Samuellie, Eliyakota

Eliyahkota Samualie

Cape Dorset



“A Canadian Inuit graphic artist and sculptor, Eliyakota Samualie was born in a coastal camp near Cape Dorset, Northwest Territories. Since her father died when she was very young, Eliyakota was raised for many years by her maternal grandparents. She moved into Cape Dorset in the early 1960s to live with her mother. Though Eliyakota never married, she raised one adopted child until her death in 1987.

Eliyakota began drawing in the early 1960s while still living on the land. Her drawings were first translated into prints for the 1970 annual Cape Dorset collection. Eliyakota’s imagery consisted mainly of bird forms, occasionally combined with human, spirit, or flesh elements. Her drawings and the resulting print images are notable for their precision, stylization, and symmetry. Line and composition are tightly controlled; Eliyakota’s birds are not merely depicted, they are displayed. This rather decorative style occasionally resembles that of the renowned Cape Doset artist, Kenojuak Ashevak.”

Ingo Hessel in “North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century: A Biographical Dictionary” 1995

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