Shaman Transformation, 2017, Ricky Kuzuguk, Inupiaq, Shishmaref, Alaska, 11 x 19 x 8 inches, whalebone vertebrae, baleen and fossil ivory inlay
Ricky Kuzuquk was born and raised in Shishmaref, Alaska. His father, Frank Kuzuquk was a carver as are his two brothers, Wilbur and Frank Junior. Ricky attended the Shishmaref Art and Culture school, learning much about traditional Inupiaq arts. Kuzuquk started carving whalebone there as a teenager. He began his carving under his teacher, John Sinnok at the Shishmaref School. Kuzuquk carves small and larger whale vertebrae. He carves rib dancers, hunters and fisherman. He is a meticulous carver, paying much attention to detail and style.