Luke Anowtalik was born in 1932 in the area around Ennadai Lake and raised according to the traditional beliefs and customs of the Ihalmiut. He and his sister, Rita, were rescued from starvation by a Metis trader named, Charles Schweder. After a period of time he began living with another group of Ihalmiut who survived this period where many Inuit perished. Anowtalik took Mary Ayaq as his wife. In the late 1950ís the government moved the group first to Whale Cove and then Arviat on the western shore of Hudson Bay.

Anowtalik started carving commercially in Whale Cove and continued in Arviat. He was considered one of the Keewatin regionís great founders of contemporary art. His wife, Mary, is also a noted sculptor. Representing the integral relationship the Ihalmiut had with the caribou for food, clothing and shelter, Anowtalik combined images of humans with heads of caribou. He was also well-known for his playful carvings from caribou antler of groups of human figures suspended from antler branches.

Anowtalik passed away on August, 2006 just before my arrival in Arviat that year. His funeral service was testimony to a man much loved and respected in his community.


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Luke Anowtalik
Inuit, Ennadai Lake
Image size: 11 x 13 inches
Edition size: 375