Roger Silook Ivory Walrus

Alaskan native peoples have been carving walrus ivory for hundreds if not thousands of years.   One of the ways artists would obtain materials to carve would be through hunting.   Traditionally, native Alaskans supplemented their diet by hunting walrus along with other northern alaskan mammals such as seals, whales, and polar bears to name a few.  Not only was the meat of these animals consumed, but also the teeth, bones, and just about evey other part of the animal was used.  Because of the efficient use of the animal and because the meat continues to provides basic sustenance today, native peoples are still allowed to continue hunting these animals.

Additionally, artists now carve materials found along the coast or in other areas on the ground.   Bone and ivory from hunts long ago as well as remains from animals which have naturally deceased, including the long extinct mammoth, are recovered and also carved.   Much of this material has darkened with age into a salmon coppery color and provides wonderous striations and color variation to the familiar cream color of new ivory.   So one shouldn't be surprised to see fossilized "ivory" with dark copper and brown colors.   While native Alaskans have been carving fossilized ivory for as long as carving has been around, much of this type of ivory is more plentiful as climates warm and soil thaws revealing the long buried treasures beneath.

Click on the picture link to see different ivory carvings by artist:

Charles Kokuluk hooded merganser Charles Kokuluk

Puffin rookery Robert Kokuluk

Mayac Puffin Mayac Family

Coming Soon!!

Oozeva Puffin Stanley Oozeva

Pushruk Walrus Carving Fred Pushruk

Sockpick Scrimshaw Hunter Carson Sockpick

Transformer whale Moses Soonagrook

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