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Alaska Native Ivory Carving

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Authentic Alaskan Yup'ik and Inupiaq Ivory carving: a legacy of traditional indigenous tribal art.

The Russian American Company in Sitka Alaska represents a large number of the finest producers of traditional Arctic Alaska native ivory carvers. This unique art form has been practiced on the Bering Sea coast by the so-called Eskimo tribes for thousands of years, utilizing the white ivory tusks of the walrus, which is a main food source for the villagers. The Alaskan native cultures are the only ones allowed to subsistence hunt walrus for food; and as they have for thousands of years they utilize the whole animal, nothing goes to waste, and the ivory tusks have always been used as a carving medium to fashion art, jewelry, and practical implements. Per the Marine Mammal Act, they continue to be able to create their traditional ivory art for themselves and to legally sell to discriminating collectors.

Today, these beautiful Eskimo ivory carvings often feature handcrafted, realistic creations of polar bears, whales, seals, birds, sea otters, and other creatures that live in the Alaska region and Pacific oceans. Primarily, theYupik ivory carvers are centered on the villages of St. Lawrence Island, offshore from Nome Alaska. In addition to the walrus ivory, these carvers often use whale baleen, whalebone, and walrus bone to enhance their creations. 

Traditional Alaskan native art is highly collectable, the stable of artists dwindling, and the ivory carvers of the Bering sea well represented in museum collections around the world. The legacy of Arctic art lives on, and we are pleased to have represented most of the best Alaskan native ivory carvers in the gallery section of our store for over 40 years.

Please note that although Alaska native ivory carvings are legal to own in the US, they cannot be shipped to many foreign countries. Please inquire!