Syllabic Translator

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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Luke Airut



polar bear jawbone, baleen, antler, signed in Roman, circa 2000, Overall very good condition.

Please contact the specialist for further condition information.

6.5 x 6.5` x 4.5 in — 16.5 x 16.5 x 11.4 cm

Walker's Auction, Ottawa, ON, May, 2014, lot 299;
Private Collection, Toronto, ON

Carved by Lukie Airut from the jawbone of a polar bear, a towering wide-eyed and bow-legged shaman stands on a plane of baleen, holding a qilaut (hoop drum) and drum beater; his legs are carved with figures in low relief, and frame a vignette of a dancing man with two dogs. Typical of the artist’s use of organic material, Lukie Airut often carves from bone sourced from his own hunting exploits, but has also from found materials, "I began collecting bowhead skulls from old sod houses," he explains in a 2006 interview for Inuit Art Quarterly. "I have probably carved over 100 skulls."[1]

This lot is accompanied by a May, 2014 Walker's Auction label.

Related Works:

Untitled, Shaman Drum Dancer–See:


1. Gunderson, Sonia, “Lukie Airut Igloolik's Carving” Inuit Art Quarterly, February 15, 2018. Accessed February 21, 2022.

Many countries prohibit or restrict importation or exportation of property containing ivory, whale bone, sealskin, and/or products derived from other endangered or protected species, and require special licenses or permits in order to import or export such property. It is the responsibility of the buyer to ensure that the item is properly and lawfully exported / imported. Please do not hesitate to contact one of our specialists for further details.

Estimate: $600—800

Auction Results

Auction Date Auction House Lot # Low Est High Est Sold Price
2022-03-17 Waddington's 24 600 800 3,006.00

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