Abraham Etungat, Polar bear
Stone, 7 x 12 in. (17.8 x 30.5 cm)
Abraham Etungat was known primarily for his "birds of spring," tall, graceful birds with razor-thin wings carved in deep green serpentine. This polar bear is their diametrical opposite. It is carved from Andrew Gordon Bay marble, a hard, white quartz. Cape Dorset artists generally disliked it as a carving medium, because it was much more difficult to carve than serpentine. When serpentine was not available, however, many swallowed their dislike and carved the marble. Because of its density, the carvings -- like this bear -- tended to be bulky and rounded, with little detail.