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Large Ulu with Carved Seals


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Large ulu with two seals carved on the ivory handle and a polar bear skin carrying case. Features the full bodies of two seals carved on the handle, facing outwards in opposite directions and inlayed with baleen eyes. The front flippers of both animals have deep indentations to designate the nails and all the flippers are textured with incised lines. There are four rounded finger grooves at the bottom portion and facilitating the grip. A pair of cylindrical metal extensions secures the handle to the wide, broad steel blade using a pair of copper colored pins. The case is made from carefully cutout, irregular shaped piece of polar bear hide folder over and laced together with a thick strip of leather and secured with another piece of leather. Crafted by John Didio. Inscribed "JRD" on botton of handle. Even fancy ulus like this one continue to be used in modern Eskimo households. Fred Folletti a shop owner from Haines noticed similar knives in several homes he visited while making the rounds in St. Lawrence Island. Since he'd never seen any others like it Fred asked who made it and eventually visited with John Didio. The ulu is large and decorative yet strong and very functional for everyday use in the kitchen.

PERIOD: Late 20th Century

ORIGIN: Arctic - Eskimo, Native American

SIZE: 8" x 5"; 19.7cm

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