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Baleen Basketry

Baskets made of baleen, the black fiber filtering system from the mouth of a baleen whale. Many of these baskets are coiled and lidded with carved ivory as decoration. This is an authentic Native Alaskan handcraft. Basketmakers such as Carl Hank, Harry Hank, Marilyn Hank, John Hank, James Omnik, Sr., James Omnik Jr., Joshua Sakeagak, Marvin S. Peter, George Omnik, Abe P. Simmonds, Joe Sikvayugak, Nellie Sikvayugak, Raymond Frankson, Andrew Oenga, Herbert Koonuk, Seymour Tuzroyluk, John Hensley, MaryJane Anuqsraaq, Melovidov Litchard, Lee "Patkutaq" Harris, Sheldon Bogenrife from places like Pt. Hope, Alaska and Point Barrow, Alaska create this beautiful style of basket.

Alaskan Baskets Coiled of Baleen
These baskets are coiled from whale baleen the black fiber filtering system from the mouth of the bowhead whale.

Alaskan Coiled Baleen And Ivory Baskets
Beautifully hand crafted Alaskan baskets hand made of whale baleen. Hand carved fossil walrus ivory whale fluke ornamental lid by artists like James Omnik, Sr. and E. Frankson.

Baleen And Ivory Baskets
Coiled baleen baskets with carved ivory finials created by James Omnik, Sr.

Baleen Basketmakers
Notable historic and contemporary baleen basketmakers with location, cultural affiliation and biographical information where available.

Baleen Basketry of the North Alaskan Eskimo
by Molly Lee, Aldona Jonaitis
Baleen baskets are made from the fibrous material from the mouths of whales. This book covers their history, characteristics and construction, as well as profiling their makers. 48 illustrations. Paperback.
 

Baleen Baskets
Coiled Native Alaska Eskimo baskets made using whale baleen, many with carved walrus ivory finials.

Baleen Baskets
Contemporary baleen baskets by Harry Hank and antique coiled baleen baskets with carved ivory finials.

Baleen Basketmaking
Mary Jane Litchard offers a statement in the CIBA newsletter about how she acquires, prepares and uses the baleen from the Mystyiceti (moustached whales) as a basketry material.

Baleen Basketry of the North Alaskan Eskimo
Digitized preview version of the baleen basketry book by Molly Lee made available by Google Book Search.

Collectible Wonders - Alaskan Baleen Baskets
Collectible Wonders is a collection of Alaskana, Vintage items, Antiques, Art and other unique and special items. They specialize in Baleen Baskets, Tlingit baskets, Walrus Ivory, Scrimshaw, Carvings, Polar Bear Claws, Native Alaska and Alaskan Crafts, Eskimo Art & More.


Alaska State Museums
Many items of baleen basketry are included in the Alaska State Museums. The Alaska State Museums are two museums: the Alaska State Museum in Juneau and the Sheldon Jackson Museum in Sitka. Some baskets are attributed to individual makers, but many more are not.
Search their database.

Care of Baleen Baskets
The Alaska Museum offers a Wise Guide that describes the process of caring for baleen baskets and the conservation and preservation of other Alaskan baskets and artifacts.

Traditional Alaskan Woven Baleen Baskets
Variety of coiled baleen baskets available for sale.

Alaska Native Arts Foundation - Baleen Baskets
The ANAF works to increase awareness of Alaska Native cultures and create opportunities to inform the public about the diverse cultural expressions of Alaska’s indigenous peoples. They represent several baleen basketmakers and offer coiled baleen baskets for sale.

Baleen Baskets at Auction
An ever changing selection of coiled baleen and ivory baskets for you to bid on for your collection. The selection often includes fabulous pieces from noted Baleen basketmakers, but watch out for reproductions of baleen style baskets from China that are made of resin that sometimes creep in to the mix.


Baskets By Material Type
Find more about baskets categorized by the type of materials they are made from.

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