Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ketchikan Day 4

Art we ended up purchasing in Anchorage, Ketchikan and Juneau.

All pieces are native items, which includes: petrified mammoth bone, petrified moose/reindeer antler, current age reindeer/moose antler, walrus tusk (ivory), jade and marble.
The natives can kill walrus and use the ivory/tusks. Jade is the state gem-stone of Alaska and they have numerous varieties/shades of marble.
There is always a supply of petrified bones and antlers due to the gold digging in the mud and permafrost that has preserved these items for thousands of years.

We have the names and villages of the artists. All are up near Nome.

Ok, the Alaskan Amber beer bike jersey was not make in Alaska, got me there!

I liked the flow of this piece. The kayak appears to be at the top of the wave (petrified wolly mammoth bone.) The expression of the kayaker seems to be "oh shit!"
The kayak is walrus jawbone and kayaker ivory. Beaver skin surrounds the cockpit opening.
The artist that did this piece is from Gambell on St. Lawrence Island.
Lynn picked these out. She liked the smiley/contented face of the Eskimo. We didn't see any green polar bears, though.
This small piece was neat in it's simplicity. A carving of a kayaker with a speared seal. The base is petrified whale rib bone (appr. 2,000 years old) and the carving was done on petrified caribou antler. (appr. 200 years old) Couldn't seem to get a real clear pic of it for some reason.I think we did some decent negotiating on all of the pieces above, except for the jersey (it was priced decently, anyway). Basically got 30-35% off list price. Cash.

This Eagle was on display as a way to raise funds for an animal shelter associated with the Southeast Discovery Center in Ketchikan. The Eagle had gotten it's back talon cut off when it stepped in a trap. Without it, it couldn't grasp it's food or perch too well. Eagles and other raptures frequently go after the bait in a trap and get wounded or even die.
Look left.
Look right.
Look down.
Look OUT!
Ya gotta click on this pic and expand it then center it on your screen. Feel free to use it...but don't sell it!!!

They had a Screech Owl there, as well. It was raining when we were watching the birds.
If I've got my numbers correct, Alaska has 1/2 of the total number of Eagles found in the 50 United States. Of that number, 50% of them live in SE Alaska. As it rains 220-250 days a year in and around Ketchikan, it was no wonder that the Ranger was making a little fun of the women who thought him cruel a few days previous who felt he should have an umbrella the eagle could sit under. When it rains too hard, they take them back to the shelter.

We went to a museum that housed a number of original totems, all sealed in glass to keep the Western Red Cedar from rotting. The Natives felt that as the totems were made in large part as memorials, they should only last as long as a human life, which is about how long it took a cedar to rot once cut.
Many of the totems one sees outside in SE Alaska are replicas or were made by the CCC back in the 30's to make work and to try to preserve the art of totem making, the designs of the old totems and the stories they told.

Some, like the one below, are left to the whims and designs of nature.

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