Sacred-Texts Native American Inuit
Index Previous Next

121. A MARRIED COUPLE REMAINED CHILDLESS ON ACCOUNT OF THEIR BOTH BEING ANGAKOK.—The husband and wife always used to go out kayaking together. Once they happened to come to a foreign place, where a young man was found in an almost dying state. The angakok-man began a conjuration, summoning the witch who had caused his sickness. He detected the ghost of the witch approaching the sick youth in order to touch him with her black hands. But the angakok thrust his harpoon at her, hitting her heel; and almost at the same moment the aunt of the sick youth died in the next house, and proved to have been the witch. While spending the rest of the evening there, eating and talking in a pleasant way, the visitors noticed p. 459 the children playing on the floor; and thinking of their own childless state burst out, "That crowd of boys might almost make people envious." They were answered, "The boys yonder are the namesakes of those whom the monster-gulls carried off as food for their young ones" (viz., who perished in kayaks); whereupon the whole assembly at once became silent.