Posted 4 years ago
Bear is 20 inches tall and is very stiff. I believe that sawdust what was used to stuff this little guy. He is made of thick Sealskin, leather pieces for the inside of the ears, the nose, and tops of his feet. He has white, blue and red beads for eyes. This was made by a member of either the Athabascan or the Inuit/Yupik Native American tribes, and whoever made this really did a great job. The Sealskin fur was tanned properly so that the hair is not falling out. But, along the middle of Bear's back, you can see the black thread used to sew him up. There are places along that line of sewing that show now, Bear is getting very old :) He is sewn together at the back, with the top of his arms and the top of his legs sewn to the body and those places are still hidden well. I believe that this bear was made as a gift for a child, and I think he was very much loved. There are tribes that have a license to legally hunt Seals and Whales in order for the village to survive and nothing is wasted from the kill. The number of people in those villages has been drastically shortened as the younger people leave more and more, and there are laws that make it illegal to sell certain animals/mammal skins before the skins are examined and certified by the State of Alaska. There are also rules for trapping, you must be licensed and do it by the laws set down by the state.
I love this guy and he lays on a very old Navajo saddle blanket on the bottom shelf in my curio cabinet all of the time, so he stays safe. I have looked and looked for another bear like mine and I have not found one yet. I have, however, found other antique handmade toys and stuffed animals from Alaska and the Pacific Northwest Coast that are offered for sale for many hundreds of dollars. This little guy is one of a kind.