Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Arctic Beluga Whales As Inuit Carvings

I was watching TV the other night and saw the commercial for Marineland which is a Canadian version of Seaworld in San Diego and Orlando. Marineland is in the Canadian side of Niagara Falls and has been there for many years. I remember first going there as a child. Like Seaworld, dolphins and killer whales have been their main stars. In recent years, the newest stars to arrive at Marineland has been beluga whales from the Canadian Arctic waters. These beluga whales are featured prominently in Marineland's latest commercials with even mentions in the lyrics of their theme song. It turns out that beluga whales are also one of the popular subjects that Inuit artists like to feature. Of course, the beluga whale up north is not portrayed like play friends like it is at Marineland. Beluga whales are part of the game and food source for Inuit hunters. As a southerner, it's a bit hard to grasp especially after seeing the Marineland commercials but then again, that's the reality of the Inuit Arctic life. The beluga whales are exquisitely depicted in Inuit carvings and other Inuit art such as prints and wall hangings. An example is the Inuit carving of mother and baby beluga whales below by Joanasie Jonah of Iqaluit, Nunavut. To see more details of this Inuit carving and other whales, see Inuit Whale Sculpture Carvings.

beluga whale inuit carving

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