The arctic polar circle is a practically inhospitable and barren land. Cultivation or Survival is out of the reach dream. People live off by hunting native animals such as seals and fish, or limited terrestrial fauna such as bears and even dogs. The mythology is deeply animistic, linked to the spirits of nature. It is not surprising either. Marine animals, as spirits, play an important role in mythology.
Of all the spirits, there is one that deserves a certain prominence. The regional people have a strong veneration for her. She is somewhat analogous to the Man of the Moon: she is the Woman of the Sea, the Mother of All Marine Animals. She is Sedna.
So, keep reading more interesting facts about Goddess Sedna and Inuit legends.
1 Her life And Plight
Goddess Sedna would have been a woman of great beauty who lived alone and faced unending difficulties. There were many suitors who wanted her as their wife, and who could give her a better life, but she did not wish to marry someone she did not love. Therefore, all were rejected. But her love came to the heart a dog. People were displeased, especially the rejected ones, who said that this unnatural practice would bring bad luck.
2 The Transformation To God
People were outraged, especially her suitors. They took her to a canoe, and pushed her into the sea. She gripped the edge of the boat, but the young men cruelly cut off her fingers.
The prodigy was that when the fingers fell into the sea, they transmuted into marine animals, like seals and sea lions. Sedna reached the bottom of the sea and became a goddess of marine animals.
She also became a goddess of fury, due to the treatment that was imposed upon her. She is worshiped, for if she is in a good mood she provides the food. She has an equally outrageous behavior too. If she disrespects, she holds a grudge and holds the sea animals in the sea, starving humans to death.
3 Sedna and Humanity
The sins and foolishness of humanity join the dirt in Sedna’s long silky hair.The absences of fingers do not permit her to comb or braid. The shaman must therefore dive to the deep abode of Sedna, and go through various guardian animals such as whales and sea lions, and a huge black dog. It is only after passing through these animals that he reaches the Woman of the Sea.
Sedna has a natural association with marine beings of other mythologies, like the mermaids. But this resemblance is of a very superficial nature, for there they are harmful to mankind. Sedna is a fundamentally good deity besides being native to the sea. She is somewhat resentful and not native to the sea. The metaphor of transcending difficulties, as do the sea woman and the moon man, can be identified as transcending the hostile environment in which the Eskimos live.
4 How Are The Spirits Called In Inuit Myths?
To contact the spirits, the figure of the shaman comes into play. A shaman may be anything- a mixture of a doctor/priest/magician, or anyone who knows all the secrets of the world of spirits. In societies linked closely to nature, the figure of the shaman, although differentiated, presents striking similarities.
5 Survival of Humankind
Hunting was first and foremost a thing that allowed humankind to survive, and as such was worthy of homage and respect. If this does not occur, it may be missing in the future.
Spiritual communication finds numerous ways to be accomplished, whether it’s about going to particular places, such as islands or hunting grounds, or certain sacred posts and bonfires. An object common to these shamans would be their sealskin bags, or their wooden masks representing the spirits, called Inua, which represent the spirit of something: rocks, animals, plants, and so on. Every traveler should pay homage to an uncle.
6 The Mysterious Inuas in Inuit legends
There are many stories involving Inuas. In one, a woman of a hunter has a case with a Polar Bear. The husband smelled of bear in his igloo, and made the woman confess the malfect, discovering where the bear lived. When the hunter appeared, the animal escaped, and irritated.He decided to punish the woman and destroyed the igloo withhertrapped inside. In the middle of the way, already calmer, he changed his mind and pardoned the woman.He then undertook a search for true love.
Another curious story surfaced from Siberia.This was about the Akhlut killer whale, one of the most terrible spirits. She often metamorphoses into a wolf, and wanders through the region, killing and devouring people and animals. After quenchingher hunger and thirst for blood, she returns to the sea and forms the orca whale.And when thewolf footprint is seen, the Inuit knows that Akhlut has been hunting.
7 Strange Happenings
Certain regional phenomena arouse a strong interest, such as the beautiful and mysterious aurora borealis. Some say they are the spirits of the dead dancing; hunters think it’s the Man of the polar lights shooting arrows, to announce that the hunt is coming.
Also the moon is venerated, like Igaluk, a male being.
8 The Story of Iglauk
An interesting story revolves around Iglauk. As human, he slept without desire with his sister. When they awoke and saw what they did, they both felt ashamed and decided to leave the earth. They had decided to no longer see each other.
Iglauk became the moon, and her sister the sun. He is usually depicted in small wooden sculptures, with feathers to represent the stars, light wood for air, and darker wood for the face of the moon. He is a divinity that watches over humans, controlling the tides and seasons. He is also known as the Moon Man.