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Pitseolak, Peter
The Inukshuk Series #1: The Woman Who turned into an Inukshuk
Before 1973

Peter Pitseolak (1902-1973) was an Inuit historian, photographer, leader, artist, and knowledge keeper. His interest in recording Inuit history emerged early in his life, when he ordered from the Hudson Bay Company a camera in the 1940s. Concerned by the rapid changes happening in the Arctic, and the possibility that many Inuit traditions may disappear, he set about to record Inuit culture with his camera and pen. He also contributed hours of oral history about the Sikisilarmiut – the people from the Cape Dorset region – and published his posthumous memoir People From Our Side with the assistance of Dorothy Harley Eber in 1993. In this drawing, he records an Inuit story called The Woman Who Turned Into an Inukshuk. The syllabics at the bottom of the drawing read: “A woman went away on a kayak with a man she did not know. When the man faced her she discovered that he had red eyes. The woman demanded to go to shore so the man took her back to the land near Inukshuk. She wishes for a husband. She wishes to become the Inukshuk’s wife. Her feet began to turn to stone, finally all of her body. She became an Inukshuk.”

 
Pitseolak, Peter
born Nottingham Island NWT 1902; died Cape Dorset NWT 1973
The Inukshuk Series #1: The Woman Who turned into an Inukshuk
Before 1973
Pencil crayon and graphite on paper
50.5 x 65.0 cm
Gift of Dr. Anne Croy, 2019
62-015.01

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