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Yup'ik Artist
Decorative Tusk illustrating Paalraayak Decorative Tusk illustrating Paalraayak
1898 1898

The Paalraayak is a strange, horned mythic creature that is said to live in the marshes at the mouth of the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers in Western Alaska. The incised image shows the monster’s three stomachs, each digesting a part of man’s body, and behind the monster we see scenes of late-nineteenth century Yup’ik life, featuring dog teams and qasgiq, semi-subterranean homes. Charles Constantine, of the North-West Mounted Police, likely bought this work around St. Michael, a US military post that was a bustling gateway to the gold rush that brought thousands of southerners into the Alaskan interior.

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Yup'ik Artist
Yukon River AK Yukon River AK
Decorative Tusk illustrating Paalraayak Decorative Tusk illustrating Paalraayak
1898 1898
Ivory and pigment ? Ivory and pigment ?
diameter: 4.40 cm; 1.73 in.
The Constantine Collection, gift of Agnes Etherington, 1929 The Constantine Collection, gift of Agnes Etherington, 1929
M69-019

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