The Other World: Spirits, Demons, and Visions of Transformation

March 1217, 2022
Auction begins to close at 2:00 pm ET

Online Auction
LOT 24

Lot 24

LUKE AIRUT (1942-2008)

LUKE AIRUT (1942-2008)
Lot 24 Details
LUKE AIRUT (1942-2008), Iglulik (Igloolik)


polar bear jawbone, baleen, antler
signed in Roman, circa 2000
6.5 x 6.5` x 4.5 in — 16.5 x 16.5 x 11.4 cm

Estimate $600-$800

Realised: $3,006
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images
LUKE AIRUT (1942-2008)
  • LUKE AIRUT (1942-2008)
  • LUKE AIRUT (1942-2008)
  • LUKE AIRUT (1942-2008)
  • 3D Image

Walker's Auction, Ottawa, ON, May, 2014, lot 299;
Private Collection, Toronto, ON


Carved by Lukie Airut from the jawbone of a polar bear, a towering wide-eyed and bow-legged shaman stands on a plane of baleen, holding a qilaut (hoop drum) and drum beater; his legs are carved with figures in low relief, and frame a vignette of a dancing man with two dogs. Typical of the artist’s use of organic material, Lukie Airut often carves from bone sourced from his own hunting exploits, but has also from found materials, "I began collecting bowhead skulls from old sod houses," he explains in a 2006 interview for Inuit Art Quarterly. "I have probably carved over 100 skulls."[1]

This lot is accompanied by a May, 2014 Walker's Auction label.

Related Works:

Untitled, Shaman Drum Dancer–See:


1. Gunderson, Sonia, “Lukie Airut Igloolik's Carving” Inuit Art Quarterly, February 15, 2018. Accessed February 21, 2022.

Many countries prohibit or restrict importation or exportation of property containing ivory, whale bone, sealskin, and/or products derived from other endangered or protected species, and require special licenses or permits in order to import or export such property. It is the responsibility of the buyer to ensure that the item is properly and lawfully exported / imported. Please do not hesitate to contact one of our specialists for further details.


Overall very good condition.

Please contact the specialist for further condition information.

LOT 24

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.