THEN AND NOW
Size: 8 1/2'' x 12''
Paper: 15'' x 11 1/4''
Here, Germaine has produced an interesting variation of a well known artifact in this case a Thule ivory bow drill originally found near Arctic Bay, Baffin Island.
Information about early Inuit was gleaned from implements and artifacts, as well as oral history, and this is an excellent example.
The handle of the bow drill is incised with scenes showing life in the summer, with tents, men with bows and arrows and kayakers hunting caribou. Photographs of this important artifact have been published in various books typically showing the three scenes. Using some artistic licence, Germaine has inserted a fourth image. Following the simplistic manner in which the etchings are executed on the ivory, she has created a simple scene of todayís life in the Arctic with the snowmobile, airplane, boat and a woman with a modern dress under her traditional amauti - that wonderful symbol of motherís pride - which has not been replaced, so useful is it for carrying a baby in the Arctic. It is apt that Germaine has titled her print ì Then and Nowî.
The bow drill is an ingenious device for making holes or for starting fire. This artifact consists of three separate pieces. Firstly, the bow drill handle which was made from a spliced piece of the natural curved shape of a walrus tusk, or part of a caribou antler, with sealskin cord attached to it on either end. Secondly, the drill shaft and then a mouthpiece. The cord is looped around the shaft. The mouthpiece is balanced in to the top of the shaft, the other pointed end of the shaft is placed into the item requiring the hole. The shaft is moved back and fore in fast movements with the hands while being held at the 90 angle by the mouthpiece and the cord.