FOR ARTS & CRAFTS
Kawtysie Kakee has been with the Pangnirtung Tapestry Studio since 1975 and currently serves as Head Weaver. She is one of the most accomplished weavers and plays a large role in tapestry design at the Studio. In 1993 she designed the very successful tapestry ‘Qaqqait (Mountains)’ based on her own pastel drawing. Currently in the 2008 collection is her second original tapestry, ‘Pangnirtung Pass in the Spring’ along with and interpretation of an original drawing by Andrew Qappik, ‘Three Ptarmigan’. In 2004 she selected one of Elisapee Ishulutaq’s drawings and interpreted it into “Winter Games” recently purchased by the Indian and Inuit Art Centre of Indian and Northern Affairs. Kakee has worked on all four of the large commissions created by the Pangnirtung Tapestry Studio and was a lead weaver in their most recent piece, ‘Back Then’ a 10’ x 22’ mural tapestry created for the Legislative Assembly in 2002. Born in Tupajuaq outpost camp in 1955, Kawtysee lost her hearing as an infant. Through attending school in Pangnirtung she learned to read and write in English. In addition to a community ‘signing’ language developed for her, she and her two children have recently learned American Sign Language which has helped open up her world.
Geela Keenainak was born near Qipisaa camp on Cumberland Sound in 1943. She grew up living in traditional camps until her family moved into the Hamlet of Pangnirtung in 1965. Geela joined the Weave Shop in 1981 and has become one of the most experienced tapestry weavers often choosing the difficult pieces. Many successful tapestry designs are attributed to her such ‘Drum Dancer’ from a watercolour by Joel Maniapik and ‘Aisiut (Boat)’ from a drawing by Thomasie Alikatuktuk, both in the 2008 collection. Others include ‘Shulagak’ 1990, drawing by Annie Kilabuk, ‘Coming Up for Air’ 1998, watercolour by Joel Maniapik, ‘Nanook and Raven’ 1999, also by Maniapik, ‘Feeding Bunting Bird’s 2001, drawing by Thomasie Alikatuktuk and ‘Ball Game’ 2004, drawing by Elisapee Ishulutak. Geela has worked on the large mural tapestries and enjoys the camaraderie of projects such as the large tapestry ‘Back Then’ woven for the Legislative Assembly in 2002. Geela is also known as a skillful sewer. Her parkas and sealskin kamiks are always in demand.
Igah Etoangat was born in Illungayuq camp on Cumberland Sound in 1943. Hers was one of the first families to move into the settlement of Pangnirtung when she was fifteen years old. One of the longest term weavers, Igah at the former Weave Shop in 1975, remaining until the present as a dedicated tapestry artist. Many significant tapestries have resulted from her gifted interpretation from the original drawing to the finished tapestry. Most recently these include ‘Fishing with Kakivak’ 2008 from the original drawing by Andrew Qappik, ‘Up the Falls’ in 2004 from the drawing by Elisapee Ishulutak, ‘Fear of the Killerwhal’e 1999 by Andrew Qappik and ‘At the Lake’ in 1998 by Elisapee Ishulutak. When asked, Igah will tell you thirty-three years as a weaver doesn’t seem that long to her because she enjoys working with the other women.
Anna has worked with her hands in arts and crafts as long as she can remember. Born in 1947 in Qimmisuuq camp on Cumberland Sound, she moved into Pangnirtung with her family at age nineteen. Anna designs and constructs parkas of all kind and enjoys teaching others, especially young people. Her seal skin jackets were included in the cultural showcase of the 2007 Winter Olympics in Whitehorse. Anna joined the Tapestry Studio in 1985 and has many tapestry interpretations credited to her name including ‘Marking the Trail’ from a watercolor by Joel Maniapik, ‘Mittiralik’ from a sketch by Sowdloo Nakashuk, the 2004 “A Test of Strength” based on a drawing by Elisapee Ishulutaq and recently purchased by the Indian and Inuit Art Centre of Indian and Northern Affairs. In speaking of her enjoyment of tapestry weaving Anna says that she enjoys the cultural information aspect of the tapestries. Sometimes she learns more about the construction of garments through the imagery in the pieces. Weaving is for Anna an activity which eases her mind and makes her happy.