Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Inuit Writing System (Canadian Embassy)

Last month I spotted these signs at the Canadian Embassy advertising an exhibition of Inuit prints. According to the press release, this exhibit offers "a distinctive portrait of Inuit life and culture in the Canadian Arctic." As usual, the Canadian Embassy poster is in English and French, but it also includes some text in the Inuit language (i.e., the names of the artists). One distinctive feature of the Inuktitut syllabary is its method for representing vowels; the vowel sounds are indicated by the orientation of the symbols (it's easier to see how this works by looking at the chart on this page).

Here's another sign nearby. I don't know what the text actually means here, but the photo at least gives you a better sense of what the script looks like.

For more about this exhibition, see this NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) blog posting.

P.S. I took this photo nearly two years ago (!) but somehow never got around to blogging about it. The poster below (also taken at the Canadian Embassy) advertises "Champlain's Dream" (in French: "Le rêve de Champlain"). This exhibit focused on French exploration of North America, revealing the intertwined histories of present-day New England and Quebec:

In case you're interested, you can see the Washington Post's excellent review (with online gallery).

P.S. For earlier postings about the Canadian Embassy, see here and here.

1 comment:

  1. Hello, I love these posters advertising the works, and wondered is there any chance of purchasing a copy of them-the deer one and the bird, Lovely,, thanks Carolyn Audet