AGNES NANOGAK (1925-2001), W2-473, Holman
UNTITLED (THE WHALE AND THE HUNTER’S WIFE)
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:
A man went hunting on the sea with his wife but it became dead calm and they were stranded. His wife braided her long hair and waved and soon a whale came and pushed them to shore. When the husband left, the whale turned into a man and came ashore and made love to the wife. The husband became suspicious of his wife not wanting to look good and making love to him. The husband pretended to go hunting but he hid and watched the whale come ashore, turn into a man and visit his wife. The husband made a big knife and told the wife he was going hunting, but instead he hid. The whale came again and his wife met him in her new skins. When the whale turned into a man the hunter went into the water and stabbed the whale/man. The whale man ran out of the water bleeding and turned back and into a whale and was killed on the beach. The hunter’s wife was happy to see all the food and they cut up the whale and buried what they could not eat on the beach. One day a kayak with a skin sail came and a man asked about his son. The husband and wife did not want to tell because they knew this was the whale/man’s father. The man said, “If you tell the truth it will be OK, but, if not, he would tilt his paddle and cause an earth quake. They didn’t tell and the kayakman tipped his paddle in the sea the earth almost turned over. He asked again and still they did not tell, so he tipped his paddle and the earth tipped over.
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.