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Walrus Ivory Cormorant by Yupik Eskimo Carver Carson Oozeva AK


Availability: In stock


by Carson Oozeva Jr. of St. Lawrence Island, North Bering Sea

Authentic Alaska Native Eskimo handicraft. It was carved and significantly transformed from marine mammal walrus ivory into Authentic Alaska Native Eskimo handicraft and signed by Alaska Native Eskimo artist Carson Oozeva Jr.

This beautiful Cormorant was carved from an ivory tusk of a walrus by Carson Oozeva Jr. of Gambell, Alaska; a small Siberian Yup'ik Eskimo village of about 700 people on St. Lawrence Island, just south of the Bering Straits. Their language is spoken on both the U.S. and Russian side of the straits. It's about 140 miles off shore from Nome Alaska, and about 40 miles from Russia. On a clear day (which is rare) you can see the mountains of Siberia.

Carson has carved for many years and is a master carver. He carves from ivory tusks of walrus, walrus bone and whalebone, and trims them with baleen from Bowhead whales. Whalebone is either dug up or found washed up on beaches after storms. Carving is a rich tradition for the Native Alaskan people on St. Lawrence Island, it helps sustain their rich and proud culture and way of life in a very remote and harsh area.

Cormorant - This fine ivory Cormorant or "Ngelqaq" in the Siberian Yup'ik language was carved from the ivory tusk of a walrus. The center of the tusk is a mottled cream color, while the outer portion consists of cream to white colored ivory, hence the color variations. The mottled center is noticeable on the upper backside as a stripe. The eyes are inked. This is a fine example of Native Alaskan Yup'ik Art.

Cormorants and birds were spirit helpers, summoned by the shamans to bring gifts of the spirit. Frequently they were carved from ivory into amulets and along with feathers adorned those who summoned the spirits. The presence of a bird during a ritual ceremony was considered a good sign. Their brightly colored feathers also adorn clothing and were also a source of food in the early spring.

Care of ivory and baleen includes avoiding hot dry locations, such as direct sun in a window or a heat register. Remember, our pet dogs, cats and birds also like ivory!

Carson signed his initials on the base. It measures 5 inches high, 3 inches back to front and 1 inch wide. This unique piece would be a wonderful addition to a collection and the subject of many conversations. It's a fine carving done by a Eskimo carver in a very remote part of the world and would make a great gift to yourself or someone else special.

Buy it now!