Sarollie Weetaluktuk [1906 - 1965]
Sarollie Weetaluktuk, leader of Kangirqsukallaq camp, located near Inukjuak, began carving after the arrival of James Houston. He and his two younger brothers, Simeonie and Eli - both prolific carvers - owned a Peterhead boat, which they used for hunting. In a 2004 interview with Darlene Wight, curator of Inuit Art at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Sarollie's sister-in-law Lucy described the three brothers' seasonal hunting trips: "In the spring they would all go down to the sea to go seal hunting. They would go by dogteam and stay there, and the dogs would go home by themselves. In the late spring and early summer, they would hunt beluga whales. In the summer, they would go fishing. In the winter, it was caribou. The three brothers were always out hunting because they had the right transportation. They were never hungry" (p. 63). Owning a boat meant that Sarollie was able to work with carving materials unavailable to other carvers. "The ability to hunt walruses meant that ivory was available for carving, and many of the early pieces by the two older brothers are made wholly or in part of ivory. This is unlike the other camps," Wight wrote in Early Masters (ibid.). Sarollie, whose work is included in several private and public collections throughout Canada, died in 1965.
In an interview with curator Darlene Wight, Sarollie's sister-in-law, Lucy, recalled that her brothers worked by using hatchets to break the stone into smaller pieces, files to create details, and sand to make the stone smooth. They didn't use sandpaper and shoe polish until it became more readily available (2006:66). She also recalled her brother-in-law "melting phonograph records to create black inlay for their ivory carvings" (ibid.).
2006 Early Masters. Winnipeg: Winnipeg Art Gallery:63-64.
"Mother and Child" by Syollie Weetaluktuk
Inukjuak, Quebec, Canada