20 Apr 2016

Ivan E. Arnariak


Born and raised in Togiak, Alaska. Arnariak started carving after he completed high school. Using all kinds of material from baleen, ivory, seal skins, and whale bone. He explains, “We save anything. We use everything. Nothing gets wasted. [bone parts, random pieces] You’ll look at it and figure what it’ll be used for and I have faith that it’ll come out to what you want it to.” As an example, Arnariak had shown me a pair of his earrings; The handle of the ulu, made from a whale’s head and the rest made of ivory. He explains, “I talked to my wife about going deeper into carving. I told her, I want to be serious about it. I’m expanding as I get older, its getting better. It keeps me going.” He told me that recently he was working on a piece and it had broke. “I almost wanted to cry.” He admitted. “When you break something, you think – am I going to give up? But you don’t.”

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