Inuit Mythos Series

Inspired by a Native American Art History course, the characters I have designed and illustrated below are rooted in the beautiful spirituality and storytelling of the Inuit First Nation and their deep-rooted understanding that hunters are in thrall to their own prey for survival.

“The great peril of existence lies in the fact that
our diet consists entirely of souls.”Inuit Belief

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Sedna

Known as Mistress of the Sea, Sedna is a water deity who was once a mortal woman. Murder by drowning turned her into ruler of the underworld, and all marine mammals were born from her maimed fingers.
 
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Raven

Known as the Clever Trickster, Raven is the oldest known deity who existed before life began on earth. He brought light to the world by spreading his wings. He takes delight in meddling with human affairs to create chaos.
 
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Malina

Known as the Sun Sister, Malina is a once-mortal woman being chased across the sky each day. She holds a candle emanating the bright light of the sun. This allows all life on earth to flourish during her eternal flight.
 
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Anningan

Known as the Moon Brother, Anningan is a once-mortal man who slowly runs across the sky holding a dimmed candle. Its dull glow lights the night sky and can sometimes be seen during the day as he chases Sun Sister Malina.
 
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Pukimna

Known as the Caribou Mother, Pukimna is responsible for the health, wellbeing, and migration of caribou herds. Her favor is important to the Inuit since these prey animals are so heavily depended on for sustenance.
 
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Nanook

Known as the Warden of Polar Bears, Nanook is part man and part bear spirit. He decides whether hunters will have success on any given day. He also polices the observance of sacred ritual when an animal is killed to assure that its soul is honored properly.
 
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Angakok

Known as a two-spirit shaman, Angakok represents two Inuit subpopulations. Traditional shaman mystics are highly revered spiritual leaders, and a “two-spirit” is an individual whose spiritual gender identity is non-normative.
 
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The Selamiut

Known as the Sky-Dwellers, the Selamiut create the aurora borealis. They are forsaken ghosts of humans who suffered violent fates. These lingering spirits hold torches that light up the sky in ribbons of colorful hues to guide other Selamiut to the afterlife.
 
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Asiaq

Known as Fair Weather’s Fertility, Asiaq holds domain over the changing seasons, procreation, parenthood, and fertility. Her guardianship guarantees the coming of spring but also holds the fate of all through the duration of winter.
 
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