From my "Early Art" collection here: kimhunter.ca/arctic_paintings.…
The original painting is only 11 x 14 inches tempera on paper There are a multitude of myths surrounding a sea goddess story in Inuit.
The one we learned growing up in the arctic was that a young beautiful girl was too lazy to do work with the women so they thought she may want to do the men's work. She went out with her father to fish in the kayak and refused to help him as well. When her father struck a bounty of fish, the boat became overloaded and he had to make a choice. Feed his village for the winter, or keep his daughter on the boat and leave the fish with the possibility of his entire village starving.
He chose the fish and tossed his "liability" overboard. Each time she tried to climb back he cut off one of her fingers until she drowned... where she became a sea goddess and warned the creatures of the sea of man's greed. It is said, before this, man and beast lives in harmony, but now arctic animals are weary, distrusting of man and do not approach.