Figure, c. 1973
Canadian (Inuit), 1940
whalebone, ivory, antler ?, and stone
29.2 x 68.5 x 15.3 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 30353)
© Public Trustee of Nunavut. Estate of Karoo Ashevak
Sometimes I make figures with funny faces or scary faces taht I see in my dreams. Sometimes I carve faces of spirits from old Eskimo stories. They scare me too.
- Karoo Ashevak, 1973
Karoo's distortion of features and imaginative use of whale bone helped define the so-called expressionistic style of the Kitikmeot (Central Arctic) region. The different shapes of the eyes, signifying exceptional sight, and the mittened hand, a symbol of magical ability, suggest that this figure may be a shaman.