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Eunicey Shytoo Muckpah was born on November 15, 1956, on a beach northwest of Pond Inlet on Baffin Island. For the next ten years she lived in tents during the summer and in igloos during the winter when traveling by sled and dogs. This was the nomadic life style that Inuitís of Baffin Island have lived for hundreds of years.
Pond Inlet was an area rich in seals, narwhales and fish, and many families came to this area over the years. Eunicey's family lived off the land, hunting and fishing, moving constantly in search of food and plants. The family traveled to the trading post in Pond Inlet once or twice a year.
Although it was a peaceful life, winter was harsh, often without food for weeks. The land was in darkness almost all winter. This was when Eunicey learned to carve by the light of the Kudluk, watching her father Jimmy carve from soapstone. Eunicey often helped with oiling the carvings with sea oil, sanding and finishing.
At one point, Eunicey came close to losing her life. A bad tent fire burned most of her upper body around the neck and head area. Her father patted her out and threw her into the ocean. There were no doctors or drug stores; Eunicey healed on her own. Eunicey lost two of her little sisters. One was killed by the Huskies, the other sister died of an unknown illness.
Eunicey's own health was not good. When her life was in question she was moved to Vancouver, B.C. Life changed dramatically. Eunicey had never seen cars or buildings larger than shacks. She was not able to speak English. She could not tell the difference between men and women. It was a big change.
She eventually married a farmer from Ontario and had two children. During this time, Eunicey lost contact with her family in the north. Then one day while reading a book from the library, she came across a picture of her mother and father. By calling the author of the book, she was able to contact her family. A trip north quickly followed. Eunicey and family moved to the north and lived with her parents, Jimmy and Elizabeth, for one year.
Her father, who was still carving, inspired Eunicey to create her own work and she has continued to this day, becoming quickly known for her unique style and depiction of people and animals from her native north.
Eunicey's works have sold in galleries in Bermuda, England and Canada and is found in many private collections around the world.