Born in the Back River Area, Mary grew up knowing the traditional, migratory life on the land. Having visited the community of Baker Lake for trading purposes, Mary and her family settled there permanently around 1960, when her son started school.
Mary learned to sew from her mother, Jessie Oonark, who also encouraged her to make wallhangings. Mary recalls the stories that her grandmother used to tell her as a child for inspiration for her wallhangings. Although Mary is known for her wallhangings that skillfully depict traditional life and stories, she has also made carvings and drawings occasionally.
Mary is a member of a very artistically active family. Her mother, Jessie Oonark, is a renowned Baker Lake artist. She is the sister of Victoria Mamnguqsualuk, Janet Kigusiuq, Josiah Nuilaalik, William Noah, Nancy Pukingnaq and Miriam Marealik Qiyuk. Her husband, Norman Singaqti is also a carver.
Excerpt courtesy Inuit Art Section, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), 1997.
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