This walrus ivory set was bought by a soldier stationed in Alaska during WW II. He brought this and other Eskimo crafts back to his Maine home. Alaskan natives saw the potential for the sale of their traditional items and items made for "tourists" with the influx of over 22,000 military personal into Alaska during the war.
The walrus ivory, whale baleen, or combined ivory and baleen bracelets like this were made to sale to tourists and WW II soldiers stationed in Alaska by Alaskan Eskimos from the 1930's to 1950's. Most were plain but some have etchings (scrimshaw) on the ivory and a few such as this have carved ivory.
Ellen Paneok, Eskimo artist, (1959-2005) used a piece of fossil walrus ivory (tusk shape is evident) as a medium for her 2 scrimshawed orca whales.
This piece is 7" long, 1.25" at widest and .25" at thickest.
Ellen Paneok accomplished a great deal in her. 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. As a child she was bounced from foster home to foster home then 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.
very small seal tooth with even smaller shaman face carved into it.
A pendant of new walrus ivory carved by Eskimo carver, Moses Soonagrook. This pendant has 2 faces, a bearded shaman face on side, a typical Eskimo face on the other, with 2 whales, on on either side
Figure of a hunter wearing a walrus head like a hat and cape over the hunter's head. Carved of new walrus ivory with sinew and baleen by well known Eskimo artist, Ray Toolie.
Napkin ring of walrus ivory with scrimshaw walrus head and letter dated 1916
Swimming polar bear of new walrus ivory with baleen eyes and nose by Eskimo/Yup'ik carver Mark Napowtuk.
A shaman face sculpture made from a whale vertebra and new walrus ivory by Eskimo sculpture Bellarmin Ayek Seeganna of Kings Island Alaska.
Eskimo carver Davis Uglwook's standing cormorant of new walrus ivory with detailed wings