Page:Eskimo Life.djvu/307

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263
RELIGIOUS IDEAS

from them the huldre-folk are sprung.[1] Be this as it may, the ignerssuit cannot but remind us of the subterranean people in our Scandinavian folk-lore.

Finally we have as a fourth element the glacier, which must belong exclusively to Greenland itself.[2]

Among other supernatural beings may be mentioned the different sorts of inland-folk who live in the interior of the country or upon the ice-fields. Some of these are called tornit (the plural of tunek) or inorutsit, or, upon the east coast, timersit. They are of human aspect, but of huge stature. Some say they are 4 metres (13 feet) in height, and others that they are as tall as a woman-boat is long, that is to say at least 10 metres (more than 32 feet). Their souls alone are as big as ordinary people. They live by hunting both land and sea animals. They can run exceedingly fast. On the sea they do not use kaiaks, but sit in the water 'with the fog for

  1. Commmiicated by Moltke Moe. Others relate that it was the ugly children whom Eve concealed, or that she was ashamed of having so many. (See Faye, Norske Folkesagn, 2nd ed. p. xxv.; Söegaard, Fra Fjeldbygderne, p. 102; Dölen, 1862 (III.) No. 17; Storaker and Fuglestedt, Folkesagn fra Lister og Mandals Amt, p. 51; Finn Magnusen, Eddalæren, iii. p. 329; Grimm, Deutsche Mythologie, 4th ed. iii. 163, &c.) The legend is originally Jewish, and may be traced to the Rabbis; see, for example, Liebrecht on Gervasius Tilberiensis Otia Imperialia, p. 70.
  2. Paul Egede gives a somewhat different account of the ignerssuits fall from human estate. They 'formerly dwelt upon earth, until the time of the great flood, which caused the earth to capsize, so that what had formerly been uppermost was now below.'—Continuation af Relationerne, p. 96.