Very cool vintage bracelet from Alaska

This bracelet is from a load of clothing and jewelry that came out of a South Philadelphia home. My Mom actually claimed this as hers, and it's been squirreled away for about 10 years. Don't ask - it won't be for sale, my Mom likes it too much to sell it. Somewhere there are earrings that go with it too.



I'll admit that I don't know much about vintage jewelry. I usually only handle average pieces. I believe that this piece is ivory. It's a stretch bracelet with carved figures of a polar bear, whale, seal, walrus, and a Fox or wolf. It is signed 'Raleigh Ozenna Little Diomede'
Check out the info on Little Diomede - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Diomede
http://www.pbs.org/harriman/current/profiles/diomede.html
- It's this tiny Alaskan island with a population of less than 200. Little Diomede Island is US territory and Big Diomede is Russian. Families living on the opposite island weren't allowed to visit during the cold war. There is only one small town on Little Diomede and since the island has a flat top and very steep sides, the town is built down near the coast of the island.
The only access to the island is by sea or helicopter. Sounds like they didn't have electricity until the 1970s. There is no sewerage and their running water is very limited. The Eskimos made a living by hunting and carving ivory and then selling or trading the skins and carvings in Nome.

So not only is it a really cool looking piece, it has a very interesting background.




Little Diomede in the 1920s, and in 2001

9 comments:

midwestelle said...

Thank you so much for posting this!
I just spend 30+ minutes online, reading about the Diomede Islands. What an amazing world we live in--how one minute the world seems so small, and the next it's so big.

Best Wishes

MidwestElle

Jodine said...

Awesome blog, just found it, and posted a link on my own =) Im edfinitely gonna come back for more =) Take care.

ModernMom said...

Wow! Such a great site. Glad I stumbled across it!

Pretty Little Pictures said...

beautiful :)

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