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ON THE SUPERNATURAL AGENCIES BY WHICH HUMAN LIFE IS INFLUENCED.

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By supernatural we understand such agencies as do not work according to the usual laws of nature, and accomplish their deeds in a manner imperceptible to the common organs of sense, except in a few rare instances, but only manifest themselves to certain individuals peculiarly gifted, or in some cases to animals; also endowed with a peculiar sense. This sense is generally called nalussaerunek, and the individual possessing it nalussaerutok, signifying, "not being unconscious of anything," consequently nearly the same as clairvoyant. Such agencies may be divided into those which are performed by the inue (plural of inua) of nature in general, and those belonging to witchcraft. (1.) The Supernatural Rulers, or Inue. These have already been mentioned. As far as they may be perceived by the common senses, they generally have the appearance of a fire or a bright light; and to see them is in every case very dangerous, partly by causing tatamingnek—viz., frightening to death—partly as foreshadowing the death of a relative (nâsârneĸ). Moreover, some of these powers are able, even at a distance, to sever the soul from the body (tarnêrutoĸ, he who is bereft of his soul; and perhaps also signifying, the soul in this way temporarily separated from the body). Heavy grief often produced a state of mind called suilârĸineĸ, in which the sufferer deliberately p. 44 went out in search of horrors and dangers, in order to deafen grief by means of excitement. Although all the supernatural rulers may be considered as the inue each of their special domains, they also lead an independent existence as individual beings wholly apart from these, In the first place, it is possible even for man, and in certain cases animals, to practise a supernatural power from some motive or other; and secondly, some of the supernatural beings must no doubt be considered as having originated from real beings, only transfigured through the traditional tales. As to men, they are invariably free after death to reappear as ghosts; but certain persons are in this respect more dangerous than others: and besides, some persons or people in a peculiar state of existence are even in life endowed with superhuman properties. Individuals belonging to this class in general are commonly called imáinaĸ íngitsut, which signifies, who are not only such,—meaning, as others; or, not of common kind. The dead man is considered as the inua of his grave, and of the personal properties he left, it is no doubt for this reason that things belonging to absent persons can by certain signs announce the death of their owners or their being in distress. The soul even appears to remain in the grave during the first days. The most harmless way in which a ghost can manifest himself is by whistling, the next by a singing in the ears (aviuiartorneĸ), by which performance he simply asks for food; and generally when singing in the ear is perceived, it is the custom to say: "Take as thou likest"—viz., of my stores. But more dangerous are the ghosts that appear in a true bodily shape, especiaily those of delirious people and of angakut. The deceased must also be considered fully able to recompense the benefits bestowed upon them during their lifetime, being a kind of guardian spirits to their children and grandchildren, especially to those who are p. 45 named after them. But a slain man is said to have power to avenge himself upon the murderer by rushing into him, which can only be prevented by eating a piece of his liver. Danger is more or less connected with everything appertaining to, or having been in any contact with, dead bodies, or used at funerals, the invisible rulers in some cases being apt to take offence, or have smoke or fog of it—viz., causing bad weather and bad hunting on this account. Persons in an extraordinary state were as follow:— A kivtgtok (correct spelling, ĸivigtoĸ), or a man who fled mankind and led a solitary life alone with nature, generally in the interior of the country, obtained an enormous agility, and became nalussaerutok, learned to understand the speech of animals, and acquired information about the state of the world-pillars. The reasons which led men to become kivigtok, were being unjustly treated, or being merely scolded by kindred or housemates, who in this case were always in danger of vengeance from the hand of the fugitive. An anghiak (correct spelling, ángiaĸ) was an abortion, or a child born under concealment, which became transformed into an evil spirit, purposely to revenge himself upon his relatives. Akin to the anghiak were those who, either when new-born or at a maturer age, were converted into monsters, devouring their former housemates. An angherdlartugsiak (correct spelling, angerdlartugsiaĸ) was a man brought up in a peculiar manner, with a view to acquiring a certain faculty, by means of which he might be called to life again and returned to land in case he should ever be drowned while kayaking (also called anginiartoĸ), For this purpose the mother had to keep a strict fast, and the child to be accustomed to the smell of urine, and be taught never to hurt a dog. Lastly, when placing him in the kayak for exercise, the father mumbled a prayer, beseeching his deceased p. 46 parents or grandparents to take the child under their protection. On coming back to shore certain things might scare him, whereas the dogs protected and took care of him. As to animals, if in the tales they are represented as speaking, or in the shape of men, this is not always to be understood as analogous to fable. Partly it is in the power of beasts to show themselves in a supernatural shape, partly they may appear as ghosts, or in some state akin to that. Probably they must also be considered as the inue of their own kind, having the power of avenging their destruction. The so-called umiarissat (plural of umiariaĸ) is a supernatural "umiak," or women's boat and its crew, who are, in some cases at least, represented to be seals transformed into rowers. Among the purely supernatural or fabulous beings, the following must be particularly mentioned:— The ingnersuit (plural of ingnerssuaĸ, properly, great fire) have their abodes beneath the surface of the earth, in the cliffs along the sea-shore, where the ordinarily invisible entrances to them are found. They have also been noticed entering through mounds of turf. Probably these abodes have some connection with the real under world itself. They are divided into two classes, the upper and the lower ingnersuit. The former, called mersugkat or kutdlit, are benevolent spirits, protecting the kayakers. They have the shape of men, but a white skin, small noses, and reddish eyes. Their mode of life is like that of the Greenlanders themselves, only their houses and furniture are finer and richer. They often accompany the kayaker, assisting and taking care of him, but invisible to himself, and only to be seen by others at some distance. The lower ingnersuit, called atdlit, have no noses at all; they persecute the kayakers, especially the most skilled whom they know, dragging them down to their home in the deep, where they keep them in painful captivity. The kayarissat (plural of ĸajariaĸ) are kayakmen of an extraordinary size, who always seem to be met with at a distance from land beyond the usual hunting-grounds. They were skilled in different arts of sorcery, particularly in the way of raising storms and bringing bad weather. Like the umiarissat, they use one-bladed paddles, like those of the Indians. Pieces of bark from American canoes, which are sometimes brought ashore on the coast of Greenland, are named after both kinds. The kungusutarissat (plural of ĸungusutariaĸ), or mermen, are considered as the proper inue of the sea. They are very fond of fox-flesh and fox-tails, which therefore are sacrificed to them in order to secure a good hunting. They are also declared enemies to petulant and disobedient children. The inugpait are giants inhabiting a country beyond the sea, where all things have a size proportionate to them, and where also one-eyed people are found. The tornit (plural of tuneĸ) are the most eminent among the inue of the interior. Their dwellings are partly situated in the tracts visited by men, but the entrance to them is hidden by vegetation and soil. They are twice the size of men, or even more, but lead the same kind of life. They also go hunting at sea, but only in foggy weather and without kayaks, sitting on the surface of the water. They are wise men, and know the thoughts of men before they are spoken. The igaligdlit (plural of igalilik) are inlanders, who wander about with a pot on their shoulders, cooking their meat in it at the same time. The isserkat (plural of isseraĸ) are inlanders also, called tukimut uisorersartut, those who twinkle or blink with their eyes longwise or in the direction of length. The erkigdlit (plural of erĸileĸ) have the shape of man in the upper part of their body, but of dogs as to their lower limbs. The inuarutligkat (plural of inuarutdligaĸ) are a kind p. 48 of dwarf, possessing a shooting-weapon, with which they are able to kill a creature by merely aiming or pointing at it. Among the inlanders are also to be included the tarrayarsuit, or shadows, and the narrayout, or big-bellies. Several monsters reside at the bottom of lakes and inside certain rocks, and are named the inue of these places. Among these are to be ranked the amarsiniook and the kuinasarinook, referred to in the tales. The amarok, which in other Eskimo countries signifies a wolf, in Greenland represents a fabulous animal of enormous size, also repeatedly referred to in the tales. The kilivfak, also called kukoriaĸ, kukivfâgâĸ, ataliĸ, is an animal with six or even ten feet. The kugdlughiak (correct spelling, ĸugdlugiaĸ) is a worm, sometimes of enormous size, with a number of feet, and extraordinary speed. Other similar monsters mentioned in the tales are: The kukigsook, agshik, avarkiarsuk; the monster-foxes, hares, and birds, and the ice-covered bears. The upper world is also inhabited by several rulers besides the souls of the deceased. Among these are the owners or inhabitants of celestial bodies, who, having once been men, were removed in their lifetime from the earth, but are still attached to it in different ways, and pay occasional visits to it. They have also been represented as the celestial bodies themselves, and not their inue only, the tales mentioning them in both ways. The owner of the moon originally was a man, called Aningaut, and the inua of the sun was his sister, a woman beautiful in front, but like a skeleton at her back. The moon is principally referred to in the tales. The erdlaveersissok—viz., the entrail-seizer—is a woman residing on the way to the moon, who takes out the entrails of every person whom she can tempt to laughter. The siagtut, or the three stars in Orion's belt, were p. 49 men who were lost in going out to hunt on the ice. These are mentioned in the tales in the same way as the igdlokoks, who have the shape of a man cleft in two lengthwise. Among the rulers who are named only according to special domains, and whose number appears almost unlimited, are the inua of the air, the inua of appetite or eating, and the inerterrissok or the prohibitor—viz., he who lays down the rules for abstinence. (2.) Witchcraft. The practice of witchcraft has already been explained in the preceding pages as representing the principal source from which all the evils to which mankind is subject have their origin—viz., death, and what will more or less immediately lead to death, as sickness and famine. Generally, it is called kusuinek, and its performance may be limited to a single act; but those who have practised it to a certain degree are called iliseetsut (plural of ilisîtsoĸ), witches or wizards. It appears to have been also practised by supernatural beings as well as by mankind. Witches, however, in part acquired the powers of these—their souls being able to leave the body, and to approach those whom they intended to injure without being visible to any but the nalussaerutut or clairvoyants, to whom the witches themselves appeared as breathing fire, and with their hands and the lower parts of their arm blackened. In practising witchcraft some magic words were spoken, but it remains uncertain if words were thought necessary in every case, or if words alone sufficed; and lastly, whether witches were able to work their wicked ends by merely touching. Generally, different materials were considered necessary for the performance of witchcraft, such as (1) parts of human bodies, or objects that had been in some way connected with dead bodies, as if some remnant of that power which had caused death p. 50 still attached to them. (2) Worms and insects, perhaps on account of their apparent annual coming out of the soil, the common grave of all that lives and breathes, or possibly on account of their mysterious nature and destination; spiders were used for creating sickness; and insects swallowed in drinking water could be made to eat the entrails, kill the man, and reappear from out his body enlarged in size. (3) Parts of the animals caught by the person to whom mischief was intended. In most cases this was done by cutting a small round piece out of the skin. This, when put down into graves, caused the total failure of the owner's hunt from that time. From this kind of witchcraft the name of kusuinek is derived, signifying, taking away from, or diminishing something. In all cases witchcraft was an art handed down by tradition, but taught as well as practised in perfect secrecy.

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1 Sara Di Diego = "People who possess nalussaerunek can pick out supernatural beings and influence them.Source:Chambers's Encyclopaedia of Universal Knowledge for the People"
2 Sara Di Diego = "Source:http://www.museumsyndicate.com/images/4/38064.jpg"
3 Sara Di Diego = "The ingnersuit are gnomes who live under the earth.Work Cited:http://www.sacred-texts.com/nam/inu/tte/tte2-046.htm"