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Baleen Basketmakers

Notable historic and contemporary baleen basketmakers with location, cultural affiliation, biographical information and examples of their work where available.

Kinguktuk is recognized as the first baleen basket maker with his first pieces made between 1914 and 1918 in Barrow. He was perhaps the only baleen basketmaker as late as 1931 (Lee, 1983).

Elijah Attungana - Point Hope Inupiat

Patrick Attungana  - Point Hope, Alaska

Sheldon “Qautaaq” Bogenrife - Inupiaq - Anchorage, Alaska

Alec and Elaine Frankson - Point Hope, Alaska

Chester Frankson - Point Hope, Alaska

Raymond Frankson

Carl Hank - Point Hope, Alaska

Eunice Hank - Point Hope, Alaska

Harry Hank

John Hank

Marilyn Hank Otton of Point Hope, Alaska

John Hensley - Inupiaq artist was born and raised in the northwestern community of Kotzebue

Herbert Koonuk - Point Hope, Alaska

Luke Koonook - Point Hope, Alaska

John Long - Point Hope, Alaska

George Omnik (1905-1978)- Point Hope, Alaska

James Omnik, Sr. - Pt. Hope, Alaska (known for carved ivory whale tail on his baskets)

James Omnik Jr. - Pt. Hope, Alaska

Marvin Sakvan Peter (known for spaced stitch technique and for superimposing a strip of light baleen over the dark rod for visual contrast)

Joshua Sakeagak - Barrow, Alaska

Joe Sikvayugak (1898-date of death between 1983 and 2004) Barrow, Alaska his baskets typically signed "Joe S., Barrow, date"

Nellie Akpik Sikvayugak  Nellie Akpik Sikvayugak (born in Barrow 1908 - date of death before that of her son Edward in 2004) lived and died in Barrow, Alaska.

Elijah and Patrick Attungana - Point Hope, Alaska - (known for incised designs on starter ivory discs)

Carl Taalak

Gregg Tagarook, Sr, - Point Hope, Alaska

Seymour Tuzroyluk - Point Hope, Alaska

Abe P. Simmonds

Baleen Baskets at Alaska State Museums

I am collecting information on present and past baleen basketmakers to include on this page. I would like to include biographical information, what makes each maker's work unique as well as information about where examples of baleen baskets are available for sale. If you are a baleen basketmaker or know of a baleen basketmaker you would like to see added, please let me know. I would also be interested in any information about fakes or knock-offs such as resin reproductions you might be willing to share.


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