Date of Issue
September 13, 1979
Series Time Span
Perforation or Dimension
Based on a sculpture by Jean Mapsalak Based on a sculpture by Madeleine Isserkut Kringayark Designed by Reinhard Derreth
Jean Mapsalak and Madeleine Isserkut Kringayark, "Drum Dancers", 1963, 1962 Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Thirty years ago, most Inuit pursued what to southerners seemed an exotic life. Today, the northern peoples have adopted everything from T.V. to the alarm clock. Marriage formed the core of Inuit society, although it was a marriage unlike that of European tradition. Personal survival depended on it. Domestic tasks and hunting were so onerous that one person could not do them both, yet each was critically important. Furthermore, a person might legitimately have more than one spouse. For example, a man greatly benefited from having wives in widely separated areas. His family ties assured him a cordial welcome whenever he visited. Otherwise, the local inhabitants might have regarded him as a potentially dangerous stranger or an easy victim. Inuit women butchered animals, cooked and sewed. Society valued a good seamstress because well-made clothing allowed hunters to brave the bitterest weather. While women also cared for the children, both parents gave them much affection. The young lived unrestrained lives, free from the iron hand of discipline. Nevertheless, they behaved well. As they grew older, public opinion guided their behaviour. Public opinion influenced the Inuit even more than it does most North Americans. The Inuit Shelter/Community stamps were designed by Reinhard Derreth of Vancouver and feature works of art by Inuit artists. On the Community stamp, the two sculptures are from Repulse Bay: the small figure is by Madeleine Isserkut and the tall one by Jean Mapsalak. The sculptures are in the Twomey collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery. The accompanying print "The Dance" is by Kalvak of Holman Island.
Canada. Post Office Department. [Postage Stamp Press Release], 1979.
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