Muskox horn, antler
This sculpture is from Ulukhaktok (formerly Holman Island) which is the farthest northwest Inuit hamlet in the Canadian Arctic, located in the Inuvialuit region of the Northwest Territories. Muskox are plentiful in this area and their beautifully carved horns lend themselves to elegant and lyrical sculptures. This crane by Ekpakohak is one of many such works which he has created from this material. The artist uses the part of the horn which curves so that the veining in the material echoes the form of the sculpture. The small areas of colour are perfectly placed to add emphasis. The elegance of this sculpture is perfectly finished as the longlegs, still following the grain are mounted into an antler base.
This area covers territory further north and west of the Kivalliq region. Two settlements in particular, Taloyoak (formerly Spence Bay) and Gjoa Haven are renowned for the most imaginative and distinctive sculptural style. These multi-media works, dating back to the 1970s were technically brilliant, sometimes grotesque and always inventive.