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Walrus Ivory Bone Singer Drummer by Moses Soonagrook, Gambell, Alaska


Availability: In stock


by Ladd Soonagrook of St. Lawrence Island, North Bering Sea

Authentic Alaska Native Eskimo handicraft. It was carved and significantly transformed from walrus ivory and walrus bone into Authentic Alaska Native Eskimo handicraft and signed by Alaska Native Eskimo artist Ladd Soonagrook.

This beautiful Alaskan Eskimo Yup'ik Dancing/drumming figurel was hand made by Ladd Soonagrook of Gambell, Alaska, a small Yup'ik Eskimo village of about 700 people on St. Lawrence Island, just south of the Bering Straits. It's about 140 miles off shore from Nome Alaska, and about 40 miles from Russia. Their native Siberian Yup'ik language is spoken on both the U.S. and Russian sides of the straits. On a clear day (which is rare) you can see the mountains of Siberia.

Ladd has carved for many years and is a master carver. His father William Sr. and brothers Billy Boy and Moses are well known carvers in Alaska. Their work is featured the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, the Airport collection, the Wells Fargo Collection and private collections and he is featured in a book titled: Eskimo Carvers of the Bering Sea by Dale Kessler.

Much of the ivory and whalebone is found washed up on beaches after storms. Carving is a rich tradition on St. Lawrence Island, it helps sustain their ancient proud culture and way of life in a very remote and harsh area.

“Aghula” or Dancing Figure
, Aghula is to dance Eskimo style in the Siberian Yup’ik language. This doll is about celebration of abundance and the joy of life in the form of music and dance and singing to adorn and nourish the spirit, and the abundance of the land and sea to provide for food, clothing and shelter. The Yupik people have lived in the Bering Straits for thousands of years. This harsh Arctic Region of is an extremely challenging area to live in. Yet there is an abundance to be had from the land and sea. When the clan would gather to celebrate and share; singing, dancing and drumming were the center of the celebration. The drummers would lead and singing and dancing would follow. The face, arms and legs are ivory from the tusk of a walrus. The parka around the
head, thin body and base are walrus jawbone. In has hands are drumsticks made of Polar Bear fur and baleen.

This unique handcrafted figure is one of a kind and would make a very unusual gift. It would be a wonderful addition to a collection and the subject of much conversation. It stands 4 3/4 inches high, and about 1 3/4 inches wide and 3/4 inches front to back.

Ladd signed the base. This unique handcrafted doll is a real beauty.

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