Family Life

In the harsh Arctic environment, it was necessary for the entire family to work together to ensure survival, and for each to contribute to the unit. The home (snowhouse in winter, tent in summer) was the domain of the woman. Her work consisted of cooking, sewing, child rearing and storytelling.

 

It was the man's responsibility to provide food and animal hides for shelter and clothing. The woman was also responsible for tending to the kudliq (the stone lamp) that was the only source of light and heat during the long, dark winter.

Johnny Inukpuk
Mother and Child
Inukjuak 1961
80 x 49 x 21 cm - Stone

In Inuit art, the mother and child appear frequently as subject matter. These images highlight the importance of the mother and child relationship.

Annie Michael often chooses the theme of a mother breast feeding her child.
Annie Michael
Mother and Child
Iqaluit 1991
27 x 20 x 15.7 cm - Serpentine

Children were often carried on the mother's back in the traditional Inuit parka [amauti] to provide bodily warmth.

 

Alekapakak Sanikiluaq
Mother and Child
1972
24.8 x 12.87 x 12 cm - Green/Gray Stone

 

 

This sensitive work by Barnabus reflects a wife consoling her husband.

Barnabus Arnasungnaaq
Couple
Baker Lake 1992
24.5 x 52 x 22.2cm - Basalt

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