Books - Inuit

  • Kappianaqtut: Strange Creatures and Fantastic Beings From Inuit Myths and Legends [Volume 1]

    Neil Christopher


    Illustrated by Mike Austin
    Published 2011

    From Inhabit Media:

    Each volume in the Kappianaqtut series provides readers with an in-depth academic examination of two mythological creatures from Inuit mythology. The series examines Inuit myths from an ethnographic perspective and fosters discussion on the variations and multiple representations of the myths and creatures in question. This volume, which explores the giants of the North and the mother of the sea mammals, has been fully revised and updated. Kappianaqtut represents the first book-length study of Inuit mythological beings written from a Northern perspective.

  • My Name Is Arnaktauyok

    Germaine Arnaktauyok & Gyu Oh


    Germaine Arnaktauyok is one of the Canadian North’s most prolific and recognizable artists. In this book, she tells the story of her life in her own words: her “very traditional Inuk life” growing up in Nunavut at a camp near Igloolik, and her experiences later in a residential school in Chesterfield Inlet; her education as an artist in Winnipeg and Ottawa; and her return to the North, where she continues to create drawings, etchings, and illustrations that have been featured in museums and galleries worldwide.

    She also provides commentary on several of her works, offering a seldom seen perspective on her inspiration and process. Featuring over one hundred full-colour reproductions of Germaine Arnaktauyok’s fascinating pieces from throughout her career, this beautiful book provides an in-depth look at one of the world’s most important artists.

    Published: 2015


  • Our Hands Remember: Recovering Sanikiluaq Basket Sewing


    Sanikiluaq, a small Inuit community in the Belcher Islands region of the Far North, has a long history of artistic output. But as the demand for stone carvings grew, grass basket sewing―once a traditional skill for Inuit women―faded from the community consciousness. That was until a group of women, including educator and artist Margaret Lawrence, came together to renew the lost art of basket sewing.

    In Our Hands Remember: Recovering Sanikiluaq Basket Sewing, Lawrence guides readers through creating their own grass baskets in the unique style of the Sanikiluaq region with step-by-step instructions and photographs. From tips on preparing the grass and forming even coils to the different types of embellishments, this book is accessible to all skill levels.


    Published: 2018


  • Unikkaaqtuat: An Introduction to Inuit Myths & Legends

    Neil Christopher


    In this exhaustive story collection, the rich tradition of Inuit storytelling becomes accessible to the rest of Canada for the first time. Unipkaaqtut is the Inuit word meaning “to tell stories.”

    This definitive collection of Inuit legends is thoughtfully introduced and carefully annotated to provide the historical and cultural context in which to understand this rich oral tradition.

    Read about the origin of thunder and lightning, the tale of the man who married a fox and many animal fables from the North. Fascinating and educational, this little-known part of Canada’s heritage will captivate readers of all ages. As a work of historical and cultural preservation, this text will be invaluable to those studying Inuit.

    Published in 2011


  • Nanuq: Life With Polar Bears


    Nanuq: Life with Polar Bears features gorgeous wildlife photography of polar bears alongside first-hand accounts of experiences of living alongside the great sea bear.

    From close encounters with angry bears to the beauty of watching a polar bear climb an iceberg with its claws and traditional mythology surrounding life with polar bears, this book gives readers outside the Arctic a first-hand look at what life with polar bears is really like.

    Photographs by Paul Souders


    Published: 2016


  • Reawakening Our Ancestors’ Lines: Revitalizing Inuit Traditional Tattooing

    Angela Hovak Johnston


    For thousands of years, Inuit women practiced the traditional art of tattooing. Created with bone needles and caribou sinew soaked in seal oil or soot, these tattoos were an important tradition for many women, symbols stitched in their skin that connected them to their families and communities.

    But with the rise of missionaries and residential schools in the North, the tradition of tattooing was almost lost. In 2005, when Angela Hovak Johnston heard that the last Inuk woman tattooed in the traditional way had died, she set out to tattoo herself and learn how to tattoo others. What was at first a personal quest became a project to bring the art of traditional tattooing back to Inuit women across Nunavut, starting in the community of Kugluktuk.

    Collected in this beautiful book are moving photos and stories from more than two dozen women who participated in Johnston’s project. Together, these women are reawakening their ancestors’ lines and sharing this knowledge with future generations.

    Published in 2017


  • Inuksuit

    Norman Hallendy


    Inuksuit are amongst the oldest and most important objects placed by humans within the vast Arctic landscape. Beautifully photographed, this first comprehensive book tells about the Arctic Inuksuit as told by Inuit Elders.


    Published in 2001


  • Inuit Modern: Art from the Samuel and Esther Sarick Collection

    Gerald McMaster


    A gorgeous retrospective on the transformation of Inuit art in the 20th century, mirroring the vast and poignant cultural changes in the North.

    In response to a rapidly changing Arctic environment, Inuit have had to cope with the transition from a traditional lifestyle to the disturbing realities of globalization and climate change. Inuit art in the latter half of the 20th century reflects the reciprocal stimulus of contact with Euro-Canadians and embodies the evolution of a modern Inuit aesthetic that springs from an ancient cultural context, creating an exciting new hybridized art form.

    Inuit Modern: Art from the Samuel and Esther Sarick Collection situates modern Inuit art within a larger framework that reinterprets the Canadian Arctic. Essays by leading Canadian scholars in the field including Ingo Hessel, Robert McGhee, Christine Laloude, Heather Igloliorte, Dorothy Eber and Bernadette Driscoll Engelstad examine the social, political and cultural transformation through the dynamic lens of colonial influence and agency. Inuit Modern also features interviews with David Ruben Piqtoukun and Zacharias Kunuk.

    Published in 2011


  • The Way of Inuit Art: Aesthetics and History In and Beyond the Arctic

    Emily E. Auger


    Inuit art is examined in this book from prehistory to the present, especially its influence on non-Inuit artists and scholars, and their influence on it.

    Part One gives a history of the main art-producing prehistoric traditions in the North American Arctic, concentrating on the Dorset. It also discusses the influence of theories such as evolutionism, diffusionism, ethnographic comparison, and shamanism on the interpretation of prehistoric Inuit art.

    Part Two, with the support of interviews with Inuit artists, analyzes the influence of such theories as nationalism, primitivism, modernism, and postmodernism on 20th century Canadian Inuit art. The presence of Inuit art in the mainstream is demonstrated with a discussion of its influence on Canadian artist Nicola Wojewoda, to whose work, in addition, Inuit artists present their reactions.

    Published in 2005

  • Creation and Transformation: Defining Moments in Inuit Art

    Christine Lalonde, Darlene Wight, Ingo Hessel, Norman Vorano, Susan Gustavison, Winnipeg Art Gallery


    The treasures of the world’s largest public collection of Inuit art are revealed in this seminal history of art from the Arctic.

    The collection of Inuit art held by the Winnipeg Art Gallery, one of Canada’s most important public galleries, is extraordinary by any standard: its geographic range, diverse media and size have brought international renown to the collection of some 11,000 artworks. The wag celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2012-13 and this book, as well as a major exhibition from January 24 to April 17, 2013, will feature many of the gallery’s treasures as it marks this important milestone.

    Creation and Transformation is a major art book that describes the genesis and evolution of contemporary Inuit art from 1949 to the present day: from carvers in the 1950s, such as Johnny Inukpuk, to later storytellers in stone, such as Davidialuk Alasua Amittu, and in whale bone such as Karoo Ashevak; from pioneer graphic artist Jessie Oonark, to graphic artists working today in new and personal idioms, such as Shuvinai Ashoona. The book is a celebration of creativity that has had many transformations over six decades.

    Organized chronologically, this remarkable volume will constitute a new historical narrative of a contemporary art form as revealed in essays by international authorities led by Winnipeg Art Gallery’s curator of Inuit art, Darlene Coward Wight, and explored through the personal insights of the artists themselves. Expertly designed and produced, this book features 150 colour and archival images.

    Published in 2012

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