Halibut, 1996 by Roy Klengenberg, Inuit Kugluktuk (Coppermine), Nunavut, Canada Soapstone .75" h x 7.5" l x 4.25" w * this piece has a soapstone stand that is not pictured
A great grandson of Danish explorer and trader Christian Klengenberg, Iunit carver Roy Klengenberg began carving as a young boy. Traditional soapstone carving has been a part of Inuit culture for many generations interpreting the Inuit way of life. The first carvings were primarily made for children’s toys in which the Europeans found fascinating as it depicted artifacts of the Inuit but to the Inuit they were just simple toys to keep their children amused.
Carvings and little figurines were made with soapstone, drift wood, bone and antler. “I was taught by both my parents, Annie and Isaac Klengenberg,” Klengenberg said. “My first carving I did was a seal at the age of nine and at the age of 12 I was carving full time. I attended school up to grade three then my family moved to an Outpost camp at Klengenberg Bay and have been carving now for over forty years.”
Materials can be hard to come by, in the past the Coppermine Co-op provided soapstone for the carvers. Because Klengenberg has no means of transportation, he has to rent a snow mobile to go and collect soapstone 71 miles Northeast of Kugluktuk at Palik.