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Scrimshaw is a true American folk art which was perfected and advanced by sailors in North America dating back to the whaling days of over 200 years ago. Today, scrimshaw art is practiced by a limited number of artists, who hand-etch scenes onto fossilized ivory and bone, most often using Alaskan fossil walrus ivory or prehistoric mammoth ivory that is found in the permafrost of Alaska, Siberia, and northern Canada.

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