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Inuit Myths

Scraping the Clouds: An Inuit Legend

Scraping the Clouds

    Long ago, on the shores of the Arctic Ocean, two Inuit boys were walking from their own home to a far-away village. While they were going along, a terrible storm overtook them, and they had to hold each other by the hand to keep from falling.

    The drummer--Nunivak. Nunivak native playing a very large drum.

    The Giant’s Drum

      Long ago, in a village in Alaska, there lived a man with his wife and five sons, of whom they were very proud.
      One day the oldest son came to his father and said, “Father we have always been in the same place, and seen the same kind of people. I think it is time for me to go in search of another village and see something of the world.”

      The Giant's Cave

      The Giant’s Cave

        Long ago, near the mouth of the Copper Mine River, which flows into the Arctic River, there lived an enormous giant. His cave was not far from an Inuit village, and he kept the people of that village in constant terror because when he could not get enough whale meat, or seal to eat, he would capture the little children and eat them up.

        Why Crow's Feathers are Black

        Why Crow’s Feathers are Black

          Long ago, when crows were white, a crow and an owl sat on a log, talking together.

          The crow said he did not like his color, and the owl said, “I wish I had some pretty spots on my back.”

          “So do I,” said the crow. “Let us paint each other with black oil from the lamp.”

          Crow Brings the Daylight

          Crow Brings the Daylight

            Long, long ago, when the world was still new, the Inuit lived in darkness in their home in the fastness of the north. They had never heard of daylight, and when it was first explained to them by Crow, who traveled back and forth between the northlands and the south, they did not believe him.