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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Karoo Ashevak, ᑲᕈ ᐊᓴᕙ



whalebone, antler, signed

9 x 11 x 13 in — 22.9 x 27.9 x 33 cm

The Upstairs Gallery, Winnipeg, MB;
Collection of George R. Dinney, Victoria, BC (formerly Winnipeg, MB)

George R. Dinney was the Vice President of Development for Great-West Life Insurance, Winnipeg, MB and primarily responsible for building Great-West's impressive collection of Inuit graphics and sculptures. Dinney's personal collection has been described by representatives of the "Department of Indian Affairs" in the 1970s as the best small collection they had seen.

Karoo Ashevak was an experienced hunter who lived off the land until moving to Taloyoak (Spence Bay) in 1960. Surrounded by hundred year old whalebones, he began to carve highly expressive works in bone. Karoo was a very spirited man and his carvings were different, often depicting shamanistic figures and spirits. In 1972 the Inuit Gallery in Toronto had a very successful one person show of Karoo's works. This followed with an important exhibition in New York at the American Indian Art Centre viewed by a larger audience with acclaim by the public and press.

The Netsilik artist only produced around 250 pieces before his untimely death in 1974. This piece, 'Walrus' has great expression and one wonders with the treatment of the eyes whether this walrus is blind or whether the walrus is leaving to enter the spirit world. Karoo gave each piece great attention to detail which may have bordered on obsessiveness while working with a dense piece of bone, but the results speak for themselves in the smooth treatment of the surface. Enjoy this important historical piece.

Estimate: $4,000—6,000

Auction Results

Auction Date Auction House Lot # Low Est High Est Sold Price
2022-09-29 Waddington's 44 4,000 6,000 8,400.00

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