The Inuit world was full of danger. If a whaler’s boat capsized, within minutes he could die in the icy water.
If a hunter was careless, even for a moment, a polar bear might maul him to death. If one season’s animal catch was small, a family might face starvation.
To protect themselves from the many everyday threats, the Inuit carried small charms. Carved from stone or ivory or crafted from animal hides, each charm had a specific purpose. One charm might make the owner a good seal hunter, while another might drive away evil spirits.
Inuit kept their charms with them at all times. Most often, they wore them on a belt or sewed them into their clothes.