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Home > History > Inuit Mythology

Inuit Mythology

This section discusses the spiritual life of the Inuit people.

The Northern Lights

Inuit Mythology

Inuit Home | Diet | Homes | Dogs | Mythology

Inuit mythology related to the natural wonders of the Arctic. The Aurora Borealis, or northern lights, were of particular mystery to the Inuit. Some believed that the faces of ancestors could be seen dancing within the swirling colors of the lights, while others believed the lights to be more deadly in nature. Still others saw them as hunting guides, healers, animal souls, or representations of giants. Inuit villages depended on shamans to interpret spiritual mysteries. These shamans (called angakkuq) also served as psychologists, healers, and fortune-tellers. Inuit peoples believed that all living things had powerful spirits and that the spirits of animals were equal to those of humans. Thus, if proper respect was not given to the spirit of an animal killed in the hunt, the Inuit believed its spirit would be able to avenge its death.

 

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