Press Release: “In Mother’s Hood: Inuit Packing Dolls of Taloyoak”
‘In Mother’s Hood: Inuit Packing Dolls of Taloyoak’ highlights the U of A’s collection of Inuit dolls created by the women of Taloyoak, a tiny hamlet in Nunavut Territory. The exhibit pays tribute to a longstanding tradition of self-sufficiency; in 1974, the women formed a craft cooperative and began using their sewing skills to make distinct collector dolls, to earn money for their families. The tradition continues today.
Made of hardy wool duffle, a heavy material that was used in trade blankets, the dozen dolls on exhibit at the U of A celebrates the women not only as gifted seamstresses, but as mothers, entrepreneurs and keepers of legend.
The keepsake dolls depict mostly animal personifications of mother and child, and feature the distinct northern tradition of carrying or ‘packing’ the child snugly in a baby pouch under the mother’s parka hood. Some of the soft sculptures depict mythic Arctic figures such as Sedna, goddess of marine animals.
In Mother’s Hood is one of several projects developed to celebrate the Canadian Circumpolar Institute’s 50th anniversary at the U of A. This exhibition was co-curated by Dr. Anne Bissonnette, Curator of the Clothing and Textiles Collection in the department of Human Ecology, and Christina Williamson, the first recipient of the Friends of the University of Alberta Museums 25th Anniversary Internship in Museum Innovation.
In Mother’s Hood runs from Sept. 9, 2010 to Aug. 3, 2011 in the lobby of the Human Ecology Building on campus. The exhibit is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and from noon to 4 p.m. on weekends.
The Clothing and Textiles Collection is part of a larger consortium of the University of Alberta Museums, a network of 35 interdisciplinary museums and collections across campus.
Anne Bissonnette, Curator, Clothing and Textiles Collection
Department of Human Ecology
University of Alberta