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Baleen Basket with Walrus Finial c. 1980 attr. to the Hank Family, Inupiaq

Baleen Basket with Walrus Finial c. 1980 attr. to the Hank Family, Inupiaq

Regular price $1,800.00 Sale

Baleen Basket with Walrus Finial
attributed to the Hank Family, Inupiaq
baleen, walrus ivory
2.5" high x 3.5" wide x 3.5" deep

Inupiaq baleen basket weavers Carl and Eunice Hank learned to weave in Point Hope, Alaska but later moved to Barrow.  They made baskets together, and their signature finial (top handle in walrus ivory) is a double seal.  They often attributed baskets to each other even if the other made it. They passed on their basket weaving talents to their daughter Marilyn Hank Otton, who then passed her knowledge to her children Harry and John Hank.

Baleen Basketry is a an Alaska Native art made from whale baleen developed in Barrow, Point Hope, and Wainwright, Alaska by the  North Alaskan Inupiaq. Created at the beginning of the 20th century, these baskets were based on traditional willow-root prototypes. Thin strips of baleen are cut and attached to walrus ivory disks at the start.

A coiling method is used to sew baleen bands together. Sometimes the basket is finished with a carved ivory finial as the handle. The early b
aleen baskets are originally made by men for sale to tourists. Over time, distinctive styles have developed, and since the 1970's more women have become involved in what was originally a predominantly male occupation. Expertly carved finials made by the Siberian Yup'ik of St. Lawrence Island and the Inupiaq of King Island. 

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