Alternatively known as Alaska's Hairy Man, Na'in, Toonijuk, and Brushman.
The Eskimo name (meaning "creature who makes a bellowing cry") for the beast also known as Hairy Man, a folk creature that allegedly inhabits the vast tundra around southwest Alaska.
Reports of Bigfoot like creatures are also plentiful in the Alaskan wilderness. They are described as being at least 10 feet tall, having very long arms and a bellowing cry, supposedly more curious than predatory, but very horrendous-looking, being this the main reason why people that see them run off afraid.
The creature is allegedly a night traveler, said to be fond of raiding campsites, as well as of stealing fish from inattentive fishermen. Under a darker light, Alaska's Hairy Man is also blamed for baffling disappearances of dogs and people, and even for a few unexplained deaths.
The stories and legends about these beasts are actually widespread in that part of the world, all the way from Alaska to Greenland and throughout the Canadian Arctic Islands. The Eskimos say they have primitive stone and bone implements, and are very tall, fully haired, dim-witted and retiring. They also claim that they fight savagely among themselves, are carnivorous, and that they built circular encampments of very large stones with whale-rib and skin roofs. They are said to have some exceptionally disgusting — to the Eskimos as well as to us — habits, such as preferring rotten meat over fresh, and that their females tuck meat under their pelts and/or fat folds, to promote decomposition by their body-warmth. Furthermore, since they did not know how to cure skins, they are said to wet them and to wear these raw, while they dry; and then use them for bedding. Perhaps the most peculiar custom ascribed to the Toonijuk is that young men are sewn up in fresh seal skins containing "worms" (maggots?) which, by sucking their blood, reduces their weight and make them fleet, lightweight hunters.
In Greenland, the Eskimos say that the Toonijuk went naked but that their bodies were covered with feather-like fur. In more westerly areas, they are said to have used skin clothing. Everybody agrees that they were very good hunters; could call game by voice or gesture; and were so strong that they could back an adult bearded seal. They also agree that they fought a great deal among themselves, but some Eskimos assert that their own ancestors hunted the Toonijuk down individually and eventually exterminated them. Yet, Greenlanders insist that even today some linger on in their country but that they are excessively wary — in fact, more so than animals.
Katharine Scherman, a well known researcher and writer, in her Spring on an Arctic Island refers to the legends of the Toonijuk, further noting that:
"Until 1902 an extremely primitive tribe of Thule people lived on Southampton Island, and some of their customs were those (alleged to be) of the Toonijuk." (The Thule along with groups named the Dorset Islanders and the Sarquaq, constitute known previous inhabitants of the Canadian Islands and the far north)
Scherman herself visited in 1955 what was then stated by the Eskimos of Baffin Island to be a Toonijuk settlement on Bylot Island. In a small isolated valley her party was shown a series of circular mounds. These proved to be composed of very large stories half buried in the permafrost. Each circle was dug out and had obviously once been roofed; they were entered by what had been a three-foot high tunnel; were paved with large flat stones; and had stone benches at the back. Around the walls were very old rotten bones of the Greenland Right Whale.
Scherman's party was greatly impressed by the ability of' the original builders to have dug so deeply into the permafrost with only crude stone and bone implements; and, even more so, by their having transported these enormous stones, which were not of local origin, even if they had had the use of dogs and sleds.
It is most significant to note that the description of these round-houses coincides very closely with the Neolithic "Round-Houses" of the Shetlands, Orkneys, and the Hebrides off the coast of Scotland, which also were circular, sunk about three feet, surrounded by stone walls that rose some three feet above the ground, and had domed roofs made of a "wheel" of large whale ribs over which skins, peat-sod, or other insulating material was placed. The Eskimo still make stone igloos with ingeniously constructed roofs of overlapping stone slabs and which also have tunnel entrances — but they are of nothing like the size described; nor do the stones of which they are built in any way approach the size of those used in the structures said to have been built by the Toonijuk.
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