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Alaskan Handmade Bear Toy

In Native American > Eskimo, Inuit, and Tlingit Objects > Show & Tell and Dolls > Teddy Bears > Show & Tell.
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Posted 6 years ago


(115 items)

I got this bear on Ebay, he was included with a basket I got. He was made in Alaska by one of the Native American tribes, not sure which though I suspect it would be either the Inuit or Yupik. 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 no hair loss except for a couple tiny places, one on his face and the others are where he was stitched up along his back. You can see the sinew 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 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.


  1. Tlynnie1942 Tlynnie1942, 5 years ago
    Bear thanks you for the love, scandinavian_pieces!
  2. Manikin Manikin, 5 years ago
    wow this bear took a lot of work and detail is fantastic ! Love it
  3. Tlynnie1942 Tlynnie1942, 5 years ago
    Awww, thanks scandinavian_pieces. He is a cutie. And Manikin, I just love all the detail on this guy. I wish I could find out more about him, I know where he was made and all but I would love to know who. They did a fantastic job, that is for sure.
  4. Manikin Manikin, 5 years ago
    Most likely an Eskimo it looks like their work . It has age to it and was probably made to sell to tourists as a source of income to the person who did so much work on it . My Son lives in Alaska and they have sent me some beautiful things made there and always such good quality. Bear From North Alaska maybe ?
  5. Tlynnie1942 Tlynnie1942, 5 years ago
    Yes I also think Alaska, because of the materials used. I got it with a seal skin fur basket, this guy was sent with it for free..believe that? Anyways, the basket was so degraded that the fur just fell off of it when I tried to take it from the package it came in. So basket went to trash bin, and this guy stayed :). I may need to have the feet redone where the leather is dry and falling apart, but the rest of the leather is fine and in great shape.
  6. Manikin Manikin, 5 years ago
    I would leave feet original . maybe but some socks on them if they are cracking . e is a very special bear for sure . I think you got the better deal with the bear than basket :-)
  7. Tlynnie1942 Tlynnie1942, 5 years ago
    Maybe you are right, Manikin. It is just the one foot and it is the top of it that has split from the seal fur part. You can kind of see it in the first pic, if you enlarge it. I never thought of socks, that would be so cute! And it would help protect his feet.
  8. Tlynnie1942 Tlynnie1942, 5 years ago
    Thanks BELLIN68 :)

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