The story of how Sedna became a sea goddess varies from one region to the next.
However, in all versions, she was a young woman that becomes the mother
of all sea creatures and controls the availability of sea animals to Inuit hunters.
Sedna lived in the Arctic with her mother and father. She had plenty of food and
warm furs to wear. She was so content that she refused to marry any of the many
Inuit men that desired Sedna for a wife.
Untill one particular Inuk came to visit Sedna. He promised her everything her heart
desired. She agreed to marry him. After they became husband and wife, he took her away
to his island. Once alone with her on the island, he revealed to her that he was not
a man, but a bird dressed up like a man. Sedna was trapped. The birdman was a
a terrible hunter, he could only catch fish. Sedna got very tired of eating fish everyday.
One day Sedna's father came to visit. After seeing how unhappy his daughter was,
he killed the birdman and Sedna and her dad got into his kayak and went home.
As soon as the friends of the birdman discovered what happened, they wanted to
avenge their friends death. They flew above the kayak and flapped their wings so hard that
it resulted in a huge storm. Frightened that the kayak would fill with water and that they would
sink and drown, he threw Sedna overboard, hoping this would please the birds. But it did not.
Sedna held on to the kayak.
Fearing that she would tip the kayak over, the father cut all her fingers off.
From each of her fingers different sea creatures were born.
They became fish, whales, seals and dolphins.
Sedna sank to the bottom of the ocean and that is now her home.
Sedna controls all of the animals of the sea. The Inuit who rely on these animals want to
maintain a good relationship with Sedna.If the hunters do not catch anything for a long time,
the Shaman will transform himself into a fish and swim to the bottom of the
ocean and will comb Sedna's hair and put it in braids. This pleases Sedna since she has no fingers.
When sedna is happy, she will allow her animals to make them self available to the hunters.