Greenland is often hit by powerful storms. In the costal areas the Piteraq, a powerful fall-wind from the inland ice, has often caused massive devastation. The Piteraq is much like a lightning from a clear sky - it's there before you know it.
The tupilek of Greenland are exceptionally dangerous weapons, to be used only with the greatest of caution. Like a gun, a tupilak (the singular form of tupilek) can be used to destroy one's enemies. Unlike a gun, the barrel of a tupilak points both ways.
The tupilak proper is a magically-created troll animal, which is manufactured from the bones of children or various animals. Tupilek can be made in many forms: human, a combination of human and animal parts, in the image of a prey animal or a malevolent spirit.
The tupilak is made at a lonely well-concealed spot, the individual bones being put into place by the thumb and little finger alone. If other fingers are used the attempt will be a failure. Earth or seaweed is used for the musculature. The whole thing is then wrapped in a piece of old skin, and can be brought to life by singing special songs to it and placing it in water. The tupilak then crawls, swims, or flies to the one it has been told to kill.
But this is when the greatest danger arises. For if your enemy has stronger powers than you, the tupilak can be persuaded to return to destroy its creator. The creator of a tupilak has no need to be a shaman, as tupilak magic come more under witchcraft and consequently any one skilled in the latter can make a tupilak - provided he adhere to the proper procedure.
The purpose of producing these objects is generally to be rid of an enemy, and the tupilak attacks in the form of the animal it represents. If it is a seal, it will drag down the hunter and drown him. As a polar bear it will eat the enemy, and as an invisible tupilak - for such there are according to report - it will frighten the victim to death or steal its soul. In some cases reference is made to the tupilak's attack as the consuming of intestines, for it is believed that the soul dwells in the abdomen, and the tupilak is thus a devourer of souls.
The tupilak is a magical implement devoid of independent will. It thus is compelled to obey a person possessing insight into the supernatural world. Were the tupilak to be given orders by two human beings, it would obey the one whose magical ability was the greater. Should the victim prove to be the more adept in the magic art and have reason to suspect what is taking place, he can send the tupilak back to hunt its creator instead. Should the suspicion of the intended victim be aroused, he can also apply to a shaman who owns spirits capable of hunting the tupilak. In that event they will chase and destroy it.
It is also possible that the tupilak itself might think of attacking its creator. Should this happen, the latter can only save himself by open confession.
Opdateret d. 4.12.2012