What Are Some Examples of Inuit Ceremonies?

Examples of Inuit ceremonies include music and dancing, healing ceremonies, the bladder dance and the sun ceremony. The dancing took place in large snow houses that could accommodate up to 60 people and might welcome visitors, tell stories and history of the tribe or have religious significance.

In the Inuit ceremony of throat singing, two female singers made noises using their chest and upper throat. In this competitive singing, the first singer began with rhythmic sounds and the second then set her own rhythm.

Religious ceremonies often involved the Shaman. The Inuit took part in these ceremonies for healing. They took place in special houses, the Inuit called Kashims, which they often buried underground. In many cases, only the Shaman knew the location of the entrance to the Kashim.

The Inuit believed the soul of the animal was in the bladder. In the bladder dance, they returned the organ to the sea so that the soul could find another animal to inhabit and the life might continue.

The sun ceremony welcomed the return of the sun after the seven-week-long night of the Arctic. The first person to see light ran back to inform the others. The ceremony involved building a large igloo and extinguishing the soapstone lamps that provided light during the long night. The Inuit then reignited the lamps using a single wick.