Adlet, an Inuit myth

Adlet is also known as Erqigdlet, they are a clan of weredogs in the Inuit lore of Greenland.   Adlet are creatures with a lower body of a canine and human on its upper part.  Legends say that a woman once bore children composed of weredogs.  She decided to send them drifting on the river, but the Adlets managed to survive and reached Europe.  They got married to European women and managed to increase their population.  They said that Adlets can turn themselves into flesh eating monster.

Fan ethnologist named Franz Boas had an idea on the origin of the adlet.  He said that the story about Adlet may be a variation of the story of “The Girl and the Dogs” which was published in 1889 in the book entitled “The Journal of American Folklore”.  It is also known in the Eastern part of the Greenland as “The Origin of the Qavdlunait and Irqigdlit".


Since then other people started to get interested on the popularity of the Adlet folklore.  The story became an inspiration to other story such as “Dog Husband” which is about an Adlet from the Western Europe that return to the Inuit tribe.  The Adlet was offered sexualsatisfaction by the women of the tribe in exchange for some goods and necessities.  The Carrier tribe is also a variation of the story.  It is said that a dog like creature attacked a woman and sexually assaulted her.  A priest gave the idea that the dog might be an Eskimo whose clothing has an uncanny similarity to the skin of the dog.  Most of the story about the adlet can be found during the 19th and 20th Century like the Tornit and the Adlit which was told by an Eskimo and written by A.L. Kroeber and the legend about Aselu.  It is also said to be the inspiration in the movie “Pathfinder”

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