The Ijiraat change shape. They can transform into caribou. Into ravens. Bears. Wolves. And even…. humans. But it’s impossible to tell what they really look like: they don’t want to be seen in their real form. Some say these shape-shifters are helpful and bring messages to travellers. Some say the Ijiraat like to sing. Others say they are dangerous, and that they, just like the Qallupilluit kidnap children. They hide them, then abandon them. The children who manage to get away from the Ijiraat have to find their way home. Some make it back home, thanks to the inuksuit, the stone structures that help travellers find their way in the North.
These shape-shifters are believed to live between the worlds of the living and of the dead. They came to be when some Inuit hunters hunted too far north and ended up trapped between the two worlds.
The Ijiraat stalk lone travellers. If ever you wander on your own in the Arctic and you come across a creature you’re not too sure about, look into its eyes. If the eyes are red, you are face-to-face with a shape-shifting Ijiraq . If you get away, though, odds are you won’t remember what happened. Travellers who have met them become disoriented and lose their memories of their encounter with an Ijiraq .
If you want to learn about more Inuit legends, you can visit this site: www.inuitmyths.com
In this video, Lucy, tells us about these supernatural beings.
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Copyright Sivumu Northern Productions, Arnait Video Productions 2019