Inuit Sky Culture

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The Inuit sky culture files available for Stellarium are an adaptation of John MacDonald's research in The Arctic Sky, Inuit Astronomy, Star Lore and Legend. While placements and specifics of Inuit constellations might differ from tribe to tribe, the information in Stellarium presents the constellations and general themes of the arctic universe. A short intro to Inuit starlore based on MacDonald's book, is available as a pdf on the web. It is included in the list of links below. Illustrations are done by Johan Meuris, released under the Free Art License


Inuit constellations in Stellarium

Two Sunbeams

Aagjuuk, an important constellation for timekeeping.

Two Placed Far Apart

Akkuttujuuk, two stars signaling the return of sunlight to the arctic.


Qimmiitt, five dogs harassing Nanook, or Nanurjuk, the polar bear.



Lamp Stand

Pituaq, stand containing the burning fuel providing light


The big dipper is Tukturjuit, the caribou.

Two in Front

Sivulliik, "the first ones" , Little Orphan Boy being chased by an angry grandfather.

The One Behind

Kingulliq, the grandmother chasing the Two in Front


Sakiattiak, The Pleiades, are seen as a breast bone.


Orion's Belt is Ullaktut, three hunters lost on a hunting trip for Nanuk, the polar bear.

Blubber Container

Uqsuutaattiaq, a seal flipper skin sewn shut, contains fuel for lamps.

Never Moves

Nuuttuittuq is the North Star Polaris, the star that never moves.

Nephews or Nieces

The Orion Nebula, Qangimmaariik, a group of children.

The Milky Way

The Divider, Aviguti.

Name of a Murdered Man

Or sometimes: "He who never goes out on newly formed ice". Sikuliaqsiujuittuq is Procyon, the main star in Canis Minor.

External links The Arctic Sky, Inuit Astronomy, Star Lore and Legend

PDF document containing myths from MacDonald's book "The Arctic Sky: Inuit Astronomy, Star Lore and Legends"

The Free Art License

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