Carved “Polar Bear” Sculpture by Inuit Artist 'Haodlon' (20th Century)

Carved “Polar Bear” Sculpture by Inuit Artist 'Haodlon' (20th Century)

Code: 11175


H: 5.8cm (2.3")W: 3.7cm (1.5")L: 12.5cm (4.9")


"Polar Bear" (1973) by 'Haodlon' (Inuit 20th Century)
Signed and dated '73
Carved green serpentine hardstone
Coppermine River, Nunavut/North West Territories

12.5 cm long x 5.8 cm high x 3.7 cm wide

Acquired in Canada in the 1970's
Private Collection Oxfordshire, U.K.

A delightful hardstone carving of a polar bear, fashioned from dark green serpentine by the Inuit artist 'Haodlon', Coppermine River, Nunavut/North West Territories, in the Canadian Arctic region.

Prior to the first half of the 20th century, Inuit did not use surnames. Traditional Inuit names reflected things of importance (family, spirits, animals, the environment) and were neither gender-specific nor recognized shared family names. The name of the artist here 'Haodlon'[1] is the Inuinnaqtun[2] word for a "marrow scoop" (the tool used to dig the marrow out from the leg bones of caribou (a great delicacy)). The appellation suggests  a child so-named that they might get the best things out of life. There is an uninhabited island of the same name within the Coronation Gulf, in the Kitikmeot Region of Nunavut, Canada.

Little is known about the artist, but for two fish charms, carved from green serpentine, signed 'Haodlon' and dated 1968 are held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (see 69.269.46 and 69.269.47 (both Gift of James A. Houston, 1969)).

[1] Also spelled 'Haulluun', 'Haullut' or 'Haodloni'.
[2] An Inuktitut dialect spoken in western Nunavut.