Inuit Stories of Being and Rebirth

Gender, Shamanism, and the Third Sex

Bernard Saladin d’Anglure (Author)

Ujarak, Iqallijuq, and Kupaaq were elders from the Inuit community on Igloolik Island in Nunavut. The three elders, among others, shared with Bernard Saladin d’Anglure the narratives which make up the heart of Inuit Stories of Being and Rebirth. Through their words, and historical sources recorded by Franz Boas and Knud Rasmussen, Saladin d’Anglure examines the Inuit notion of personhood and its relationship to cosmology and mythology.

Central to these stories are womb memories, narratives of birth and reincarnation, and the concept of the third sex—an intermediate identity between male and female. As explained through first-person accounts and traditional legends, myths, and folk tales, the presence of transgender individuals informs Inuit relationships to one another and to the world at large, transcending the dualities of male and female, human and animal, human and spirit.

This new English edition includes the 2006 preface by Claude Lévi-Strauss and an afterword by Saladin d’Anglure.

Reviews

“The real strength of the book are the dialogues between d’Anglure, Iqallijuq, and Ujarak that provide insights into many of the stories provided by Kupaaq … providing one of the first Inuit commentaries on their own texts.”

– Chris Trott, Etudes/Inuit/Studies

About the Author

Bernard Saladin d’Anglure first began his work among the Canadian Inuit in the 1950s, when he was a young student from France. He later became a professor of Anthropology at the University of Laval, where he taught until his retirement.

Book Details

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