by Emmy Hirsch, guest blogger
Genuine Alaska Native art or craft items reflect the quality of the craftsmanship, harmony of design, and the background of the artist. Many pieces can be quite expensive, for not only is the process to create such a work time-consuming and difficult, but the materials used are sacred to the people. Walrus ivory, soapstone, bone, alabaster, animal furs and skin, and baleen are just some of the many materials that Alaskan Natives use to make their beautiful pieces of artwork.
|Fossilized Walrus Ivory Cuff Links |
by Warren Colville
Alaskan Native artists also produce baskets, dolls, drums, prints, and etchings. Baleen, a flexible material from the jaw of baleen whales, is used to make baskets, scrimshaw etchings, and dioramas. Scrimshaw etchings often portray stories from the artist's culture and are reminiscent of techniques introduced by Boston whalers in the 1800s. Alaskan dolls, handcrafted by many Alaskan Native women, portray daily activities of the artist's people. Doll clothes and bodies are made from a variety of materials, including caribou skin, mink, badger, sea otter, seal, arctic rabbit, and beaver. Fur from musk ox, wolverine, and wolf is sometimes used to make traditional doll clothing.
Emmy Hirsch is an intern at SchulmanArt and will be an incoming freshman at Franklin and Marshall College in the fall of 2013.
Looking for Alaskan Art? You can enjoy the beauty of Alaska from photography to jewelry and more! Discover all these artists inspired by the beauty of Alaska!