Harry Hank

Harry Hank, Inupiaq, is an accomplished baleen basket maker, born in Point Barrow, Alaska, October 29, 1972, and raised in Fairbanks. He currently resides in Anchorage, Alaska.

Harry was inspired to weave baleen baskets by his grandfather, Carl Hank, and learned weaving techniques from his mother, Marilyn Hank. His grandparents, Carl and Eunice Hank were well-known weavers and are listed in the book “Baleen Basketry of the North Alaskan Eskimo” and featured in a National Geographic Magazine article.

Harry’s skill developed when he started to help his mother with her baskets. By 1992, he began weaving on his own and is recognized for two distinctive styles. One technique is to use a wide weft the can be woven with more ease and the other with a very fine weft that requires more time to achieve a detailed, tightly woven basket.

Harry’s baskets have been compared favorably with the works of the old masters such as Andrew Oenga and Joshus Sakeagak. He uses round rods in his baskets, weaves clockwise, and is noted for often using white baleen for trim. He has also become skilled in carving finials he uses to ornament the lids of his baskets. His favorite finial motifs are walrus, bear and seal heads and an occasional whale fluke.


4.5 " Baleen Basket with Whale Tail Finial
4.5" Baleen Basket with Whale Tail Finial by Harry Hank
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8" Baleen Basket with Polar Bear Head Finial
Large, 8" Baleen Basket with Walrus Ivory Bear Head Finial by Harry Hank
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