Peter Mayac Scrimshaw Art

Peter Mayac, an Inupiaq artist, is renowned for his detailed scrimshaw on ivory, particularly a pendant featuring a killer whale and a humpback whale. This pendant, crafted from a section of a sperm whale tooth, measures 2.5″ high and 2.2″ wide, and is priced at $275. Moreover, the signed piece is available exclusively for sale in the US. Peter Mayac, the original master of the Mayac family, established their reputation for exceptional ivory walrus carvings and intricate scrimshaw work depicting Alaskan birds and mammals. Members of the Mayac family have produced numerous ivory walrus carvings, which collectors highly prize.

Inupiaq Relocation and Art

Initially from the King Islands, the Inupiaq people now primarily reside on mainland Alaska, particularly around Nome. Due to a tuberculosis outbreak during World War II, school closures, and economic opportunities, they relocated from King Island, with most families moving by the 1970s. Furthermore, Inupiaq artists also create baleen baskets.

Traditional Whale Harvesting

Traditionally, Alaskan Native communities harvested whales for their meat, skin, blubber, and organs, which provided essential nutrients. Additionally, they used baleen to weave baskets and make fishing lines. In warmer climates, it also served as roofing material. Additionally. they crafted whale bones into tools and ceremonial items, such as masks. Scrimshaw work on bone or whales teeth has existed for more than 200 years.

Ivory pendant Peter Mayac

Peter Mayac (1913 – 1976)    Inupiaq  

Killer whale & humpback whale pendant

Sperm whale tooth ivory & ink – 2.2 x 0.1 x 2.5 inches     

 $275 (for US sale only – excluding CA, NJ, & NY)