I am getting ready to do an Inuit tour at the Winnipeg Art Gallery for a group of alumni from an American University. I plan to show them some of the Inuit artifacts we have at the gallery and connect them to some artwork we have had on view at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in the past.
Item: Bird Hunting Weapon (bolo)
Material: sinew and bone
Use: This weapon is thrown at flying birds. The weighted cords spin and open wide to entangle the bird.
Material: antlers, braided sinew, nail
Item: ulu- a woman’s knife
Material: steel and antler
Item: Item: snow goggles
Material: antler and caribou sinew
Use: protect eyes from sun and snow glare
Item: toy sled (qamutiik)
Material: antler, wood, string
Use: Children made toy sleds that were exact replicas of real sleds in order to practice the skill of sled building
You can see a qamutiik (sled) outside the door of the sealskin tent in this section of a mural by Elisapee Ishulutaq.In this pen and ink work called Sacrilege Jason Shiwak critiques colonialism and Christianity. The man with the qamutiik (sled) is trapped between a Christian missionary and a shaman transforming into a raven.
I still need to find connecting artworks to a number of other artifacts to prepare for the tour. Perhaps I will share them in a future post.