Eastern Demons

Tornarsuk

Dictionnaire Infernal – Collin de Plancy (1863) (paraphrased)

Tornarsuk – Dictionnaire Infernal

Torngarsuk is the chief and most powerful supernatural being in Greenland. He appears in the form of a bear, a one-armed man, or as a grand human creature like one of the fingers of the hand. Torngarsuk is invoked by fishermen and by the Anguekkoks (the medicine men) when one falls ill. There are other spirits invisible to everyone but the Anguekkok, who teach how to be happy when the Anguekkok call upon them. Each Anguekkok keeps a familiar spirit in a leather bottle which he evokes & consults like an oracle.

Tornarsuk (Innuit, Eskimo, Labrador, Artic) aka Tornatik, Torngarsoak, Torngasoak, Tungrangayak, is the ruling spirit higher than the Tornaq (a shaman’s familiar). He is depicted as a bear, a tall one-armed man, or a tiny figure. Some descriptions describe him as invisible, that he has a body covered with eyes, or that his is a sea monster.

The Tornaq are the familiars of shamans and called the owner of everything in nature. They are usually invisible, though they sometimes appear as a light or fire prior to the death of someone.

Another account describes Tornarsuk as a white bear that resides in a cave near Ungava Bay in the Hudson Straight, where he is master of the whales and seals.

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