Native American Legends
An Eskimo Legend
It is said that Ángángujuk's father was very strong.
They had no other neighbors, but lived there three of them all alone.
One day when the mother was going to scrape meat from a skin, she
let the child play at kayak outside in the passage, near the entrance.
And now and again she called to him: "Ángángujuk!"
And the child would answer from outside.
And once she called in this way, and called again, for there came
no answer. And when no answer came again, she left the skin she
was scraping, and began to search about. But she could not find
the child. And now she began to feel greatly afraid, dreading her
husband's return. And while she stood there feeling great fear of
her husband, he came out from behind a rock, dragging a seal behind
Then he came forward and said: "Where is our little son?"
"He vanished away from me this morning, after you had gone,
when he was playing kayak-man out in the passage." And when
she had said this, her husband answered: "It is you, wicked
old hag, who have killed him. And now I will kill you." To
this his wife answered: "Do not kill me yet, but wait a little,
and first seek out one who can ask counsel of the spirits."
And now the husband began eagerly to search for such a one. He
came home bringing wizards with him, and bade them try what they
could do, and when they could not find the child, he let them go
without giving them so much as a bite of meat.
And seeing that none of them could help him, he now sought for
a very clever finder of hidden things, and meeting such a one at
last, he took him home. Then he fastened a stick to his face, and
made him lie down on the bed place on his back.
And now he worked away with him until the spirit came. And when
this had happened, the spirit finder declared: "It would seem
that spirits have here found a difficult task. He is up in a place
between two great cliffs, and two old inland folk are looking after
Then they stopped calling spirits, and wandered away towards the
east. They walked and walked, and at last they sighted a lot of
houses. And when they came nearer, they saw the smoke coming out
from all the smoke holes. It was the heat from inside coming out
so. And the father looked in through a window, and saw that they
were quarreling about his child, and the child was crying.
"Who is to look after him?" So he heard them saying inside
the house; each one was eager to have the child. When the father
saw this, he was very angry. And the people inside asked the child:
"What would you like to eat?" "No," said the
child. "Will you have seal meat?" "No," said
And there was nothing he cared to have. Therefore they asked him
at last: "Do you want to go home very much?" Ángángujuk
answered quickly: "Yes." And his father was very greatly
angered by now. And said to those with him: "Try now to magic
them to sleep."
And now the wizard began calling down a magic sleep upon those
in the hut, and one by one they sank to sleep and began to snore.
And fewer and fewer remained awake; at last there were only two.
But then one of those two began to yawn, and at last rolled over
And now the great finder of hidden things began calling down sleep
with all his might over that one remaining. And at last he too began
to move towards the sleeping place. Then he began to yawn a little,
and at last he also rolled over.
Now Ángángujuk's father went in quickly, and now
he caught up his son. But now the child had no clothes on. And looking
for them, he saw them hung up on the drying frame. But the house
was so high that they had to poke down the clothes with poles.
At last they came out, and walked and walked and came farther on.
And it was now beginning to be light. As soon as they came to the
place, they cut the moorings of the umiak, and hastily made all
ready, and rowed out to the farthest islands. They had just moved
away from land when they saw a number of people opposite the house.
But when the inland folk saw they had already moved out from the
land, they went up to the house and beat it down, beating down roof
and walls and all that there was of it.
After that time, Ángángujuk's parents never again
took up their dwelling on the mainland.
Here ends this story.
Native American Legends
Back to Top
Other Native American Legends