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Davidialuk Alasua Amittu

Legend of the Giant

Artist

Davidialuk Alasua Amittu
Nunagiirniraq camp, near Puvirnituq, Nunavik, 1910 – Puvirnituq 1976Active in Puvirnituq

Title

Legend of the Giant

Date

1963

Materials

Stonecut, artist’s proof 2/10

Dimensions

62.2 x 76.2 cm

Publisher

Printer: Isarah Novalinga (1923-?)

Credits

Anonymous gift, inv. Gr.1975.6

Collection

Graphic Arts

Unlike his cousin and artist colleague Joe Talirunnilik (1893?-1976), who had committed himself to telling his personal stories through art, Davidialuk felt it was his mission in life to keep traditional Nunavik myths and legends alive through his sculptures, drawings and prints, writings and interviews. Beginning already in the early 1950s, Davidialuk was perhaps the first Inuit artist to explore mythical subject matter in his art, something he continued to do throughout his career and with particular intensity towards the end of his life. He is widely considered to be the greatest storyteller-artist in Inuit art.


This print depicts an important scene in the story of the hunter who is captured by a giant. The hunter, realizing that he cannot possibly escape the giant by running away, pretends to be dead, frozen stiff. However, while the giant is carrying him back to his house, the hunter surreptitiously and repeatedly grabs onto willow branches in order to exhaust his captor. And indeed, when they arrive at the giant’s home, the giant takes a rest and soon falls asleep. The hunter, seeing his chance of escape, grabs the giant’s axe and kills him. Here, we see the hunter grabbing onto willow branches as he is strapped to the giant’s back.

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