While there are many examples of translated poetry available to an English-speaking audience, it is rare to see an Inuktitut poem published alone with no translated text. The poems featured here have previously been translated, sometimes more than once, into English. As a result, we have decided to showcase each exclusively in modern Inuktitut, in part to bring them back full circle and to allow the carvings to act as guides for the reader.
The carvings in this Portfolio were painstakingly chosen because each communicates ideas and imagery that exceeds its physical form while evoking the emotions relayed within their accompanying poems. The flowing language of these poems demonstrates their strength as personal and communal art. They were written or spoken with the express purpose of sharing deep feelings.
The challenge in determining these pairings lay in finding physical manifestations of the primary themes these poems follow and the deep connection between their speakers and the land and water that sustain Inuit. Inuit carvings in particular are often depictions of action, whether they be animals, hunters or mothers amaaqing their round-faced babies. Inuit poetry, in contrast, often expresses ideas bigger and more abstract than what can easily be translated into a physical form. This collection of art reveals another layer of the brilliance of Inuit artistry, both as oral storytellers and as visual artists able to embody the most abstract ideas in elegant physical sculptures.
ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᑦ ᐱᓪᓚᕆᐅᑎᒋᔪᑦ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᓴᓇᖑᐊᒐᖏᑦᑎᑐᑦ, ᑖᓐᓇ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᒃᓴᖅ ᑕᑯᒃᓴᐅᓂᖃᖅᐳᖅ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐅᓂᒃᑲᐅᓯᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᐊᔾᔨᖃᖅᖢᑎᒃ ᓴᓇᖑᐊᓂᒃ, ᑖᒃᑯᐊ ᓂᕈᐊᖅᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᑐᑦ ᖃᓄᖅ ᑕᒪᒃᑯᐊ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᑦ ᐃᒃᐱᒋᑦᑎᐊᕆᐊᖃᕐᓂᑦᑎᓐᓂᒃ. ᑕᐃᒪᓕ ᐅᖃᐅᓰᑦ ᐊᔾᔨᒌᖏᑦᑐᑦ ᖃᓪᓗᓈᑎᑑᓕᖅᑎᑕᐅᖃᑦᑕᕐᒪᑕ, ᑭᓯᐊᓂᓕ ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᑦ ᑕᐃᒪᓐᓇ ᑎᑎᕋᖅᑕᐅᓯᒪᔪᑦ ᖃᓪᓗᓈᑎᑑᓕᖅᑎᑕᐅᕙᖏᑦᑐᑦ. ᑕᐃᒪᓕ ᑕᕝᕙᓂ ᑎᑎᕋᖅᓯᒪᔪᓂᒃ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᖅ ᖃᓪᓗᓈᑎᑑᓕᖅᑎᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᐳᑦ, ᐃᓛᓐᓂᒃᑯᑦ ᐊᑕᐅᓯᐊᖏᖢᑎᒃ, ᖃᓪᓗᓈᑎᑑᓕᖅᑎᑕᐅᓯᒪᔪᑦ. ᑕᐃᒪᓕ ᑕᑯᒃᓴᐅᑎᑦᑎᓇᓱᓕᖅᐳᒍᑦ ᑕᒪᐃᓐᓂᒃ ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑑᓕᖅᑎᑕᐅᓯᒪᔪᓂᒃ, ᐅᑎᖅᑎᑦᑎᓇᓱᒃᖢᑕ ᑕᒪᒃᑯᐊ ᑐᑭᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᓴᓇᖑᐊᖅᓯᒪᔪᓄᑦ ᑕᑯᔭᐅᖃᑦᑕᕐᓂᐊᕐᒪᑕ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᓂ ᐅᖃᓕᒫᖅᑐᓄᑦ. ᑕᒪᒃᑯᐊ ᓴᓇᖑᐊᖅᓯᒪᔪᑦ ᑕᕝᕙᓂ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᖑᔪᒥᑦ ᐊᒃᓱᕈᒻᒪᕆᒃᖢᑎᒃ ᓂᕈᐊᖅᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᑐᑦ ᐱᔾᔪᑎᒋᓪᓗᒍ ᐊᑐᓂ ᐅᖃᐅᓯᖃᕐᒪᑕ ᐃᓱᒪᒋᔭᐅᔪᓂᒃ ᐱᑕᖃᓕᓲᖑᓪᓗᑎᒃ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᑎᒍᑦ. ᑕᒪᒃᑯᐊ ᐅᖃᐅᓰᑦ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᑎᒍᑦ ᑕᑯᒃᓴᐅᓂᖃᖅᐳᑦ ᓴᖏᓂᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᓲᕐᓗ ᓴᓇᖑᐊᑎᑐᑦ. ᑎᑎᕋᖅᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᓯᒪᕗᑦ ᐅᕝᕙᓘᓐᓃᑦ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑕᐅᓪᓗᑎᒃ ᑕᑯᒃᓴᐅᑎᑦᑎᓇᓱᒃᓗᑎᒃ ᐃᒃᐱᒋᒻᒪᕆᒃᑕᖏᓐᓂᒃ. ᐊᒃᓱᕈᕈᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᑐᕐᓕ ᑕᒪᒃᑯᐊ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᑦ ᓴᓇᖑᐊᒐᐃᓪᓗ ᐃᓚᒌᓕᖅᑎᑕᐅᓇᓱᒃᖢᑎᒃ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᑕᑯᒃᓴᐅᓂᖃᒻᒪᕆᖕᒪᑕ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᒧᑦ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᓄᓇᒧᑦ ᐃᒪᕐᒧᓪᓗ ᐃᓄᒃᓄᑦ ᐊᑐᖅᑕᐅᒻᒪᕆᒃᑐᓂᒃ. ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᓴᓇᖑᐊᖅᐸᒃᑕᖏᑦ ᑕᑯᒃᓴᐅᓂᖃᓲᖑᕗᑦ ᐱᓕᕆᖑᐊᖅᖢᑎᒃ, ᓱᕐᓗ ᓂᕐᔪᑎᒍᐊᑦ, ᐊᖑᓇᓱᖑᐊᖅᑐᑦ ᐅᕝᕙᓘᓐᓃᑦ ᐊᕐᓇᐃᑦ ᐊᒫᖑᐊᖅᑐᑦ ᕿᑐᕐᖓᑯᓗᖕᒥᓂᒃ. ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᖏᑦ, ᑕᑯᒃᓴᐅᓂᖃᓲᖑᕗᑦ ᐊᖏᓂᖅᓴᐅᔪᓂᒃ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᑐᑭᓕᐅᕈᓐᓇᖏᖢᑎᒍᑦ ᖃᓄᖅ ᑐᑭᖃᓪᓚᕆᖕᒪᖔᑕ. ᑖᒃᑯᐊ ᑲᑎᖅᓱᖅᑕᐅᓯᒪᔪᑦ ᑕᑯᒃᓴᐅᓂᖃᕆᕗᑦ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᓴᓇᖑᐊᖅᑎᒻᒪᕆᐅᓂᖏᓐᓂᒃ, ᑕᒪᑮᖑᓪᓗᑎᒃ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᕈᓐᓇᕐᓂᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᓴᓇᖑᐊᑲᒻᒪᕆᐅᓂᖏᓐᓂᒃ.