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Tirigusuusiit and Maligait

Mariano Aupilaarjuk
Tirigusungniit are the rules relating to pittailiniq, things one should refrain from. Maligait are things that had to be followed. Back then we didn’t use the term maligaq, but there was a set way of doing things that had to be followed. They are not really the same, but they are related to each other. To obey a pittailiniq, we would have to tirigusuk, refrain from doing certain things. If I did not follow the tirigusungniq, I would be doing something wrong because I would be breaking the maligaq relating to the pittailiniq. When a woman became pregnant, one maligaq she had to follow was putting on her kamiik, boots, right away and going out. Her husband had to do the same. (Page 16)
Tirigusuusiit and Maligait, Mariano Aupilaarjuk

Aupilaarjuk introduces the notions of tirigusuusiit, things that have to be avoided, maligait, things that have to be followed, and piqujait, things that have to be done, by comparing them to modern law. He explains the traditions in relation to the present, but the emphasis is on Inuit traditions. Aupilaarjuk states, "Whether people break the qallunaat laws or the Inuit maligait, the consequences are the same. A person will shorten his or her life." The conviction that breaking tirigusuusiit, maligait and piqujait will shorten your life is repeatedly expressed by the elders. The discussion rapidly shifts to the role of the angakkuq. Once people went against the tirigusuusiit, maligait and piqujait, social and cosmic relations were at risk and the intervention of the angakkuq might be required to redress the consequences of these acts. There were different forms of shamanism, as Aupilaarjuk explains: some were good, some were evil. In the past, Inuit dealt with wrong-doings themselves. Today, the problem is to retain from the old traditions what is valuable to the present. Aupilaarjuk says: "When I think about this, I wonder how we can solve the problem. I would like to look at the Inuit maligait that we had in the past and compare them with the laws we have today, so we could develop better laws for the future."