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legends

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STORIES

 Introduction

This section contains stories collected by Alexina Kublu, mainly from stories her father told her while he was alive. She also includes "the story of the earth eggs told to Marie Lucie Uvilluq by her father Georges Agiaq Kappianaq, the story of Taliillajuut told to Maaki Kakkik by her grandmother, Miali Tuttu, and Lumaaju, told to Tapia Keenainak by an elder." (Page 171)

 
She who never wants to get married

This is a story, in three parts, of a young woman named Unigumasuituq, who does not want to get married. First, her father marries her to a dog, with whom she has children. These become the Indians, the qallunaat and the ijirait. Then, after being married to a fulmar and then rescued by her father, she is transformed into the creator and protector of sea mammals. Finally, she becomes Takanaalu (the horrible one down there) who keeps sea mammals in the depths when she is cross.

 
Brother receives sight from a loon

Taqqiq, a blind young man, lives with his sister Siqiniq and their stepmother, their father having died during the winter. One day, when a polar bear is prowling nearby, the stepmother arms Taqqiq with a bow and positions him to kill the animal. This he does, but his stepmother convinces him that he has hit the edge of the window with his arrow. She carves up the animal and instead of serving him the bear meat, she kills his dog and feeds him this. And then one day, when the ice has broken up on the lake, Taqqiq goes to the edge of the water with his sister, who returns home right away. A loon then appears to Taqqiq and asks him to get on his back. After diving under the water with the loon, Taqqiq regains his sight.

 
The stepmother becomes a narwhal

During the whaling season, a brother has been harpooning young whales, using his sister as a weight. One day, the stepmother tells him to use her as weight instead so that he can harpoon a larger whale. He does this. She ties the line around her waist and he ties it even tighter. Then he harpoons a large male that pulls the stepmother down under, where she is changed into a narwhal.

 
The ones with long nails

This is the story of a brother and a sister who meet the kukilingiattiat. The sister is almost eaten when she goes to see them to get some water for her brother. Hearing his sister's screams, he goes to her rescue and kills the kukilingiattiat.

 
The ones without anuses

This is the story of Taqqiq and Siqiniq (brother and sister) who arrive one fine day in a village where the people do not have anuses. The brother takes a wife there and the sister a husband. But the itiqanngittut do not have any genitals either. They are very surprised when Siqiniq gets pregnant and gives birth to the child in the natural way.

 
Brother and sister become the sun and the moon

Isolated after giving birth, Siqiniq is assaulted in her iglu at night. Using a trick, she discovers that her aggressor is her brother. So she cuts off her breasts and gives them to him. He goes outside and runs around the iglu, chased by his sister. Since this time, Siqiniq (the sun) has chased Taqqiq (the moon) across the sky.

 
Why igluit no longer move

A long time ago, people travelled not with their dogs, but rather in their igluit. This way, they could take along all their things. They would get on the sleeping-platform and the iglu would rise up while they slept. Once the iglu was in flight, its floor would fall off. One day, a child fell and was killed. So, a shaman made it so all igluit could no longer fly.

 
Where is my dear grandchild?

This is a story about a granddaughter who disappears suddenly. In a panic, her grandmother searches everywhere in the iglu, crying for her granddaughter. Not finding her, she puts on her kamiik and goes outside to look. She searches for so long and cries so much that finally she turns into a ptarmigan.

 
Earth eggs

There are two kinds of eggs. Those of birds and those that grow in the earth. When these earth eggs hatch, they become animals like caribou or polar bears. These eggs can even be found in the sea, where they become square-flippers. Strangely, the animals that hatch from these eggs are bigger than usual and should not be hunted.

 
Sea people

The Taliilajuut, which could be called sirens of the North, are human-like beings who live in the sea, like fish. Miali tells her granddaughter Maaki that one must treat them with great care and that if one ever sees a Taliilajuut stranded on the beach at low tide, one must put it back in the water right away. This is because the Taliilajuut can help a hunter by saving him if he falls in the water.

 
Lumaaju

Lumaaju is the story about the blind boy who regains his vision thanks to the loons, except that in this version, instead of diving under the water with him, the loon licks his eyes. Once he can see, the young man goes whale hunting with his sister and his mother. He harpoons a large white whale and ties the end of the rope around his mother's waist, so she is pulled under. Each time the whale comes up, the old woman cries "lumaaq."