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

In Inuit folklore, the kak-whan-u-ghat kig-u-lu'-nik or akh'lut is an orca-like composite animal that takes the form of a wolf when on land,[1] and is sometimes depicted as a wolf-orca hybrid.[2][3]

Inuit folklore[edit]

In 1900, the American naturalist Edward William Nelson described the kak-whan-u-ghat kig-u-lu'-nik among a number of other mythical and composite animals:[1]

It is described as being similar in form to the killer whale and is credited with the power of changing at will to a wolf; after roaming about over the land it may return to the sea and again become a whale. While in the wolf form it is known by the above name, and the Eskimo say they know that this change takes place as they have seen wolf tracks leading to the edge of the sea ice and ending at the water, or beginning at the edge of the water and leading to the shore. ... These animals are said to be very fierce and to kill men.

Nelson attributed stories of the creature to the orca (akh'lut), and explained wolf tracks appearing to lead into the sea as the result of ice breaking away from the edge. He identifies other composite animals among Inuit folklore, including a white whale that can transform into a reindeer, and says that belief in the kak-whan-u-ghat kig-u-lu'-nik is prevalent among Inuit along the shore of the Bering Sea.[1]

More recent collections of myths and folklore have used the term Nelson gives for the orca, akh'lut, to describe the composite animal.[2][3][4][5]

Popular culture[edit]

  • The Akhlut is featured in Disco Zoo. It is featured in the Ice Age exhibit's mythical creature spot.
  • In Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf, the Whalewolf is similar in appearance to the Akhlut.
  • In the Sonic the Hedgehog (comics) series published by Archie Comics, there is a character named Akhlut who worked as one of Dr. Eggman's generals. Before the reboot of the comic's storyline, he was a cyborg orca with psychic abilities. After the reboot, Akhlut was an anthropomorphic orca.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Nelson, Edward William (1900). The Eskimo about Bering strait. University of California Libraries. Washington : U.S.G.P.O. p. 444.
  2. ^ a b Scott Francis (11 July 2007). "The Akhlut". Monster Spotter's Guide to North America. F+W Media. p. 155. ISBN 978-1-4403-0312-8. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  3. ^ a b Carol Rose (2001). Giants, Monsters, and Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend, and Myth. W. W. Norton. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-393-32211-8. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  4. ^ Facts On File, Incorporated (2010). Native American Mythology A to Z. Infobase Publishing. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-4381-3311-9. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  5. ^ Stookey, Lorena Laura (2004). Thematic Guide to World Mythology. Greenwood Press. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-313-31505-3.