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Artists & Communities / Communities
Gjoa Haven is the only settlement on King William Island, located in the Kitikmeot Region of Nunavut. It was named in 1903 by polar explorer, Roald Amendsen, who spent two winters in the community during the very first successful traverse of the Northwest Passage, in his ship named Gjøa. The area is also the last known location of the lost Franklin Expedition in 1845.
The people of this area are known as Netsilik Inuit, and are known for their seal-hunting prowess. The major activities in today’s community are hunting, fishing and the creation of arts and crafts.
Each region of Nunavut has a distinct style of sculptures. Gjoa Haven carvers are known for the spiritual nature of their work. Gaping mouths, flaring nostrils and wandering eyes are part of the Gjoa Haven visual vocabulary. While facial features in these sculptures often seem full of angst, the figures are often going about usual everyday activities.
Gjoa Haven is home to many carvers, some world-renowned, such as: Joseph Suqslak, Louis Makkituq and Nick Sikkuark.