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Qalupalik is an Inuit mythological creature.


The Qalupalik is a human-like creature that lives in the sea, with long hair, green skin, and long fingernails.[1] The myth is that qalupaliks wear an amautik (a form of pouch that Inuit parents wear to carry their children) so they can take babies and children away who disobey their parents.[2] The story was used to prevent children from wandering off alone, lest the qalupalik take the children in her amautik underwater and keep them forever.
Qalupaliks are said to make a distinctive humming sound; therefore, they can be heard before they appear.[citation needed]

In culture[edit]



  • Canadian children's literature author Robert Munsch featured the Qalupalik in his 1988 book A Promise is a Promise, co-authored with Inuit writer Michael Kusugak and illustrated by Vladyana Krykorka. The protagonist of the story is caught by the Qalupalik (spelled "Qallupilluit" in the book) and promises to bring all her siblings to them if they let her go. The Qalupalik agrees, and the child confesses her promise to her parents, who help her outsmart the monsters.[5]

Fine art[edit]

  • Ningeokuluk Teevee exhibited the painting, Legend of Qalupalik (2011), at Spirit Wrestler Gallery.[6]


  • In Helix: "Survivor Zero" (season 1, episode 7), Anana, an Inuit policewoman whose brother Miksa went missing when they were children and who is investigating the Arctic biostation as the possible location where 31 stolen children were taken, tells Sergio Ballesaros she and other children were cautioned to stay near their people's hunting sites, lest the Qalupalik steal them; she likens the Qalupalik to the bogeyman. Sergio, in turn, confides that children from the favelas in his hometown, Espírito Santo, Brazil, also went missing and implied he was one of them.
  • In season 9 episode 10 of Murdoch Mysteries, constable George Crabtree believed the culprit of a murder to be a Qalupalik until realising that the constabulary was in possession of the victim's body, contrary to the belief that a Qalupalik drags its victims beneath the sea.


  1. ^ Wolfson, Evelyn. Inuit Mythology. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Pub, 2001. ISBN 0-7660-1559-9
  2. ^ Millman, Lawrence, and Timothy White. A Kayak Full of Ghosts Eskimo Tales. Santa Barbara: Capra Press, 1987. ISBN 0-88496-267-9
  3. ^ "The NFB points up the 20th anniversary of the First Peoples' Festival with 10 new films, including two world premieres". Press release. National Film Board of Canada. 1 June 2010. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  4. ^ Papatsie, Ame. "Nunavut Animation Lab: Qalupalik" (Animated short). National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  5. ^ Robert N. Munsch; Michael Kusugak; Vladyana Krykorka (1988). A promise is a promise. Annick Press. ISBN 978-1-55037-031-7.
  6. ^ Teevee, Ningeokuluk (2011). Legend of Qalupalik. Spirit Wrestler Gallery.

Further reading[edit]