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- Artist Bio
|Dimensions||10 x 4 x 4.75" (25.4 x 10.16 x 12.07cm)|
Padlaya Qiatsuq was born in 1965 in Cape Dorset and began carving around 1977. He learned to carve from his father, the well-known sculptor and printmaker, Lukta Qiatsuq. Padlaya works in soapstone and bone, and carves each sculpture with much attention to detail.
“I like to carve transformations. That’s one of my favourite [themes], and shamanism…when I do transformation or shamanism carvings, [I hope] the younger people will see the carving in a book or in a gallery. I want them to know that these traditions have to be carried out. How do I put this? They have to know that our ancestors had a hard time to live, to hunt. Sometimes they were starving. Those carvings are important to me and I want to show these younger people – and others – that this happened before.”
Excerpt from “Padlaya Qiatsuk: Encouraging Young Carvers to Persevere.” Matthew Fox. Inuit Art Quarterly, vol. 16, no. 1, Spring 2001 pg. 26-28.
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As goddess of the ocean, Sedna sets strict rules about the proper way to treat the animals of the hunt, which the Inuit require for sustenance. This includes proper treatment of the animals’ spirit when killed for food. If she feels the rules have been broken, she cuts off the supply of food. When this happens, the Inuit tribal shaman is required to take a mystical journey to the bottom of the ocean to speak to the goddess. It is considered the most dangerous journey an Inuit shaman is called upon to make.
Upon arrival at the bottom of the sea the shaman is required to comb Sedna’s hair, because Sedna has no fingers to comb it herself, and to find out what the tribe has done wrong that the food has been cut off. The shaman then makes a deal with Sedna, promising that if the tribe corrects whatever transgressions it has made, the goddess will return their food supply. The shaman then returns to the tribe with the list of things the goddess requires to be done to get the food back.