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Bryon L Amos Ivory Tusk Sculpture
  • Bryon L Amos Ivory Tusk Sculpture

    The Ivory walrus tusk carvings first originated in various designs from Nunivak Island, more of the elaborate designs were first carved using high carbon steel chisels. Only using their hands and strength, ivory tusk carvings were carved in a work house called the Qasgiq, (a work house made for dancing festivals, or a work place for men). During the ancient times, work ethics were highly respected, at the age of accountability, young men would be given their native name, according to their age and ability for them to begin the observance of how craftsmanship was reverenced as a respective trait. This time of work ethics would be observed to show the wisdom, knowledge and the ability to show how tools, drums, and kayaks were made. This was necessary in sharing the strengths and weakness of a person’s ability in learning, and training in providing for his family’s needs.

    The ivory tusk carvings were highly designed by an individual’s work ethics, and how that person’s life showed the character of his ability as a great hunter. The designs of walrus, seals, orcas, foxes, wolf heads, Cods were among the unique designs carved into the ivory tusk. Many other designs such as halibut and Tom cods were significant designs, bearded seals and cod fish that were highly designed, as a wolfs head eating a seal would be a carved into the ivory tusk to show the strength of the predator. This particular character in ivory tusk carving was to show the ability of craftsmanship, also as a man of wisdom, and man to be respected within the community. There wasn’t many who were able to do such carvings in ways of highly designed ivory tusk carvings, but those that did such work were also seen as men with great dignity, and the abilities in sharing his craftsmanship.

    Work ethics within the community was seen as a respected societal form in men that were seen doing everything he had to do for his family’s needs. In this way he also had an ability to share his game to the elders of the community. The ivory tusk carvings showed the respect of the animals, and mammals of the sea and the land in which were kin to the people. They lived a life signifying the sacrifice of the animals and mammals of the land and the sea, so that life was given to the people. For example, (A great hunter caught a bearded seal, and pulled the seal onto the ice. The hunter would then chew some ice and pour the water into the mouth of the seal. This then he would say,” I know you have given up your life to have a fresh drink of water”). This unique character of the hunter showed that the death of the seal was given life to the people, so they may be given a life to live.


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