Amaqqut Nunaat : The Country of Wolves

Amaqqut Nunaat is a traditional Inuit story about two brothers who find themselves adrift on broken sea ice while out hunting for seal. They drift in the darkness for many days, until the ice they are on settles on the shore of a strange and distant land. The hunters begin to look for landmarks or people to help them find their way back home.

Eventually, they come to a camp and the two brothers split up to find help. The younger brother goes to the large communal igloo, where music and merriment can be heard. The older brother walks to a small igloo at the edge of the camp. Here he finds a strange old woman who is surprised to see him. She identifies him as human and tells him that he is in the Country of Wolves. She warns him of danger, but says it is too late for his brother. Meanwhile, the younger brother enters the large igloo and, upon greeting the inhabitants, quickly realizes that these people are not human. This knowledge comes too late and he is attacked and killed.

The strange woman tells the older brother that he must go, that she cannot help him. The older brother begins to leave, but then stops to give the woman a gift of a snow-knife. This gesture seems to soften this strange woman and, in turn, she offers him a saqqut (snow tester) that will help him find his way home.

The older brother resigns himself to the fact that his younger brother is lost, and he rushes out of the camp. Soon after, the leader of the camp catches the scent of another human and summons the group. They all shift into the form of a wolf and pursue him.

Soon, the older brother realizes that he cannot outrun the wolves and comes up with a plan. He cuts off a piece of his jacket and drops it in a clearing, then hides behind a boulder and waits. Eventually, the pack of wolves finds his trail and the leader discovers the piece of his jacket. As the leader smells the clothing fragment, the hunter releases an arrow that finds its target and kills the wolf. Leaderless, the wolf pack begins fighting, as subordinate wolves vie for the position of leader. Now, the older brother has a chance to get home.

After a long journey, the sun finally begins to rise as he crests a hill and sees his camp. He gets back and tells his wife about his adventure. He is exhausted, but refuses to undress or remove his snow-goggles. His wife is concerned, but lets him sleep. As his body relaxes, the goggles slide off his face and reveal that there are bugs devouring him. He has been dead for many days.

Somewhere on the sea-ice, in the darkness, the two hunters crossed over to the land of the spirits. From this land, almost no one returns...

The End.