There are lots of other stuffed pieces in the museum and I was amazed at how tall this polar bear could be when standing on its hind legs. Hey, it doesn’t have a Coke bottle in its hands. Those paws are as big as my head.
This basket is actually made out of baleen not any kind of grass. It was made by Inupiaq artists, Joe and Nellie Sikvayugak. She did the weaving and he did the carving.
Harsh climates call for thick, warm clothing. Using what they could collect, harvest or hunt the natives had to come up with some good ideas to keep themselves warm. Here are some mukluks and mittens lined with different furs and skins. The intestines of moose and seals were often used for waterproof clothing and soles of boots. The fur of wolverine resists frost accumulation and shields the face from the cold. Mink and beaver add warmth and decoration. Seed beads and Russian trade beads add status and connote wealth.
I’m an old cribbage player and enjoyed these cribbage boards carved out of walrus ivory for the tourist trade. During the 18th C, whalers would visit the coastal villages of Alaska. Cribbage was a popular way to while away the time and the sailors would ask the natives to make cribbage boards for them.
Lots of stuffed heads here too. There are several walrus tusks too. Note the board on the lower left with pieces of fur to touch. And, in the lower right is a moose antler chair.
Here are two ivory carvings of Wiley Post and Will Rogers who died in Barrow in 1935.
Here is a pen and ink sketch on a hide.
The other museum we visited was a museum of the history of Old Valdez, before the 1964 earthquake. We were particularly intrigued by the miniature village that had been reserached, deisgned and constructed by architectural muralist Sue Fowler. It took 2 1/2 years to put this all together but it historically accurate.
When he appeared the next day she burst into tears. They were together when they were telling this story. But, not every story ended so happily.
We saw a commercial fishing boat leave the harbor as we were heading back to the RV.
And, the clouds obscuring the mountains.