Located in the heart of Hudson Bay, in the Belcher Islands, Sanikiluaq is the southernmost community in Nunavut, approximately 150 kilometres off the west coast of Quebec.
The islands are distinctly Arctic where no trees grow, and rocky cliffs towering from 50 to 155 metres above the sea. Many of these cliffs are nesting grounds for eider ducks, whose feathers (eiderdown) are collected from nests and made into beautiful duvets and outerwear.
The Inuit have inhabited the Belcher Islands for centuries, though it only came to the attention of outsiders after Henry Hudson spotted them in 1610.
The dark Argillite stone found on the Belcher Islands is unmistakable: varying in colour from black to dark grey and containing naturally beautiful streaks and lines. It is distinctive to carvings created in Sanikiluaq.
The most common art subjects are mythological, animal or genre scenes, with a folk art flavour. Beautiful lyme grass baskets are handcrafted by the women of the region, a tradition that had been lost for over 20 years but is now regaining popularity.
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