THE ART OF
Ringed seals are hunted year-round by Inuinnait. During colder months, we hunt seals through the sea ice. Winter sealing requires a hunter to locate the small holes that seals use to breathe through the ice, and then wait patiently and silently for hours—sometimes days—for a seal to rise to the surface for air. The hunter then plunges a harpoon into the hole to pierce the animal and haul it to the surface. A drink of fresh water is often given to a killed seal to express gratitude and symbolically quench its “salt-water thirst”.
While we no longer rely on seal fat as fuel for light and heat, seals continue to play an important role in our lives. The modern politics surrounding the use and export of sealskins has made us even more determined to showcase the significance and usefulness of these animals in our artwork and sewing.