It is almost impossible to think of Inuit without referring to the story of Inuit looking for the holy lotus. The story goes that the natives of Nunavut (Nunavik) sought to find a long-living creature that would live up to its promise of eternal life, but they failed. Instead, they found the ‘Lotto’ itself. This story has been told and retold ever since and while many scholars dispute the account, there are enough similarities to suggest that the lotus was not far off from Inuit beliefs and legends.
To this day, Inuit use the term pria in their language to describe any plant or flower that they believe to be sacred. Even today, Inuit are still looking for the mythical lotus, the Undian lotre, which has sometimes been described as having four different phases. For them, the first phase is somewhat related to the Christian concept of the second coming of Christ.
When the Inuit first began to hunt the large mammals on the ice, they hunted with sticks. But they soon discovered that a much simpler tool could also be effective and they used this tool for catching smaller animals such as reindeer, seals and even birds. The first time they used this tool, they found it useful to be able to break the skull of an animal to get at the brains. From this point on, the use of the skull as a tool appeared regularly in the Inuit culture. The shape of the lotuses was changed to better resemble the human body and the two main prayer flags were used as a symbol of peace and power. The use of the flag became so entrenched that it became customary to have all adults present in a gathering for a hygienic blessing.
Another important discovery that helped to shape the Inuit culture was the discovery of the baca juga. These shells formed the fundamental material that the lotuses are made from today. Because these shells could easily break into two or three pieces, hunters now carried many different kinds of shells, each carrying a small piece of food that would represent the plant it had once nourished.
The baca juga became the major source of sustenance for the Inuit people and it is now considered one of the most important components of their daily diet. Although the natives of the Arctic are not primarily hunting people today, the fact that these shells were an important part of their way of life has led to them being considered sacred. This importance has led to the Inuit using the and to attract wealth and prosperity.
When receiving or imparting wealth to others through the on or through the use of charms, the Inuit consider themselves lucky. Today, when you find an Inuit symbol worn around the wrist or on any other part of the body, you are viewing someone who has been very lucky in life and considered to be a very special individual. Whether the person wearing the charm has achieved wealth or has been prosperous in all aspects of their lives, their story will live on through the generations. The Inuit totems of today have not changed over the years, but they have evolved into something new – something that is unique to each group of people, a tradition that has been passed down for centuries.