Home > Winds of Change > Shamanism and Reintegrating Wrongdoers into the Community > Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Jose Angutinngurniq
« In the past, if I had a sickness in my chest, I would give something to the angakkuq. The angakkuq would see what was the cause of the problem. Based on that, the angakkuq would be able to heal me. If there was something I had not disclosed, then I would have to disclose it. If there had been any wrongdoing I had not confessed, if it remained within me, it would make me sick. […] If I had something inside me that I had never disclosed because I was too embarrassed, and I became sick because of it, then it could be seen. If I did not want to disclose it, if I hung on to it, then I would remain sick. If there was something I had taken, or if I had committed a wrongdoing towards another person, once this was seen, it was very hard to deny. Some angakkuit used their powers to kill, but not all of them did so. Some angakkuit used their powers to heal. I really think that in the past the angakkuit could see people’s wrongdoings. » (Page 63)
Chapter one covers the first days of the workshop. Each of the eight participating elders takes a turn introducing themselves by presenting their family, explaining the nature and scope of their knowledge about angakkuuniq (shamanism), and sharing a few experiences. We find out that all elders know of angakkuuniq and remember seeing angakkuit (shamans) perform. Luke Nuliajuk tells of a healing session where the angakkuq had to drag the tarniq (the soul) of the sick person back into the igloo. Felix Pisuk explains that he had to confess having abused a small bird for the angakkuq to heal him of a serious illness. Levi Iluittuq relates a night trip by flying skidoo, the result of tuurngait (spirits) trying to make him an angakkuq. Ollie Itinnuaq tells how the angakkuq Nagjuk put an end to the deadly illness that killed many people in Igluligaarjuk by accepting to die of this illness himself. Experiences related to death are also presented. Peter Suvaksiuq and Mariano Aupilaarjuk both share their out-of-body experiences following a serious accident and Pujuat Tapaqti relates a celestial vision she had during a night of agony.