Nick Jans - The Last Night Breaking - Maniilaq Part 6
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Nick Jans - The Last Night Breaking
Not all of Maniilaq's predictions have come to pass. Elders speak of an equal number awaiting fulfillment, and many of these are tinged with darkness. There will be two consecutive winters, they say, when the snow will reach the treetops and a great famine will occur. A whale will surface on the upper Kobuk, and finally a day will come that appears to be split in half.
When asked what lay beyond that day, Maniilaq is reported to have said, "All the people-l don't know what they are going to do, all the people."
While the old people offer little speculation on these last prophecies, they all agree with Susie Stocking:
Now, we can see that Maniilaq's predictions have been fulfilled. We, ourselves, have lived through the changes and have seen his words come true . . . the rest will come. It will not fail to be fulfilled. The one who told about the future of the world has already predicted it.
Nothing, it seems, can surprise these people more than what they have already witnessed.
"Just like the Bible," one tells me. "That old man can't miss."
Somewhere before the turn of the century, perhaps a decade before the missionaries, miners, and traders poured into the Kobuk valley, Maniilaq disappeared. He was last seen at the mouth of a slough called Tunnuuraq, where Ambler stands today. They say he headed north, an old man traveling done through the mountains, across Anaktuvuk Pass to Barrow, then eastward toward Canada, dragging his pole and beating his drum for whoever would listen.
Some say he died on the trail; Maniilaq claimed his body would not be found on earth, and that his pole would mark his place of departure. Neither a pole nor a body has ever been found; it's as if he rode his sled off the edge of the earth.