Posted 6 years ago
I got this bear on Ebay, he was included with a basket I got. I am 95% sure that this toy bear was made by an Alaskan tribe, maybe Inuit or Yupik but he could also have come from the Pacific Northwest. The bear is made of seal skin and has beading for eyes. He stands about 14 inches tall and has leather on the feet, muzzle and inside of ears. There is a split in the leather on one foot where it is stitched into the fur, and there is a bead missing in one of the eyes. I think he was played with a bit by the child he was made for and it makes him more endearing to me. He has a little nub of a tail too, so cute! I have looked on the internet for others like him and I have been unsuccessful at finding anything. I have found other things made in Alaska using seal fur, like dolls and other animals but I have not found another like this guy. There is hair loss in a couple of places, one on his face and the others are where he was stitched up along his back. You can see the black threading used to put him together more along the spine and he has held together very well. I have him resting on an old saddle blanket in my curio cabinet where my Cat BooBoo cannot get to him. When I first got the package, Boo who must inspect everything that comes in went crazy. And when I took this Little Bear out, BooBoo went bonkers over him and tried to attack..lol. Bear is safely behind glass now where Boo can look but not touch. I wish I could find more like him or even close to him. I feel pretty safe in saying he is from around 1920 or so and I do not think anyone makes them anymore. If anyone knows of someone I would love to know about them.
Update on Bear. My Boo kitty passed away from Cancer in early 2014, and it took me about a year and a half to welcome a new baby into my life. His name is Beau, he is half Maine Coon and have Calico. He is a year and 5 months and weighs 18 pounds (a very big boy) and still has growing to do. It made me laugh when Beau finally noticed this toy bear in his place behind glass, and he went nuts trying to get this poor bear out to "play" with him LOL :)