear, protect those who hunt for it, and assure that bears will offer themselves in the future. Sitting beside
the fire, an old man once told me: “What we eat here is the main part of the bear’s life.”
According to Koyukon people, each individual animal has its own spirit, but offending one can alienate all
others of the species. Violations against nature can bring every sort of bad luck or personal harm, especially
when the most spiritually potent animals are involved—black bear, brown bear, wolverine, lynx, otter, and
wolf. But mistreating or disrespecting any creature can alienate its spirit. Even a redback vole or a ruby-
crowned kinglet is a power to be recognized. No one is ever alone in the wild: no one is ever outside the
bounds of moral restraint. “There’s always something in the air that watches us,” a village elder said.
Some animals, like the bear, are surrounded by dozens of rules or taboos; for others there are only a few.
But the basic rules of respect apply to everything in nature—animals, plants, earth, water, sky. Here is a
scattering of examples: People should not point at a mountain or at the stars. Explaining this, a woman told
me: “You should never point at something that’s so much greater than you are.” After peeling its bark,
you should bury a birch log under the snow, not leave it naked and exposed to the cold air. It is taboo to scrape
moose hide at night; to wear clothing made from lynx if you are a woman; to eat meat from a loon if you are a
youth or a fertile woman; to intentionally trap a porcupine (though it can be hunted); to leave a wolverine’s
carcass near children (the emanating power of its spirit can cripple a child); to put fresh bear meat where it
might be eaten by dogs; to discard the bones of game animals with household refuse. A complete list would
include hundreds of rules like these.
The necessary killing of animals and harvesting of plants is not considered disrespectful. The natural order—
established in a time beyond memory—dictates that humans and other animals must sustain themselves by
taking other lives. But people should do everything possible to prevent unnecessary suffering; they should
never take more than they need or waste what has been given them; and they should treat all remains according
to the traditional rules…
Before imported foods were available, Koyukon people experienced times of scarcity or starvation when
important food species reached simultaneous population lows. Some villagers remember spring cold snaps
when stored supplies were gone and people survived by gathering songbirds that froze to death under the trees.
Given these uncertainties, it’s not surprising that Koyukon tradition includes strong prohibitions against
waste. If an animal is killed it should be carefully butchered, stored where it will not spoil or be defiled by
scavengers, and used as fully as possible. To do otherwise will offend its spirit, bringing bad luck or sickness.
Meat is a sacred substance, still permeated with the animal’s spirit. As a matter of respect, one woman advised
that a platter of meat should be covered with a cloth before carrying it outside to a neighbor’s house.
Hunters should also do everything possible to avoid losing wounded game, lest they be punished for wasting
an animal or causing it to suffer unnecessarily. If someone kills a diseased or starving animal for humane
reasons, it should be symbolically butchered and covered with brush to appease the spirit. “Otherwise it
would look like you just killed it for nothing.”
Avoidance of waste is a pervasive theme in Koyukon environmental ethics. Another theme is intentional
limitation of harvests to help maintain plant and animal populations. The underlying principle is essentially
identical to our own concept of sustained yield management. Koyukon people are keenly aware of ecological
processes. During their lifetimes, elders have observed population changes in most of the economically
significant species. They have felt the weather “growing old,” as winters lose their former intensity. They
have seen the country become drier—lakes changing to meadows, meadows to thickets, thickets to forests.
They have seen floods revitalize sterile lakes with increasing populations of fish. They have watched
successional changes in vegetation and animal communities after fires. And they have observed the effects
of both overharvesting and fallowing.
Building on this awareness, Koyukon villagers attempt to manage their uses of animals and plants. For
example, they advise simple, common-sense practices like cutting large trees for firewood and leaving the
smaller ones. People who seine whitefish in the fall prefer wide-meshed nets that allow younger fish to escape,
although all sizes are equally valuable for feeding sled dogs. Trappers regulate their take of furbearers, hoping
for the best long-term yields. Special trap sets are made to catch only large beaver, for instance, and the traps
are usually removed after two are taken. This leaves a nucleus of young beavers in each house. One man
criticized himself for taking too many otters from his trapline in a single year. Another said proudly that he
trapped the same area for most of his life, and the country is as rich today as when he started.
Hunters try to limit their moose takes according to need. They also avoid local overharvest by hunting in
dispersed areas and foster reproduction by making selective kills. Men from one village decided against
taking black bears in the spring so that more would be available during fall when bears are in peak condition.
For obvious reasons, people follow these practices most strictly when food is readily available and less so
during hard times such as the spring shortages earlier in this century.
Even before Western technology became available, Koyukon people had the capacity to overexploit certain
species. Traditional snares and deadfalls are highly effective, for example, and I believe their unrestrained use
could have a serious impact on species as large as moose or as small as beavers. Today, the same prudent
principles have been applied to firearms, snow machines, steel traps, cable snares, and other modern devices.
Conservation practices like these are based partly on knowledge of ecological dynamics, partly on moral
principles and spiritual beliefs. They emerge from a worldview that strongly opposes unrestrained exploitation
of an environment that is not only finite and changeable but also aware. “The country knows,” an elder told
me. “If you do wrong things to it, the whole country knows. It feels what’s happening to it. I guess
everything is connected together somehow, under the ground.”
The subject of Native American conservation practices has been controversial: some analysts have doubted
the effectiveness of such practices and others have questioned their very existence. l can only speak with
assurance about my experiences and research among the Koyukon, for whom a conservation ethic and sustained
yield management are indeed basic elements of environmental relationships. Ethnographic accounts strongly
suggest that similar traditions exist (or existed) among other Native American peoples.
In judging the evidence, it’s important to remember what I mentioned earlier: indigenous communities are
no different from any others; some individuals violate even the strictest laws or moral edicts. Among the
Koyukon, there are puritans and sinners, conformists and lawbreakers, and all shades between. Even orthodox
people can recall occasions when they disobeyed the code of respect toward an animal, offending its spirit
and bringing themselves bad luck. Moreover, whole societies may adhere strictly to some of their own ideals,
less strictly to others; and the degree of adherence can vary from one time to another.
It would be surprising, indeed, to find that Native Americans had never been guilty of waste, overharvest,
or environmental damage. But it would also be a mistake to conclude that such breaches nullify the entire
existence of conservation ethics and practices in these cultures. In my opinion, the ethnographic record
supports the existence of a widespread and well-developed tradition of conservation, land stewardship, and
religiously based environmental ethics among Native Americans…
I do not mean to idealize traditional peoples or to imply that they live in an elysian world of harmony and
perfection—they do not. But in communities like those of the Koyukon, ideological constraints on human
behavior and uses of technology (both traditional and modern) create a truly sustainable relationship between
humans and environment. In this relationship, people are nourished by what the natural community provides
while the diversity and fecundity of nature are nourished in turn.
Cases like that of the Koyukon offer little support for the widely held view that humans are by definition a
blight; that we cannot exist without destroying our environment; that we have no rightful place on earth. These
self-accusations may not reflect a human condition so much as a cultural condition brought about by agriculture
and domestication—what anthropologist Hugh Brody has called “the neolithic catastrophe.”
The worldview that has emerged among industrialized agricultural societies has brought us to the edge of
ecological collapse. If we cannot avert a cataclysm, Richard Lee and Irven DeVore suggest that “interplanetary
archaeologists of the future will classify our planet as one in which a very long and stable period of small-scale
hunting and gathering was followed by an apparently instantaneous efflorescence of technology and society
leading rapidly to extinction.”
What l am suggesting is that biophilia—a deep, pervasive, ubiquitous, all embracing affinity with life—lies
at the very core of traditional hunting-fishing-gathering cultures. That people like the Koyukon manifest
biophilia in virtually every dimension of their existence. That connectedness with nonhuman life infuses the
entire spectrum of their thought, behavior, and belief.
Indeed, it might be impossible for such people to stand far enough outside themselves to imagine a generalized
concept of biophilia and give it a name. As a prerequisite, they might need a measure of disaffiliation from
nonhuman life, a remoteness from other organisms that is impossible for those so intimately bound with the
Perhaps, like the curved edge of earth, biophilia only becomes visible from a distance.
Yet an affinity for other life may be as vital to us as water, food, and breath; may be so deep in us that only
by a centuries-old malaise of drifting away have we come to the point of thinking about it. At the conclusion
more important question in the latter twentieth century. But it seems nearly certain that throughout most of
history, humans did love life. Every aspect of culture and mind was permeated with biophilia.
The essential question may not be whether biophilia is an innate and universal human tendency, but why a
very recent branch of human culture has veered away from it. And how long we can survive in its absence. As
we work to resurrect a sustainable human lifeway, I believe we have much to learn from traditional cultures
like the Inupiaq and Koyukon. Even now, we are finding our way back to the same principles that have guided
their long and successful membership in the natural community.
If we can recover that lost wisdom, the physical and spiritual affinity with life celebrated by the concept of
biophilia might so deeply pervade our worldview that we would no longer apply a name to it.
Among my strongest memories from the years in Alaskan villages are two offhand comments uttered in very
different contexts. Ending a conversation about the incursions of Euro-American culture into his arctic world,
an old Inupiaq hunter said: “The white man is a genius alright, but…” His voice trailed off, and in a
thoroughly Eskimo way he let silence carry the message: Western culture lacks something of great importance.
Years later, I was trekking through the forest with a young Koyukon man. In the midst of our casual banter,
he teased: “Dick, you’re smart but not wise.” Over the following days, his words came back to me again and
again. I had never before thought of the distinction, yet it was clear even to a teenager in this community, where
people recognize that the young can know a great deal but only the elders can be wise. I’ve always suspected his
comment was not meant only for me, personally, but for the culture to which I belong.
I believe people like the Koyukon and Inupiaq have a far better sense than modern Euro-Americans about the
relative importance of knowledge and wisdom. In Western society, we emphasize the paramount value of
knowledge: information, facts, that which can be discovered through our empirical disciplines; the palpable,
In traditional societies of my acquaintance, people recognize the vital importance of knowledge; but I suspect
they would judge wisdom to be even more important. My old dictionary defines wisdom as “the power of true
and right discernment; also, conformity to the course of action dictated by such discernment.” And the entry
for wise reads: “seeing clearly what is right and just; having sound judgment.., prudent, sensible.., having great
learning.., versed in mysterious things.”
Is it possible that wisdom has been more important than knowledge as a basis for the long and successful
travelers found here a vast and untrammeled beauty, an extraordinary wealth and diversity of wild species, an
array of intact natural communities?
Perhaps our imbalance with the environment and our loss of affinity with life reflect a single-minded pursuit
of knowledge and a diminished regard for wisdom. And the greatest promise of Western science may be less
in the knowledge it brings us than in its ability to reveal a wisdom similar to that so pervasive in Native American
There is a riddle, one of many told by Koyukon people “to help shorten the winter”:
Wait, I see something. I am looking everywhere for a lost arrow.
Answer: The search for a black bear’s den.
For me, this riddle stands both as an illustration of Koyukon people’s relationship to nature and as a
metaphor. The lost arrow represents our abandoned sense of physical connectedness to the natural world; the
bear symbolizes our need to rediscover a deep, perhaps spiritually based, affiliation with life. Scientific
knowledge is our way of finding tracks under the snow, watching for places where the grass is scratched away,
leading us toward the hidden den. But knowledge may not suffice without the balance of harmony, without
that state of grace through which the animal reveals itself.
In the end, it is the wisdom of humility and respect that brings a Kovukon hunter to the bear.
I am grateful
to the people of Wainwright, Ambler, Chalkyitsik, Huslia, and
lives and traditions with me over the years. I know only enough of Inupiaq and Athabaskan Indian traditions to
realize how little I have learned, so I beg my instructors’ understanding for the errors and shortcomings in
my work. Personal names mentioned in the text are pseudonyms.