Inuit Cape Dorset, 1886-1966
Kiakshuk was a versatile artist, well-known storyteller, and accomplished singer from Baffin Island, Nunavut Territory. His son,Lukta Qiatsuk, is a graphic artist and sculptor. Two of his daughters, Ishuhungitok Pootoogook and Paunichea (mother of Aqjangayuk Shaa), became graphic artists as well.
Kiakshuk began drawing and printmaking when he was in his seventies, taking his subject matter directly from his own knowledge of hunting and animals, family life, shamans, and spirit creatures. His 1960 print, “Summer Tent,” was released as a stamp in 1979. The noted artist Pitseolak Ashoona observed in her autobiography that “I used to see Kiakshuk putting the shamans and spirits into his work on paper.”
In 1958, the National Film Board of Canada documented Kiakshuk’s storytelling in a film entitled The Living Stone. Kiakshuk also recorded stories about modern Inuit life and his own experiences as an artist. Together with his artistic legacy, his contributions to Inuit oral history constitute an invaluable set of resources for future generations.