His3813 - Derynck - The Rise of Inuit Sculpture

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Introduction ME928.33 M2002.138.3 ME942.13 M5856 M278 L19.30 ME930.39.7 L42.30


The Inuit people of the Arctic are unique in their culture and their lifestyle. As Cottie Burland writes, "No human race has won its living in a harsher environment No people have been so richly reported, or so little understood, as these folk." This fascinating people are often called Eskimo, but the term Inuit is commonly used to refer to the groups living in the Canadian Arctic. It is now commonly thought that the Inuit, or Eskimo, people originate from Siberia and that they crossed the Bering Strait to what is now Alaska. It is still contested whether this was a group of inland people who moved to the coast to hunt the seas or if they were originally coast dwellers. Living in such harsh conditions meant that the Inuit were practical. Much of what we consider to be Inuit art is in fact practical objects that were beautifully designed.