Sacred-Texts Native American Inuit
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[The following abridged stories are only variations of the popular theme, which appear to exhibit one of the principal dangers which could be encountered and braved by renowned angakut. As to the Ingnersuit, or gnomes of the sea-shore, in general, we refer to the Introduction.]

(1.) KUVITSINA left the boat and the crew who had been his companions on their summer journey, and whom he had followed down the firth, and in his lonely kayak went along the shore. As he approached a low steep rock, it opened of its own accord, and seeing this, he entered. No sooner had he got inside than he was surrounded by ingnersuit, who tore his kayak from him and smashed it to pieces. They took him away into the house, and put him down on the side-ledge; and their old housewife first sharpened her knife, went up to him, and cut off his nose, and tied him to one of the pillars. In this plight he at length bethought himself of his tornaks. The first he called, however, were not at all noticed by the ingnersuit, and had no effect upon them. It then occurred to him to call forth two tornaks he had amongst p. 279 the benevolent ingnersuit. Their approach was instantly heard; and one of them was named Nepingasuak, the other Napatarak. The latter of the two, however, was the first to hasten to the spot, crying loudly, "What have ye been doing to Kuvitsina?" He was in a terrible passion, and at once severed the strings, and, further, gave Kuvitsina an amulet, saying, "Make haste, and be off!" and he had thus escaped even before Nepingasuak arrived. On coming down to his ruined kayak, Nepingasuak merely breathed upon it, which soon made it all right; and thus he again returned to his own world, while Napatarak warned the ingnersuit, saying, "Ye should never lay hand on the people who live on the face of the earth: ye ought much more to hold them in awe, because they can vanquish the beings we hold in fear, such as whales, which they catch by means of the bladder." Kuvitsina had another name, which was Akamak. On his way home he met Nepingasuak, and at the same time observed a strange noise overhead: this was his nose, which came whirling along in the air, and adjusted itself in its proper place—only it became a little awry; and thus Kuvitsina reached his home.

(2.) Katauk, a very skilful hunter, used to catch seals by fastening the harpoon-line to his kayak without any hunting-bladder. Once, however, he happened to be capsized and drawn out of his kayak. Being on the point of drowning, he gave himself up for lost, when all of a sudden he was surprised at the sound of kayakers approaching from the shore. He saw that they were the ingnersuit, and of the malignant sort; but still he thought it better to be captured by them than drown. He was carried off to their place, put down on the window-bench, and encouraged to talk. But seeing that he remained quite mute, they first cut off his nose, and then tied him up beneath the roof-beams. Being in the greatest distress, he called his tornaks, three of whom p. 280 instantly appeared and relieved him, after a hard struggle. On going outside he found his erkungassok (the wise man among the tornaks) prostrate and killed; but quickly made him revive again by breathing on him. When he had pushed off in his kayak he heard a voice calling behind him, and a whistling besides; turning his face round, he beheld his nose, which came flying through the air, sent by his erkungassok; it soon fitted itself into its due place. In the evening, when he had gained his home, he felt a pain around his waist and loins, and looking at them, he perceived one of the thongs with which he had been tied still attached. He cut it up in small bits, which he gave to young people for amulets, for the purpose of making them good kayakers.

(3.) Ulajok, while looking for seals outside the islands, came to a rock, which was being washed by a heavy swell. At the same time he observed a bright kayak making great haste towards him; but getting sight of Ulajok, the white kayak turned back and made for the rock again. Ulajok, suspecting that he might be an ingnersuak, wanted to turn his kayak homeward, but tried it in vain. The prow of his kayak always kept turning round, pointing anew at the rock, and insensibly he was drawn behind the white kayak. When close to the rock he saw it being lifted high up; and within, houses and people presented themselves. Ulajok was pulled to the shore, where the people put by his kayak and paddle, conducting him into a large house. (The rest of the story is much like the preceding two.)