Does the flourish of artistic creation of the late 20th century in the Canadian arctic represent the last gasp of a dying culture, or the affirmation of a people adapting to the realities of a new world? The ever growing arms of the global economy reach to embrace the peoples of the distant corners of the earth heedless of the dangers of acculturation. In some ways the Inuit carvings represent a swan song, expressing what they no longer are, and in others we can see the emergence of a new cultural identity. The graceful whalebone carving by Sakey Eruike (1933-1989), Man with Spear, depicts the hunter, who was the foundation of the Inuit family and community. Traditionally, the hunter had a spiritual and mystical relationship with
the animal and spirit world.