Man Carrying Reluctant Wife, 1961
Canadian (Inuit), 1916
stencil in green and black on laid paper
Printed by Eegyvudluk Pootoogook
63.8 x 48.3 cm
Gift of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, 1989
National Gallery of Canada (no. 36600)
© West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd.
Arranged marriages were once the norm in traditional Inuit culture. The young woman would join her husband’s family, usually at a distance from her own. In a 1992 interview published in Uqalurait, Martha Tunnuq, describes her own experience:
I was frightened … I was being taken away against my will. I cried and screamed with all my might until my strength was spent and my misery was silenced in sleep. I was giving no thought to my future, but my parents were, though I didn't want to listen. I’m glad I did eventually, for they were thinking of the children and grandchildren who would eventually be my helpers. That’s how our lives used to be.