Inuit art has a tradition of nearly 4,000 years: it spans from early utensils, adornments, toys, magico-religious objects to sculptures and prints. While there are some commonalities throughout the centuries, it is important to remember that there are many regional, historical and individual characteristics within Inuit art. In this unit, youll be able to explore the diverse elements within the traditions of Inuit art from its earliest objects to the work of living Inuit artists today.
In surveying the tradition of Northern First Nations art, some key characteristics will emerge. The Inuit have a long and vibrant tradition of oral narratives and songs; images, themes and ideas frequently find their way into the imagery of their visual art. Like their stories, myths and songs, the various objects, sculptures and prints possess an elegant simplicity and fluidity.
Although much can be learned about the Inuit Culture through their art, we must not limit our inquiry into its ethnographic qualities. As youll see in the illustrations in this unit, Inuit art possesses a fascinating aesthetic sensibility and a captivating visual element.
In this unit, you can explore introductory history about the Inuit and their art, you can read Inuit myths and poems, you can learn more about the major Inuit artists and use the Activities section and Further Information sections to further explore topics of interest to you.