Chukchi Ivory Carving

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Chukchi Ivory Carving


a folk artistic craft of the Chukchi and Eskimo inhabiting the northeastern coast of the Chukchi Peninsula. A major center is the settlement of Uelen. Archaeological excavations have uncovered examples of such ivory carving dating from the first years of the Common Era.

An ivory carving workshop, now called the Severnye Suveniry Ivory-carving Workshop, was established in 1931. The modern craftsmen carve pieces of walrus tusk into expressive, stylized figurines of northern animals. Their sculptural groups, full of life and movement, frequently depict fights between animals, hunting scenes, or reindeer and dog teams. Whole walrus tusks and such domestic articles as letter openers, earrings, bracelet charms, and pendants are decorated with colored engravings— hachured figures rubbed with colored pencils—depicting subjects from folklore or the daily life of the peoples of the North. Masters of the craft include Aie, Vukvutagin, Tukkai, Khukhutan, Emkul’, and Ianku.


[Timasheva, L. E.] Sovremennaia chukotsko-eskimosskaia reznaia kost’. Magadan, 1967.
Mitlianskaia, T. B. Khudozhniki Chukotki. Moscow, 1976.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.