Born in 1926, it is said Abraham is a descendant of whaler Captain George Cleveland of Hudson Bay who operated in the waters off Repulse Bay at the turn of the 20th century.

As a child Abraham learned through hearing stories and modeling the behavior of others. Like all Inuit of his and previous generations, Abraham was taught a set of values and beliefs that emphasized endurance, coping and survival. Later in life this would stand well against adversity in one of the most harsh landscapes in the world.

When Abraham’s family moved into Repulse Bay (Naujatt) there were no houses; instead they lived in a camp outside the community. Abraham was a happy, outgoing person who loved hunting. He used his dog team for many years until he bought a snow mobile. Abraham married Lydia Amagtha and once their children were of age they would accompany Abraham on his hunting excursions. By watching their father they learned survival skills as he did a generation ago.

In 1996 Abraham was given the prestigious position of hunt captain and with a crew of 13 hunters pursued a bowhead whale outside Repulse Bay. Respected for his traditional knowledge he received the Elders Award in 2005 for his contribution to helping other Nunavummuit understand Inuit heritage and culture. Abraham Tagornak, the oldest elder of his community, passed away in 2007.


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Abraham Tagornak
Inuit, Repulse Bay
Image size: 11 x 13 inches
Edition size: 575