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
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.
Genus and species: Odobenus
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