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Loon Bill Dance Cap and WandEnlarge image

Loon Bill Dance Cap and Wand, c. 1965-1967

Rene Oliktoak
Canadian (Inuit), 1915
cap: loon beak and feathers, ermine and caribou fur, caribou skin, dyes, and sinew; wand: loon beak and feathers, leather, dyes, and sinew
cap: 42.9 x 21 x 16.7 cm; wand: 27.8 x 9.5 x 3.8 cm
Purchased 2009
National Gallery of Canada (no. 42895.1-2)
Photo © NGC, ©Canadian Arctic Producers

The dance cap and wand were part of ceremonial regalia that included a parka, pants, boots, and mittens embellished with appendages of ermine skins and the loon beak. The animal parts were important to the choreography of the dance, as movements were guided by the swaying of the appendages. Oliktoak is the daughter of Edward Manayok, a respected drummer, and Helen Kalvak, the well-known Holman printmaker, who performed with her husband, singing and dancing in traditional clothing and wearing the loon bill dance cap.

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