M928.26 | Model sled

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Model sled
Anonyme - Anonymous
Eastern Arctic
Inuit: Nunavimiut
1911, 20th century
Wood, ivory, hide
7.6 x 12.1 x 74.5 cm
Gift of Mrs. James H. Peck
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Model (422)
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Keys to History

Vilhjálmur Stefánsson (1879-1962), a Canadian born Arctic explorer, spent more than ten years in the Arctic, travelling 50,000 km by dogsled. He explored some of the world's major Arctic islands - Brock, Borden, Meighen and Lougheed islands - and claimed them for Canada. His first trip to the Arctic took place in 1906-07.

This first expedition was led by the Danish explorer Ejnar Mikkelson and took the party to Herschel Island, where Stefánsson started studying the language and culture of the Inuit and Dene people of the Mackenzie Delta. He returned in 1908 with the Canadian zoologist Rudolph M. Anderson, again travelling to Herschel Island, Cape Parry and Victoria Island. There the party encountered a previously unknown Inuit community, the Kilusiktormiut (Copper Inuit, who were given this name because of their use of meteoritic copper in making tools). Stefánsson stayed among them until 1912 and published the book My Life with the Eskimo the following year.

  • What

    Inuit travel throughout the year in search of food and other resources necessary for survival, but also to trade and visit with family and friends. In the winter months, dogsleds, which could carry heavy loads, were the only means of travel across the icy tundra. Dog teams were essential to the Inuit and later became essential for European explorers, not only for transportation, but also for hunting and, on occasion, as an emergency food supply.

  • Where

    This model sled was collected in Kuujjuaq (formerly Fort Chimo), Nunavik.

  • When

    This model sled was collected in 1911.

  • Who

    This sled was made by a Nunavimiut artist (Nunavik) and probably sold to Mrs. James Peck, one of the founders of the Canadian Handicrafts Guild.