Photo: Qaqaq Ashoona
Credit: John Paskievich


sculpture/carving, stone

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.

Ikirasak, South Baffin Island, Nunavut
18 September 1928

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.




Sculptor Qaqaq Ashoona was a hunter and trapper based out of Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU who was adept at marrying heavy and compact forms with lighter, movement-rich elements. Known for his representations of mythological and spiritual themes, as well as depictions of women, including scenes of mothers and children, Ashoona’s female protagonists are rendered in loving detail with unique faces and specific adornments from hairstyles to clothing. This is rendered clearly in Taleelayuk and Serpent (1962), as the artist depicts motion through flowing har and the winding body of a powerful serpent. Ashoona's work has been exhibited nationally and internationally regularly since 1953. In April 1973, his first solo exhibition, Sculpture by Kaka of Cape Dorset was held at the Gallery of the Arctic in Victoria, BC. His work is housed in numerous major collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Montreal Museum of Art and the Canadian Museum of History.View Long Biography and Citations


View All Publications and Details
Title Year Author
Listening to the Stone: Inuit Art from the Bieri Family Collection 2015 Veronica Passalacqua, Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie and Heather L Igloliorte
ASHOONA, Qaqaq or Kaka 2007 Oxford University Press
Qaqaq Ashoona, 1928-1996, Cape Dorset 2006 James Houston, Ann Meekitjuk Hanson and Maria Von Finckenstein


View All Exhibitions and Details
Name Year Gallery
Animal Power: Images in Contemporary Inuit Art Apr - June 2013 Marion Scott Gallery
Art Forms December 2012 Marion Scott Gallery
Arctic Expressions: 40 Years of Inuit Sculpture October 2012 Inuit Gallery of Vancouver


View All Achievements and Details
Achievement Year Organization
Cover of the Inuit Art Quarterly Summer 1996 Inuit Art Foundation


View Filmography and Details
Title Release Date Role
Monumental Inuit Sculpture 30 March 1996 Featured Artist
Form and Power 25 March 1995 Featured Artist

Public Collections

View All Public Collections
Collection Location
Amway Environmental Foundation Collection Ada, MI, United States
Art Gallery of Alberta Edmonton, AB, Canada
Art Gallery of Ontario Toronto, ON, Canada

Edit History

October 24, 2017 Created by: Ellen Leung Edited by: Maddy Tripp Updated by: Rebecca Gray