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Inuit mythology has many similarities to the religions of other polar regions. Inuit traditional religious practices could be very briefly summarised as a form of shamanism based on animist principles. In some respects, Inuit mythology stretches the common conception of what the term "mythology" means. Unlike Greek mythology, for example, at least a few people have believed in it, without interruption, from the distant past up to and including the present time. While the dominant religious system of the Inuit today is Christianity, many Inuit do still hold to at least some element of their traditional religious beliefs. Some see the Inuit as having adapted traditional beliefs to a greater or lesser degree to Christianity, while others would argue that it is rather the reverse that its true: The Inuit have adapted Christianity to their worldview. Inuit traditional cosmology is not religion in the usual theological sense, and is similar to what most people think of as mythology only in that it is a narrative about the world and the place of people in it. In the words of Inuit writer Rachel Attituq Qitsualik:
The Inuit cosmos is ruled by no one. There are no divine mother and father figures. There are no wind gods and solar creators. There are no eternal punishments in the hereafter, as there are no punishments for children or adults in the here and now.
Indeed, the traditional stories, rituals and taboos of the Inuit are so tied into the fearful and precautionary culture required by their harsh environment that it raises the question as to whether they qualify as beliefs at all, much less religion. Knud Rasmussen asked his guide and friend Aua, an angakkuq (shaman), about Inuit religious beliefs among the Iglulingmiut (people of Igloolik) and was told: "We don't believe. We fear." Living in a varied and irregular world, the Inuit traditionally did not worship anything, but they feared much. Some authors debate the conclusions we might deduce from Aua's words, because the angakkuq was under the influence of missionaries, and later he even converted to Christianity — converted people often see the ideas in polarisation and contrasts, the authors say. Their study also analyses beliefs of several Inuit groups, concluding (among others) that fear was not diffuse.
First were unipkaaqs : myths, legends, and folktales which took place "back then" in the indefinite past (taimmani).
The Inuit believed that all things had a form of spirit or soul (in Inuktitut: anirniq - breath; plural anirniit), just like humans. These spirits were held to persist after death - a common belief present in practically all human societies. However, the belief in the pervasiveness of spirits - the root of Inuit myth structure - has consequences. According to a customary Inuit saying "The great peril of our existence lies in the fact that our diet consists entirely of souls." By believing that all things have souls like those of humans, killing an animal is little different from killing a person. Once the anirniq of the dead - animal or human - is liberated, it is free to take revenge. The spirit of the dead can only be placated by obedience to custom, avoiding taboos, and performing the right rituals. The harshness and randomness of life in the Arctic ensured that Inuit lived constantly in fear of unseen forces. A run of bad luck could end an entire community, and begging potentially angry and vengeful but unseen powers for the necessities of day-to-day survival is a common consequence of a precarious existence even in modern society. For the Inuit, to offend an anirniq was to risk extinction. The principal role of the angakkuq in Inuit society was to advise and remind people of the rituals and taboos they needed to obey to placate the spirits, since he was held to be able to see and contact them. The anirniit were seen to be a part of the sila - the sky or air around them - and were merely borrowed from it. Although each person's anirniq was individual, shaped by the life and body it inhabited, at the same time it was part
fertility and medicine • Qailertetang. although they employed ritual ceremonies involving drumming. recounted in a traditional tale. Some were helping spirits that could be called upon in times of need. After death. guardian of animals.be it sea mammals. In some cases.Inuit mythology of a larger whole. but functioned as a mediator with (or defender against) the spirits. He or she could fight or exorcise bad tuurngait.weather spirit. However. Arnakuagsak. Angakuit The angakkuq was the shaman of a community of Inuit. or plants . tornrait. as described below. These figures were called tuurngait (also tornait. Some were evil and monstrous. and dancing. or they could be held at bay by rituals. tornrak. and a counselor. This enabled Inuit to borrow the powers or characteristics of an anirniq by taking its name. singular tuurngaq.personification of the air • Nanook .the master of caribou . Qailertetang is the companion of Sedna. and matron of fishers and hunters. but the other soul components could be reborn. and could be invoked through a sort of keeper or master who was connected in some fashion with that class of thing. as recounted in the story of Atanarjuat. This is the root word for a number of other Christian terms: anirnisiaq means angel and God is rendered as anirnialuk . and find animals to hunt and feed the community. tarngek). In other cases. the spirits of a single class of thing . • Sedna . with Christianisation.were in some sense held to be the same. polar bears. • Sila . They could also possess humans. responsible for bad hunts and broken tools. Though once Tuurngaq simply meant "helping spirit". it is a tuurngaq. taken on the meaning of demon in the Christian belief system. the iñuusiq departed for the east. an angakkuq with harmful intentions could also use "tuurngait" for their own personal gain. including Nerrivik. or to attack other people and their tuurngait.the great spirit. it is the anirniq of a human or animal who became a figure of respect or influence over animals things through some action. it has.the mistress of sea animals • Sedna (Sanna in modern Inuktitut spelling) is known under many names. ” Tuurngait Some spirits were by nature unconnected to physical bodies. 2 “ Humans were a complex of three main parts : two souls (iñuusiq and iḷitqusiq : perhaps "life force" and "personal spirit") and a name soul  (atiq). Since the arrival of Christianity among the Inuit. They were held to be born with their gifts and not trained. The angakkuq has largely disappeared in Christianised Inuit society. and Nuliajuk. Deities Below is an incomplete list of Inuit myth figures thought to hold power over some specific part of the Inuit world: • Pinga. Furthermore. tornat. An angakkuq with good intentions could use them to heal sickness.the goddess of the hunt. chanting. Arnapkapfaaluk. anirniq has become the accepted word for a soul in the Christian sense.(Nanuk in the modern spelling) the master of polar bears • Tekkeitsertok . torngak. a healer.
Tizheruk are snake-like monsters. msn. (p. Retrieved 18 February 2012. Ame. François Trudel (2000). and History (http:/ / www. Up to today the Qalupalik story is still being told in schools. "Arctic Peoples". Tom. Jarich Oosten.J. Qalupaliks have a distinctive humming sound. books and by parents who don’t want their children to wander off to the dangerous shore. inuitmyths.Eskimo Religion (http:/ / yomee. htm) Kleivan & Sonne 1985:32 Lowenstein 1992. webcitation. NFB. . Frédéric. Saumen kars or 'Tornits' are the Inuit version of the hairy man or yeti myth. nfb. org/ 5kwrQcN0b). edu/ tour/ link=/ earth/ polar/ inuit_culture. Papatsie. The Things That Were Said of Them : Shaman Stories and Oral Histories of the Tikiġaq People. see angakkuq. and the elders have said you can hear the Qalupaliks humming when they are near. B. aspx?refid=761561130& pn=2) on 2009-10-31. p. Notes  Inuit Culture. inuitmyths. "Nunavut Animation Lab: Qalupalik" (http:/ / www. Franz Boas (1888) The Central Eskimo. • Laugrand. fascicle 2. Iconography of religions.from the Inuit tribes. htm). htm  "Qallupilluit . xxxv Lowenstein 1992. Qalupaliks wear an amautik so it can take babies and children who disobey their parents or wander off alone and takes the children in her amautik under water were she adopts them as their own. long hair with green skin and long finger nails. ISBN 0-520-06569-7. CA: University of California Press. com/ story_qua. a "troll-like" creature" (http:/ / www. Retrieved 7 November 2011.ca. Berkeley. Memory and History in Nunavut. ca/ film/ nunavut_animation_lab_qalupalik/ ) (Animated short). Brill. Representing Tuurngait. Tupilaq are avenging monsters which were invoked using Shamanic magic. The Netherlands: Institute of Religious Iconography • State University Groningen. Asatchaq (informant). Sonne (1985). section VIII. Archived from the original (http:/ / encarta.Inuit mythology 3 Creatures and spirits Qalupalik is a myth/legend that was told by Inuit parents and elders to prevent children from wandering to the shore where the Qalupaliks live. "Qallupilluit " are "troll-like" creature that come after misbehaving children. Tukummiq (translator) (1992). Volume 1. p. com/ story_qua. E. • Kleivan. The myth was adapted as a 2010 stop motion animation short Qalupalik by Ame Papatsie. . .  http:/ / www. com/ Religions/ Other/ Inuit. Traditions. ISBN 90-04-07160-1.       Inuit . Qalupalik: human-like creatures that live in the sea. Leiden. com/ encnet/ refpages/ RefArticle. Eskimos: Greenland and Canada. Nunavut Arctic College. National Film Board of Canada. References • Lowenstein. For the same role in other Inuit dialects. ucar.212-213). html)  "Inuit at Encarta" (http:/ / www. xxxiii This is the Inuktitut name. windows. Inge. .
loc. ISBN 0-9688806-0-6 • Christopher.gov/catdir/enhancements/fy0707/2006043577-d. Edwin S. John's. Louise Flaherty. • Video game Penumbra: Black Plague by Frictional Games. Stories of the Amautalik Fantastic Beings from Inuit Myths and Legends.org/wcpa/oclc/25507848?page=frame&url=http://www. 2001.org/wcpa/oclc/68694425?page=frame&url=http://www. Fla: Harcourt. James Houston's Treasury of Inuit Legends (http://worldcatlibraries. The Civilization of the American Indian series. ISBN 0-7660-1559-9 .gov/ catdir/enhancements/fy0707/2006043577-b. the 1990 opera by John Metcalf features several spirits in the Arctic scenes. Hans.html&title=&linktype=digitalObject&detail=).. NJ: Enslow Pub. The Eskimo Storyteller: Folktales from Noatak. • Wolfson. Further reading • Asatchaq. v. Alaska. Boundaries and Passages Rule and Ritual in Yup'ik Eskimo Oral Tradition. Alex.org/wcpa/oclc/34934135?page=frame&url=http://www. 2006. Berkeley Heights. ISBN 0-88854-427-8 • Millman. Neil. New York: Harcourt Brace. 2007.html&title=&linktype=digitalObject&detail=). The Girl Who Dreamed Only Geese. and Other Tales of the Far North (http://worldcatlibraries. 1979.loc.gov/ catdir/bios/ucal051/92006319.loc. ISBN 0-15-230979-9 • Spalding. and Tom Lowenstein. • The Terror. Dale.loc. The Infected are the main enemies serving the hive mind Tuurngait. 1994. The Arctic Sky Inuit Astronomy. and Timothy White. Leo Dillon. ISBN 0-88496-267-9 • Norman. ISBN 978-0-9782186-3-8 • Fienup-Riordan. Dan Simmons.Inuit mythology 4 Fiction • Tornrak. 1987. St. A Kayak Full of Ghosts Eskimo Tales. • Himmelheber. 1998. Howard A. Where the Echo Began And Other Oral Traditions from Southwestern Alaska. Berkeley: University of California Press.html&title=&linktype=digitalObject&detail=). James A (http://worldcatlibraries. ISBN 1-889963-03-8 • Houston. Star Lore. 1992. Ann.org/wcpa/oclc/68694425?page=frame&url=http://www. 2007. Nfld: Educational Resource Development Co-operative. and Legend. Iqaluit. 2001. ISBN 0-15-205924-5 • MacDonald. Lawrence. Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press. Horror novel. and Diane Dillon. 1997. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. Santa Barbara: Capra Press. The Things That Were Said of Them Shaman Stories and Oral Histories of the Tikiġaq People (http://worldcatlibraries. Inuit Life Writings and Oral Traditions Inuit Myths. 1975. Evelyn.html&title=&linktype=digitalObject&detail=). Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-520-06569-7 • Blake. 212.gov/catdir/ description/har041/96020880. and Larry MacDougall. Inuit Mythology. Eight Inuit Myths = Inuit Unipkaaqtuat Pingasuniarvinilit. Orlando. John. ISBN 0-8061-2604-3 • Hall. Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum/Nunavut Research Institute. Nunavut: Inhabit Media. and Ann Fienup-Riordan. Ottawa: National Museums of Canada. 2000.
Briaboru. JuJube. Wesley. Rich Farmbrough. Ghost97. Pne. Rchamberlain. Deor.org/w/index. MatthewVanitas. Peter cohen.org/licenses/by-sa/3. Professor marginalia. Saumen75. Pradiptaray. JorisvS. Urco. Ironicon. Twipley. Holbenilord. Gregbard. Azchael. Jusdafax. Lithoderm.php?oldid=493853919 Contributors: 0XQ.0/ . Rossumcapek. LilHelpa. Kurieeto. Cyfal. KnightRider. Vriullop. Algkalv. Saforrest. Gurch. EldKatt. Captain-n00dle. Bema Self. Bambamnch73. Lucky number 49. Taketa. 126 anonymous edits License Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3. Hooperbloob. Markwiki. MarkGallagher. ABF. LlywelynII. The Singing Badger. Brownpau.Article Sources and Contributors 5 Article Sources and Contributors Inuit mythology Source: http://en. Jeff G. Sintaku. Joyous!. Mairi. Jamoche. Aecis. John Price. Kcordina. Lorenzarius. JBellis.. Eequor. Moxy. David G Brault. Meggar. Goldenrowley. Labongo. Raven in Orbit.0 Unported //creativecommons. Rosiestep. CambridgeBayWeather. JamesAM. Ktotam. Xezbeth. Arne List. Exit2DOS2000. Simon Peter Hughes. Uyvsdi. Physis. Nat Krause. Shawn in Montreal. Bearcat. Diotti. StarLegacy. Belovedfreak. Frozenevolution.wikipedia. GaneshaMoon. ShadowMan13. JQF. Diderot.
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