The Spirit of the Sea

The Spirit of the Sea

Book - 2014
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This beautifully illustrated picture books tells the story of the spirit of the sea, referred to as Nuliajuq, Sedna, Takannaaluk, and many other Inuktitut names.

Once a young woman who refused to marry, the lies and deceit of a treacherous bird and her own father's cowardice lead Nuliajuq to a life of solitude at the bottom of the ocean as the powerful, at times vengeful, spirit of the sea.

The Spirit of the Sea provides young readers with an authentic retelling of one of the most important, powerful legends in the canon of Inuit traditional stories.

Publisher: Iqaluit, Nunavut :, Inhabit Media,, 2014
ISBN: 9781927095751
Branch Call Number: EASY 398.2 INU HAI 2014
Characteristics: 29 pages : colour illustrations ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Lim, Hwei (Illustrator),


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forbesrachel Feb 25, 2015

Whether you are looking for a book on Inuit folklore or not, this one's cover is sure to catch your eye. Pick it up, for a treat lies in store for you. A deft hand, and divine watercolours capture the land, life and magical spirit of the north; the sea in particular shows its many shades and moods. Between this and the natural page compositions, each illustration is a stunning example of art. As for the written counterpart, it takes a more detached approach, preferring to simply state the facts and fulfill its original purpose. This is a creation story, a cautionary tale, and has etiological importance. Arnaq is a woman of astounding beauty, but she refuses to marry any man she deems unworthy. One day, a fulmar (a bird that looks like a gull) promises her all that she desires, so she marries him. When she realizes he has deceived her, she leaves only to be betrayed by her father. In her rage and sorrow she becomes a spirit of the sea. Even in this form she is not easily pleased, which explains why the Inuit must appease her with a certain custom. Inuktitut words are sprinkled throughout the text, but are always easy to understand within the context, nonetheless there is a pronunciation guide at the back with their meanings. The art may have pulled you in, but you will come out of this story with a few bits of wisdom: respect nature, choose your marriage partner carefully, and watch out for a woman's wrath.

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