ABSTRACT This article follows the trail of muskoxen over many millennia and continents, focussing on their relations to humans – as their hunters and their protectors, itinerant partners and boundary makers. The human-animal histories referred to in the title began when the Pleistocene era was replaced by the Holocene and continued until the present. The article is not “historical” in the sense of being governed by a strict timeline, but the argument unfolds through topics of different historical origins, tracing particular themes. It starts with “origins” and the early loss of genetic variation, proceeds to early modern naturalist “discovery” and naming, and then onwards to early twentieth-century political skirmishes over territories and hunting rights, and finally to recent activities of muskox hunting. The story closes with a reflection on the poetics of the Muskox World.

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