Al Mayac early puffin

The Mayac Family is one of the best known ivory carving families in Alaska.  Originally from King Island, Alaska, they have gained an international reputation for their realistic walrus ivory carvings of arctic birds.  The numerous carvers with the name Mayac is no coincidence and having a group of family carvers is really not unique.

Quite often, once the younger members of a family were old enough to learn, they would start participating in the activities of the men, hunting and carving etc.  A boy might be instructed by an uncle whom, while caring for the youngster's welfare, would not coddle or overly protect the child, but rather provide exposure to a harsh environment where learning day to day activities was synonymous with survival.

These elder family members would show interested youngsters how to carve and by doing so would pass on much of their stylistic technique, which was then reflected in the artistic style of the new younger carvers.  Because of the close-knit relationship with other members of the community and especially family, carving styles and subjects were thus handed down and quite often carvings by family members had distinctive similarities.

Today carving is learned and performed by both men and women, and though there are more non-traditional opportunities to learn how to carve outside the family, much of the learning is still from elders who continue to teach and pass on their technique to new carvers.

Mayac carvings are highly detailed, paying attention to not only the carving of the birds' form, but also to carefully painting the birds true to their natural color. Mayac carvings are widely collected and in art museums around the world including the Smithsonian.

Click on the picture link to see more ivory carvings by Al, Larry, Ted, and Tom Mayac:

Puffin rookery Canada goose

Al Mayac Canvasback duck Canvasback duck

Al Mayac goldeneye ducks Goldeneye ducks

Al Mayac Mallard Mallard duck

Puffin rookery Common merganser

Mayac puffins Puffins

Coming Soon!!
articloon Loons

Scrimshaw whale tooth Ted Mayac Whale tooth

Mayac Ivory Whale Tom Mayac Ivory Whale

If you are interested in purchasing Alaskan carvings, please visit my Ebay Store!

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