About this object

History of use

Used to hold matches. The syllabics above the snowhouse can be transcribed as Iluviga, which is Igluvigaq meaning snow house. The syllabics above the lamp can be transcribed as kuli, which is qulliq meaning lamp.


Gigliotti was stationed in Frobisher Bay (now Iqaliut) as a meteorologist from 1952-54. During this period he acquired a small collection of Inuit objects from two Inuit men who were allowed to come out to the station. He was told the objects were from Cape Dorset.

Physical description

Small container carved from tusk. Container is an elongated hexagon, tall, with a crenellated rim. Interior narrows toward bottom, following the line of the tusk’s pulp cavity. On front is engraved an igloo below Inuktitut syllabics, while on the back is etched a stone lamp(?), also with syllabics. Both etchings are emphasized with black, while syllabics are in-painted with red. A channel is carved around the exterior at the bottom, to create the illusion of a base.