By Inuit artist Robert Hallauk. Stone.
Measures 8" long by 4.5" high and 1.5" deep.
Robert is from Arviat, an Inuit village located on the western shore of Hudson Bay in the Kivalliq Region of Nunavut, Canada.
Sedna is the goddess (or mother/mistress) of the sea and marine animals in Inuit mythology. There are several versions of the legend. In one version, Sedna refuses to marry any of the men her father presents to her, as potential husbands. Instead, she chooses to marry a dog. Her father is furious with her decision, so he pushes her off his boat into the sea. When Sedna tries to climb back in, he cuts off all her fingers, which transform into seals, whales, and other marine mammals. Sedna then becomes the goddess of the sea. Whenever Sedna is in a bad mood, she withholds the seals and whales and then the hunters have no meat. When this happens, a shaman must travel to Sedna under the sea, and gently wash and comb her hair until she calms down and releases the animals to the hunters.
Note: Sometimes Sedna is depicted as having both male and female qualities, as in this carving by Robert, in which one side has a bearded male face and the other side has a smooth, female face.