Ellen Paneok, Eskimo artist, used a piece of fossil walrus ivory as a medium for her 2 scrimshawed orca whales. - One orca is right side up - other is upside down.
This piece is 7" long, 1.25" at widest and .25" at thickest.
Ellen Paneok accomplished a great deal in her short life. She was the first Alaska Native woman pilot. She worked as a commercial pilot in Alaska for 17 years and ferried everything from dynamite to live wolverines, the U.S. mail, passengers and medical patients. She was bounced from foster home to a "girls’ lock down” to more foster homes. At the age of 16 she received a $1,500 dividend from the Cook Inlet Regional Corporation and used it to take flying lessons. Eventually, the money ran out and Paneok started selling pen and ink drawings and then began ivory carving and scrimshaw, selling her work to tourists to earn more money for flying lessons.
At the age of 20, Paneok received her GED and her private pilot’s license. By the time Paneok was 23, she had her commercial and flight-instructor certificates. She was widely published in magazines such as AOPA Pilot and Alaska Magazine, wrote a book in 1997 , “Women and Flight,” and was featured in numerous books on women and aviation. She mentored at youth risk telling them she was once like them.
Part of a collection of Eskimo and Inuit items which was built by one gentleman over several years. More items from this collection are now available - check more from this colleciton in "Antique items from other areas" and "current work from other areas"