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The snowy owl (scandiacus) is a large diurnal white owl with a rounded head, yellow eyes and black bill. Inuit call the snowy owl ukpik or ukpikjuaq, “the great snowy owl”. This bird is typically found in the Northern circumpolar region, where it makes its summer home north of latitude 60 degrees north. These owls are highly diurnal, although they may hunt at night as well. Prey are captured on the ground, in the air, or snatched off the surface of water bodies. This species of owl nests on the ground, building a scrape on top of a mound or boulder. A site with good visibility such as the top of mound with ready access to hunting areas, and a lack of snow is chosen.

Snowy owl is part of Inuit oral stories with different myths including several versions according to areas. This bird is consequently very popular among Inuit artists with carvers such as Padlaya Qiatsuk, Lee and Joanasie Manning, Johnnysa and Adamie Mathewsie, Alasuaq Sharky, Pitseolak Qimirpik, Adam Alorut; and with graphic artists as well as like Kenojuak Ashevak, Kananginak Pootoogook, Ohutaq Mikkigak, Ningeokuluk Teevee, or Malaiya Pootoogook.
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Owl with flower by Pitseolak Qimirpik Adamie Qaumagiak, ​Cape Dorset, sculpture, Art inuit, Inuit art Adamie Qaumagiak, ​Cape Dorset, sculpture, Art inuit, Inuit art
Owl with flower by Pitseolak Qimirpik
Price: $800.00
Sale Price: $640.00
Save $160.00!
Artist: Pitseolak Qimirpik
Size: 7.5 x 8 x 6 in.
Cape Dorset, 2008
Artist : Adamie Qaumagiak
Dimensions : 5 x 4 x 2 in
Cape Dorset, 2013
Artist : Adamie Qaumagiak
Dimensions : 5 x 4 x 2 in
Cape Dorset, 2013
Owl fishing with chick by Floyd Kuptana Owl by Adamie Qaumagiak Owl by Adamie Qaumagiak
Artist: Floyd Kuptana
Size: 7 x 9 x 7 in.
Paulatuk, 2013
Artist: Adamie Qaumagiak
Size: 8 x 6 x 2.5 in.
Cape Dorset, 2013
Artist: Adamie Qaumagiak
Size: 5.5 x 4 x 1.5 in.
Cape Dorset, 2013
Winsome Owl by Malaiya Pootoogook Okpiarait (owl chicks) by Ningeokuluk Teevee Owl by Adamie Mathewsie
Etching & Aquatint
Printer: Studio PM
Paper: Arches White
91.5 x 66.5 cm

#6  available
#40 available
Stonecut & Stencil
Printer: Tutuiza Jaw
Paper: Kizuki Kozo Purple
35 x 43.7 cm

#6 reserved
#40 reserved
Artist: Adamie Mathewsie Size: 8 x 6.5 x 3 in. Cape Dorset, 2013
Owl by Johnnysa Mathewsie Protective Owl by Joanasie Manning Gliding Owl by Ningeokuluk Teevee
Artist: Johnnysa Mathewsie
Size: 8 x 6 x 2 in.
Cape Dorset, 2013

SOLD Gliding Owl
Stonecut & Stencil
Printer: Cee Pootoogook
Paper: Seichofen Kozo
50.2 x 64
Playful Owl by Ohotaq Mikkigak Owls by Ottokie Samayualie Conference Of Owls by Kananginak Pootoogook
Playful Owl
Etching & Aquatint
Printer: Studio PM
Paper: Arches White
74.5 x 73
Artist: Ottokie Samayualie
Size: 3 x 3 x 2.5  in.
Cape Dorset, 2012
Conference Of Owls, Kananginak Pootoogook
Stonecut & Stencil,1982, Edition 50, 63 x 86 cm

This artwork shows the daily life of snow owls (ukpik or ukpijjuaq in Inuktitut). This is a common topic through Kananginaaq’s drawings as well as many artists within Inuit artmaking. Even snow owls are often major actors within oral myths like crows (tulugaq or tulugarjuaq) as the only two sedentary birds in the Arctic, Kananginaaq used to depict snow owls in their natural environment rather than representing traditional stories. The first Kinngait Print collection in 1959 included the first print Kananginaaq made, which was produced in collaboration with his father Putuguq, and his work has been included almost every year since then. Through the years, Kananginaaq added more and more details into his drawings, also keeping snow owls as one of his favorite subject (Vladykov Fisher 2008).
The Owl and the Lemming: an Inuit myth

One day a Lemming woman was playing about not far from her burrow, when an Owl man saw her and placed himself right in front of the entrance to her hole. The Owl stood with one foot on each side of the doorway, and shouted to his people, "Bring two sledges! I have some game that will require two sledges when I have killed it. It cannot go into its house, because I have shut the door." Then the Owl sat down in front of the doorway. The Lemming was jumping about in front of her den, endeavoring to get in. Then she said to the Owl, "Look up to the sky above you. Spread your legs a little. Spread them out a little more. Bend your head back." The Owl did as he was told; thinking all the time of the great feast he was going to have after he had killed the Lemming. Very soon he stood with his feet one on each side of the doorway, his legs bowed out, and his head turned back, looking up to the sky. He did so in order to please the Lemming for the few moments she had left to live. The Lemming continued to jump about at a safe distance; but now, when she saw that the Owl's legs were far apart, and his head bent back, she made a rush for her hole, and went in between the Owl's spread legs. Then the Owl shouted to those who were coming along with their sledges to turn back home, as his game had escaped. (Boas 1901: 2191)

1 Boas, 1901, “The Eskimo of Baffin Land and Hudson Bay: From Notes Collected by Capt. George Comer, Capt. James S. Mutch, and Rev. E. J. Peck”, Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 15: 4-370.)