Two Caribou by the Inukshuk
“Two Caribou by the Inukshuk” by Ida Karpik – Inuit Art from Pangnirtung 2002 print collection presented by DaVic Gallery of Native Canadian Arts
Condition: No condition noted.
Description by Artist: No description by artist found.
Notes from DaVic Gallery: ‘Two Caribou by the Inukshuk’ – Caribou hunting is important to the life of the Inuit as it provides for food, shelter, clothing, tools, and games. Clothing made from caribou skins is the warmest for northern winters. Caribou skin is made into mitts, parkas, tents, and blankets. A skin is often used as the roof of an igloo. Caribou meat is a staple in the Inuit diet. Caribou meat is made into 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.
In the language of the Inuit; inukshuk means “One that looks like a person”. The inukshuiit are erected from stones to resemble a human figure. (Inukshuiit is the plural of inukshuk). Long before the Inuit had access to rifles and ammunitions, inukshuiit played an important role in hunting caribou. The traditional hunting method would be to erect a series of inukshuiit in a funnel shaped pattern narrowing to a dead end on a hillside. The hunters would hide behind the inukshuiit armed with their bows and arrows. The women and children would herd the caribou towards the hunters by waving hides up and down to create loud noises, enabling the hunters to move behind the herd. The inukshuiit would also double as landmarks or cairns (stone piles) identifying the locations of caches of stored meat. Today the inukshuk is used predominantly as a landmark. They can be found scattered across the frozen land. An inukshuk can be spotted from miles away and seasoned travelers can use the inukshuiit as navigational aids.