Strange Beasts: Surrealist Sculptures by Eli Sallualu Qinuajua

After complaints by carvers in Puvirnituq (Povungnituk) that their creativity was being hemmed in by the rather restrictive and tame tastes of their southern audience, the anthropologist Dr. Nelson Graburn who was at the time on a research trip in the community, completing a study not simply about Inuit art but rather concerned with how the Inuit artists themselves perceived the practice organized a competition that encouraged artists to create works that were takushurnaituk or “not seen before.”


In fall of 1967, leaflets of Dr. Graburn’s handwritten call for submissions were distributed to more than 100 carvers [See Fig. 1].  


Dr. Nelson Graburn’s call for submissions, 1 November 1967, 
reproduced in Diana Trafford, “Takushurnaituk: Povungnituk Art,” North/Nord magazine, March-April 1968, p. 55.