What Is It?

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

UseThis weapon is thrown at flying birds. The weighted cords spin and open wide to entangle the bird.

In this print by Elisapee Ishulutaq you can see bird hunters capturing prey. 

Item: Jigger

Material: antlers, braided sinew, nail

Use:ice fishing

In this wall hanging by Martha Kakee we see Inuit fishermen at work.

Item: ulu- a woman’s knife

Material: steel and antler

Use: skinning and cleaning animals, cutting hair, cutting food, cutting sinew for sewingIn this pen and colored pencil drawing by Tabea Murphy you can see the ulu on the table of the kamik maker. 

Item: Item: snow goggles

Material: antler and caribou sinew

Use: protect eyes from sun and snow glare

If you look closely you can see a person wearing snow goggles in this Brazilian soapstone sculpture by Abraham Ruben called Spirits of the Great Hunt.

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. 

Other posts……….

Inuit Art Isn’t Just Soapstone Carvings

Inuit Games

Looking Cool the Inuit Way


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Filed under Art, WInnipeg Art Gallery

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