Saturday, November 19, 2011


In Inuit mythology, Igaluk is one of the most powerful gods of the pantheon. He is a lunar deity. In Greenland, he is known as Aningan.


According to Inuit mythology, Igaluk and his sister Malina lived together in a village. They were very close when young, but came to live apart as they grew older, in the lodges for women and for men. One day, as Igaluk looked at the women, he found that his sister was the most beautiful. And so that night, as everyone slept, he crept into the women's dwelling and forced her. As it was dark, Malina was unable to tell who her attacker was, but the next night, when the same thing happened, she covered her hands with the soot from the lamps and smeared the Anningan's face with it. Afterwards, she took a lamp and looked through the skylight of the men's lodge. She was surprised to find that the man was Igaluk, her own brother. So Malina sharpened her knife and cut off her breasts. She put them in a bowl and carried this to the men's lodge, and presented it to Igaluk, saying "If you enjoy me so much, then eat these," and ran away out the door, grabbing a torch as she went. Igaluk chased after her, likewise taking a torch, and was able to easily follow her path, as her footsteps were marked with great pools of blood. However, he tripped and dropped his torch, and the flame was put out, except for a faint glow. Eventually however, Igaluk caught up to his sister, and the two ran so fast that they took off into the sky and became the moon and the sun.


Tulok, according to Inuit mythology, is the arch nemesis of Aningan. A true warrior, after hearing of the incest of Aningan decided to challenge him to battle. As by this time Aningan had become the sun he devised a plan to run so fast he could reach into the sky and pour a bucket of mythical water over the sun to put out its flames. But upon hearing this, Malina, realising the devastating effect of the loss of the sun, banded together with Aningan and became an eclipse, so that when Tulok reached the sky he would become trapped. It is said after this he split to a thousand pieces, and became the stars.

From: Wiki
The moon, brother to the sun whom Moon chases across the sky. Aningan has a great igloo in the sky where he rests. Irdlirvirissong, his demon cousin, lives there as well. The moon is a great hunter, and his sledge is always piled high with seal skins and meat.

A beautiful young maiden carrying a torch who is chased through the sky by her brother Aningan, the moon. The planet Jupiter is the mother of the sun and very dangerous to magicians. If they are careless, she will devour their livers.

From: here
Anningan is the name of the Moon god of some of the Inuit people that live in Greenland. The word "Inuit" means "people."

Anningan continually chases his sister, Malina, the Sun goddess, across the sky. During this chase, he forgets to eat, and he gets much thinner. This is symbolic of the phases of the moon, particularly the crescent.

To satisfy his hunger, he disappears for three days each month (new moon) and then returns full (gibbous) to chase his sister all over again. Malina wants to stay far away from her bad brother. That is why they rise and set at different times.


Malina is the Sun goddess of the Inuit people who live in Greenland. The word "Inuit" means "people."

Malina and her brother, the Moon god Anningan, lived together. They got into a terrible fight and Malina spread dirty, black grease all over her brother's face. In fear, she ran as far as she could into the sky and became the Sun. Anningan chased after her and became the Moon.

Anningan often forgets to eat, so he gets thinner as the days go by. Every month, the Moon disappears for three days while Anningan eats. He then returns to chase his sister once again.

This eternal chase makes the Sun alternate in the sky with the Moon.

From: here
We cross the Atlantic, and among the Greenlanders discover a myth, which is sui generis. "The sun and moon are nothing else than two mortals, brother and sister. They were playing with others at children's games in the dark, when Malina, being teased in a shameful manner by her brother Anninga, smeared her hands with the soot of the lamp, and rubbed them over the face and hands of her persecutor, that she might recognise him by daylight. Hence arise the spots in the moon. Malina wished to save herself by flight, but her brother followed at her heels. At length she flew upwards, and became the sun. Anninga followed her, and became the moon; but being unable to mount so high, he runs continually round the sun, in hopes of some time surprising her. When he is tired and hungry in his last quarter, he leaves his house on a sledge harnessed to four huge dogs, to hunt seals, and continues abroad for several days. He now fattens so prodigiously on the spoils of the chase, that he soon grows into the full moon. He rejoices on the death of women, and the sun has her revenge on the death of men; all males therefore keep within doors during an eclipse of the sun, and females during that of the moon."

This Esquimaux story, which has some interesting features, is told differently by Dr. Hayes, the Arctic explorer, who puts a lighted taper into the sun's hands, with which she discovered her brother, and which now causes her bright light, "while the moon, having lost his taper, is cold, and could not be seen but for his sister's light." This belief prevails as far south as Panama, for the inhabitants of the Isthmus of Darien have a tradition that the man in the moon was guilty of gross misconduct towards his elder sister, the sun.

From: here
The Sun and the Moon

(An Inuit Sky Tale)

Sun and Moon were sister and brother. They always took part in the copulation games in the young people's house. But one night, as Moon was trying to decide which girl he would try to find when the light was dimmed, his eyes fell upon his sister, and he thought she was the most beautiful of all. He noticed how her clothes were made, and when the lamp had been put out, he found her by feeling his way.

He did this many times. At last, Sun became suspicious, and she took a little soot from the lamp upon her fingers. During the copulation she pressed her fingers against the forehead of the man who took her. And when the lamp was lit again, she saw her brother Moon with soot on his face.

Sun became red and hot with shame. She took a whisk of moss from the heap by the lamp, dipped it in the blubber and lit it, and she ran out.

Moon wanted to follow her, but he was in such a hurry that he didn't get his moss lit very well.

"We must run far away and never see each other again," said Sun. And at the same moment they became spirits and were lifted up in the sky, where they continued their flight.

But Sun has the stronger warmer light, because her whisk of moss burns clearly. Her brother Moon, who pursues her but never can catch up with her, has the weaker colder light.

From: here
Inuit legend explains that the moon, personified as a male, chases the sun, represented by a female, and ends with an eclipse, before starting all over again.

The story recounted by Inuit elders in John MacDonald's book Arctic Sky, Inuit Astronomy, Star Lore and Legend, is the creation of the sun and the moon.

"The moon is personified as male and sun as female," said MacDonald who also heads the Iglulik Research Institute.

The legend tells the story of Anningaat and his sister Siqiniq.

The story spun by George Kappianaq in MacDonald's book is, like many myths, filled with violence, taboo and eventual punishment.

Siqiniq is plagued by constant visits of an obscene nature while staying in her birthing house.

Her attacker would sneak into the room and extinguish the light of her qulliq, thus hiding his identity.

In an attempt to trap him the next time he entered, she put soot from a cooking pot on her nose.

To Siqiniq's horror she discovered the attacker is her brother Anningaat.

Both lit torches and Siqiniq chased her brother around the Qaggiq (a large iglu used for communal activities).

Anningaat's torch extinguished during the chase while his sister's continued to burn.

Eventually, the two ascended to the heavens where Anningaat became the moon and Siqiniq the sun.

There in the sky the chase is said to continue and a solar eclipse occurs when the brother finally catches up with his sister.

Aside from the legend of the siblings, eclipses were also viewed with some foreboding by Inuit.

From: here

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