Sacred-Texts Native American Inuit
Index Previous Next

139. ISIGARSIGAK AND HIS SISTER were frightened from home by the angakok tricks of their mother, and fled to the south, travelling on for three years in order to reach the end (of the land ?). Meanwhile, Isigarsigak perceived his stomach to swell up, so as to make him unfit for kayaking. In crossing a frozen firth, he once saw two ravens coming from the interior, which as they came nearer looked like women hurrying towards the sea; and having caught two seals, they took them on their shoulders and hastened back to the inland. Guided by them, Isigarsigak came to a house, where an old woman offered to cure his stomach. She then examined him by head-lifting, and found out that on leaving his mother he had forgotten some hunting-bladders. Cutting open his stomach she brought forth the bladders, which would otherwise have made him burst, she said, if they had been allowed to remain much longer. At that instant a woman appeared at the entrance, armed with a knife; and they warned him to make haste if he would p. 468 escape her, because it was she who had killed the men of the house. Having returned safely to his sister, he took a fancy to trace the passage of the birds in autumn. He travelled in his kayak until the sky became so low that he could reach it with his paddle-oar. It had two large holes, beyond which he discovered a sea, and was obliged to turn back.