Uvavnuk

One night, a small meteorite struck early-20th-century Iglulik Inuit shaman and oral poet Uvavnuk. This experience made her clairvoyant and marked the start of her life as a shaman. After being struck, she is said to have returned home singing a song-poem, which has since been widely anthologized; Jane Hirschfield included it in Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women (1994). Uvavnuk is thought to have used her power to bring good fortune to her people, even after her death.

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Biography

One night, a small meteorite struck early-20th-century Iglulik Inuit shaman and oral poet Uvavnuk. This experience made her clairvoyant and marked the start of her life as a shaman. After being struck, she is said to have returned home singing a song-poem, which has since been widely anthologized; Jane Hirschfield included it in Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women (1994). Uvavnuk is thought . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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