Baleen Basketry Information
First made for the tourist trade in the early 20th century, baskets made of a fibrous substance called baleen - found in the mouths of plankton-eating whales - are now prized as Native Inupiaq Eskimo art.
Baskets made of baleen, the fibrous substance found in the mouths of plankton-eating whales - a malleable and durable material that once had commercial uses equivalent to those of plastics today - were first created by Alaska Natives in the early years of the twentieth century.
Because they were made for the tourist trade, they were initially disdained by scholars and collectors, but today they have joined other art forms as a highly prized symbol of Native identity.
Baskets of exquisite workmanship, often topped with fanciful ivory carvings, have been created for almost a century, contributing significantly to the livelihood of their makers in the Arctic villages of Barrow, Point Hope, Wainwright, and Point Lay, Alaska.
Molly Lee, Aldona Jonaitis - June 1998
New one-of-a-kind handwoven and artist signed collectible baskets are added regularly to Simply Baskets. Since these are one-of-a-kind baskets, when they're sold, they're gone forever. Don't wait to purchase the unique basket you love - buy the basket today before someone else does!