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- Additional Information
- Artist Bio
|Dimensions||6.5 x 10 x 6" (16.51 x 25.4 x 15.24cm)|
Ottokie Samayualie was born on June 17, 1980 in Cape Dorset, Baffin Island.
The Cape Dorset community boasts more famous artists per capita than any other region in Nunavut. Ottokie is the son of the talented local artists Johnny and Kuluajuke Tunnillee. It is not surprising that Ottokie has followed the same artistic path, as Nunavut artistic talent is passed on through the family rather than taught in an art academy.
Ottokie takes great care in choosing the stone for his sculptures. His carvings are made of the finest serpentine of varying green shades, and then smoothed and polished to best exhibit the luster of the stone. Serpentine is a rock with a composition similar to Jade that is found on Baffin Island. It is a very hard stone, so it requires more artistic virtuosity to carve than the softer soapstone found in other regions of the world.
The Cape Dorset sculptural style is a combination of observational naturalism and reduction to stylistic and sometimes abstract forms. This style is always present in Ottokie’s carvings.
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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.