People of The Pocket

An Exhibition of Arts, Crafts & Culture from Arctic Bay

Was held at the Perth Museum on May 15th to August 15th, 2003

The Perth Museum presented :"People of the Pocket"
an exhibition of Arts, Crafts & Culture from Arctic Bay, Nunavut

See pictures and videos from opening ceremonies

The tiny hamlet of Arctic Bay, on North Baffin Island, is located 1,112 air km northwest of Nunavut's capital of Iqaluit (formerly known as Frobisher Bay). Arctic Bay is surrounded on three sides by mountains forming a secure enclosure or pocket, thus the name "People of the Pocket".

Exhibition Co-ordinator, Jacqueline Marshall, Economic Development Officer for the Hamlet of Arctic Bay, worked with Perth Museum Curator, Susan McNichol, to arrange and plan the exhibition.

The exhibition was the first ever for this tiny community and Perth was selected for its prestigious character and its proximity to Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and Kingston in addition to the summer resort areas of Merrickville, Westport and the Thousand Islands area of the St. Lawrence River.

The Mayor of Arctic Bay, Joanasie Akumalik, accompanied by his wife Mary, opened the exhibition at an official opening on Saturday, May 17th in the afternoon and there was cultural entertainment such as Drum Dancing and Throat Singing [katutjatut]. [To hear throat singing by Alacie Tullaugaq & Lucy Amarualik from Puvirnituk, Nunavik ...click here (you will need high speed access)]

Displays included clothing made from Caribou skins, necessary for survival on hunting trips in the Arctic winter. High quality carvings by local artists using white marble hand quarried near Arctic Bay were displayed along with carvings created from Caribou antler, whale bone and local soapstone.

There was jewellery by local artists, in ivory, antler and sterling silver, as well muskox horn a some of which are inlaid with local stone. High quality crafts such as hand-embroidered wall hangings, seal skin Oopiks, hand knit Arctic hats and mitts, hand embroidered duffle sox and duffle mitts, parkas for adults and children, traditional amuti and kamiks and colourful ties were just a few of the exhibits.

A children's corner was planned with a display of children's art from the students at Inuujaq School in Arctic Bay as well as primitive style tiny dolls, cultural games from the past and a "touch" display of various furs used in clothing for protection against the severe winter weather in the High Arctic. On display as well was a photographic collection of people and scenes from Arctic Bay and the far north.

Many of the items on display were available for purchase by the public.

Funding for this exhibition was provided by the Department of Sustainable Development, Government of Nunuvut.

For more information on Arctic Bay - explore:

  1. Vincent Chan's ArticCircle.ca

  2. The Qikiqtani Inuit Association Web Site

  3. Nunavut Handbook

  4. Explore Inuit Music at Inukshuk Records

  5. Inuit Artist Profiles

  6. Nunuvut