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Angakoks, the Eskimo men of magic. are widely held as symbols of mortal power among the tribe, Stories of their feats are very popular at tribal gatherings. The whales whistled as the Eskimo tribe danced on and on to the lively beat of the ceremonial band. For twenty days they danced. And sang. And prayed. And still the ice floe hugged the shore line preventing the Eskimos from being able to kill their most valuable prey, the large migrating whale. Anger had been building in the people towards the Angakok who allegedly had the power to remove the ice that was blocking their passage. Finally a hunter challenged the magic of the Angakok with hostile words, and others soon joined him in the traditional taunt of "necki, necki, necki", until the Angakok rose up before them and silenced them with a single cry. A spell escaped from his lips and the sky darkened. A curse slipped from his finger and the seas swelled. The ice was cracking at last. But that dull roar?? The Eskimos looked at one another with fear in their weathered faces. Then it appeared. A "giant snake which stands on the water" wiggled before them with its head in the clouds. They briefly watched it eat a path through the ice floe, then hysterically ran for safety. But the water spout had one more job to do. The hunter who challenged the Angakok's magic was never seen again. IF AN ANGAKOK IS MURDERED, IN ORDER TO PROTECT HIMSELF FROM ITS SPIRIT, THE MURDERER CUTS OFF THE ANGAKOK'S TOES AND FINGERS AND PUTS THEM IN THE DEAD MAN'S MOUTH. DEAD CHILDREN ARE BURIED WITH A DOG'S HEAD TO PROTECT THE CHILDIN THE AFTERLIFE. IF CATASTROPHE IS IMMINENT, ALL IN THE SETTLEMENT EXCHANGE WIVES IN ORDER TO CONFUSE THE EVIL SPIRITS. ESKIMOS HAVE WORDS FOR 40 VARIETIES OF SNOW. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.
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