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The Different Styles of Inuit Sculptures - Page 3

Baffin Island Arctic Region

Baffin Island is where most of the more prominent Inuit art producing communities are located. This includes Cape Dorset, Pangnirtung, Clyde River, Arctic Bay and Iqaluit (formerly Frobisher Bay) which happens to be the capital of Canada's Nunavut territory. The stone from the lower part of Baffin Island is serpentine which is relatively hard. Colors range from light green to brown and black. Occasionally, white dolomite is used. Inuit artists in Pangnirtung and Clyde River in northern Baffin Island also have access to whalebone found near the shores. Pangnirtung also produces Inuit art wall tapestry.

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The Inuit artists living in the lower Baffin Island communities tend to produce the most imaginative and flamboyant Inuit sculptures that are often dramatic with intricate detail. Animal subjects are depicted quite realistically but they can often be presented in heroic or sometimes unusual poses. Examples are dancing polar bears and walruses. Expert Inuit carvers here have even added some humor with hand standing polar bears. Human characteristics are sometimes applied to animals. Such an example is a drum dancing walrus. Inuit sculptures from Baffin Island tend to be highly polished.

Belcher Islands Arctic Region

These islands are located in the lower part of Hudson's Bay and the only Inuit community here is Sanikiluaq. The primary stone used here for Inuit sculpture is argillite which ranges in color from light green to black with a distinctive striped grain. The polished Inuit sculptures here are very realistic with much detail. For example, birds will often have feathers marked by etchings in the stone. Inuit carvers here will also take the time to etch markings on the skin of seals as well. The most prized Inuit sculptures from Sanikiluaq seem to be those of the wildlife of these Arctic islands, especially birds and marine mammals.

Map of Inuit Sculpture Regions

inuit sculpture dancing bear ------------- inuit sculpture dancing walrus
--- Dancing Bear Inuit Sculpture --------- Drum Dancing Walrus Inuit -------
by Enook Manomie of Iqaluit ---- Sculpture by Juta Ipeelee of Iqaluit

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