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Location: Eastern Townships, Quebec, Canada

I'm a father, a seakayaker, a guitarist, a writer, a geocacher and a lover of all things arctic. I try to dream big, journey far, kayak well, and above all, cherish my family and friends. I believe in self-sponsorship, Team Zero and being as carbon neutral as I can.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Ilatsiak - 78 - Musk Ox People

In the days which followed there was much to do. First came the move in order to let the dead spirit find its peace in its new world. Staying put would only make the transition more difficult for it if they remained in the area. Finding a new spot to build their camp took three days and then the men were forced to begun hunting again. The new area, while known to the men, still took time to produce seals and David was busy reassuring people that their choice had been the right one. But after the settling in period was over and life began to adjust in the absence of Uyaraluk’s familiar figure, David had time to reflect on the coming of the whites again to the area. Why was it, he wondered, that they kept following him? Was it he they were looking for? But why him? He decided to find the young hunter and question him about these people and find out what they wanted here.
Uyaraluk had mentioned the hunter’s name, but he was not known to many people in the camp. He was from a group of people living further to the east, people who were called the Musk Ox people because of where they lived. It was too far to travel to visit this man and besides, who knows where he might be at this time of the year. The Musk Ox people were known to be wanderers and could be far inland or even on Victoria Island. Instead, David made a shorter trip to a islet out in the bay where he like to go by himself and confer with his spirits. By this time he had several spirits who would visit him regularly and from whom he could sometimes extract bits of useful information. He got Kudlik to take him out there and build a snow-house. He then left promising to return in a few days. Since the death of Qayaq about two years previously, David had come to depend on his son Kudluk and his family. It was a comfortable arrangement and one which made the loss of his wife bearable. He missed her every day and sometimes pleaded with his spirits to take him to see her if they could, but they never did. Slowly David realised they would not, but he had Kudluk and his family to remind him of her.



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