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Artists & Communities / Communities
Taloyoak sits at the head of Spence Bay, on the south coast of the Boothia Peninsula, and is the northern most community on the Canadian mainland.
The first inhabitants were Netsilik Inuit. In 1904, explorer Roald Amundsen charted much of the Boothia Peninsula on his journey through the Northwest Passage. The community’s name, in Inuktitut, refers to a large stone caribou blind, traditionally used by Inuit to corral and harvest caribou.
Taloyoak is home to many Inuit artisans. Carvers work with bone, stone and ivory to create traditional and spiritual Inuit images. The famous "Spence Bay Packing Dolls" have been produced in the community since the early 1970s.
Taloyoak first became famous for its whalebone sculptures, which were large and rather fantastic in conception. The community style was quickly dominated by the work of one man, Karoo Ashevak, whose combination of the surreal and the whimsical produced powerfully haunting, yet amusing masterpieces. Some aspects of his style have been copied by other artists, but the changeover to stone as the main carving material, along with the rise of new talents, have led to more varied creations coming out of the community.
Some of Taloyoak’s influential artists include: Joe Pudlat, Simon Uttaq and Gideon Quajuaq.