Hivshu's attributes



Ilgaak (a.k.a. iggaak, ᐃᓪᒑᒃ or ᐃᒡᒑᒃ, nigaugek, iyegaatek, igguag) means "Inuit traditional snow goggles". They are a type of eyewear traditionally used by peoples of the Arctic to prevent snow blindness.

The goggles are traditionally made of driftwood (especially spruce), bone, walrus ivory, caribou antler, or in some cases seashore grass. The workpiece is carved to fit the wearer's face, and one or more narrow horizontal slits are carved through the front. The goggles fit tightly against the face so that the only light entering is through the slits, and soot is sometimes applied to the inside to help cut down on glare. The slits are made narrow not only to reduce the amount of light entering but also to improve the visual acuity. The greater the width of the slits the larger the field of view.


Nowadays ilgaak is used as a shamanic attribute, as artwork or as a souvenir. Ilgaak can be different: narrow or wide; with 2 slits or with 1 long slit; with an arc for a nose or without it; made of wood, bone or horn; different colours; with slits or with small holes; with 2 holes for every eye or with many small holes; with skin straps or with ropes and etc. The design of an ilgaak depends on the personal choice of a human. 

As a shamanic attribute using of ilgaak is very similar to using of a Siberian shamanic hat. From the time immemorial such hats are always used by shamans as a way to protect the people who participate in the shamanic ceremony. During such shamanic ceremonies, shamans call different spirits and allow them to enter their bodies and use their bodies for any aims. For it, shamans get from the spirits everything the shamans want. They consider that during these moments it is very dangerous to look at and watch the shaman's eyes because the spirits can leave the body of the shaman and use the body of the human who watched shaman's eyes for their aims. That's why Siberian shamans use a special shamanic hat which covers shaman's eyes with special ropes from watching them by ordinary people during shamanic ceremonies. Shamans can make the spirits to leave their bodies but ordinary people are unable to do it and that's why the spirits can harm them.