The depiction of mother and child is a popular and recurrent subject among Inuit artists.
Although addressing the theme of maternity, this catalogue of the 1980 Winnipeg Art Gallery Exhibition The Inuit Amautik: I like my hood to be full is basically concerned with the rendering of the amautik, the traditional parka of the Inuit woman.
The amautik takes its name from the inuttitut phrase or meaning “to carry”, and refers to the pouch or amaut incorporated in the back of the woman’s parka which is itself designed to carry a baby. The amautik was traditionally worn by every Inuit woman regardless of marital or maternal status. In adopting the amautik, or “mother’s parka”, a young woman took on the symbol of her fundamental responsibility within Inuit society: to provide for the regeneration of human life.
To show the design of the amautik and its evolution throughout a woman’s life, four caribou amautiit from the Bishop Marsh Collection of the Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature and one from the private collection of Mr. and Mrs. K. J. Butler are included in the exhibition. The images in this catalogue illustrate the collaboration of historical artifact and contemporary works of art offers a rich opportunity to explore the amautik as a unique and essential element of Inuit culture.
Through its consideration of the design and historical significance of the amautik, as well as its manifestation in Inuit art, this catalogue of the Winnipeg Art Gallery Exhibition offers an insight into an elemental and profound feature of Inuit life, history, and culture.
Editor: Lauren J. Woodhouse
Copyright: The Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1980
Hardcover, 128 pages
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