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Representing the “Sea Woman”

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image of Religion and the Arts

This paper examines the dynamics of the representation of the “sea woman,” sometimes known as Sedna, among the Inuit of Northeastern Canada in myths, shamanic experiences, and modern artistic representations. The varying representations of the sea women are connected to shamanic practice. The sea woman does not have a clearly defined iconography; this lack of definition gave shamans some flexibility in giving versions of encounters with the sea women, and enables Inuit artists to utilize that lack of iconographic specificity in creating their sculptures today.

Affiliations: 1: University of Leiden and Laval University


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