January 1, 1951
But according to the people at Minto, Kinakia's medicine is powerful. Last spring a young fellow drowned in three feet of water. I was told that he had laughed at Kinakia and that the sorceress had put the "eye" on him.
At Minto the favorite magician is a woman, one Kinakia. She makes fancy amulets and fingers an Anglican prayer book. She is quite disarming when you talk with her, the soul of courtesy, and I must confess that her charms look more like rag dolls than potent idols.
But according to the people at Minto, Kinakia's medicine is powerful. Last spring a young fellow drowned in three feet of water. I was told that he had laughed at Kinakia and that the sorceress had put the "eye" on him. Another Minto Eskimo, an old man, was rash enough to sneer at Kinakia, telling her that witchcraft was strictly out of date--a thing of the past. She fixed him. One day in summer at high noon he was traveling inland when, all of a sudden, the light disappeared. He was left in total darkness and his dogs were terrified, snapping and lunging at mysterious enemies hidden along the trail. "Kinakia, pigmana ila"..."She is after me," he muttered. After a while the sun returned and the nightmare quality of the spell was gone, though the fear of it remained in the old man's memory. "Please do not say that I told you," he whispered to me. "But maybe you can stop her, eh?"
One day another Eskimo, while eating, plucked a bone arrow out of his leg. Was it a warning from Kinakia?
Another Inuk, on the trail, met a caribou with a man's head, and the monster simply laughed at his bullets, bounding away with a frightening grin on his face.