Helen Kalvak was trained by her father to be an angakok (shaman), but she later converted to Christianity. Despite this conversion, themes relating to Inuit spirituality and mythical creatures continued to pervade her work. In a 1990 interview, published in Uqalurait, Anna Atagutsiaq, describes the qualities necessary for a shaman: Certain individuals who worked hard to gain knowledge of the ways in which the cosmos works, our part in the scheme of things, and an understanding of their rightful purpose – to serve the higher power by bringing order to the myriad things of creation – were able to become shamans.
Materialscolour serigraph and stencil on wove japan paper
45.7 x 60.7 cm
Gift of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, 1989
Rights© Public Trustee of Nunavut. Estate of Helen Kalvak