Re: Inuit Philosophy and Spirituality

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Posted by Rebecca on September 22, 1998 at 16:18:15:

In Reply to: Inuit Philosophy and Spirituality posted by Ayesha on September 22, 1998 at 14:24:58:

Hi Ayesha,

I found this in a booklet published by the government of Canada.Here goes:

"The life of the Inuit was intimately bound to the natural environment, and in traditional religion this same emphasis was apparent. Religion took the form of nature worship. The unpredictable forces of nature were thought to be controlled by powerful spirits.It was necessary to appease these spirits when they were angered. This responsibility to protect people from spirits fell to the shamans-the Inuit medicine men or women.
The shaman was the intermediary between the human world and the spirit one. When the sea goddess showed her anger by causing storms over the ocean or by denying the Inuit the sea mammals, it was the shaman's duty to divine what had made her angry and what would appease her. This involved performing certain rituals and observing certain taboos. It was hoped that once the sea goddess was happy, the animals would become available to the hunters.
It was believed that the shamans possessed magical powers, such as the ability to fly,turn themselves into animals or read people's minds.
Good shamans were said to have healing powers and be able to cure illnesses by expelling evil spirits from the body. Evil shamans, however, were capable of murderous acts.
Another traditional Inuit religious belief was that human spirits lived on after people died. The spirit of a deceased person would eventually occupy a newborn who had received the spirit's mortal name. This child, it was believed, would acquire it's namesake's soul and abilities."

Hope this helped,


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