Carving Out a Tradition
Inuit represent one of the most resilient cultures in the world. Having lived and thrived in the Canadian Arctic for centuries, their artwork reflects Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ), often translated as “Inuit traditional knowledge” of the land, of animals and of community life.
This collection of carvings produced by Inuit artists from across the country offers a window into traditional life and ways of knowing in the North—a hunter’s encounter with a bear or walrus, building a communal iglu, loading a qayaq (kayak) with supplies for an excursion, or bundling a sleeping family beneath layers of fur.
Dating from 1960–2005, these works of art span decades, representing a continued proficiency carving natural stone extracted from stone deposits throughout the Arctic, a well-honed skill that Inuit continue to pass on from generation to generation.