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Yup'ik Ivory Carvings from Alaska


See our Yup'ik Ivory Carvings on

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These carvings were purchased by Paul Crosby directly from Yup'ik carvers in the Alaskan village of Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea during February 2007.  For pictures of the trip to Savoonga, click HERE.

All of the carvings are made from fresh walrus ivory that was taken from subsistence hunting activities.  Many have eyes or trim using baleen and are often set on fossilized walrus ivory bases.  Savoonga is known as the "Walrus Capital of the World."  The walrus are hunted for meat--a number of the carvers had just returned from a successful walrus hunt on the day I was buying carvings.  The tusks are carved to supplement the income of the hunters.  The villagers also hunt whales for the meat.  Many of the carvings have baleen eyes or trim used in them.  

It is legal for the Eskimo in Alaska to carve ivory and use other marine mammal parts so long as there is a significant transformation of the item.  It is illegal for non-Natives to own the raw, unworked ivory tusks or other marine mammal parts.

Our Gxx codes denote individual pieces. If you would like to order a specific one, please go to our Gallery to pick the exact one shown. 

Order Code Description Price
R-1000-Gxx Yup'ik Ivory Carving:Gallery Buy on

Genus and species:  Odobenus rosmarus.  Wild.

The carvings cannot be shipped outside of the United States under any circumstances because of prohibitions under the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Native Made in the USA