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Inuit Spiritualism

Inuit Spiritualism Quintych (watercolor study), Mark W. McGinnis 1997

The Inuit people inhabit a vast Arctic area stretching nearly 6000 kilometers, from the islands of far western Alaska to the east coast of Greenland. They were previously called “Eskimos,” which was a name applied to them by the Algonquin Indians meaning “eaters of raw meat.” The name “Inuit,” from the Inuit language means “people” or “real people.” The Inuit are genetically distinct from the Indian tribes to the south. While there are many tribal differences among the Inuit, there are many similarities as well, including the same basic language form and many similarities of oral tradition and spiritual  beliefs.

The Inuit live in the most inhospitable environment inhabited by human beings. Their survival as a people has depended on finely honed skills, intelligence and the ability to work together. Thousands of years of experience, handed down generation after generation, taught them how to survive in an environment that seems incapable of sustaining human beings (Morrison 12-130). The winter temperatures in the Arctic ranges from minus 25 degrees Celsius to minus 35 degrees Celsius.  Winter begins in October and the thaw does not arrive until July.

In the past, fear of famine was not something vague but very real. About one winter in six to eight people would starve to death. And in every generation a starvation disaster would strike and wipe out entire villages (Morrison 90). These great hardships made infanticide an unfortunate necessity in some tribes. When conditions of starvation loomed it was impossible to bring more mouths to feed into the community. Female children were the most often put to death by exposure on the ice, as males had more potential for bringing sustenance to the village (Morrison 101).

These incredibly severe conditions led to the evolution over four thousand years of a belief system that was one of coping with the crushing difficulty of their environment. Aua, an Inuit shaman, explained their beliefs as follows:

All of customs come from life and turn towards life; we explain nothing, we believe nothing…

We fear the weather spirit of the earth, that we must fight against to wrest our food from the land and sea. We fear Sila.

We fear death and hunger in the cold snow huts.

We fear Takanakapsaluk [Sedna], the great woman down at the bottom of the sea, that rules over all the beast of the sea.

We fear the sickness that we meet with daily all around us; not death, but the suffering.

We fear evil spirits of life, those of the air, of the sea and earth, that can help the wicked shamans to harm their fellow men.

We fear the souls of dead human beings and of the animals we have killed.

Therefore it is that our fathers have inherited form their fathers all the old rules of life which are based on the experience and wisdom of generations. We do not now know how, we cannot say why, but we keep those rules in order that we may live untroubled. And so ignorant are we in spite of all our shamans, that we fear everything unfamiliar. We fear what we see about us, and we fear all the invisible things that are likewise about us, all that we have heard in our forefathers’ stories and myths. (Merkur II ix-x)

This account of a belief system based on fear may seem a blind reaction to the inhospitable environment, but in application it maintained a deep, creative understanding and balance between human beings and the other forces of nature around them.

The Inuit spirit world can be divided into two large categories. The first, the “tornaq,” consists of metaphysical beings that can be called spirits. The second, “innue,” are indwellers in nature, forces within nature that define the structure of nature.

Tornaq or spirits are not freely discussed by the Inuit as they are feared. Spirits are normally invisible, the ghost of an animal or person, although a spirit can be a wholly mythic creature as well. It can appear as an apparition to shamans or sometimes to lay people.  Spirits are responsible for accidents, diseases, and death and can cause all kinds of illnesses by stealing the free soul from the individual. They are the free souls of people and animals who have been denied existence in the after-life and have turned evil from that denial. Spirits are never worshipped; they are feared and despised and sometimes exorcised and destroyed.

Indwellers are more intangible entities in the Inuit spiritual world. To the Inuit all existence has life. Rocks, air, weather, food, animals, birds, insects — all have life. All do not have souls but all have life, which is a manifestation of an indweller (Merkur II 22-24).

The Inuit do not hold to ideas of gods to be worshipped. They only know the powers of nature that act on them which they describe as indwellers. Indwellers can be thought of as a kind of personification of natural forces. Daniel Merkur observes that the Indwellers of the Inuit are actually more analogous to the Western concepts of the forces of gravity and magnetism than what we might think of as gods or angels or demons (II, 255).

The soul, as the Inuit conceive it, has two basic components. The first, the  breath soul, is responsible for life. If it is lost the individual dies.  The breath soul is responsible for developing experience, wisdom, and strength. It can also be thought of as the mind. It distinguishes the living from the dead. The breath soul is the basis of our conscious life. The second part of the soul is the free soul, which has the capability to leave the body during sleep, trance, or illness and not kill the person. The free soul accounts for  the capability of people to experience visions and out-of-body experience. The free soul is the basis of the unconscious life. The free soul is also that part of the soul that experiences the afterlife and may be reincarnated (Merkur II 19-21).

While all natural phenomena may have innue, the three primary Indwellers are Sila, the Moon Man, and the  Sea Mother.

Sila is a term often used for the Indweller of the Wind. It is the controller of the weather. It is considered the life-giver to all creatures. Sila is the air and the breath soul of each individual. The Inuit’ breath soul makes them a living part of this life-giving force. Every soul is a part of Sila. When the air, the breath, leaves one’s body death comes. The breath then fuses with the all-encompassing Sila (Merkur II 41-5). Sila powers endow life, common sense, and wisdom. The tradition of nose rubbing is a ritual of exchanging the breath of Sila (Seidelman 33).

Sila is generally considered formless and therefore is seldom visually represented in Inuit art. The Indweller of the Wind and air and its oneness with all creatures through the breath that is constantly passing through their bodies is a mystical and unifying aspect of Inuit beliefs.  It was believed that if the correct rules of animal ceremonialism were not followed, and if the proper respect was not given to the animals that were killed in the hunt, the animal’s souls could call upon Sila to bring a curse on the tribe whose member violated the traditions (Merkur II 56).

The second of the great Indwellers is the Moon Man. The Moon Man and his sister, the Sun Woman, rose to the heaven and gained control over those celestial orbs. The Sun Woman is rarely mentioned as she is seen as a completely positive force that needs little attention. The Moon Man presides over the realm of the afterlife located in a land above the stars. The stars are seen as holes in the bottom of this land where light, water, or snow spill through to the land of the living. The free souls of dead people and animals exist in this afterlife. The Northern Lights, the aurora borealis, were considered by some Inuit to be torches of the free souls of the recently dead trying find their way to the celestial world of the afterlife. The afterlife is a land where souls are happy and there is an abundance of all they need. There is much game playing as there is time for leisure rather than work. Here the Sea Mother reforms the souls into new forms and they are then returned to earth by the Moon Man to be reincarnated in this world. When there is no moon in the sky, that is the time when the Moon Man is making his trip to the earth bringing the reformed souls. There is also a belief in another afterlife located under the world of the living where the free souls of some Inuit go; there they do not enjoy the pleasures of the celestial afterlife and no reincarnation is possible. These are the free souls of the Inuit who have broken taboos and not followed the traditions of the people. (Merkur  II 146-9).

The Moon Man is also considered to be a guardian of animals. He not only supervises their reincarnation, but also sends them to Inuit hunters who observe the traditions and keep the animals from those who break the taboos(Merkur II 159).

The Moon Man was also involved in the fertility of Inuit women. Shamans would spiritually travel to the Moon Man and convince him to throw down children for the women, making them pregnant. It was also believed in some tribes that if women allowed the full moon to shine on their genitals it would increase their chances to be fertile (Merkur II 161-2).

Finally, among the primary Indwellers is Sedna, the Sea Mother, who also goes by many other names. Sedna is by far the most complex and personified of all the Indwellers. The story of how she came to be is a long, complex, violent, and very important part of the Inuit cultural heritage. The following is a short version: There was once a beautiful young woman with many suitors, all of whom she shunned. Her father grew angry with her stubborn refusal to take part in the traditional ways of marriage; to punish her he married her to one of his dogs. She became pregnant with the dog and her father took her to an island as was the birth custom. The girl gave birth to a large litter, some dog and some human. As the domestic dog could not hunt for the litter the girl’s father would load the dog with meat packs and the dog would swim to the island. The father grew irritated with the dog and one day filled the meat packs with stones and the dog drowned trying to reach the island. The father then brought meat to the litter. The girl grew angry with her father for making her wed a dog and encouraged the litter to attack their grandfather, which they did and nearly killed him. With no one to feed her litter any longer the girl made her clothing and boots into boats and sent the litter off into the world. The human children became the ancestors to the Indian people to the south. The dog children, the hairy children, became the ancestors to the white people to the south (Merkur II 125).

After she had sent her children adrift the woman returned to live with her parents. One day when her father was away an handsome man in a kayak came and lured the girl into going away with him. The man stopped on an ice flow and removed his gear to reveal that he was in reality a fulmar, an arctic bird. The girl was forlorn but was committed to live with him and they had a child. Her father was in anguish at the loss of his daughter and set off to find her, which he did. He took her in his kayak and tried to escape, but the fulmar found them and nearly capsized the boat. The father grew panicky and threw the girl overboard. She clung to the side of the boat and he cut off her fingers at the first joint to get her to let loose of the boat. The finger tips dropped into the water and were transformed into small seals. She grabbed the boat again and he chopped off the next joints which were transformed into the bearded seals. With her last joints she grabbed the boat yet again and the father chopped off the final joints which were transformed into the walruses. With nothing left to get a hold on the boat the girl sank to the bottom of the ocean and became the spirit, Sedna, mother of all the sea beasts. When her father got home he was filled with regret and lay down at the edge of the sea. The tide came and swept him out to sea and he joined his daughter at the bottom of the sea with her dog husband who had been drowned previously by the father. They all lived together in a house at the bottom of ocean where Sedna controlled the sea creatures (Seidelman 73-4)

The incredible story of Sedna is one that confronts many of the fears of Inuit life: the fear of the elements, the fear of the sea, the fear of the animal world, and possibly the greatest fear of all — that of separation from family and the human world. When Sedna refused the traditional ways of her people by refusing her suitors, she set off a horrible chain of events compounded by her father’s anger and fear (Seidelman 78).

Sedna is the Sea Mother and the Indweller of the Sea. She controls the animal life of the sea and provides the Inuit with game for their use if they follow rules of how to hunt and treat the animals. When taboos have been broken and Sedna withholds the game from the Inuit, it is the shaman’s responsibility to coax Sedna into releasing the game. Only the most powerful of the shaman can talk directly to Sedna. The shaman must undergo many ordeals in the journey of his free soul to Sedna’s home. The shaman must break down a wall around her house, overcome the dog husband guarding the house, and finally help Sedna cleanse her hair. The evils of human beings and their breaking of taboos drift down to Sedna as lice that collect in her hair and torment her. With no fingers Sedna cannot groom her hair and the shaman must appease her by cleaning her hair and convince her to release her animals to hunters above. The shaman must then make his or her way back to the surface of the earth and, at the séance,  rejoin the people who are ready to confess their sins of taboo violations (Seidelman 81).

In the late autumn, before the winter seal hunt begins, an annual Sedna festival is held in some Inuit tribes. At the center of the festival is a ritual performance given by the leading shaman of the community. It begins with the chanting of a song that is meant to lure Sedna to a breathing hole that has been cut in the floor of the igloo where the ceremony is taking place. When she approaches the hole the shaman harpoons her with all his might and a long battle ensues between the shaman and Sedna. Finally Sedna breaks loose and the shaman is left with only a bloodied harpoon. It is a symbolic driving away of Sedna and of the human world once again rejecting her. The ritual also builds Sedna’s respect for the shaman and symbolizes the seal hunts that will soon take place. The day after the ritual a great festival is held that celebrates both the young and the old in the community. The festival can be seen as a way to express the anxieties of Inuit as they prepare to face the long difficult winter ahead. It gives a brief time that they seem to have won over the powers around them (Seidelman 81).

Most of the activities of traditional Inuit were focused on the animals upon which they were dependent for their survival. The Inuit saw these creatures as having free souls like their own that needed to be carefully treated. Animal ceremonialism and taboos grew around this need to deal with souls that could haunt them in the future if not properly treated. The Inuit used great care in handling all the game they kill. There are specific procedures and rules in using the meat and other parts of the creatures. The rituals were important in that they prepared the souls to leave this world and enter the afterlife. If they were not followed properly the result could be malevolent ghosts haunting the hunter and tribe that offended the traditions and kept the soul on earth (Merkur II 210). Also some of the great Indwellers could become very displeased if the animals were not treated properly and cause the game to become scarce. Some of the traditions/taboos for various tribes were as follows: sea mammals were thought to be thirsty living in sea water, so their souls were given a drink of fresh water after the kill; birds’ heads, feet and wing joints were oiled; caribou bones were never allowed to be gnawed by the dogs near the place of the kill; bears and wolves were offered tiny bows as a hunting gift if a male, and sewing materials if a female, and no sewing could be done the day after a kill; anyone who made fun of animals or enjoyed the needless pain of an animal would be cursed; products from the animals of the sea and the animals of the land could not be mixed; land animal clothing had to be sewn on land; and sea animal clothing was to be sewn on the ice. Many other traditions surrounded the honoring of the souls of the animals they depended on so completely (Morrison 88-9).

The care of the souls of dead human beings was equally important to the Inuit. A Christian priest described the death ritual of an Inuit who died on a hunting expedition:

Krilugok helped Nerlak unload his sled, placing Igutk’s body on an elevation with a perfect view of the valley below. It lay there facing the sun, the source of all life. Oviluk knelt close to the opening of the bundle where Igutak’s face could be seen. She leaned forward and breathed around his face, simultaneously touching his nostrils and mouth as she murmured and called forth his soul to come forth, ‘Come, oh come! And go to the mountains until your name is given to a newborn… Go down to the valley and follow the roaming caribou until your name rests with the newborn.’

Symbolically she placed the beak of a falcon on her deceased husband’s mouth to give his soul the bird’s power to fly at will to the hills or the lowlands.

Around Igutak’s frozen body the two men placed a ring of stones to guard it against roaming spirits, always on the prowl in the Barren Land. As he helped complete the stone circle, Krilugok said the magic words, ‘Troublesome Spirits of the Air and Land, turn away and return to the dark.’ (Seidelman 204).

Inuit people also sought to gain some of the many powers of the animals through the use of amulets. An amulets is an attachment that the Inuit wore on their clothing that was to bring the help of the spirit of the creature it represented. A loon’s foot would help control a kayak in the water, a hawk’s claw would give good grip, a caribou’s ear would give good hearing, a wolf’s paw would make the hunter enduring and hardy, the head of a falcon would give courage, and so on. Girls would sometimes wear an abundance of amulets to protect and give qualities to sons that they would someday bear. Children might wear as many as eighty amulets to protect them from all kinds of misfortunes (Seidelman 41).

Certain animals had higher positions in the Inuit culture and mythology. The eagle held  a very high place as the eagle is said to have introduced song, drumming, and feasting to the Inuit. The following is a summary of the story of how this came to be: A hunter was seized by an eagle and taken aloft. In the air the hunter wounded the eagle and they both fell to earth. The hunter survived and carefully used all the eagle’s meat and preserved the skin and feathers as an amulet for his hunting. The skin proved a powerful amulet. The hunter was later approached by two boys who turned out to be eagles in human form. They informed him that they were to take him to the mother of the eagle that he had slain. As they approached the house of the mother eagle, the hunter heard a loud regular beating sound of an enormous drum which turned out to be the throbbing of the mother eagle’s heart over the loss of her son. The mother eagle thanked the hunter for so carefully using the meat and skin of her son and asked him to hold a feast in honor of her son. The mother eagle then proceeded to teach the hunter how to compose songs, how to drum, and how to dance. The hunter was also asked to burn the eagle skin after the ceremony to release the eagle’s soul and allow it to enter the afterlife. The hunter did all he was asked to do and began the feast traditions of the Inuit. The eagle was treated with respect and its soul was free to travel to the after world. The eagle spirit was pacified and persuaded  not to steal human souls but to function as a helping spirit both to hunters and shamans (Merkur II 205-7).

Two major feasts, the Exchange Feast and the Messenger Feast, are said to have evolved from this lesson from the Eagle Mother. In the Exchange Feast food and gifts, exchanged by the host and guest, are expected to be of approximately equal value. In the Messenger Feast a wealthy Inuit hosts the feast as a way to maintain or gain status in the tribe. At the Messenger feast the host will request gifts from the guests but the guests will in return receive gifts several times their gift’s worth. It is at the Messenger Feast that carved wooden masks are used. At this feast a staff of wood is prepared with white and red stripes and eagle feathers attached to the top. A messenger then takes the staff to the villages which will be invited to the feast. The messenger is considered to be representative of the eagle spirit (Merkur II 198-9).

The raven is another important creature to the Inuit. The raven is seen as a creator, a hero, and a trickster. He can be a helping spirit to hunter because no matter where a kill takes place the raven is always there. Amulets of raven claws or heads are seen as powerful  help to a hunter in finding game. In Inuit creation mythology it is the raven that created the land by harpooning a sea animal that was so huge it had no beginning and no end. The harpooned sea animal became the land of the earth. Ravens are also seen as having control over some aspects of the weather. A story is told that in the beginning there was no light because the sun was kept captive in a house. The raven transformed himself into a pine needle in the drinking water for the people who lived in the house. A girl who lived there drank the water and the needle and became pregnant. The raven was born to her in human form. When he grew to manhood he stole the sun from the house and released it into the sky, giving the world light (Merkur II 215-220).

The polar bear is another powerful force in the Inuit world. It is the only Arctic creature that will stalk human beings as food. It is also thought to be the animal from which the Inuit modeled many of their hunting techniques. The polar bear often plays a crucial role in the gaining of power by the shaman. The great bear through its tremendous strength is often seen as the preeminent  spirit in the animal world.

When life is not going well for the individual or the village, when sickness or starvation is threatening, there is need for special relations with the spirit world that only a shaman has the power to bring about. Shamans or angakoqs are men and women with special spiritual powers. It was not regarded an overly positive thing to be called as a shaman for the calling was a dangerous and difficult undertaking. Signs would come to people through dreams, or unusual hunting experiences, or through being able to see into the future. The apprentice shaman underwent grueling initiation rites. Shamans had the power to see into the spirit world, to cure sickness, to help barren women have children, to improve the weather, to ensure good hunting, and to foresee the future. Most of the shaman’s work is done in a self-induced hypnotic trance, produced by concentration, drumming, and chanting. In his trance his free soul could travel to the various indwellers and solicit the help of spirits. He could determine what taboos had been broken and plead or fight for the help of the powers. The shaman would give vivid accounts to the tribal member of his travels and deeds while in the trance. The trances could go on for hours and be exhausting experiences for all involved. To reinforce their powers to the tribe the shaman would often use ventriloquism and other performance elements and tricks to enhance the believability of his experiences and powers (Seidelman 42-62).

The shaman uses helping spirits to obtain information from and affect the spiritual world. The spirits could determine the safety of a journey, the location of missing goods, the causes of illness, the taboos that had been broken. The spirits are the tools of the shaman (Merkur I 128). To obtain these helping spirits the prospective shaman goes through many ordeals. the most important being vision quests. The primary methods of vision quests are sensory deprivation, often involving a solitary retreat in which the prospective shaman fasts while being exposed to the weather. Sometimes the person seeking a vision was confined in a very small ice house for many days without food, light or any stimulation. This great physical and mental strain brought about the vision and spirit helpers the shaman sought. A common vision was one of encountering a huge wild polar bear and being eaten and then brought back to life. The following is one account:

…I went  inland to Tasiusak. Here I cast a stone into the water, which was thereby thrown into a great commotion, like a storm at sea. As the billows dashed together, their crests flattened out on top, and as they opened a huge bear was disclosed.

He had a very great black snout, and, swimming ashore, he rested his chin upon the land; and, when he laid one of his paws upon the beach, the land gave way under his weight. He went up inland and circled around me, bit me in the loins, and then ate me. At first it hurt, but afterwards feeling passed from me; but as long as my heart had not been eaten, I retained consciousness. But, when  he bit me in the heart, I lost consciousness, and was dead.

When I came to myself again, the bear was away, and I lay wearied out and stark naked at the same place by the lake. (Merkur I 233-246).

This story of death, resurrection, and transformation as a shaman is one that remakes an ordinary person into a shaman with new powers and guidance of the bear spirit. Helping spirits are most often land or sea animals but they may also be the spirits of people as well. These spirits are the free souls of the dead who are trapped on earth and could be very dangerous, but the shaman has the power to control for good, or bad if the shaman is evil.

Magic songs and magic words are also an important part the shaman’s work. These songs and chants are often given by a spirit and can help evoke a spirit to aid the shamans in their work. The spirits also often talk through the shaman with many different voices during trances.

Songs play a very important role in the lives of all Inuit. Song, being a part of the breath, is considered to be deeply connected to the spiritual world. Songs are thought to have power. Hunters’ songs to attract game are kept secret and considered the property of the owners. Songs are major parts of feasts. It has been said that “The Eskimo have many songs. They have songs to make the wind blow, songs to make the seals come, songs to dance by, songs to keep off the spirits, songs to make the heart strong.” (Merkur I 93-4) Songs were often passed on from generation to generation and were considered a form of wealth that could on occasion be traded (Seidelman 42).

Storytelling was also a major component of traditional Inuit life. The storytelling tradition of the Inuit went far beyond mere entertainment. The stories were the cultural memory and history of the Inuit. An example would be the Inuit story of the two hunters who were hunting together. One killed a caribou and the other killed a wolf. They became embroiled in an argument over which of the two animals had more hairs. In order to settle the dispute they decided that they would pull each animal’s hairs out, counting them one by one. The process took so long that both the hunter died of starvation. The story ends with the line, “That is what happens when people busy themselves with aimless things and insignificant trifles” (Seidelman 17).

A summary of  Inuit spiritual duties was given by an elder:

I must never offend Nuliajuk [Sedna]. I must never offend the souls of the animals or tornraq so that it will strike me with sickness.

When hunting and wandering inland I must as often as I can make offerings to the animals that I hunt, or to the dead who can help me, or to lifeless things, especially stones and rocks, that are to have offerings for some reason or other.

I must make my own soul as strong as I can, and for the rest seek strength and support in all the power that lies in the name.

I must observe my forefathers’ rules of life in hunting customs and taboo, which are nearly all directed against the souls of dead people or dead animals.

I must gain special abilities or qualities through amulets.

I must try to get hold of magic words or magic songs that either give hunting luck or are protective.

If I cannot manage to in spite of all these precautions, and suffer want or sickness, I must seek help from shamans, whose mission it is to be the protectors of mankind against all the hidden forces and dangers of life. (Morrison 105)

The nonlinear and seemingly irrational aspects of Inuit spiritual beliefs have bewildered many Western observers. Knud Rasmussen, in the early Twentieth Century, was a keen observer of the Inuit. There is a story of Rasmussen talking with the famous shaman, Aua. As the Inuit explained their rules of life and taboos, Rasmussen kept asking, “Why?” The Inuit grew very tired of his persistence. Finally Aua took him outside  in the middle of a blizzard. After standing in the deadly weather a while, Aua said to Rasmussen:

In order to hunt well and live happily, man must have calm weather. Why this constant succession of blizzards and all this needless hardship for men seeking food for themselves and those they care for? Why? Why? (Seidelman 8-9)

Another Inuit tried to explain the same thing to Rasmussen in another way:

We Eskimos do not concern ourselves with solving all riddles. We repeat the old stories in the way they were told to us and with the words we ourselves remember…. You always want these supernatural things to make sense, but we do not bother about that. We are content to not understand (Seidelman 33).

The changes to the Inuit by contact with modern societies have been enormous. In the 1920’s an Inuit summed up the changes he had seen:

Now that we have firearms it is almost as if we no longer need shamans or taboos, for now it is not so difficult to procure food as in the old days. Then we had to laboriously hunt the caribou at the sacred crossing places, and there the only thing that helped us was the strictly observed taboo in combination with magic words and amulets. Now we can shoot caribou everywhere with our guns, and the result is that we have lived ourselves out of the old customs. We forget our magic words and we scarcely use any amulets now. The young people don’t. See, my chest is bare; I haven’t got all the bones and grave-goods that the Netsilingmiut hang about them. We forget what we no longer have use for. Even the ancient spirit songs that the great shamans sing together with all the men and women of the village we forget, all the old invocations for bringing Nuliajuk [Sedna] up to the earth so that the beasts can be wrested from her – we remember them no more. (Seidelman 145)

As the decades of the modern age have rolled by, the changes in hunting, shelter, transportation, communications, and the availability of food have made the traditional beliefs of the Inuit seem obsolete. Inuit spiritualism was directly designed to create a balance with the natural world and enhance the people’s chance for survival in a harsh, unforgiving climate. In spite of the contrast of modern times with traditional beliefs there are people trying sustain and to the extent possible carry on the spiritual legacy of four thousand years of living in the Arctic. It is a legacy well worth preserving in its sensitivity to and harmony with the chilling beauty of the Far North.


Merkur, Daniel, (I), Becoming Half Hidden: Shamanism and Initiation Among the Inuit, Garland Publishing Inc., New York & London, 1992

Merkur, Daniel, (II), Powers Which We Do Not Know: The Gods and Spirits of the Inuit, University of Idaho Press, Moscow, Idaho, 1991

Morrison, David, and Georges-Herbert Germain, Inuit: Glimpses of an Arctic Past, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull, Quebec, Canada, 1995

Seidelman, Harold, and James Turner, The Inuit Imagination, Thames & Hudson, New York, 1994

1997 copyright, Mark W. McGinnis

The full book, Designs of Faith, is now available at

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