L19.30 | Women and child

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Women and child
Anonyme - Anonymous
Eastern Arctic
Inuit: Nunavimiut
1900-1909, 20th century
5.7 x 2.3 cm
Gift of Mr. Hugh A. Peck
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Model (422)
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Keys to History

Arctic Adventurers - Hugh A. Peck

After finishing his studies and before entering the work force, Hugh A. Peck, like many other young men at the time, set out in search of adventure. He boarded a Revillon Frères steamer, appropriately named the S.S. Adventure and commanded by Captain Thierry Mallet (a Revillon Frères post inspector), Captain Crouch and Captain Cross. The Adventure left Montreal on July 28, 1909, for Strutton Island, Nunavut, the distribution centre of Revillon Frères for the James Bay region. Peck returned to Halifax on October 6, 1909.

Hugh Peck put together a remarkable collection of artifacts. Most of the tiny ivory models came from Kuujjuaq (formerly Fort Chimo); however, some were obtained at other posts or were made by the Inuit men and women hired by Revillon Frères to unload the ships. Peck kept a detailed journal of his adventure, writing passages on the fur trade, the dangers encountered, the manufacture and use of certain tools by the Inuit and on his impressions of the waterscape, landscape and people he met.

  • What

    Small carving of an Inuit woman wearing an amauti, or woman's parka. From birth until about two years of age, the child nestles against the mother's back in the amaut - a built-in pouch just below the hood that both supports the baby and reinforces the bond between mother and child.

  • Where

    Purchased by Hugh A. Peck in Kuujjuaq (formerly Fort Chimo), Nunavik.

  • When

    This carving was collected in 1909.

  • Who

    The influx of whalers in the second half of the 1800s prompted Inuit men to increase their production of small carvings, which were much in demand by ships' crews as "souvenirs" or "keepsakes."