Why does Miyax throw her i'noGo tied away in Julie of the Wolves?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Miyax throws her i'noGo tied away because it makes her feel different from the more Americanized Eskimo girls.

Miyax had lived with her father at seal camp when she was younger, and at the camp had leaned much about the old Eskimo culture.  She had received her i'noGo tied, a piece of seal bladder which held an animal spirit, from a shaman during the celebration of the Bladder Feast.  When Miyax turned nine, she was sent by her father to live with her Aunt Martha, because the law said that she must go to school.  At the school she learned to speak and write English, and was called Julie instead of Miyax.

One day Julie, along with her friend Rose, went to visit the home of one of their schoolmates, Judith.  On a table in Judith's room, Julie noticed "a little chain on which hung a dog, a hat, and a boat".  "What a lovely i'noGo tied!" Julie exclaimed, but Judith, having never heard the Eskimo word before, told Julie snobbishly that the object was a charm bracelet.  Rose and Judith both "laughed derisively" at Julie's term for the bracelet, and Julie was mortified.  Embarrassed in the face of "the new attitudes of the Americanized Eskimos", Julie went home and threw her i'noGo tied away (Part 2 - "Miyax the Girl").