Shaman’s Hands, 1998
etching, aquatint on paper, 29/50
81 x 80 cm Image: 60 x 63 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with funds from the Volunteer Committee to the Winnipeg Art Gallery
Sheojuk Etidlooie was a talented seamstress who did not begin drawing until the 1990s, when she was over 60 years old. Her drawings were first made into prints for the 1994 Cape Dorset collection, and she quickly became one of the most featured artists. She was given a solo exhibition at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in 2000. The choice of etching medium for this print lends an archaic feeling to the image of a shaman. The hair seems to bristle and the eyes are closed, giving the impression of a shamanic trance. According to ethnologist Knud Rasmussen, who visited the Igloolik area from 1921 to 1922, a shaman driving out any form of evil must stand with his head toward the sky, his eyes closed, and his hands together. He must also wear mittens. It is very likely that this is the subject of Sheojuk’s print.