Inuit mythology

Inuit mythology has many similarities to the religions of other polar regions, such as Northern Russian mythology, Siberian mythology, Finnish mythology and Norse mythology.

Inuit mythology is unlike the common conception of what the term "mythology" refers to. Unlike Greek mythology, for example, people have believed in it, without interruption, up to and including the present time. While there are few believers left when compared to Christianity, for example, many Inuit do still hold to their ancestral religious beliefs; there are also neopagans who have integrated some or all of the Inuit beliefs into their own belief structures. Many Inuit have merged those beliefs to a greater or lesser degree with Christianity or other religions, and may hold varying degrees of literal belief in what is described below. This occurs in any set of religious beliefs--a section believes all the stories and ideas contained within are the literal truth (see fundamentalism) and the rest believe in the ideas to a lesser degree of literal truth.

Some basic beliefs

  • All people, animals and plants have souls (anua). The anerneq was the part of a soul that went to the underworld, while the tarneq (taren-raq) was the physical embodiment of the soul.
  • Taboos exist in order to ensure monetary prosperity, health and that animals will be available to hunters. Ritual ceremonies performed before, during and after hunting trips help to accomplish this.
    • Each species of animal has a deity, called a "Keeper" or a "Master." An example is Sedna, who is in charge of sea mammals (such as whales and walruses, both staples of the Inuit culture). Sedna ensures that the Inuit follow taboos regarding her domain; if the taboos are not followed, she will withdraw her animals.
  • The Angakut is the shaman of his tribe. He remembers the taboos and guides his people in the following of them. He interpets omens, causes of illness or lack of success in hunting or other ventures. Interpreting these signs indicates which taboo an individual, family or entire tribe has violated. Often, the shaman will enter a trance state using drum beating, chanting or other methods and thereby astrally travel to alternate realms of awareness to determine the causes of the negative event or circumstance.

Masters

  1. Sedna
    1. Sea Mammals
  2. Nanook
    1. Bears
  3. Nerrivik
    1. All aquatic animals
  4. Tekkeitsertok
    1. Deer

List of Deities and Other Terms

  1. Adlet
  2. Adlivun
  3. Agloolik
  4. Aipaloovik
  5. Akhlut
  6. Akna
  7. Akycha
  8. Alignak
  9. Amaguq
  10. Apanuugak
  11. Asiaq
  12. Atshen
  13. Aulanerk
  14. Aumanil
  15. Eeyeekalduk
  16. i'noGo tied
  17. Idliragijenget
  18. Igaluk
  19. Ignirtoq
  20. Inua
  21. Ishigaq
  22. Isitoq
  23. Issitoq
  24. Ka-Ha-Si
  25. Kadlu
  26. Keelut
  27. Kigatilik
  28. Malina
  29. Matshishkapeu
  30. Nanook
  31. Negafook
  32. Nerrivik
  33. Nootaikok
  34. Nujalik
  35. Pana
  36. Pinga
  37. Pukkeenegak
  38. Qiqirn
  39. Sila
  40. Tarquiup Inua
  41. Tekkeitsertok
  42. Tootega
  43. Torngasoak
  44. Tornarsuk
  45. Tulugaak
  46. Wentshukumishiteu



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