Jolly Good: on our recent visit to Pangnirtung’s Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts and Crafts, renowned printmaker Jolly Atagoyuk gave us a quick tutorial in his craft. Filmed by Angela Gzowski. Music by Wesley Hardisty. Song title: “Gilbert’s Barn Dance” from the album 12:12.

(via zomganthro)


"Inuit Pikutingit" — "What Belongs to Inuit"

A film by Zacharius Kunuk and Bernadette Dean.

A group of Nunavut elders travel to five museums in North America to see and identify artifacts, tools and clothing collected from their Inuit ancestors.



Sir John Ross - Scientist of the Day

John Ross, an officer in the Royal Navy, was born June 24, 1777. He was chosen in 1818 by John Barrow of the Admiralty to command the first of the modern searches for the Northwest Passage (Barrow was our Scientist of the Day for June 19, 2014). Ross took his ship, HMS Isabella, up Baffin Bay, all the way to the entrance of the Arctic archipelago, which was called Lancaster Sound. He then declared that the Sound was blocked by a chain of mountains (which he named the Croker mountains), and he turned around and came home, much to the surprise of his junior officers, who could not see the mountains at all. Barrow was furious with Ross, and guaranteed that he would never get another command (which he did not). Barrow promptly sent Ross’s second-in-command, Edward Parry, back the next year, and Parry sailed right though the phantom Croker mountains and made it half-way across Canada. However, Ross’s book about his voyage of 1818 was a beautiful production and shows that he did far more than twiddle his thumbs up there in Baffin Bay, even if he did turn back prematurely. All the images on this page were taken from his book, A Voyage of Discovery (1819). We displayed this work in our 2008 exhibition, Ice: A Victorian Romance, where you can see some other images from this pioneering work.

Dr. William B. Ashworth, Jr., Consultant for the History of Science, Linda Hall Library and Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Missouri-Kansas City

(Source: lhldigital.lindahall.org, via smithsonianlibraries)


Summer (August): Eskimo Kayak In North Eastern Hudson Bay [from Portfolio “Camera Studies of the Far North” published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1922, photogravure plates by Revillon Frères, N.Y.], c.1922Flaherty, RobertPhotogravureOverall: 21 x 16.5 cmGift of Susan Osborne, 1992© 2014 Art Gallery of Ontario
  • Camera: Phase One H 10-11M


Summer (August): Eskimo Kayak In North Eastern Hudson Bay [from Portfolio “Camera Studies of the Far North” published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1922, photogravure plates by Revillon Frères, N.Y.], c.1922
Flaherty, Robert
Overall: 21 x 16.5 cm
Gift of Susan Osborne, 1992
© 2014 Art Gallery of Ontario

Tanya Tagaq takes on cyberbullies and stereotypes


Here is some context for the disparaging and downright violent way indigenous people get treated for standing up to their cultural practices and basic food sources.

(via oosik)


Happy birthday to Carl Akeley, born 150 years ago today.

Explorer and Museum taxidermist, Akeley is remembered for his pioneering method of taxidermy, combining field observations with sculptural techniques, and for his contributions to the iconic Museum hall that bears his name: The Akeley Hall of African Mammals.

Akeley is also remembered for his contributions to conservation. In the course of researching and collecting specimens to create the now-famous mountain gorilla diorama, he was among the first to accurately document mountain gorillas as intelligent and social animals that, even then, were under grave threat from overhunting. His research inspired him to dedicate the last few years of his life to the conservation and protection of the mountain gorilla.

Watch a video about Carl Akeley’s legacy. 

And don’t forget his amazing portable motion picture camera, designed for  filming animals in the wild. In 1924 Donald MacMillan camouflaged his to sneak up on seals and take the earliest surviving film of muskox in their natural habitat.

The walrus whiskers, or mystacial vibrissae, are one of their standout features, giving them a jaunty mustached appearance. The vibrissae are highly sensitive and aid the walrus in identifying food from other objects as they forage for clams in sediment on the sea floor. Walrus use the long lateral vibrasse on the side of their face to detect objects and the shorter, more sensitive central ones to identify the object. If it is identified as food (like the clam in this image which has been eaten by a walrus), the walrus excavates and devours it. This technique allows a walrus to find, identify, and consume around six bivalves a minute!

You never know what you will find…

You never know what you will find…

I recently read about an amazing discovery – two halves of a giant fossil turtle bone found 163 years apart, and reunited (you can read about it here). I have never had quite that experience, but recently a got small taste of what it must be like.

For as long as anyone can remember we have had in our collection a series of drawings of Inuit tools, at least some of them by Donald MacMillan,…

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Walrus harpoon-

Walrus are large and powerful animals, and so are normally only preyed on by orcas, polar bears, and humans. Bears prefer to hunt the smaller and weaker walrus cubs and favor surprise attacks rather than risking a head on confrontation with the walrus herd. Orcas sometimes try to take walrus in the water, but even they can be rebuffed. The Inuit have different methods for hunting walrus, but all of them require multiple hunters and specialized tools such as this harpoon.