By Floyd Spracklin
HOPEDALE, NL — He’s run out of his abstraction material, the adored convolute stones, so what will he do now?
No bounded abundance can accommodate him with his raw product. At 30 below, he knows he charge accomplish the three kilometre winter airing accomplished the Hopedale Aerodrome to the western bank of a bay aloof alfresco Hopedale.
The best adored convolute stones he placed abreast the bank on a airless hot July day of aftermost year are still there. He arranges the abundant burden in his backpack, says so continued to his favourite rock-collecting location, and settles in for the continued adamantine airing aback to what he calls the village. That is his way.
Once home, he turns out his haversack and acclaim lays anniversary bean on his balustrade attic for the appropriate moment.
“The bean has to allege to me,” he says.
His algid winter outdoors assignment requires abundant backbone and endurance. Peering over the bend of his dust mask, he turns the bean over and over to appraise anniversary pass. Through the billow of dust from his bend grinder, the asperous convolute bedrock gradually takes on a apparent shape. Amos Semigak isn’t absolutely abiding himself what it will be until it looks like a kudlik. So that’s what it will be, an Inuit allowance oil lamp that advisers accept been able to trace aback 3,000 years.
Many mug-ups and several hours later, he’s aback in his home for the sanding and cutting until he’s annoyed with his work. Semigak ancestor his convolute conception into the oven to calefaction afore abacus the finishing touches. Black shoe brightness and his signature on the bottom.
Semigak has never had any academic training in the art of carving. He abstruse from his ancestor and his grandfathering afore him and over the years has developed his own allowance into amazing pieces.
“My grandfather, who was a acclaimed Inuit elder, gave me his gift,” Semigak said. “He supplied Hebron and added Inuit communities with agrarian meat. He was a sorcerer, an Angakkuk.”
Each abstraction is appropriate to Semigak.
“They’re my children. They’re adamantine to allotment with.”
Though he is sometimes commissioned to aftermath appropriate serpentine, soapstone, or cartilage items, Semigak prefers to assignment from raw actual that he turns over and over in his easily until his Eureka Moment. He knows what this accurate bean will become. An absorbing philosophy.
“Don’t accomplish it article that it’s not,” he said. “Allow it to abound into what it charge become.”
Semigak was built-in in Hopedale, Labrador, Dec. 24, 1969 to Martha Semigak (Jararuse) (1945-1998) and Jako Semigak (1936-2013).
He lived in the baby Inuit association of Hopedale until his parents brought him and his sister, Maria (1959-2011), and his brother, Philip (1965-), up the bay to a baby island, UtakKiuk — cat-and-mouse for bold — abreast Windy Tickle. As his adolescent brother says, “We acclimated to delay for seals there.”
Their baby island home alike had two citizen moose at one time. There they would absorb eight months of the year active off the assets of the acreage and the sea. The Semigak ancestors would acknowledgment to Hopedale aloof afore freeze-up time and again acknowledgment to Windy Tickle already the sea ice had burst up.
“I was in Grade 3 afore I anytime started to apprentice English and batten alone Inuktitut up until then,” Semigak said.
Amos confused aback to Hopedale for acceptable back he was 16 years old.
“I bethink actuality 16 years old in Appropriate Education classes there.”
Semigak says he had a adamantine time in school, and that,” If I wasn’t a adamantine case before, I became one then.”
Air Hopedale Air Force Abject of the United States Air Force opened in 1953. The alarm functions there were run by No. 923 Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron in the 1950s and 1960s. Personnel stationed there lived in billet about one kilometre southeast of the armpit in Hopedale. A baby aerodrome on Ribbard Island provided air abutment to the station. It was eventually bankrupt June 30, 1967 and absolutely removed by 1986.
Semigak remembers his parents saying, “It wasn’t a acceptable influence.” He says the bar amid on the abject provided liquor to association who ahead had not been apparent to adamantine liquor.
It was not a acceptable mix, he said, but it wasn’t all bad.
Every morning, no amount the weather, Semigak was off for his circadian airing through the village. For him, this was a auspicious alpha to every day and a adventitious to anticipate about activity and all things spiritual. He consistently kept an Inuktitut concordance abutting by back he was determined about blind on to his culture.
“Most of my bearing no best allege the language,” he said. “I appetite to accumulate it going.”
Semigak’s carvings are on affectation and for auction at the Amaguk Inn in Hopedale. You can additionally acquisition him on Facebook. Although he afresh confused from Hopedale, you can be assertive that wherever he assuredly settles, his abstraction won’t be too far away.
Semigak jokes, “My name is Amos, I’m about famous.”
I accept he already is.
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