From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Uvavnuk was a female angakkuq (shaman) of the Iglulik Inuit in the early 20th century, and now considered an oral poet.

Uvavnuk has been written about in several books on mysticism. A common report is that she experienced a "glowing ball of fire in the sky" and afterwards gained a "telepathic sensitivity" helping her know the "thoughts and hidden actions of others".[1][2][3] She has been described as a healer.[3] Uvavnuk has been described as an Inuit female shaman of the Netsilik or Iglooik tribes, and also as a "shamaness".[1] After her visual experience with the "ball of fire", she reportedly sang this song:

The great sea moves me, sets me adrift.
It moves me like algae on stones in running brook water.
The vault of heaven moves me.
Mighty weather storms through my soul.
It carries me with it.
Trembling with joy. [4]

Vavanuk's poems have appeared in collections of poetry[5] appear in online collections,[6] and have been used by peace groups such as Out Beyond Ideas in songs.[3] Her poetry was initially recorded in a book called Song of Uvavnuk by Knud Rasmussen sometime in the early 1900s.[3]


  1. ^ a b Hollenback, Jess Byron (2000). Mysticism: Experience, Response, and Empowerment. The Pennsylvania State University Press. pp. 44, 45. ISBN 0-271-01551-9. 
  2. ^ Uvavnuk (2009-09-13). "Uvavnuk was an Inuit (Netsilik or Iglooik) female shaman, 19th century". CHQSES: A World of Illustrated Poetry. Retrieved 2009-09-14. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d "Beneficiary Organization Partners in Conflict and Partners in Peacebuilding". Out Beyond Ideas. 2009-09-14. Retrieved 2009-09-14. 
  4. ^ Tedlock, Barbara (2005). The Woman in the Shaman's Body: Reclaiming the Feminine in Religion and Medicine. Bantam. p. 85. ISBN 0-553-10853-0. 
  5. ^ Stephen Mitchell (2009-09-13). "The Enlightened Heart (Paperback)". Amazon. Retrieved 2009-09-14. 
  6. ^ Uvavnuk (2009-09-14). ""The Great Sea" by Uvavnuk". Poetry Online. Retrieved 2009-09-14. [dead link]


  • Penny Petrone. Northern Voices: Inuit Writing in English. University of Toronto Press, 1992. ISBN 0-8020-7717-X, 9780802077172. Pg 21.