This is a stunning vintage example of Inuit carving by one of the better known artists. It appears to be a standing hunter and appears to be holding his hunting bag in front of him. The base is "signed" with the old Canadian government disc ID number of E9-908. This number was the personal ID for Inuit carver Joanasie Nowkawalk. The disc number ID system began in the 1940s and ceased by the 1970s. Joanasie Nowkawalk was indeed a noted carver of the Inuit who was associated with the region of Inukjuak, Port Harrison, Canada. It appears this carving dates to sometime between the 1950s and 1960s.
Joanasie Nowkawalk was born in 1926 at Port Harrison, Canada. He was the eldest child of Allakariallak - who played the title role of NANOOK in the movie NANOOK OF THE NORTH (1922). Joanasie spent alot of time in his life at the camp of carver Johnny Inukpuk.
The Canadian Government Native Disc ID Number system was in use from the 1940s and ceased in the 1970s. There is a specific way to read these numbers. They start with either an E (East Arctic Native) or they start with a W (for West Arctic Native). The first numerical character was meant to identify the person's town / specific location. Then the remaining one to four numbers acted as the personal identification number of that specific person ! This carving is "signed" on the bottom with the disc identification of E9-908. (Joanasie Nowkawalk).
This large impressive carving is very heavy.Standing 10 inches tall ,and is roughly 3 3/4 inches across its front the depth is 2 1/2 inches. It appears to be carved from a beautiful soapstone that actually resembles the dark, rich green color of jadeite. Carvings by Joanasie Nowkawalk can and has been found in various museums and major collections. Included are : #1. Eskimo Art Collection of the Toronto Dominion Bank #2 Bessie Bulman Collection (Winnipeg Art Gallery) #3 Port Harrison Collection (Winnipeg Art Gallery) #4 Artists of Arctic Quebec Exhibit (Inuit Gallery , Vancouver ) #5 "Winnipeg Collects ; Inuit Art from Private Collections " (An exhibit held at the Winnipeg Art Gallery) #6 "The Art of the Eskimo." (An exhibit held at the Newman Galleries) #7 " Inuitkonst fran Kanada; Skulptor och grafik." (At the Millesgarden).