Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad  Print this page

Kivalliq all dolled up

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (Dec 19/05) - The long overlooked craft of doll making in the Kivalliq region is beginning to make a resurgence, thanks to the efforts of the Kivalliq Women's Society.

NNSL Photo/graphic

Baker Lake doll artist Irene Kaluraq displays one of her creations. The Kivalliq Women's Society wants to develop and promote the tradition of Inuit doll making in the region. It has plans for a festival and a museum showing for 2007-08. photo courtesy of Helen AbenReynen

The society is working under the umbrella of the Pulaarvik Kablu Friendship Centre in Rankin Inlet.

The group has already announced plans to host a Kivalliq Inuit Doll Festival to develop and promote the tradition of Inuit doll making in the region.

If all goes according to plan, the festival will be held in Rankin in late 2007.

To date, 26 doll artists from Rankin, Baker Lake, Repulse Bay and Chesterfield Inlet have confirmed their participation in the festival.

The group has also reached a memorandum of understanding with British Columbia's Burnaby Art Gallery to host an Inuit doll exhibition in 2008.

Helen AbenReynen, who was voted in as project co-ordinator by society members, says the project will encourage the retention of Inuit cultural traditions and skills, and build stronger bonds with the youth in each community.

"In addition to the many cultural skills and sense of history the youth will obtain through the instruction of doll artists and elders, this project holds the promise to expand the market for Inuit art through partnerships with the private sector," says AbenReynen.

Rankin craftsperson Helen Iguptak agrees the festival will bring more attention to the work of Kivalliq doll artists.

She also hopes the project will spark interest among the region's youth.

"For me, personally, I wanted to get involved with this to give me something different to work on from time to time," says Iguptak.