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David F. Pelly Writer, Researcher, Historian, Photographer

Qikaaluktut: Images of Inuit Life
Illustrated by Ruth Annaqtuusi Tulurialik
Published in 1986
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One day in the spring of 1983, after returning home to Baker Lake from a hunting trip with his friend Hugh Tulurialik, David was enjoying some hot caribou stew when, out of the blue, Hugh's wife Ruth said to him: "You're a writer, can you help me make a book."  This remarkable volume is the result.

Ruth's drawings of Inuit life out on the land, and during the first days of contact with the early missionaries and policemen, all reproduced here in vivid colour are, she said, "like qikaaluktut, the sounds of people passing by, perhaps outside your iglu, heard but not seen."

In every case, Ruth's drawing came first.  Then she, and David, and most often other elders in Baker Lake, sat around the table with the drawing, drinking tea and talking.  David listened, took notes, and then wrote a short story to accompany the drawing on the basis of what he heard.  Together, drawings and stories offer poignant recollections of the customs, hardships, beliefs and stories of the inland Inuit.

The drawings also became the foundation of an exhibition of Ruth's work which travelled to several public galleries across Canada in 1986-87, for which Dr. Marion (Mame) Jackson and David Pelly were the co-curators.

David credits this introduction to story-telling as the starting point for his career as an oral-historian.

Bibliographic data
Qikaaluktut:  Images of Inuit Life
Oxford University Press, 1986
Illustrated by Ruth Annaqtuusi Tulurialik
102 pages • 10½"x 9"
Colour photos and drawings
Hardcover: ISBN 0-19-540505-6
Hardcover (Inuktut version): ISBN 0-19-540648-6

This book is out of print, but can often be found through used or rare book dealers
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David and Ruth working together at her kitchen table in Baker Lake