Aparalaq Hunting Walrus
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Condition: Crease of the paper on lower right area.
Description by Artist: ‘Aparalaq Hunting Walrus’ – “I know that down on the left hand side of Cumberland Sound there are many, many walrus. It can be very frightening to find oneself far from shore among the walrus. I wouldn’t use a kayak to travel long distance, as a walrus could come up and tip the boat at any time. My cousin was killed in just that way. The walrus were hunted in this manner by real men, by hunters who would not give in to fear. My grandfather was such a man, and this print should be named for him. He was a strong and capable hunter of the big whales, and of every kind of game around Tooakjuak. Aparalaq was my grandfather’s name, and this is Aparalaq hunting walrus.” — Josephee Kakee
Notes from DaVic Gallery: Aparalaq races behind a group of walrus ready to strike holding his harpoon on one hand and the paddle on the other as they surface for air. The harpoon tied to a floating seal skin to keep the walrus close to the surface and tire him as he tries to swim down and away from the hunter. All the while the hunter gives chase until the walrus is exhausted and the hunter goes for the kill. An epic battle to the death follows from the moment Aparalaq raises his harpoon for the strike. A walrus weighs over 2000 lbs and though near defenseless while on the ground on the sea they are most powerful and dangerous and the hunt can just as easily turn deadly for the hunter. Many good hunters never make it back to their village from a walrus hunt.
© Bowdoin College – Documentary: In “Eskimo Walrus Hunt” (1930) Donald B. MacMillan describes how Inughuit hunters in northwestern Greenland hunt dangerous walrus. Scenes include hunting from kayaks with harpoons and rifles, and butchering walrus. Credits: Donald B. MacMillan: Producer, Narrator or Host