NATIVE ALASKAN WALRUS IVORY CARVINGS




ROBERT KOKULUK




Puffin rookery





Originally from King Island, Inupiat artist Robert Kokuluk has been carving small animals such as musk oxen, puffins and seals for over 25 years.

King Island is an island in the Bering Sea approximately 40 miles west of the Alaskan mainland.

It was once the winter home of a group of about 200 Inupiat who called themselves Aseuluk.  The Aseuluk spent their winters engaging in subsistence hunting on King Island and their summers engaging in similar activities on the mainland near the location of present-day Nome, Alaska.  After the establishment of Nome, the islanders began to sell intricate carvings to residents of Nome during the summer.  By 1970, all King Island people had moved to Nome year-round.




Puffin Rookeries


Robert Kokuluk Puffin rookery 1




Robert Kokuluk Puffin rookery front Robert Kokuluk Puffin rookery back



Robert Kokuluk Puffin rookery front

Robert Kokuluk Puffin rookery front


Robert Kokuluk Puffin rookery 1 Robert Kokuluk Puffin rookery 1

Robert Kokuluk Puffin rookery 1 Robert Kokuluk Puffin rookery 1



Kokuluk uses the center of the walrus tusk as the base for his rookeries.  The ivory is not completely formed or in some cases decayed, causing the it to appear brown in places and also to have a rough texture like the rocky outcroppings the puffins like to roost upon.




Seals

This carving of two swimming seals is made from ivory and inlaid with baleen for the eyes, nose, and nails.

Swimming seals front



Swimming seals front2













Swimming seals side



Swimming seals top



Swimming seals back















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