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Tulungusaq (Crow)

Tulungusaq, in one Inuit (Eskimo) creation myth, is the creature who came alive in the dead, silvery sky. He met the Swallow who came prior to him that showed him the deep abyss with hardening clay at the bottom. Afterwards he disguised himself as a crow with artificial feathers, wings, and beak, a disguise that he could easily remove. All vegetation sprang from bits of clay which the crow as he few had previously dropped in the soil. Out of the same material he fashioned animals and men. This is why he has been called Father Crow. The first four men emerged fast, either through spontaneous generation or by some absence of a governing will, even surprising the crow by the lightening speed by which they emerged from their husks. Hurriedly he created four wives for them and other people to populate the earth. Soon the earth overflowed with inhabitants causing the crow to increase the land by cutting up a monster and throwing pieces of him into the sea which changed into islands that netted to the coast.

(Relative is the fact that the crow cycle was characteristic of the Palaeo[old]-Arctic Siberians and part of the North-American Native mythology of the north-east coast; and was only known to Alaskans, not to the Inuits of that territory, therefore, in the latter case it is of foreign origin.) A.G.H.


Grimal, Pierre, Larousse World Mythology, Secaucus, New Jersey, Chartwell Books, 1965, p. 441

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