Saturday, April 2, 2011

Inuit Prints

1. Ananaisee Alikatuktuk/Thomasee Alikatuktuk - Taleelayu and Family, 1976.
Stencil, 38.5 x 58.5 cm. Pangnirtung print catalogue 1976, No. 13.
Taleelayu, also called Sedna, was a powerful figure in the Eskimo pantheon, being considered the provider of food and the protector of animals. Her origins were human. The myth has several versions but, basically, her rejection of all suitors led her angry father to marry her to one of his dogs. Their children became the ancestors of the Indians and Europeans. Subsequently, she was tricked into marrying a fulmar. When her father rescued her in his boat, the bird caused a great storm, and her father, in fright, threw her overboard. When she clung to the boat, he chopped off her fingers, which became the seals and the whales, and she sank to the bottom of the sea, where she rules. Ananaisee`s imaginative interpretation of the myth gives Taleelayu a sea family. He explains the lack of scales on four of the creatures as due to their being male.

2. Niviaksiak - Polar Bear and Cub in Ice, 1959.
Stencil, 23.8 x 48.5 cm. Cape Dorset print catalogue 1959, No. SS-12.
The open channel in the ice where the bear and her cub are swimming resembles the graceful form of this animal's undulating motion in the water.

3. Victoria Mumngshoaluk/Ruby Arngna'naaq - Keeveeok’s Journey, 1969.
Stencil, 25.0 x 57.7 cm. Baker Lake print catalogue, 1970, No. 1.
The fabulous adventures of Keeveeok form a lengthy Inuit legend. Ruby Arngna'naaq, having admired the shaded edge created by a coffee stain on print paper, used suffused colour to imitate the effect in developing this stencil print from a delicate line-drawing.

4. Kenojuak/Lukta - The Arrival of the Sun, 1962.
Stonecut, 47.0 x 59.5 cm. Cape Dorset print catalogue 1962, No. 69.
Daylight hours are few on southern Baffin Island in midwinter. The return of longer, sunny days heralds the arrival ot spring. Kenojuak was one of the first women to begin making drawings for the print programme. She repeated the drawing for this print several times during the filming of Kenojuak in 1961. (Terrence Ryan, data sheet, Mar. 1977). The film also features the cutting and printing of this work, and gives a vivid impression of the life style of the period, when most of the people lived out on the land.

5. Myra Kukiiyaut/Irene Taviniq - Dancing Birds, 1976.
Stencil, 40.3 x 52.5 cm. Baker Lake print catalogue, 1976, No. 13.
The stencil technique is especially suitable for Kukiiyaut's delicate floating forms.

6. Luke Anguhadluq/William Noah - Hunting Caribou from Kayaks, 1976.
Stonecut and stencil, 95.5 x 59.0 cm. Baker Lake print catalogue 1976, No. 23.
In the autumn, the Inuit camped near the usual crossing places of the migrating caribou herds, hunting the animals from kayaks as they swam across the rivers. Anguhadluq shows from three distinct viewpoints the conical tents at the water’s edge, the hunters setting out in kayaks, and the caribou. Composed of four stonecuts and several stencils, both splattered and brushed, the print is of such technical complexity that an edition of only nineteen was pulled.

7. Kavavoa/Eliyah - Two Men Discussing Coming Hunt, 1961.
Stencil, 34.2 x 48.5 cm. Cape Dorset print catalogue 1961, No. 44.
This humorous depiction of men engaged in animated conversation apparently gives a graphic description of their thoughts. The print was taken from one of Kavavoa’s very few drawings.

8. Lucy/Ottochie - Spirit Boat, 1972.
Stonecut, 29.5 x 41.0 cm. Cape Dorset print catalogue 1972, No. 2.
This is an especially humorous example of Lucy's comical birds. Note the bird image on the flag.

9. Agnes Nanogak/Harry Egutak - Dream’s Song, 1968.
Stonecut, 40.5 x 50.5 cm. Holman print catalogue, 1968, No. 27.
The inscribed text states, "A woman dreaming of birds and a skin drum. A woman’s dream." Note the western Arctic use of the Roman alphabet rather than Inuktitut syllabics, as in the central and eastern areas.

10. Pudlo/Eegyvudluk Pootoogook - Winter Angel, 1969.
Stonecut, 41 x 57.7 cm. Cape Dorset print catalogue, 1969, No. 54.

11. Pudlo/Eegyvudluk Pootoogook - Man Carrying Reluctant Wife, 1961.
Stencil, 42.5 x 35.8 cm. Cape Dorset print catalogue, 1961, No. 16.
James A. Houston (1967) and Diamond Jenness (1923) both report that it was considered good manners for a girl to show some reluctance in leaving her family to be married.

12. Pudlo/Lukta - Spirit with Symbols, 1961.
Stonecut, 43.0 x 37.2 cm. Cape Dorset print catalogue 1961, No. 49.
Pudlo has used the form of a woman wearing the traditional amauti (woman’s parka) to create a strange image resembling a keyhole plate. The objects in her hands are subject to varying interpretations, and could represent a key and door handle.

13. Ikayukta/Kavavoa - Angakuk’s Tent, 1975.
Stonecut, 48.5 x 18.8 cm. Cape Dorset print catalogue, 1975, No. 6.
The angakuk, or shaman, believed to have supernatural powers, was a powerful figure in Inuit life. The sealskin tents are identified as extraordinary dwellings by the bird-spirit heads emerging from top and front.


Janas said...

Scans source: The Inuit print/L'estampe inuit: a travelling exhibition of the National Museum of Man, National Museums of Canada and the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, Ottawa. Published by the National Museum of Man, National Museums of Canada - Ottawa, 1977.

bolingo69 said...

Oh these are so beautiful! So pure like the just fallen snow ...
Thank you Janas, for letting me see them!

øשlqæda said...

amorevole queste ora, 5:30 am PST. grazie fratello

Janas said...

Dear friends, I am glad that you enjoy these crystals that emerging from the white light. Thanks for the visit!

Carlo Giordani said...

Caspita, hai toccato una corda a me cara, gli amici Inuit, fratelli di un altro pianeta.
So poco della loro cultura, se non quello che ho imparato da un paio di libri e da un LP dei Residents (capolavoro d'altri tempi).
Grazie Janas!

Janas said...

Bentornato Carlo, Mi fa piacere che abbia apprezzato le stampe Inuit. Ricordo bene Eskimo, un album memorabile, "the Angry Angacok" è il mio brano preferito.


Anonymous said...

Another good one is Inunnit: the art of the Canadian Eskimo. Published by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development-1970. I have it lying around somewhere and will send scans if you are interested Janas. These are really nice- I think I will try to track down a copy for myself now! Many thanks.

Janas said...

Hi Josh, thank you for your kind offer, yes I'm interested, but take your time. I caught a glimpse of the book cover with the famous enchanted owl by Kenojuak, must be a nice book.


Anonymous said...

Here are some of the images I promised. I hope the format is right... Cheers Janas, look forward to a new post.

Janas said...

Thank you very much, dear Josh. The images are great. I particularly liked the magic dwellers of Cape Dorset watching us from the cliff, with their inscrutable gaze.(img. 85)

Kind regards

Anonymous said...

That, Elder Duck (img. 88) and Bird Dream (img. 84) are personal favorites. I will be on the look out for images to share with you as well, now that I have some free time. Take care Janas.

Janas said...

You are always welcome, Josh.

Will said...

Excellent! Thank you. Will @ 50 Watts

Janas said...

My pleasure, Will! Thanks for the comment.