Fossilized Whalebone

Fossilized Whalebone
Fossil Whale Bone Carvings
Whalebone comes from private lands in Alaska that are owned by Native people. The colors are contingent on the minerals that the bone absorbed over several hundred (or even thousands) years while lying on the ground or beach. Because of this, no two carvings will have the same design or color. Both Natives and non-Natives can work with these materials, but this art form has traditionally been done by Alaskan Natives for hundreds of years.  Look for the silver hand sticker on Native-made products to ensure the authenticity of true Native work.

The art of carving whalebone in Eskimo culture is over 2,000 years old and was followed by ivory carvings. The carvers use very simple tools, such as files, saws and sandpaper. They also have a special process for drying and cleaning the bone.

The traditional Native carver uses the natural shape of the bone in his sculpture like his ancestors did before him. Reducing the size of the bone to make a smaller carving is considered wasteful. Fresh whalebone is never used.

Whalebone carvings show the balance of man and nature since the Alaskan Native has been recycling this material for thousands of years.
Activity Scene
Activity Scene by Ricky Kuzuguk
Dancer by Thomas Sockpick
Dancer by Thomas Sockpick
Eskimo Drummer
Eskimo Drummer by Fred Nayokpok
Large Fisherman
Fossilized Whalebone Fisherman