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Assuituq National Park, near Broughton Island.

On the shore of Ungava Bay south of Killiniq.

Cosmology, Shamanism, and Ilisiiqsiniq, hexing

Rose Iqallijuq
We were told that Qalasiq had hexed Misiraq, and had blown at her tarniq so that she became ill. Another angakkuq had performed sakaniq and was able to get her tarniq to return. Although Qalasiq had been holding the tarniq, he hadn’t burst it. If he had blown it away or had burst it by rubbing it, the tarniq wouldn’t have been able to return and she would have died. We were told that because her tarniq had returned she was going to be alright and would get better. When Qalasiq was confronted by the other angakkuq about this, he denied it at first, but later admitted it. Since her tarniq had returned, although she was sick, she didn’t die. (Page 190)
Chapter 8: Cosmology, Shamanism, and Ilisiiqsiniq, hexing

In the Inuit tradition the outer world, silarjuaq, is peopled with human-like spirits who control everything that happens on the earth, in the sky, and in the sea. These spirits are all sentient and intelligent. Some Inuit groups believe that the wind and stormy weather comes out of holes in the spirits' clothing, and to stop the wind they have to cut the tendons of the spirit. Silap Inua is the spirit of the sky and the master of life who gives anirniq, the breath of life, to all living things, and can take it away. In fact, the term sila has many meanings: it is intelligence, it is the order of things, the atmosphere, the world itself. Ujuarak says, "Sila is just like a casing around the earth. It is as though the earth is inside Sila." Silaat and pukit are the children of Sila, beings born from white eggs that should never be touched or damaged in any way. Malevolent spirits called tupilait would move into abandoned igluit and cause sickness in the community. They had no bones, and were filled with blood. The angakkuq had to beat the tupilaq to kill it. Instead of using their powers to defend the community, some angakkuit abused their power. These angakkuit were evil. They had no compassion and used their power because they felt threatened. They would place a hex by blowing a person's tarniq, or soul, away. Another shaman could combat this and get the tarniq to come back.