Inuit with Amulets (?), 1976
caribou antler, sinew, brown colouring, black colouring
18.5 x 26.2 x 12.2 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery
Most carvers from the Kivalliq community of Arviat create single, monolithic images of human figures and animals from the hard, grey steatite stone obtained locally. Eekerkik’s work is an exception, as he is known for his complex sculptures from different materials, particularly caribou antler and bone. This composite sculpture is made from caribou antler, and the carver has burned the bone to give it a specific patina. In this unusual composition, the figures hold miniature items in their hands: a kayak, a bear, a human head. Each figure also wears an amulet on his back: heads of a walrus, a double human head, and a polar bear. In the shamanic belief system, amulets give spiritual assistance and protection to the wearer.
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