Sappa Ashoona

Polar Bear
White Marble

11 3/4" L x 4 3/4" H

The Inuit people of the arctic have become masterful stone sculptors as a result of the cultural heritage. Hunting is an essential part of survival, and Inuit hunters believed that they could honor the animal spirits by creating their likeness in stone.

By doing so, the animal spirits would oblige them with a successful hunt. Young men, eager to gain recognition and devoted to providing for their families, would carve in earnest - each trying to outdo the other.

Today, the artistic expression of this culture remains strong, and the Inuit people continue to produce some of the most beautiful, detailed, and graceful stone sculpture in the world.

Their carvings represent not only the animals with which they share a close relationship, but also human figures and mythological characters that tell important stories and give explanations for the world they live in.

This exquisite polar bear was carved by Sappa Ashoona, from Baffin Island, Cape Dorset, Canada. It has been carved out of white marble and gives this king of the Arctic an almost ethereal feel.

Cape Dorset is located north of Hudson Bay on the southwest tip of Baffin Island, well above the treeline and just south of the Arctic Circle.

The Inuit inhabitants have always called the area Kinngait (pronounced king-ite), meaning "the place of hills," but it was named Cape Dorset in 1631 by the British explorer Captain Luke Foxe, who mapped the region during his unsuccessful search for the Northwest Passage; he named it in honour of the Earl of Dorset, who had sponsored the expedition.

Today, Cape Dorset is a modern community of nearly fourteen hundred inhabitants in the newly created Canadian territory of Nunavut.

Gallery Price $1,400.00


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