These mushrooms are carved from walrus ivory with their bases made of walrus whiskers. The black dots on the top is whale baleen, and white strands sticking up are polar bear hair. This is all mounted on a base made of fossil bone. It is about 2″ tall and 2.5″ wide. The artist name is “Utuqsiq” and comes from Western Alaska.
Scrimshaw was originally carved or engraved articles made by American whalers usually from baleen or whale teeth and bone. 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. Today Alaskan artists use these same raw materials in their carvings and other scrimshaw artwork.