The Power of the Drum

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The Inuit peoples often have the Supreme Being called Sedna as a central figure in their mythology. Many different myths surround her, but the people usually view her  as the creator of all life, animal and vegetable. In his landmark study, The Central Eskimo (originally published 1888), Franz Boas explained how the people had important feasts closely connected with their mythology at which they would sing and dance with the drum. “In summer feasts are celebrated in the open air, but in winter a house, called qaggi, . . . singing house, is built for that purpose” (Boas 1888/1964: 192). At these feasts songs and stories connected with Sedna would be performed.  Boas describes such a feast for Sedna and her associated myths by the Akudnirmiut of Cumberland Sound

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