Although fashioned with a degree of naïveté, this early carving of a polar bear displays a remarkable sense of movement and energy. The animal's back is arched in a pose that is both lithe and alert. Although superficially reminiscent of some depictions of otters and ermine that we have seen from the period, this bear is powerful and not a little dangerous.
References: For a Mother and Child from 1963 by the artist, and admired by Swinton, see George Swinton, Eskimo Sculpture (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1965), p. 141. For a Woman Eating with an Ulu from 1959, see Walker's Auctions, Nov. 2014, Lot 65.