Qumangapik Muckpa

Qumangapik Muckpa
Credit: Jemma Tatatoapik


Qumangapik Muckpa was a carver from Ikpiarjuk (Arctic Bay), NU. Muckpa and her family lived on the land until 1966, when they settled in town due to their school-aged children and the close presence of the church [1]. Muckpa worked in bone and ivory, but preferred to carve soapstone when it was available [2].

Muckpa’s mother, Elisapee Kanangnaq, was a carver, and as a child she would watch her mother create miniscule figures. When she learned to carve on her own years later, however, Muckpa’s practice was born out of a dislike of being idle; carving was one of many skills, like sewing, she practised when there was no other work to be done [3].

Among the many subjects to choose from, Muckpa’s favourites to carve were narwhals and scenes of male figures hunting [4]. Ironically, many of her most famous works are of women, such as the kneeling woman featured in George Swinton’s famous Sculpture of the Inuit (1972), which was one of Muckpa’s very first carvings. Standing Mother and Two Children (n.d.) is another of her female portraits, depicting three figures in a row on a pedestal. The mother’s amauti is picked out in fine, precise lines, as is the amauti on the elder child, marking her as female.

During her lifetime, Muckpa worked on her community’s Recreation and Health Commitees [5]. Her works were featured in Ikpiarjuk: The Sculpture of Arctic Bay (1987) at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and are included in the Twomey Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Hudson Bay Permanent Collection of the Manitoba Museum.

Artist Work

About Qumangapik Muckpa



Artistic Community:

Ikpiarjuk (Arctic Bay), 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.

19 July 1939

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.