Daily Myth-Inuit: Qalupalik

Here, I introduce Qalupalik.

Qalupalik art by Joy Ang (story by Elisha

Qalupalik art by Joy Ang (story by Elisha Kilabuk)

Qalupalik is a water spirit from the folklore of indigenous  people of the Arctic. In Inuit legend, there existed a creature that abducted children that wandered to far from home. Some say she stole them so as to eat them, some say she wanted raise them as her own under the water. She is described as being humanoid with long wet hair, green skin, and long finger nails. She hums to coax the children to the edge of sea and grabs them, putting them into her amautik.

Legend of Qalupalik by Ningeokuluk Teevee (2011)

Legend of Qalupalik by Ningeokuluk Teevee (2011)

Woman wearing Amauti

Inuit Mother Carrying Baby on her Back by Lomen Brothers (1903)

Qalupalik

Qalupalik by Joy Ang

An amautik is a parka that an Inuit woman wears. She can carry her baby in a large garment attached to the back of the park. It looks as if the baby the baby is in the hood of the garment, but s/he is not.

There seems to be some debate on whether or not there are multiple Qalupalik or just one. The story of Qalupalik was told to children so as to keep them from being disobedient and wandering to close to the shore of the sea.

She is kind of like the Kappa. A water demon that steals children, the only difference is that she is not always said to eat them. Some stories have been told that Qalupalik feeds on the children’s youth to keep herself immortal. As long as there are misbehaving children that she can catch, she can stay young.

If you wish to know more about Qalupalik, there is an interesting and beautifully done short animated film I suggest seeing. The Nunavut Animation Lab created a stop motion type story of Qalupalik legend, check it out at this website: https://www.nfb.ca/film/nunavut_animation_lab_qalupalik

Joy Ang is an amazing artist, and I loved her drawings of the Qalupalik. She really brings an interesting and truly frightening (while being alarmingly  beautiful) sense to the creature. You can also see more pictures at Joy Ang’s deviantart page: http://joy-ang.deviantart.com/

-Blog Barista

 

Best Nannies

Award for Best Nannies goes to…. *drumroll*…. Qalupalik Sisters!!!! (I found this picture at a website http://www.inuitmyths.com/story_qua.htm)

 

 

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