CM . . .
. Volume XVII Number 27. . . .March 18, 2011
Qanuq Pinngurnirmata: Inuit Stories of How Things Came to Be is a compilation of eight stories taken from the Inuit culture, each an explanation of how something came to be: the origins of day and night as seen through a battle between a Fox and a Raven; how babies were given to parents through the land; the Inuit's first encounter with the Caribou; how ice became part of the sea due to a man's escape and woman's fury; how the sun and the moon arose in the sky for the first time because of a prank between siblings; a girl's betrayal by her father and the consequent beginning of sea creatures; poor orphans who create thunder and lightning; and an early account of how a giant's baby could eventually end the world.
Rachel A. Qitsualik and Sean A. Tinsley have put together this group of Inuit myths in a very majestic way. Each story is fairly short and usually accompanied by one or two beautifully illustrated images that further enhance the text. While these stories tell of the beginning of things, they are written about characters that are easily understood; many of the tales are about Inuit families, and several of the stories revolve around children. These tales are also framed by a short introduction and conclusion which explain that the stories provided are told from those of "Grand Sky" which is an Inuit way of describing those who are wise. Many of these stories are rather dark, and there is no shying away from death or revenge in these tales However, for an honest look at some of these myths, Qanuq Pinngurnirmata: Inuit Stories for How Things Came to Be does a wonderful job at retelling the stories in a modern narrative while, at the same time, keeping a strong sense of a traditional Inuit storytelling.
Meredith Ball is currently completing her Masters of Library and Information Science in London, ON. She loves to read, write, and live in a world of pure imagination.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.