North American Artic- Central Yup’ik Eskimo
By Enoch K.
Five hundred years before the first strangers came to Central Alaska, there was a powerful Yup’ik warrior named Apanugpak. He was well-known by the by the others in his nation for his skill in using the harpoon and bow and arrow.
It was a great time of chaos and terror for the Yup’ik people. Groups of people attacked each other across the tundra. People lived fearfully in their houses not able to cook or light fire. Each group of warriors had a “smeller” that could smell the faintest smell of smoke in the perfect air and tell the warriors which way to go to the smoke. Everybody was hungry, cold, and fearful.
One day, Apanugpak had a vision. In his vision, he saw houses disappear into the sky as curls of smoke. He saw blood from the warriors that lay on the ground. As he saw the vision, Apanugpak was horrified. He saw the ghosts of the warriors come alive and battle the living.
Apanugpak saw that war was useless. He saw that as more and more people were killed, the ghosts would come back and start fighting again. After that, the ghosts would continue to fight and kill the living causing endless pain. Apanugpak knew that war must end.
Apanugpak was the best warrior out of everybody. Everyone was surprised when he held up his harpoon and bow and arrows and said, “These things were made for us to use to hunt, not to hurt each other. I will not use these items to hurt anyone else.” When Apanugpak put down his weapons, the others followed. The war was over. The pain was finished.
When people disagreed, a new way of competition formed. People created new kinds of contest. The groups of men stated to compete in singing, dance, and insulting contests. These contests were used to settle disagreements.
There was peace for a long time and people got to light their fireplaces and hearths. The smells of sweet food that once again filled the villages was the signal that the villages were safe and prosperous.