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Walrus Jawbone Cribbage Board Athabaskan Carver Wesley Owen


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by Wesley Owen Athabaskan, Interior Alaska

Authentic Alaska Native Eskimo handicraft. It was carved and significantly transformed from old fossil walrus jawbone into Authentic Alaska Native Eskimo handicraft and signed by Alaska Native Eskimo artist Wesley Owen.
This beautiful cribbage board was carved from the lower jawbone of a walrus by Wesley Owen Fairbanks, Alaska. Wesley 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. 

Most walrus ivory walrus bone and whalebone are found washed up on beaches after storms. Carving is a rich tradition for the Native People of Alaska, it helps sustain their rich and proud culture and way of life.

Cribbage Board or "Uyghagaq" in the Siberian Yupik language. Actually the literal translation means a game played using walrus teeth for counters but my dear departed friend Virginia said there is no specific Siberian Yupik word for a cribbage board but this would convey the idea.
This beautiful cribbage board was carved in the shape of a Sea Eagle, from the lower jawbone of a walrus. If you turn it over you can see where the tooth sockets have been filled in. The bone was found in the old village of Gambell, it was buried for centuries and took on a rich tan patina.
In the Siberian Yup'ik culture the walrus was a source of food, tools and material for artwork and trading. The female hides were stretched over driftwood to make their boats called "umiaks". Walrus were generally hunted from "umiaks". Walrus will defend themselves and the herd will come to rescue a hunted walrus. Individual walrus were driven ashore with the aid of a baleen clapper, or flat piece of baleen they would slap the ocean surface with, which sounded like an Orca (Killer Whale), the enemy of the walrus. The walrus would seek land, where the hunters waited. The walrus is considered a bringer of good luck and happiness.
Care of walrus bone includes avoiding a hot location like a sunny window, give it an occasional light coat of mineral oil. Remember, our pet dogs, cats and birds also like ivory!
The cribbage board is about 7 1/2 inches long, 2 1/2 inches high and 7 1/2 inches at its widest. 
Wesley signed his initials on the bottom of the board. It would make a great addition to a collection or a real surprise and very unique gift for someone special from a very remote part of the U.S.

Buy it now!