The Qalupalik

Here is a scary tale told to all Inuit children. In the wintery and frozen lands they call home, there lurks the Qalupalik, a monstrous mermaid that hides in the deep waters of the icy sea. With her long, green hair and long nails like claws, she waits patiently at the shores and cracks in the ice for the unfortunate child who wanders too close.

The Inuit warn their children against the humming sound you can here sometimes near the water for it is a sign the Qalupalik is near. Her mermaid murmurings can lure unsuspecting children away from their parents and safety into her eagerly waiting claws.

Her victim will approach the dark waters and, suddenly, with a quick snap of her claws, she will drag a poor child underwater. Some stories say she eats the children, others tell us that she stores them in her lair where she feeds on their life force to remain young.

Besides her long hair and her long nails, she is known for wearing an amautik, a garment with a deep hood that women wear to keep their babies on the back. Any child she gets hold of, will be plunked in her amautik so she can carry them to her lair.

Qalupalik holding a head , 1994 by David Piqtoukun

 

The idea of sharks lurking in the deep or near the water surface, waiting for a tasty swimmer to appear, might terrorise the minds of many, but in the cold north of Canada you better watch out for the Qalupalik!

 

Check out some more stories about terrifying Inuit monsters!

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