The achnucek is a transformed shaman of the Aleut and Kodiak peoples of the southern Alaskan regions. Their gender variance was recognized when they were children, sometimes infants. These boys were raised as girls, wearing feminine clothing and hair styles and plucking their facial hair. After adolescence their achnucek training began as with all other Aleut angakok.

Mature achnucek were highly respected angakut. As boys between the ages of ten to fifteen the achnucek were often wed to older men during their training. The Aleut considered it lucky to have a achnucek as a partner.


  • Gender Variant
  • Shopan


  • Williams, W. L. The Spirit and the Flesh. Boston: Beacon Press, 1992.


An Encyclopedia of Shamanism written by Christina Pratt – Copyright © 2007 by Christina Pratt

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