The mythology inuit knows several similarities with some Religion S of others polar regions. Traditional practices out of matter religious of the Inuit could be very briefly recapitulated like a form of Chaman ism based on principles animists.
To many regards, the Mythologie inuit extends a little the limits of this mythology. Contrary to the Greek Mythology, for example, at least some people believed there, without interruption, since the remote past until our days. Though the religious system dominating today among Inuit is the Christianisme, much of them still hold with some traditional beliefs. Some think that Inuit adapted their traditional beliefs in Christianity while others think that they adapted Christianity to their traditional beliefs.
The Cosmologie inuit is not a religion in the theological direction, and is similar so that much thinks mythology, except that there is a narration on the world and the role of the people in this world. The écrivaine inuit Rachel Attituq Qitsualik said: Cosmos inuit is governed by nobody. There are no maternal or paternal divine figures. There are no God X of the wind or creators of the Sun. There are no eternal punishments in beyond, just like it is no punishment for the children or adults here, today.
Indeed, in the traditional stories, the Rituel S and the Tabou S of Inuit are so overlapping in the timorous culture and précautionnaire imposed by their hostile environment and difficult that one can wonder whether they are really beliefs or a religion. The Inuit guide of the explorer Knud Rasmussen, Aua (a Shaman), answered him We do not believe. We are afraid. when this one asked him questions about its beliefs. Living in a varied and irregular world, Inuit did not venerate anything traditionally, but they were much afraid. Certain authors discuss on the conclusions which one can draw from what Aua said because the Shaman was under the influence of the Christian missionaries, and it converts later with Christianity. These authors say that the converted people often see the ideas in polarization and contrasts. Their study also analyzes the beliefs of several Inuit groups, conclusive (inter alia things) that the fear was not diffuse.
Caption origin of the world
At the origin of the world, there was only one Man and a Woman, without any animal.
The Woman asked Kaïla, the god of the sky, to populate the ground. It sent it to dig a hole in the ice-barrier to fish. It left the hole then, one by one, all the animals. The caribou was the last. Kaïla says to him that the caribou was its gift, most beautiful which it can make, because it would nourish its people. The caribou multiplied and the wire could drive out it, eat its flesh, dress and make tents.
However, the sons of the Woman always chose the large and fatty caribous. One day, it did not remain any more that the weak ones and the patients whose Inuits did not want. The Woman complained then in Kaïla. It returned it on the ice-barrier and she fished the wolf there, sent by Amarok, the spirit of the wolf, so that he eats the weak and sick animals. this is why according to Inuit mythology, “the caribou nourishes the wolf, but it is the wolf which maintains the caribou in good health”.
Inuit believed that any thing with a spirit or a heart (in Inuktitut anirniq , blow , in the plural anirniit ), just like the human ones. These spirits persisted after death - a belief in common with the majority of the cultures. However, the belief in the omnipresence of the spirits - with the root of the structure of mythology inuit - has consequences. Inuit say The great danger of our existence lies in the fact that our mode consists entirely of hearts. By believing that any thing, included there the animals, have hearts like the human ones, to kill an animal hardly difference with killing has human. Once the anirniq of dead (animal or human) is released, it is free to be avenged. The spirit of dead can be calmed only with obedience with the habits, by avoiding taboos, and by making the rites indicated.
The hard life and random in the Arctique ensured that Inuit live in a constant fear of invisible forces. A series of events unhappy and begging with the potentially angry capacities and avengers for the needs for survival is a consequence of a precarious existence even today. For Inuit, to offend a anirniq implied to risk the extinction. The main role of the Shaman in the company inuite was of advising and recalling to the others the ritual ones and taboos to which they were to obey to calm the spirits; the Shaman could see them and contact them.
The anirnit belonged to the Sila - sky or air around - and were quite simply lent sila . Even if the anirniq of each person individual, were formed by its life and the body which it occupied, it formed at the same time part of the whole. This implied that Inuit could borrow the capacities or the characteristics of a anirniq by taking its name. Moreover, the spirits of a class of organizations - Mammalian S watery, or polar bears or Plant S - were in a direction all the same ones, and could be called upon through a kind of Master or guard connected to this class. In certain cases, it is the anirniq of human or an animal which became a respected figure or of great influence on the animals or the things from an action told in a traditional tale. In other cases, it is a tuurngaq .
Since the arrival of Christianity in the culture inuite, anirniq became the word accepted for heart in the Christian direction of the term. It is the word with the root of other Christian terms: anirnisiaq wants to say Angel and God is anirnialuk - the great mind .
Certain spirits were not related to physical bodies. They are called tuurngait (in the singular: tuurngaq ), and is perceived like malefic and monstrous, persons in charge of missed forwardings of hunting and the broken tools. They could have the human ones, as told in the history of Atanarjuat. The Shamans could fight them or the to exorcize, or to move away them by the ritual ones, but it could also be captured and controlled by Shamans, who could use them thereafter to fight tuurngait free.
Tuurngaq took one second definition since the arrival of Christianity, becoming the equivalent of the Demon Christian.
The Shaman (in inuktitut: angakuq , of the times spelled angakok ; in the plural angakuit ) of a community was not the chief, but a species of healer and psychotherapist who could cure the physical wounds and offer councils like calling upon the spirits to help the human ones; he could also fight the spirits or move away them. Its role was to look at, interpret and encourage what is subtle or invisible. The Shamans were not trained: one thought them born with the capacities of the Shamans, and they would show them as they grew. The rhythmic music of drum, the songs and the dances were often used during the work of the Shaman. The illumination (in inuktitut qaumaniq ) was often used by the Shamans to describe one will have spiritual which, if removed or destroyed, could result in death.
The function of the Shaman is not almost visible any more in the christianized company inuite.
Inuit did not have quite simply gods, but one often sees names of the traditions inuit called gods in the media non-inuites. What they had was figures, which are seen elsewhere in stories of horror: beings malicious, invisible, avengers, arbitrary and very powerful who were either of the tuurngait , or of the particularly powerful anirniit animal or human become of the entities feared because of a history of abuse or horror.
Among them one finds Sedna (or Sanna , Nerrivik , Arnarquagssaq , or Nuliajuk ), Master of the aquatic animals, Nanuq (or Nanuuq , Nanook …), Master of the Polar bear S, and Tekkeitsertok, Master of the caribou S.
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