Malina (mythology)

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Representation of Malina (Sukh-eh-nukh).

Malina is a solar deity in Inuit religion.[1] She is found most commonly in the legends of Greenland that link her closely with the lunar deity Anningan (also called Igaluk), her brother.[2] Malina is constantly fleeing from Anningan as the result of strife between the two (legends vary as to the cause). Their constant chase is the traditional explanation for the movement of the sun and moon through the sky.


According to Inuit mythology, Igaluk and his sister Malina lived together in a village. They were very close when young, but came to live apart as they grew older, in the lodges for women and for men. One day, as Igaluk looked at the women, he found that his sister was the most beautiful. And so that night, as everyone slept, he crept into the women's dwelling and forced himself upon her. As it was dark, Malina was unable to tell who her attacker was, but the next night, when the same thing happened, she covered her hands with the soot from the oil lamps and smeared the Anningan's face with it. Afterwards, she took a lamp and looked through the skylight of the men's lodge. She was surprised to find that the man was Igaluk, her own brother. So Malina sharpened her knife and cut off her breasts. She put them in a bowl and carried this to the men's lodge, and presented it to Igaluk, saying "If you enjoy me so much, then eat these," and ran away out the door, grabbing a torch as she went. Igaluk chased after her, likewise taking a torch, and was able to easily follow her path, as her footsteps were marked with great pools of blood. However, he tripped and dropped his torch, and the flame was put out, except for a faint glow. Eventually however, Igaluk caught up to his sister, and the two ran so fast that they took off into the sky and became the moon and the sun.

Malina was then known for her passion, courage and beauty.


  1. ^ Dwyer, Helen; Burgan, Michael (2012-01-01). Inuit History and Culture. Gareth Stevens. p. 24. ISBN 9781433959707.
  2. ^ PhD, Patricia Monaghan (2014-04-01). Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines. New World Library. p. 81. ISBN 9781608682188.

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