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Davidee Mannumi

Davidee Mannumi—also known as Manumi “B”—was a carver who worked predominantly in Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU, where he was born in 1919. After briefly relocating to Iqaluit to work on the construction of the Distant Early Warning Line, he returned to Kinngait and began his career as a carver. 

Mannumi was highly regarded among the first generation of carvers working at the West Baffin Eskimo Collective. His work focused on the wildlife and culture of Baffin Island, creating interesting textures in his pieces by skillfully combining different polishing techniques. In Hooded Face (n.d.), Mannumi creates a portrait through the contrast of polished and rough stone. 

Famously, his carving entitled Mother and Child (n.d.), which depicts a woman with her child in the hood of her amauti in highly-polished serpentinite, was presented to Queen Elizabeth II during her 1951 royal tour of Canada. The carving was later reproduced on the 1968 Canadian six cent stamp.

Mannumi’s carvings have been featured in exhibitions across Canada, including the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Canada, and he portrayed the character Sowniapik in the Paramount Pictures film The White Dawn (1974), based on a script by James Houston.

Mannumi died in 1979. His sons, Tukiki Man, mie, Aqjangajuk Shaa and Qavavau Mannumi followed in their father’s stead, building prolific artistic careers for themselves across multiple mediums, including carving, drawing and print-making.

 


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