Fossilized Ivory Anchored Ship
This intricate fossilized ivory with anchored ship features an anchored ship in the ocean! The ivory with the stand is about 2.5″ tall. The stand is 4″ x 1.25″. The fossilized ivory is etched with an anchored ship using the traditional art form called scrimshaw. The artist made this piece using a piece of walrus tusk they found in the tundra.
Alaska ivory scrimshaw is a traditional art form originating from the Native Alaskan and Inuit cultures. It involves the intricate etching and carving of designs onto pieces of ivory. American whalers originally carved or engraved articles, typically from baleen, whale teeth, and bone, to create scrimshaw artifacts. Native Alaskans have been using bone and ivory from walrus, mammoth and other animals for thousands of years as tools, utensils, weapons, and even armor.
In Alaska, scrimshaw artists use fine tools such as needles and small knives. They meticulously etch intricate scenes, wildlife, and cultural symbols onto ivory surfaces. These designs often depict the region’s stunning natural landscapes, native wildlife like polar bears and whales, and elements of indigenous mythology and traditions.
Alaska ivory scrimshaw is not only a remarkable art form but also serves as a cultural and historical treasure. This preserves the traditions and stories of Alaska’s indigenous peoples. Regulations and concerns about the impact of the ivory trade on wildlife conservation make it important to note that many parts of the world highly restrict and deem illegal the use of certain types of ivory. In Alaska, however, people still practice the use of ivory from legally harvested sources, such as walrus tusks, in accordance with local regulations.