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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Tuniit: Mysterious Folk of the Arctic, written by Rachel and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley and illustrated by Sean Bigham. Inhabit Media, Fitzhenry & Whiteside. 2015. $16.95 ages 10 and up

"There are plenty of Inuit
stories about the Tuniit. Most
describe them as possessing
strange powers, some of which
make us question whether or not
they are actually human beings.
Tuniit (the men, at least) are often
described as beastlike, and there
are some rare tales that describe
them as covered in hair."  

This is another informative and entertaining book from Inhabit Media. I find them endlessly fascinating. So much of what is shared is brand new to me, and I suspect that others feel the same way I do. They are written well with children in mind, and provide a guide for extending our knowledge of the Inuit people.

I knew nothing of the Tuniit. After having read about these mysterious people of the Arctic, I have something to share with others about them. Thanks to the Qitsualik-Tinsley team for bringing them to my attention, and now to yours.

The book is divided into three sections: Inuit and Tuniit: Two Arctic Peoples, What Makes Tuniit Special, and What the Sciences Have to Say. They add a section on further reading as well.

"Inuit love the Arctic, but they know not to trust it. And they're not just nervous about the weather. Many still believe in magical creatures that might hide behind every stone, in every ice crack, or far out beyond the sound of engines."

When the Inuit moved into the Arctic, they met the Tuniit who were real people. The stories told about them make them 'anything but normal.' They were able to communicate despite their differences which are many. Well drawn, detailed illustrations help readers understand the information being shared. There are also further captions provided in a lighter font to explain observations made.

 This is a terrific introduction to a most mysterious people.

"Some opinions point to stories of conflict between Tuniit and Inuit, suggesting that maybe Inuit exterminated all of the Tuniit. Other sources, including stories of Tuniit and Inuit intermarrying, suggest that the two peoples blended together. If this is true, then it is the culture of the Tuniit that has gone extinct, while the Tuniit genes now reside within those who call themselves Inuit."

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