Walrus Ivory Carving by Aaron Oseuk


Renowned Yupik artist Aaron Oseuk from Gamble, Alaska, crafted this intricately textured walrus ivory carving. Famous for his detailed carvings, Aaron Oseuk expertly sculpted textured walrus and smooth standing otter figures. Additionally, he showcased his versatility by occasionally carving other figures, such as ermine with baleen tails. Aaron always used very high-quality walrus ivory, ensuring his pieces were free of check marks. Consequently, this particular walrus carving, featuring baleen eyes and signed by the artist, stands out. Measuring 3 inches long, 1.5 inches wide, and 2.75 inches high, it is available for US sale only and is priced at $375.

Aaron Oseuk’s Artistic Legacy

Aaron Oseuk’s carvings stand out for their intricate detail and use of premium materials. His legacy lives on through his son, who continues to carve in his father’s meticulous style. Specifically, Aaron’s choice of flawless walrus ivory ensured a smooth, impeccable finish on his pieces. Furthermore, the addition of baleen eyes enhances the realism and detail, making his carvings highly desirable for collectors.

Yupik People and Their Art

The Yupik people, mainly residing in the villages of Gambell and Savoonga on the St. Lawrence Island, excel in walrus ivory carvings. Located off the Northwest coast of Alaska, 32 miles from the Siberian coast in the Bering Sea, these villages house fewer than 1500 people. Almost all inhabitants are Yupik Eskimos, also known as Siberian Yupik, sharing a language and cultural connections with Yupik communities in Russia. Additionally, some Yupik live near the Bering Sea on the mainland coast of Alaska.

Cultural Significance of Walrus Ivory

Walruses serve as a crucial resource for Alaska Natives, providing both nutritional and cultural benefits. The meat, blubber, skin, and organs offer a rich source of food, while the hides cover boats. Moreover, the tusks, carved into intricate figures, are sold to collectors, generating income for the Yupik people. Aaron Oseuk’s carvings exemplify the high level of craftsmanship and cultural importance of walrus ivory art in Yupik society.

For more information on Aaron Oseuk’s carvings and to explore other works, visit Tribal Crafts. Additional context on the Yupik people and their artistry can be found in the book Savoonga Ivory Carvers.

textured ivory walrus

Aaron Oseuk    Yupik  


Walrus ivory & baleen – 2.75 x 1.5 x 3.0 inches

$375 (for US sale only – excluding CA, NJ, & NY)