Abraham Etungat


Abraham Etungat was born in Amadjuak, NU in 1911 and spent his earlier years on the land before moving to Kinngait (Cape Dorset) in the 1950s. Due to his deteriorating health he had to stop hunting and he began to focus on carving. Etungat’s sculptures are imaginative and detailed, often including groups of animals and people. He is best known for his representations of birds with raised wings [1] such as Welcoming the Bird of Spring (1986), a carving that depicts such a bird standing beside a human figure. Both man and bird stand on a piece of stone that demarcates the land and indicates that both figures are on the same plane. The bird faces outward, and the human, who is represented at the same height, faces the bird, with a gloved hand raised towards the wing. This instance of connection depicts the reciprocal relationship between the two, not only in composition but also through traditions. The bird's feathers are etched into the stone and its round body is glossed to a high polish, similar to treatment of the human figure, showing the deft hand of Etungat, who carved the figures from a single piece of stone. 

Etungat’s experience and knowledge as a carver were later shared with both his daughter, Iqaluk Qatsiya, and his grandson Tutiya Qatsiya [2]. Between 1980 and 1981, Bird of Spring was reproduced and cast in seven-foot bronze statues, with one being constructed of fibreglass [3]. The sculptures became public art displays in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Halifax. Etungat’s work has been included in numerous exhibitions throughout North America and has been collected throughout Canada and internationally. In 2005 Etungat was made a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts [4].

Artist Work

About Abraham Etungat



Artistic Community:

Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU



Date of Birth:

Artists may have multiple birth years listed as a result of when and where they were born. For example, an artist born in the early twentieth century in a camp outside of a community centre may not know/have known their exact date of birth and identified different years.


Date of Death:

Artists may have multiple dates of death listed as a result of when and where they passed away. Similar to date of birth, an artist may have passed away outside of a community centre or in another community resulting in different dates being recorded.


Igloo Tag Certified

The Igloo Tag Trademark is an internationally recognized symbol that denotes handmade, original artwork made by Inuit artists in Canada. Established in 1958, the Trademark is now managed by the Inuit Art Foundation. The appearance of the Igloo Tag on an artist profile means they have had the Trademark applied to their artwork.

Edit History

October 30, 2017 Updated By: Lera Kotsyuba
September 12, 2017 Created by: Inuit Art Foundation