Alaskan Ivory Carvings

Alaskan Ivory Carvings: Exquisite Native Artistry

Welcome to our collection of Alaskan ivory carvings for sale, featuring stunning animal and mammal figures crafted by three talented native groups: the Yupik, Inupiaq, and Cup’it.

The Artists and Their Origins

Yupik Artists

Firstly, most of our Yupik artists come from the villages of Gambell and Savoonga on the St. Lawrence Island, located in the Bering Sea, 32 miles from the Siberian coast. Additionally, some Yupik artists live in the Arctic region of mainland Alaska.  These artists create intricate carvings that reflect their rich cultural heritage.

Inupiaq Artists

On the other hand, the Inupiaq, originally from the King Islands in Northern Alaska, now primarily reside on mainland Alaska. They have gained renown for their elaborate walrus tusk cribbage boards. Notably, the Peter Mayac family excels in producing exceptional carvings and fine scrimshaw work. Their bird carvings, detailed with scrimshaw, attract many collectors. Furthermore, the Inupiaq weave exquisite baleen baskets.

Cup’it Artists

Meanwhile, the Cup’it natives live on Nunivak Island, located in the Bering Sea, approximately 135 miles west of Bethel, Alaska. The island is currently home to about 200 people in the settlement of Mekoryuk. Historically, the island had a population of 700 residents; however, an epidemic in 1900 significantly reduced their numbers. The Cup’it artists have created some of the most elaborate multi-figure walrus tusk carvings in Alaska.

Traditional Crafts and Cultural Heritage

All three native groups have a rich tradition of creating masks, including spirit wheel masks. Moreover, they supplement their income by carving detailed figures from ivory tusks, weaving baskets, and making masks. For more in-depth information on Alaskan native ivory carvings, refer to the book Savoonga Ivory Carvers: A Yupik Walrus Ivory Carving Tradition on St. Lawrence Island, Alaska by Bruce Bartholomew.

Explore Our Collection

Finally, explore unique and exquisite Alaskan ivory carvings on our website, showcasing the finest details of each piece. Please be patient as the images may take some time to load, allowing you to appreciate the intricate craftsmanship of these talented native artists.

Thank you for visiting, and we hope you enjoy exploring our collection!

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