Chris Berens

Torngarsuk and Pyewacket

mixed media on panel
26 x 18 cm 2022

A thousand miles from anywhere, where it is so cold, that very cold is considered quite warm, Torngarsuk is a sky god, and one of the more important deities. He has many names, spoken in languages long gone with the icy winds. Translated in the common tongue, some of his names are The Ever Wandering One, Grandfather, Stepfather, White Sea Deer, Rider of Icebergs, God’s Dog or the Old Man in the Fur Cloak. Torngarsuk is a mischievous spirit, worshiped by offering in the shape of a nice juicy fish. Or jewelry. He’s a sucker for anything that shimmers.

Torngarsuk is the master of whales and seals and most powerful supernatural being in the colder parts of this world. He appears in the form of a bear. He is considered to be invisible to everyone but the fishermen.

As a grand spirit or demon Torngarsuk is invoked by fishermen when one needs the weather predicted, or when the ice it too thick to sail out and they’re in need of a hole in the ice or a polynya. There is another spirit that is invisible to everyone but the fishermen, who teaches the fishermen how to see things from the sunny side. His name is Pyewacket, he is what they call a familiar spirit and he sees Torngarsuk as his benefactor and best bud.

Fishermen like to keep a familiar spirit like Pyewacket in a leather bottle which they evoke and consult like an oracle. Even though that is one of his skills, Pyewacket much rather hang with his awe-inspiring but mischievous spirit buddy.

TORNGARSUK AND PYEWACKET are a fun-loving gang. But they are loyal and will treat anyone who respects them with an equal amount of respect. They know the qualities people respect them for, and will indulge them without feeling used or exploited.

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