he oldest dolls found in Canada were made by the ancestors of the Inuit living at Brooman Point, on Bathurst Island, about a thousand years ago. The Inuit have inhabited the Arctic for at least two thousand years. We do not know at what point in their history they began making dolls, but it is certainly an ancient tradition.
It is easy to imagine these small figures as playthings. A tiny doll could be tucked into a mitten or a hood and carried from place to place as the community moved in search of food. Inuit girls learned to cut and sew skins and fur by making a doll to play with. Sewing was a vital skill that had to be practised from an early age because warm waterproof clothing was essential for survival.
Inuit hunters sometimes mounted a small doll on their boats to bring them luck. Today, Inuit dolls are made for collectors and tourists. They tend to be much larger and include modern materials.