you have 0 items in your cart

Walrus Ivory Knife by Siberian Yupik Carver Gorden Ozavaseuk


Availability: In stock


by Gorden Ozavaseuk 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 by Alaska Native Eskimo artist Gorden Ozavaseuk.

This very nice knife with a Seal Claw handle was carved from an ivory tusk of a walrus by Gorden Ozavaseuk 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 Siberian Yup'ik 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 Russia.

Gorden has carved for many years and is a master carver. He carves from ivory tusks of walrus, walrus bone and whalebone, and trimmed them with baleen from Bowhead whales. Much of the walrus ivory, walrus bone and whalebone are 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 ancient proud culture and way of life in a very remote and harsh area.

Small pocket knife or "Semqatwhalek" in the Siberian Yup'ik language. This beautiful knife was carved from an ivory tusk of a walrus and mounted on a seal claw. The center of the tusk is a rich mottled texture with a light gold/tan color, while the outer portions are a cream color to pure white. This piece was carved from the outer cream colored ivory and pure white, the pure white is very subtle. The seal claw was mounted on baleen intern mounted on the ivory blade.

In the Yup'ik culture everyday objects such as a knife were embellished with the animals and fish found in their environment.

Care of ivory and baleen includes avoiding hot dry locations, such as direct sun in a window or a heat register. Give it an occasional very light coating of baby oil or mineral oil, put it on a cloth first, avoid acid based oil such as lemon oil. Remember, our pet dogs, cats and birds also like Walrus Ivory!

The piece measures 6 1/4 inches long, 3/4 inch wide and 1/8 to 1/4 inches thick. Gorden signed his initials on the back of the claw. It would not function as a knife or letter opener, as with repeated use it would break.

This is a very piece and would make a great addition to a collection or a gift for someone with an eye for the unusual from one of the most remote areas of the U.S.

Buy it Now!