More from the Add-on Eskimo
Chapter 19 Changes
“Ayit, I have some news for you!” called Okfagit, “come here.”
“What is it father?”
“You are going to be married. We have picked a girl for you. She is the daughter of my cousin and her name is Tianna.”
For Ayit this was no big surprise, as it was the custom that one’s parents chose one’s spouse. “When can I meet her?” Ayit asked.
“First,” said his mother, “let us tell you why we chose her. She is a strong, healthy girl, which means she will be able to bear you many children. She is a hard worker, talented in sewing, skinning and tanning as well as cooking. She also is a quiet and obedient girl who will not give you trouble. She is a little older than you, but that is a good thing, as you will get a mature woman!”
“That sounds good, mother. When will I get to meet her?”
“At the end of the week your mother and I will go to finalize the relationship with her parents” explained Okfagit. “Then you will be able to meet her.” Ayit smiled, confident that his parents had picked wisely.
“Father, one more question,” added Ayit. “Does this girl, Tianna, follow the Way of Jesus? I would like a wife I can pray with.”
“Well,” said Okfagit, “she is not opposed, but has yet to make a decision to leave the old ways for the Jesus Way.”
Ayit looked thoughtful. Hmmm, he said to himself. When we meet, we must immediately talk about this; it is very important to me, and I hope it is to her.
At the end of the week Okfagit and Nisana went to talk with Tianna’s parents. Her father was one of the boat captains who had decided to follow Jesus, to become a Christian, so Okfagit thought there was a good possibility that the girl would be open to also becoming a Christian.
When the negotiations, including a bride price and arrangements for the groom to serve his new wife’s family for a year, were complete, they talked about when the young couple would meet. It was decided that the next day Ayit and his parents would come so their son could meet his bride.
When he stepped through the door of his inlaw’s house, he saw Tianna standing by the inner tent. She was shorter than him, had raven black hair and was dressed in her good parka with white artic fox ruff on the hood, which made her look exceptionally pretty.
They quietly acknowledged each other with a slight bow of the head and then each rubbed their own chest in greeting.
Nisana introduced them and they went into the inner tent to drink tea. All talk between them would be in the presence of their parents, but this did not intimidate Ayit who, as a hunter had learned to handle difficult situations. He also knew what he wanted to know and would draw her out.
After she had served them all tea, Tianna sat next to her father across from Ayit. He asked her about her family and then got to what was important for him.
“Your father has chosen to follow Jesus and his Way. What do you think about that?”
She smiled shyly and looked down. “A daughter must follow her father’s lead,” she said.
“What do you know about Jesus?”
“I know that Jesus is the son of Apa,” she replied. “I know that he came to the earth to live as a man, and to die to take our punishment on himself. And that he defeated the devil, death and demons by rising from the dead. Your father himself has talked about this with my father in our house, so I heard all these things.”
“Then have you decided to follow the Way of Jesus for yourself?”
“Yes,” she replied. “My father follows Jesus because your father has talked about how Jesus has helped and protected him. He says that this New Way is much better than the old. And Jesus promises eternal life for those who surrender to him. That is a very good thing which we did not have in the old way.”
Ayit smiled broadly and said to himself, My parents have chosen wisely. The arrangements were made for the wedding, and for Ayit to come and live with his in-laws for one year. A new period of Ayit’s life was about to begin.
Picture Eskimo girl (from internet)
Native American Woman Photo Eskimo Photograph Indigenous | Etsy