Creation Date1931 – 1955
3.81 cm. L Item (Overall)
Description"Carved Ivory Gull. One and one-half inch white ivory gull with black feet and bill. This carving, as well as those of the other birds in this collection, came from Little Diomede Island, which, together with Larger Diomede Island, Cape Prince of Wales and Kotzebue Sound, were especially noted for the skill of its carvers and the realistic carvings they turned out. These four settlements produce the bulk of carvings made in Alaska, where only men carve ivory."
Ivory Carving has a long history in the Artic and Subarctic. All the utensils, tools, and weapons were made by hand from ivory and other natural materials such as horn, bone, and animal hides. These same materials were used to make decorative objects. Traditionally, these decorative objects were also miniatures so that they could be transported easily by these nomadic people.
The color of the ivory changes with age. Fossilized ivory may be several thousands of years old. Its color can range from golden to brown or even black. These rare color ivories are more precious to Eskimo carvers than new white ivory.
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