Inuit art: Shaaman Spirit Hunter
Inuit Artist: Uriash Puqiqnak
Size: 11" long, 10" high, 6" deep, 12.1 lbs
Community: Gjoa Haven, NU
Stone: Serpentine, antler, horse hair
I was immediately drawn to this Shaman.
Uriash’s carving is fiery and highly spirited. Artists from Gjoa Haven like Puqiqnak, strive to depict their cultural traditions with accuracy but like to temper their message with humour.
This Shaman proudly holds up his fur bag which contains all his Shaman magic tricks. Despite his grotesque face, hIs sheepish grin and wild hair are enchanting. His big eyes are strangely innocent. At any moment, this Shaman will begin his ritual chanting and dancing but for this split second he is completely focussed on us.
These pieces from Gjoa Haven are timeless. This could be a first generation carving or a modern sculpture. I love this style for its eternal quality and its sense of humour. If you share my enthusiasm for Uriash’s talent, look on pg 5 in New Arrivals for the “cousin” of this Shaman.
Puqiqnak’s carvings are cherished by collectors who appreciate these strange yet charismatic creatures. This particular piece will no doubt garnish the chronicles of Inuit art magazines and auction house catalogue covers in years to come.
This carving is signed and comes with the Igloo Tag of Authenticity.
Uriash Puqiqnak (born in 1946)
Uriash Puqiqnak is a master carver and politician. His works are on display in major art museums and galleries. He served as Mayor of Gjoa Haven, Nunavut and was a member of the Nunavut Legislature from 1999 until 2004. Uriash is also a board member for the Nunavut Arts & Crafts Association.
Uriash was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada in 2005 (second highest honour for merit in the system of medals in Canada).
His son Wayne Puqiqnak is also a talented carver.