Inuit Art Auction

November 22, 2016

LOT 158

Lot 158


Lot 158 Details
LUKE IKSIKTAARYUK (1909-1977), Baker Lake / Qamani’tuaq


antler, leather
comprised of 76 human heads, largest head measures 1.5" — 3.8 cm.
height 42" — 106.7 cm.

Estimate $3,000-$5,000

Realised: $9,000
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images
  • LUKE IKSIKTAARYUK (1909-1977)

The Isaacs / Innuit Gallery, Toronto, 1978,
The Collection of Dr. Francis Sparshott


Norman Zepp, Pure Vision: The Keewatin Spirit, 1986, page 50

Seidelman & Turner, The Inuit Imagination; Arctic Myth and Sculpture, 1994, page 211

Jean Blodgett, The Coming and Going of the Shaman Eskimo Shamanism and Art, 1978, page 155, 156


A traditional shaman’s belt was worn by the shaman (angakoq) in everyday life as well as during ceremonies. Its purpose was much like the amulets that people wore for protection and help from the spirit world. The difference was the types of objects that were suspended and the materials used, such as animal bones and teeth, ribbon or clothing scraps, sinew and carved images or objects. The belts were individualized to the shaman and his helper spirits. Iksiktaaryuk portrayed shamans wearing these belts (see lot 157 in this catalogue) and was clearly inspired by the belts in the fabrication of this exceptional work. Norman Zepp notes, “The amulet belt is an important feature of Iksiktaaryuk’s shamans” and that “the artist, and his community, believed in the angakoq.” In this case, the individual heads are as dramatic as one of his flying shamans, what is not obvious is what significance the number of heads holds or the number of heads in each grouping. Perhaps each grouping is a family within his community. As described in The Inuit Imagination, “Iksiktaaryuk’s carving style was unique; simple but expressive human figures, individually or in groups, carved from caribou antler, a material that is in itself a symbol of birth and regeneration.”


For condition information please contact the specialist.

LOT 158

About Condition Ratings

  • 5 Stars: Excellent - No discernable damage, flaws or imperfections
  • 4 Stars: Very Good - Minor flaws or imperfections visible only under close inspection using specialised instruments or black light
  • 3 Stars: Good - Minor flaws visible upon inspection under standard lighting
  • 2 Stars: Fair - Exhibits flaws or damage that may draw the eye under standard lighting
  • 1 Star: Poor - Flaws or damage immediately apparent under standard lighting (examples: missing components, rips, broken glass, damaged surfaces, etc.)

Note: Condition ratings and condition details are the subjective opinions of our specialists and should be used as a guide only. Waddington’s uses due care when preparing condition details, however, our staff are not professional restorers or conservators. Condition details and reports are not warranties and each lot is sold “as is” in accordance with the buyer’s terms and conditions of sale. In all cases the prospective purchaser is responsible for inspecting the property themselves prior to placing a bid.