Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Mother Pulled by the Whale

by

  • Medium: steatite, sinew
  • Size: 5 × 8 × 2.5 inches
  • Reference Code: R60115

Lumaaq Legend:

This sculpture portrays the “Lumaaq legend” — the story is of a mother who persecuted her blind son. Despite killing a hungry polar bear with his bow and arrow to protect his mother and sister, she continued to abuse him. She told him he had killed their dog, then abandoned him in an old snow-house as she did not want to share any food with him. His sister loved him and kept him alive by stealing meat to feed him. The blind boy wanting to regain his sight meets a loon. The loon leads him to water, tells him to dive deep into the lake and when he is about to suffocate then the loon would bring him to the surface. The boy trusts the loon and dives into the cold water. When the loon brought him to the surface, the boy’s eyesight was restored and he continued to provide food for his sister and mother again.

The boy was out hunting when he saw beluga whales. The boy plans his revenge by asking his mother to help him hunt the whales by tying the rope around her waist and bracing the rope to pull in the whale together. He harpooned the whale but as they pulled the rope together, he let go and she was pulled below the water and towed out to sea crying “lumaa, lumaa, lumaa.”