In the Beginning: Humanity, An Inuit Creation Story

Sailko, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

According to Inuit tradition, there was nothing but water when the world began. Suddenly, stones and rocks came down from the sky. Land was created! There was only darkness, and humans and animals lived together as one species. The animals and human beings took on each other’s forms and shapes. Words were created and, because these words had never been used before, they contained very powerful magic. Whenever anyone used words, strange things would happen. For example, when Tiriganiaq, the fox, met Ukaliq, an Arctic hare, the fox said, “Dark, dark,” because he wanted to steal meat from the human beings. Ukaliq replied, “Light, light,” because he wanted to find food in the grass. That is how it became light in daytime and dark at night. Many other things, such as the concepts of good and bad, were created by the magical powers of words.


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