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Paul Maliki, carved polar bear head.

The story of rocks

October 19, 2017 — 

A new exhibit at the Cretaceous Menagerie in the Wallace Building uniquely pairs Inuit carvings with the rock types from which they are made. Dr. Alfredo Camacho (Geological Sciences) has in the past collaborated with Inuit carvers to evaluate carving stone in Nunavut. Part of the Nunavut Carving Stone Project, sponsored by the Nunavut Department of Economic Development and Transportation in conjunction with the Canada-Nunavut Geoscience Office, and Natural Resources Canada Polar Continental Shelf Program, the research also evaluated potential hazards to carvers such as asbestos in order to remove them a potential stone sources.

The new exhibit will be located on the ground level of the Cretaceous Menagerie and will include carvings including one especially commissioned for the project. Paul Malliki has carved a polar bear head (shown above) from lepidolite from the Tanco Mine, Manitoba. The collection at present focuses on rock carvings from Sanikiluaq by Jimmy Iqaluk and include a polar bear, loon and walrus (shown below). The exhibition is intended to increase Indigenous understanding by linking it to geological content.

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