Inuit Art at the Zoo

Did you know the Winnipeg Art Gallery has an Inuit sculpture installation at the Assiniboine Park Zoo?  I discovered it last week. 

women-and-children-by-miriam-qiyuk

Women and Children by Miriam Qiyuk

This was my favorite piece. Most of the mothers in the sculpture are smiling patiently while their kids wiggle and squirm. 

Woman Battling a Polar Bear by Jimmy Arnamissak

Woman Battling a Polar Bear by Jimmy Arnamissak

Normally land mammals like the polar bear are associated with men. Could this battle between a woman and a bear symbolize the power struggle between men and women?

Fighting Polar Bear Cubs by Iola Abraham Ikkidluak

Fighting Polar Bear Cubs by Iola Abraham Ikkidluak

Although these two cubs appear to be fighting quite playfully they are preparing themselves for adult fights to the death in the wild over food and mating rights.

Musk Ox by Lucassie Ikkidluak

Musk Ox by Lucassie Ikkidluak

The musk ox is known as ‘bearded one’ in Inuktitut. It is one of the most powerful land animals in the world and its double coat of soft wool overlaid with long hair makes it well suited for the Arctic climate.

Shaman Braiding Sedna's Hair by Abraham Anghik Ruben

Shaman Braiding Sedna’s Hair by Abraham Anghik Ruben

Sedna is the main character in a popular Inuit story about a young girl who loses her fingers. Her fingers turn into all the animals of the sea. Sedna has the power to hide those animals from hunters. If a shaman soothes her by braiding her hair she is more likely to let the hunters find the animals.

You can find the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Inuit art display in The Journey to Churchill exhibit at the Assiniboine Park Zoo.  The Winnipeg Art Gallery has the largest Inuit art collection in the world and I think it’s great that it’s being shared around the city, so even more people can see it and appreciate it. 

Other posts……..

Inuit Art Primer

The Globalization of Art

Getting to Know Oviloo

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