Inuit Stories of Being and Rebirth: Gender, Shamanism, and the Third Sex

Inuit Stories of Being and Rebirth: Gender, Shamanism, and the Third Sex

Inuit Stories of Being and Rebirth: Gender, Shamanism, and the Third Sex

Inuit Stories of Being and Rebirth: Gender, Shamanism, and the Third Sex


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Ujarak, Iqallijuq, and Kupaaq were elders from the Inuit community on Igloolik Island in Nunavut. The three elders, among others, shared with Bernard Saladin d’Anglure the narratives which make up the heart of Inuit Stories of Being and Rebirth. Through their words, and historical sources recorded by Franz Boas and Knud Rasmussen, Saladin d’Anglure examines the Inuit notion of personhood and its relationship to cosmology and mythology. Central to these stories are womb memories, narratives of birth and reincarnation, and the concept of the third sex—an intermediate identity between male and female. As explained through first-person accounts and traditional legends, myths, and folk tales, the presence of transgender individuals informs Inuit relationships to one another and to the world at large, transcending the dualities of male and female, human and animal, human and spirit. This new English edition includes the 2006 preface by Claude Lévi-Strauss and an afterword by Bernard Saladin d’Anglure.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780887558306
Publisher: University of Manitoba Press
Publication date: 11/30/2018
Series: Contemporary Studies on the North , #6
Edition description: 1
Pages: 400
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.99(d)

About the Author

BERNARD SALADIN D'ANGLURE first began his work among the Canadian Inuit in the 1950s, when he was a young student from France. He later became a professor of Anthropology at the University of Laval, where he taught until his retirement.

Table of Contents

Preface to the 2006 Edition Claude Lévi-Strauss xi

Foreword xiii

Igloolik Island, A Mythical Place

The Storytellers xxi

Introduction 1

Iqallijuq, Ujarak, Kupaaq, and the Others

Interlude 1 Song of Saittuq 9

Chapter 1 Savviurtalik is Reincarnated 11

Interlude 2 Iqallijuq Remembering 28

Chapter 2 Inuit Genesis and the Desire for Children 39

Chapter 3 Naarjuk: The Giant Baby with Prominent Genitals and the Master of Sila 57

Chapter 4 Incestuous Moon Brother Chases Sun Sister 74

Chapter 5 A Headstrong Daughter: The Mother of All Human Races and all Marine Mammals 101

Chapter 6 A Cheated Husband and Thwarted Love in the Animal World 121

Chapter 7 Girls Should not Play at Marriage 141

Chapter 8 A Battered Wife Chooses to be Reborn in Animal Forms, Then as a Man 152

Chapter 9 Kaujjajjuk, A Mistreated Orphan Rescued by the Moon Man 177

Chapter 10 The Danger of Being Impregnated by a Spirit when you have a Jealous Husband 197

Chapter 11 Itirjuaq, The First Woman Healer 210

Chapter 12 The Strange Man and his Whale 220

Chapter 13 Atanaarjuat, The Fast Runner: A Mythical Hero 232

Chapter 14 Ataguttaaluk, The Cannibal Forebear (or the Birth of a Myth) 247

Chapter 15 Qisaruatsiaq: Back to her Mother's Womb 274

Conclusion 283

Afterword 291

Glossary of Inuktitut Terms 305

Notes 319

Bibliography 337

Photo Credits 349

Index 351

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