PITSEOLAK ASHOONA, O.C., R.C.A. (1904-1983)
a Montreal private collection
So many of Pitseolak’s drawings and prints are full of busy activity: travelling on foot or by boat, setting up camp, hunting, birthing, or building. Her animal compositions are equally lively, and Mother Birds Protecting Eggs is no exception. Here is what we’re pretty sure is happening: four mother birds are guarding their eggs, which are about to hatch (the three at the bottom actually are hatching). The three raptors at the very top of the picture have swooped down in expectation of a feast and are being met with frantic but not necessarily fierce resistance. It is no doubt a noisy affair.
Reference: this image by Pitseolak was illustrated in Ernst Roch ed., Arts of the Eskimo: Prints (Signum/Oxford, 1974) p. 53.
First Arts: Inuit & First Nations Art Auction www.firstarts.ca