About Tupilaks

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What’s A tupilak? | Greenland Map | Return

A Tuplikak is a carving of a figure devised to bring misfortune.

Originating in Greenland these small often “frightening looking” figure are more recently carved from ivory or baleen.

Tupilak: Mystical creatures and carvings of the Greenlandic eskimo. 

     “a misfortune-bringing creature fashioned in utmost secrecy by
     someone skilled in sorcery from parts of various animals and humans. It
     was made alive by the singing of a charm song and grew large by
     sucking from the sexual organ of its maker. Then it was put in the sea to
     swim to its victim and do away with him. Possibly the victim himself was
     skilled in sorcery and so strong that the tupilak instead turned around
     and killed its maker.” (Kaalund) 

    “Fashioned from various animal bones, peat, and cloth, then given life
     by means of magical words, the tupilak was sent by its maker to harm an
     enemy. In more recent times, model tupilaks have been made of ivory
     and baleen.” (Blodgett)