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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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Manasie Akpaliapik, ᒪᓇᓯ ᐊᐸᓕᐊᐱ

Settlement: Arctic Bay / Ikpiarjuk

(1955) — E5-1155

Manasie Paneloo Akpaliapik, was born in Arctic Bay, Northwest Territories, on August 23, 1955. One of Canada's most eminent Inuit sculptors, Akpaliapik began his life as a nomad. His family travelled three times per year as the arctic seasons changed, living the traditional way of their ancestors. 

Akpaliapik was raised in a family of artists. His father and mother, Lazaroosee and Nakyuraq Akpaliapik are both sculptors in the community of Arctic Bay. His adopted grandparents, artists Peter and Elisapee Kanangnaq Ahlooloo, and his maternal great aunt Paniluk Qamanirq taught him to carve when he was about ten years old. He learned by watching them, and as they carved the elders entertained Akpaliapik with Inuit legends and stories.

Akpaliapik went to school in Iqualuit, Winnipeg, and Greenland. He moved to Montreal in 1979 and began carving professionally, to return to Arctic Bay in 1985 to learn drum dancing and kayak making in preparation for EXPO 86 in Vancouver, where he demonstrated these skills at the N.W.T. Pavilion. He was one of three artists commissioned to carve a coat of arms for the new Museum of Civilization, Hull, Quebec; performed the drum dances at an International Cultural Festival, Shiraoi, Japan, 1989; returned to the Northwest Territories in 1989 to learn and record stories and songs from elders in Arctic Bay, Igloolik, and Pond Inlet, sponsored by a Canada Council Grant.

Akpaliapik is interested in taking the stories and legends he heard as a child while he watched his grandparents carve, and depicting them in his carvings. It is his way of ensuring that these important stories live on to inspire subsequent generations who will be pushed even further from their ancestral way of life. In addition to recounting these stories, Akpaliapik's pieces also probe into the social issues affecting aboriginal people. His own substance abuse problems and the alarming frequency of suicide in many native communities have both been explored in Akpaliapik's carvings.

His works have been collected by museums, they have been included in many books including Sculpture of the Eskimo and The Inuit Imagination and his work has been featured in solo exhibitions by several museums. 


  • Arctic Forms - Inuit Sculpture, Arctic Inuit Art Gallery
  • Arctic Mirror, Canadian Museum of Civilization
  • Borealis: Inuit Images of Man and Animals, Freeport Art Museum and Cultural Centre
  • Building on Strengths: New Inuit Art from the Collection, Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • Immaginario Inuit Arte e cultura degli esquimesi canadesi, Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea
  • Inspiration Four Decades of Sculpture, Marion Scott Gallery
  • Inuit Art from the Canadian Arctic, Bayly Art Museum University of Virginia
  • Inuit Art on the Mezzanine: New Acquisitions, Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • Inuit Art: Drawings and Recent Sculpture, National Gallery of Canada
  • Inuit Sculpture, Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec
  • Ivory Carvings by Manasie Akpaliapik, Images Art Gallery
  • Jawbone Sculpture, The Innuit Gallery of Eskimo Art
  • Keeping Our Stories Alive: An Exhibition of the Art and Crafts from Dene and Inuit of Canada, Institute of American Indian Arts Museum
  • Manasie: The Art of Manasie Akpaliapik, Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • Multiple Realities: Inuit Images of Shamanic Transformation, Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • Nouveau Territoires... 350/500 Ans Apres, Presented at les maisons de la culture Cote-des-Neiges, Notre-Dame- de-Grace, and Rosemont-Petite Patrie, Montreal Recreation and Community Development Service and les Ateliers Visions Planetaire
  • Salon International Europ'art '92, presented by Galerie Saint Merri
  • Sculpture Inuit et Retrospective Pudlo Pudlat, Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec
  • Share the Vision Philadelphians Collect Inuit Art, Art Space Gallery
  • The Hand: Images in Inuit Sculpture, The Isaacs/Innuit Gallery
  • The Inuit Imagination, Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • Uumajut: Animal Imagery in Inuit Art, Winnipeg Art Gallery


  • Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax
  • Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
  • Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull
  • National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
  • Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, Yellowknife
  • Sarick Collection, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
  • Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg


Title Last Sold At Auction
LEGEND OF KIVIUK’S JOURNEY 2007-04 (April 2007)
ANGRY SWIMMING SEDNA 2016-06 (June 2016)
BASKING WALRUS 2007-04 (April 2007)
CARIBOU TRANSFORMATION 2012-11 (November 2012)
CREATION 2014-11 (November 2014)
DREAMING OF ICEBERG 2012-02 (February 2012)
DRUM DANCER 2011-10 (October 2011)
DRUMMER 2008-07 (July 2008)
FACE 2007-11 (November 2007)
FLYING SHAMAN 2009-04 (April 2009)
HANGING OWL SPIRITS 2010-04 (April 2010)
HUNTER IN A KAYAK 2009-04 (April 2009)
HUNTER WITH SPIRIT 2007-04 (April 2007)
INUIT COUPLE 2007-04 (April 2007)
INUIT COUPLE EMBRACING 2014-11 (November 2014)
INUIT FACES AND OWL TOTEM 2014-11 (November 2014)
INUIT FAMILY 2007-04 (April 2007)
INUIT LEGEND 2008-11 (November 2008)
INUIT MOTHER AND CHILD 2007-04 (April 2007)
INUIT WOMAN 2007-04 (April 2007)
INUK WITH SPIRIT 2007-04 (April 2007)
JOSE KUSUGAK QALLUPILUK 2009-04 (April 2009)
LAMENT FOR THE ARCTIC OCEAN 2010-11 (November 2010)
MINIATURE DRUM DANCER 2021-05 (May 2021)
MOTHER AND CHILD 2011-03 (March 2011)
MUSK OX 2019-09 (September 2019)
OPPOSING FACE AND SEAL 2008-11 (November 2008)
OPPOSING FACES 2008-11 (November 2008)
OPPOSING FACES ON A BASE 2013-02 (February 2013)
OPPOSING SEAL AND MAN 2010-04 (April 2010)
OPPOSING SHAMANS ON BASE 2014-02 (February 2014)
OWL 2019-09 (September 2019)
OWL SPIRIT 2020-09 (September 2020)
OWL WITH RAISED TALON 2019-05 (May 2019)
PATIENT OWL 2015-11 (November 2015)
PERCHED OWL 2015-01 (January 2015)
POLAR BEAR 2012-11 (November 2012)
PREGNANT BEAR 2008-10 (October 2008)
SHAMAN 2021-06 (June 2021)
SHAMAN AND BEAR 2010-11 (November 2010)
SHAMAN MASK ON BASE 2011-11 (November 2011)
SHAMAN TRANSFORMING 2020-09 (September 2020)
SHAMAN/WALRUS SPIRIT 2010-04 (April 2010)
SMILING FACE 2021-07 (July 2021)
SPIRIT 2007-04 (April 2007)
SPIRIT DRUMMER 2008-11 (November 2008)
TATTOOED FACE 2007-11 (November 2007)
TATTOOED FACE WALL PLAQUE 2007-11 (November 2007)
TRANSFORMATION 2020-09 (September 2020)
TRANSFORMATION ON BASE 2009-03 (March 2009)
TWO FACES 2009-05 (May 2009)
TWO OPPOSING FACES 2010-04 (April 2010)
WALRUS 2019-11 (November 2019)
WALRUS SPIRIT 2011-05 (May 2011)
WIND SWEPT MUSK OX 2015-06 (June 2015)
WOMAN HOLDING A SKIN 2008-04 (April 2008)

Recent Auction Results

Estimate: 40,000 — 60,000
Sold: Jun 2022 — Sold For: $36,003
Estimate: 300 — 500
Sold: Jul 2021 — Sold For: $780
Estimate: 400 — 600
Sold: Jun 2021 — Sold For: $510
Estimate: 500 — 700
Sold: May 2021 — Sold For: $2,700
Estimate: 1,000 — 1,500
Sold: Feb 2021 — Sold For: $960
Estimate: 1,500 — 2,500
Sold: Sep 2020 — Sold For: $1,680

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