Mialia Jaw

Mialia Jaw
Photo: NFB


Mialia Jaw is celebrated for her work in carving and graphic art. As a carver, she worked in stone to depict animal and human figures. Focusing her artistic energy on printmaking in later life, Jaw created colourful works depicting her personal experiences, and Inuit folklore [1]. Born in 1934 at Qimmirtuq camp near Kimmirut, Jaw spent her childhood on the land [2]. Known for being a storyteller [3], Jaw transformed her traditional knowledge into tangible artwork. Mialia was married to Joe Jaw, a respected Inuit carver; three of their children are also artists. Jaw remained active throughout her life, maintaining a strong connection to the land and camping in the traditional manner down the coast, near Kinngait [4].

Jaw used many techniques to create her images. She experimented with lithography, etching, stone cuts, stencils and aquatint. Jaw’s artistic career was relatively short as she did not begin printmaking at the WBEC studios until 1996. During that decade, she made approximately ten pieces, with much of her process and success left undocumented and unknown.

Her most well known works Stung (2005) and Owl and Hare (2004), show imagery of northern wildlife and use vibrant earth tones. Jaw’s familiarity with the land around Kinngait inspired her work [5]. She printed images that showed the natural world she observed and depicted the cycle of life. In Titalittaq Returns, Jaw illustrates the Inuit legend of a man who was trapped on a desolate island. In the image, Titalittaq had made his way home by creating a makeshift raft of driftwood fastened with walrus bladders while community members rejoice upon his arrival [6]. This image is one of her most accomplished and well-known pieces.

Jaw’s work was exhibited at Spirit Wrestler Gallery, Vancouver and was included in the Cape Dorset Annual Print Collection from 2004 to 2006, alongside contemporary artists Annie Pootogook, and Kakulu Saggiaktok. Her work is held in the collection of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre in Kingston. Mialia Jaw passed away in 2006.

Artist Work

About Mialia Jaw


Graphic Arts, Sculpture

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.

06 August 1934

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.


Edit History

April 10, 2018 Updated by: Inuit Art Foundation
April 28, 2017 Created by: Brooke Marrisett