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Whalebone Ivory Puffin by Yupik Carver Kevin Ozevaseuk of Gambell, Ak


Availability: In stock


by Kevin Ozevaseuk of St. Lawrence Island, North Bering Sea

Authentic Alaska Native Eskimo handicraft. It was carved and significantly transformed from marine mammal old whalebone and walrus ivory into Authentic Alaska Native Eskimo handicraft and signed by Alaska Native Eskimo artist Kevin Ozevaseuk.

This beautiful Puffin was carved from whalebone by Kevin Ozevaseuk 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.

Kevin 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.

Puffin - This fine whalebone Puffin or "Pagrugaq" in the Siberian Yup'ik language was carved by Kevin Ozevaseuk.
  It was carved from whalebone found on a beach near Apataki Point on the northwest side of the island. It was from the forward fluke bone, like a finger bone. Its wings were etched and carved to show feather patterns. The eyes are a double inlay of walrus ivory and black baleen. Baleen is a fibrous material found in the mouth of Bowhead Whales, they strain food through it. This is a fine example of Native Alaskan Yup'ik Art.

Puffins and birds were spirit helpers, summoned by the shamans to bring gifts of the spirit. Frequently puffins were carved from ivory into amulets and 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 the puffin was 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!

Stanley signed his name on the bottom. It measures 1 1/8 inches high, 1 inches back to front and 3/4 inches 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!