The Words of the Inuit: Underlying Significations under Current Meanings - Louis-Jacques Dorais
tuurngaq (helper spirit), qaumaniq (shamanic knowledge) and qilaut (shaman’s drum) evoke an intimate and powerful relationship between the angakkuq (etymologically: “who moves about, strains to get free”) and his tuurngaq (“one who has been secured”), established through qaumaniq (“diffusing light”) and the qilaut (“means for securing links and/or invoking spirits”). This relationship may be considered as one instance of what an inuk (human person) is, according to a possible etymology: “an animated being who ‘owns’ and influences other beings.” Therefore, according to the ancestral Inuit worldview plausibly conveyed by words, inuuniq (being a person) might imply that inuit do enjoy a strong degree of agency over their own surroundings, provided they possess the knowledge (e.g. qaumaniq) and tools (e.g. qilaut) relevant to their intended activities.