Inuit Soapstone Carving of Smiling Figure, c. 1970

Sale price $125.00 Regular price $135.00

The tag still attached to this carving when I purchased it identifies it as being the work of Daniel Weetaluktuk (1951-1984), which, in addition to being a very charming piece (that fantastic smiling face!), makes it notable for another reason: Weetakluktuk (originally from Inukjuak, in Nunavik, Northern Quebec), was the first Inuk archaeologist in Canada and seen by many as the father of community archaeology in Canada. (This form of archaeology engages local and/or culturally affiliated communities at all stages of a project, from conception through implementation, to communication of its findings.) A museum in Inukjuak bears his name, as does an an annual price presented by the Canadian Archaeological Association that rewards the students who produce the best papers on archaeology.

Assuming the tag is correct, this piece would have been made when he was about 19 years old. He came from a family of notable Inuit carvers, including first generation modern carvers Eli, Sarollie, and Simoeonie Weetaluktuk. In any case, I just love how curious and bright eyed and open to the world the figure looks... and those mittened hands! 

7 1/2" tall. Surface cracks (more pronounced in photos than in person) small ding and some flaws indigenous to the stone and to the carving as documented, which I think just make it look as if he's been through the snow! Overall good condition with a great, substantial presence.