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Life Story of Rachel Uyarasuk

Rachel Uyarasuk
We tried to follow what we knew about Christianity and we tried to observe important religious holidays. Also when someone was in labour we would pray in our home before we went over to their place. When the older people were going to be in attendance at a birth they would pray first. If the delivery was taking a long time, they would also pray for assistance. They would pray again after whatever had to be done was done.

If we were going through a time of hunger and someone brought home seal or caribou, we would pray before eating. We would try to pray for we felt that was what we were supposed to do.

The Transition to Christianity, Chapter 1, p. 43.
The Life Story of Rachel Uyarasuk 

In chapter one, Rachel Uyarasuk shares her recollections of her childhood in Kangiq&ugaapik and her knowledge about how religion was practiced during important moments of women's lives. She explains how life in a small family or small community was different from that of today. People had to work and hunt together and so had to restore harmony after tensions. Also, Inuit would experience times of hunger, sometimes because somebody committed a wrong-doing. During these ordeals, it would be crucial to share meat with others who didn't have any and in fact sharing food was always an essential part of life.

Once they got married, women of Rachel's generation would improve their sewing skills through the teachings of their mother-in-law. Rachel talks about the different moments of pregnancy and the different types of labours and births. Before, when the time came to give birth they had to follow many rules, and women would go through labour alone. But when the new religion was introduced, the pittailiniq was abandoned and this changed the way women had to go through such special events. Christianity also changed the way children were named.

Towards the end of this interview, Rachel talks about women's and baby clothing and she describes the different styles of amautiit.