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Walrus Ivory Sea Lion by Yupik Eskimo Carver Robert Tungian Gambell AK


Availability: In stock


by Robert Tungian 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 Robert Tungian.

This very nice Sea Lion with was carved from a walrus ivory tusk by Robert Tungian 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; one of the most remote areas of the U.S. On a clear day (which is rare) you can see the mountains of Russia.

Robert 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. Much walrus ivory, walrus bone and whalebone are 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 proud culture and way of life in a very remote and harsh area.

"Ulghaaq" - which is Sea Lion in the Siberian Yup'ik language. This carving shows all the rich colors and textures of an ivory walrus tusk. The center of the tusk is a light gold/tan color with a rich mottled texture, which shows on the top back and bottom of the piece. The outer portion of the tusk is cream colored. This Sea Lion is very nice. The eyes are inlaid baleen; a fibrous black material in the mouth of Bowhead Whales, they strain food through it. The ears and chin are inked.

Care of ivory 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!

Robert signed his last name on the bottom. The piece measures 1 7/8 inches high, 1 inch wide and 1 7/8 inches long.

This is a great piece with rich colors and texture and would make a great addition to a collection or a real unique gift for someone special who likes marine animals from one of the most remote areas of the U.S.

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