Qiatsuk Shaa

Qiatsuk was born in the hospital in Iqaluit. Although he lived in an out post camp for three years when he was a child, Qiatsuk lived most of his life in Cape Dorset. He started carving at the age of eleven, and sold his first carving in the same year. “I enjoy carving very much. Even though it’s tiring I carve everyday.” A father of two small children, Qiatsuk supported his family with the money he made from carving.

Qiatsuk learned to carve by watching his father Axangaya Shaa. “My father taught me to carve. I think my carvings are better now than when I first started.” When asked what was his favorite subject matter to carve he answered, “right now I like to carve polar bears because I know people like to buy them. My carvings are usually small or medium size. I’ve never carved a large piece. I would like to try something that was six feet tall.” When asked what kind of tools he used to carve, Qiatsuk responded “I use files and a grinder. When the grinder breaks I use an axe.” Although Qiatsuk liked to go out on the land as often as possible, he also liked life in the community. “I like scenery and the wildlife out on the land, but I also like it here [in Cape Dorset].” Qiatsuk traveled south twice when he was in the army cadets. “The sound was fun and kind of bizarre. There were a lot of people.”


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