Kayaks and Caribou
‘Kayaks and Caribou’ by Luke Anguhadluq – Inuit Art – Baker Lake 1971 print collection presented by DaVic Gallery of Native Canadian Arts.
Condition: Very Good condition – Professionally restored for discoloration from previous framing as well as for crease marks and overall handling marks.
Description by Artist: No description by artist found.
Notes from DaVic Gallery: The print is a dynamic and epic depiction of ten hunters in their kayaks, chasing nine caribou swimming across a river. Although it is common to see compositions by Anguhadluq to include communities and gatherings of people or animals, it is not common to see this many hunters together participating in the same hunt. Other caribou hunting scenes, or depictions of fishing, typically include no more than six hunters. Here, we see more hunters than animals. Perhaps this is a good demonstration of collaboration among Inuit hunters of different families to secure good supply of food, clothing and tool materials for the entire village. One of the hunters seems to be in the middle of executing a rollover maneuver.
Typical of Luke Anguhadluq’s compositions, a sense of time and space speaks to us from the page. Taking in the scene, we can imagine what happened before, what is happening now and what the end of the hunt might look like. We can surmise that the caribou are swimming towards the other end of the river to escape their fate and that the hunters must succeed in reaching as many caribou as possible before the animals make their escape on land.
Caribou hunting is important to the life of the Inuit as it serves as a source of food, shelter, clothing, tools and games. The key to the success and survival of the Inuit in extreme cold temperatures of the arctic is in the use of warm clothing made from caribou hides that provide insulation against penetrating cold. Caribou skin is made into mitts, parkas, tents and blankets. Caribou hair is hollow and can trap air between the hairs and inside them, creating great insulation. Clothing made from this material is extraordinarily warm, lightweight, water repellent and durable.
The skin is also often used as the roof of an igloo. Caribou meat is a staple of the Inuit diet. It is used to make stews, steaks, roast, sausage and jerky. Even the hoof of a caribou is made into a delicacy enjoyed by many Inuit. The sinew from the back of the caribou can be used for sewing. Bones and antlers are used to make tools. Large bones can be used as shovels. Antlers can also be used to make carvings. Caribou teeth are often used for ornamentation.
The Inuit take pride in the many uses they have found for caribou. The Inuit and caribou have a special bond as they share the land.
The blank sheet of letter-size (8.5” x 11”) paper covering part of the image in the last picture is for size reference.