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Maniilaq (məniːlʌk, mah-NEE-luk) (Inupiaq: Maniiḷaq, mani:ʎaq) is a figure of Inupiat legend and history. He is said to have lived in the 19th century before European colonialists arrived in his area of northwest Alaska. He lived as a hunter and a healer in northwest Alaska. Various stories about him include that he heard voices predicting that white people would come to Alaska, that he had prophetic visions of boats that were propelled by fire or that flew in the air, and that he heard voices from a higher power whom he described with an Inupiat word meaning both "father" and "son." Some also say that Maniiḷaq rested every seventh day. Other prophecies attributed to Maniiḷaq include the prophecy that the village of Ambler, Alaska would one day become a large metropolis, and that a whale would swim up river and appear at Ambler. It is said that Maniiḷaq practiced traditional medicine, and also that he resisted the dominant cultural order of shamanism. He is an important figure in Northwest Alaska Christian communities. The most distant future event he predicted was a day that was split in two, which is probably a reference to the Solar eclipse of July 1, 2057.

Maniiḷaq is also used as the symbol for a tribally-operated health and social services organization based in Kotzebue, Alaska. Maniilaq Association runs the Maniiḷaq Health Center in Kotzebue, which includes a hospital, clinic, and public health services, as well as clinics in 11 outlying arctic villages, including Ambler, Buckland, Deering, Kiana, Kivalina, Kobuk, Noatak, Noorvik, Selawik, Shungnak and Pt. Hope. These clinics are staffed by trained Community Health Aides.


  • Steven B Terry and Jill K. Anderson, Maniilaq: Prophet from the Edge of Nowhere
  • Sarah V. Haile, Maniilaq: Eskimo Prophet
  • LLT Productions VHS, Maniilaq—The Eskimo Prophet
  • Maniiḷaq Association website, [1]

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