Ancient Walrus Jawbone

Ancient walrus jawbone is priced for it's density and rich colors, which range from pale ochre to deep brown and are determined by the minerals absorbed from the ground. The jawbone is dense and strong for carrying the weight of the animals large ivory tusks. Many of the finest specimens are unearthed by Eskimos along the Bering Sea coastline and on the shores of Saint Lawrence Island. During the warm summer months, families move from their main villages to traditional campgrounds to hunt, fish, and dig for ivory, bone and artifacts. Most of the bone used in art carvings is from 300 to 1,000 years old. Each piece is unique and some carvings may have tooth holes filled in with a matrix made from ground jawbone. These filled areas are inherent to this art form and are not considered flaws.

Random House / Grandfather Frost / Alaska Gallery

Russian American Company