AGNES NANOGAK (1925-2001), W2-473, Holman
UNTITLED (THE DYING SHAMAN)
felt tip drawing
signed in Roman
18.75" x 23.75" — 47.6 x 60.3 cm.
This original drawing was not initially intended for sale. Rather, its purpose was intended to accompany the story of Nanogak’s 1986 publication More Tales from the Igloo. An account of the story, provided to the vendor via Nanogak and translated by Wallace Goose is as follows:
In the village there was a good man who always helped poor people, gave them food and helped his neighbours. When he became sick he went to a shaman to help him get well. The shaman made a medicine for him with mud and water but they were not mixed right and he was told by the shaman to swallow anyway. After he swallowed he took five drips of burning bear fat. The next day he got worse. He knew he was dying. And that the shaman was killing him because he was jealous of his good reputation. The man said that when he was dying he would become a polar bear. He told his wife if he died to put on his fancy parka. When he died she did as he asked put his bear parka in his grave. After five days she went to watch his grave and saw smoke come out and then a half polar bear/half man came out. He killed the shaman and kept killing other men so his brother-in-law threw a rock into his cave and said he shouldn’t kill anymore. It was a charmed rock and the bear/man never came back again. (Old people used to keep a crossed stick to keep the shaman away.)
Acquired directly from the artist by the vendor c. 1983 during his travels to Holman Island. Here, he was under the tour guidance of Wallace Goose, Nanogak’s husband.