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i u a pi pu pa ti tu ta ki ku ka gi gu ga mi mu ma ni nu na si su sa li lu la ji ju ja vi vu va ri ru ra qi qu qa ngi ngu nga lhi lhu lha

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The Many Meanings of Joe Talirunili’s “The Migration”

Inuit Art Foundation | November 05, 2021

Categories: news

Joe Talirunili’s The Migration (1964) is a gorgeous and powerful sculpture depicting a group of Inuit huddled in an umiak, a larger boat than a qajaq. The piece paints a vivid picture of life before settlement, reminding me of a story my dad once told me of a makeshift vehicle. Before I was born, my family had been out fishing on the ice. They caught so many fish that day that they couldn’t haul them all back to camp inside their qamutiit. Instead, they wet the fish with water from the fishing hole and froze them together in the shape of a qamutiq. They used wet pieces of fur to fill in the cracks between the fish to form runners, polishing and adding water until the runners were smooth with ice. The dogs then pulled the fish qamutiq back to camp over the mainland snow.

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