The Northern Country Arts Gallery is probably the finest in Iqaluit when it comes to the quality and detail of the carvings.
The gallery is well displayed and there is a lot of variety.
What to buy: A traditional Inuit stone carving.
In the picture you will also see an immaculate polar bear rug if you have the budget!
What to pay: Carvings depending on their size and your budget can range from $300 CDN to as high as $15,000 CDN.
What to buy:
An AJAGAAK is a string about 5-6 inches long attached to a bone from a bearded seal or any bone with one or more holes in it. At the other end of the string is a small bone tip about 2-3 inches long. The object of the game is to hold the one tip in one hand and swing the gone into the air trying to spear the hold in the bone with the bone tip.
Sometimes this game is played to a story. With two or more players each having their own ajagaak, the players continue to flip the bone until it is speared 5 times. This represents the first five days of the hunt. On the 6th spear a caribou is killed, he must now bury them. This means that he spears the bone 10 more times, each time represents a cashe. Once all the caribou are burried, they have to be dug up again 10 more times. When all the caribou are dug up, the first player to get his all dug up can then begin to steal the other hunters caribou who haven't got theirs yet.
The player that has the most caribou is the winner.
Sometimes people would sit in a circle and the ajagaak is passed from person to person each trying to spear the bone. When a player failed to spear teh bone, it was passed onto the next person. If the player was successful, however, he continued to do it until he missed. Whoever flipped the bone successfully to the count of all fingers and toes, was the winner.
What to pay: $25 DCDN
If you are planning to buy a traditional stone carving while you are in Iqaluit you will get the best price if you buy direct from the carver and you don't have to worry about finding the carvers, they will find you around the hotel.
What to buy: Some ideas include a stone walrus, seal, bear, birds, bears, or an Inuk.
What to pay: The prices varies based on your budget but you should always bargain.
What to buy:
An Amautiq, a woman’s parka with a large hood. It is distinguished from a man’s parka by the U-shaped skirt in the front.
You will see mothers all over Iqaluit wearing these traditional parkas with their baby's sitting contently in the hood.
They are very colorful usually and look great.
What to pay: These are expensive from what I could tell as high as $480.
The Nunavut Museum has a nice store and the most reasonable prices unless you buy direct from the artist.
What to buy: Another problem associated with winter travel was, and still is, a condition known as snow blindness. This occurs when the combination of direct sunlight and glare from snow is too intense for the human eye. It is a condition which may be very painful, may last for days, and which hinders travel.
The most ancient and widespread method for avoiding snow blindness was the use of snow goggles, a device known in northern Europe, northern Asia and northern North America. Snow goggles were made in many different styles. In general, they consisted of an opaque eye-covering made of a material such as wood, leather, bone or ivory. Narrow slits or small holes were cut into them to allow a limited range of vision. A string or thong was attached to each end and could be tied around the head to keep the goggles in place. Snow goggles reduced harmful light and actually improved visibility.
What to pay: $50 CDN was the cheapest I could find.