Now that the elders
have all related their experiences and expressed their views on angakkuuniq, the facilitators of the
workshop open the discussion on the value of angakkuuniq and old traditions at large. They considier how these
old traditions relate to modern social problems, especially those affecting
In this second chapter, the facilitators invite the elders to discuss various aspects and notions of angakkuuniq. Even though all the elders have stated they are not angakkuit themselves, they have all seen angakkuit perform various rituals and they share their memories here.
Shamanistic initiation is the first topic on the agenda. We learn that some of the elders almost became angakkuit in their youth, either by choice or not. The next topic is the qaumaniq, the vital energy of human beings that angakkuit perceive as a bright aura around people. Knowledge and views vary on this topic, whereas a stronger consensus is achieved on the notion of tarniq. From the qaumaniq, we move on to the qilaniq, the healing ritual through which angakkuit and non-angakkuit asked questions to the spirits in order to find out the cause of an illness.
A number of other topics are more briefly discussed: earth eggs (eggs found half-buried in the ground and said to possess special powers); healing methods (other than qilaniq) that were in use before there were health-care services, such as irinaliutit (incantations) and the sakaniq, a ritual by which the tuurngaq (spirit helper) of the angakkuq enters their body; how angakkuit could procure game in periods of famine; the importance of dreams; and the use of aarnguat (amulets).