Whale Bone Ulu Knife

This Item can only be shipped within the United States.

5 1/2" inch blade is made of 440 Surgical Stainless Steel. Artist signature carved on the underside of the handle. Made In Alaska. *Stand is Included*

In 1848, the first whalers from Europe and the United States made their way north to the rich Alaskan waters to hunt for whales. By 1852, more than 220 whaling ships were working in the Bering Strait, Chukchi Sea and the Arctic Ocean.

In 1884 the first shore -whaling station in Alaska was established at Point Barrow. At the turn of the century, whaling stations were set up all along the coast of Alaska. Two were established in Southeastern Alaska and four in South central. The West Coast from the Aleutian Chain to Point Barrow contained the richest harvest and most were established in that area. The entire whale including the bone was used. By 1891 the wholesale price of whalebone had reached $5.38 per pound, by 1907 the price of whalebone had collapsed. In 1921, Americas last commercialy hunted bowhead whale was taken. With the approach of the 1930's, and oil from petroleum, the whaling stations were no longer profitable and were shut down.
On the coast of Alaska in the native villages, butchering of the whale was done at the shoreline or on ice ledges that extended out over the water. The usable parts were removed, including some bone used for building, tools, and some decorative articles, the rest was left. As the ice melted and the ice flows moved with the tide, much of the bone was deposited back into the sea. The ice flow, tide and wave action from the Bering Sea pushes old bone to the surface and onto the beach. Over the last thirty years, much of the easily obtainable bone from, old subsistence sites, has been collected by the people who live in the nearby villages. Today most is dug from the ground by hand. This can only be done in the short summers when the ground is not covered with snow or frozen deep in permafrost.

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  • Item#: WBU
  • Artist: Chupak

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