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ItuKiagatta! Inuit Sculpture

November 11, 2006 – February 4, 2007

Museum: American Indian Museum New York

Location: Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House

With the collapse of the fur trade during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Inuit families throughout the Canadian Arctic had to abandon their nomadic traditions, more to towns, and learn another way of life. With limited opportunities, many Inuit hunter-trappers became renowned carvers. On view are some 80 tabletop-sized carvings depicting various aspects of Inuit life -- families, animals, stories, and spirits -- created during the 1950s and 1960s. Highlight include:

  • Joe Taliunili's (1899?-1976) The Migration, which illustrates the journey made by the artist's family in a makeshift boat.
  • Akeeaktashuk's (1898-1954) Hunter with Harpoon, which illustrates Inuit traditions and also includes an unknown artist's composite carving of an igloo, complete with miniature occupants, tools, and utensils.
  • Louis Oksokitok's (1926-2003) Flying Geese.
  • Kananginak Pootoogook's (b. 1935) Musk-ox.
  • Pauta Saila's (b. 1916) Bear.

ItuKiagatta is a Labrador Inuktitiut phrase meaning "how it amazes us." The works on view are courtesy of Canada's TD Bank Financial Group, which began assembling its Inuit art collection to mark Canada's centennial in 1967.