meowmewcat on Dec 7, 2016
What a beautiful piece! Thank you!!
Keeping Traditional Inupiaq Eskimo Knowledge alive, piece by piece....
This shop features items created by Nasugraq Rainey Hopson. Creating artwork holds a special and unique spot in our ancient culture. The place we grew up in is the longest inhabited place in Northern America, layers and layers of humanity and creation building upon one another for thousands of years. Artwork is often the only thing that survives those distant years, and so it proves to be one strong connection to the past.
Since I are a product of two worlds (one old and wise, and one young and empowered) it seems very fitting that I create pieces that reflect that combination. I enjoy the process of learning and rejoicing in the finding of that knowledge.
I have obtained my degree in Studio Art with an emphasis in jewelry creation, which has allowed me to appreciate good craftsmanship and gives me a sturdy base on which to express my culture.
We still live a subsistence lifestyle, with 75% of our food and clothing and implements coming from the land/sea/air and with trade with each other. In this adventure I am often left with scraps and leftover pieces that would normally be tossed aside so I decided to use that resource in the creation of jewelry, clothing, and adornments. It is part of my challenge to create something you will love as much as I do from these scraps.
All of the funds raised in this store go directly to this small communities economy and to support our subsistence lifestyle and families.
Everything we mail out is sent with Arctic love and care! Please do not hesitate to ask questions or convo us with concerns.
Around the web
I am an Inupiaq Eskimo woman that lives deep in the boonies of Northern Alaska with my young daughter and adventurous husband. We live a predominantly subsistence lifestyle and strive to keep ancient traditions and knowledge alive.
Accepted payment methods
- Accepts Etsy gift cards
- Money Order
~Be aware that we ship to the address listed in your ETSY profile, Unless you notify us in 'notes' on purchase invoice.
Refunds and Exchanges
Additional policies and FAQs
Please convo me questions and I will add them here as they are answered.
Q:Do I do custom orders for jewelry and/or pieces for other people to use in their artwork?
A: At this time I am not accepting commissions.
Q:Are there any guarantees on your artwork?
A: I guarantee that the items are 100% made by a registered Alaskan Native, I am vetted by blood quantum. I guarantee that the Alaskan Native materials are authentic and have been gathered as humanely as possible. Most are gathered by my husband and who is a very skilled hunter and takes pride in his ability to harvest animals with little or no pain or suffering. I guarantee that every animal that we have harvested has gone to feed our family, or families that have lost their hunters or no longer can hunt for themselves. I also try our best to make the piece last as long as possible, long enough to be passed down from generation to generation if you chose to. This does not mean it will last forever if not properly taken care of. If there is a problem or repair needed on a piece please convo before going to another jeweler.
Q:Why do I only ship USPS which is high cost?
A: I live in a village in the boonies in which there is no roads, so everything here is shipped in and out using very very tiny planes, which depend on weather conditions. We do not have any other service available to us as this time.
Q: Can you sell me some of those awesome materials that you use in your artwork?
A: Most of the materials I use I am forbidden to sell raw (in which we have not made it into an art piece) because of Federal laws. These include: Whale products, walrus ivory, fossil walrus ivory, polar bear fur and product, any migratory bird product (including Ravens), seal products, other marine mammals and muskox. I adhere strictly to these laws as they insure that these animals are not exploited and abused. I can however sell raw materials from certain animals that are not protected by Federal laws (which only means that their numbers cannot be threatened by me selling the materials). These animals include Arctic wolf, wolverine, caribou, dall sheep, mammoth ivory and ptarmigan among others. When I find I have extra materials I list them for sale at: www.salmonberryorigins.etsy.com
Q: Why can't you ship some Alaska Native materials to my country?
A: This Question has two parts. The First is that the U.S is part of the CITES agreement. It is an international agreement to regulate trade in certain species. It was created to protect endangered or vulnerable species of animals. In order to trade across borders you have to have a permit to export, this permit is expensive and complicated and it is one we cannot afford. We will not risk our rights to subsistence hunt. These rules apply to anything that is marine mammal oriented: Polar bear, whale, seal, walrus, and also the muskox. What if the materials are from animals not covered by CITES? Like ptarmigan, caribou, dall sheep and like? Another problem shipping out my natural materials is that your country might not allow these in. Most countries require that the material be able to withstand a massive amount of heat, or withstand being irradiated, or they have to be chemically treated. Some of my materials are chemically treated but not all. We can ship these to your country with the understanding that you will research wether or not it will make it through customs, that you will pay any customs charges if they should exist and that it will be your risk. If your country is not listed in the shipping on the piece and you have done your research and are willing to take the risk please send us a convo with your request! We would love to add your shipping profile to the piece.
For more info on CITES: www.cites.org
Q: I really want one of your polar bear claw necklaces/pendants, when will you have some listed?
A: Polar bear claw necklaces are very time consuming and material consuming efforts of art. I usually works on several at a time, and I try to finish several of them at a time before listing. I usually only makes them in 'off' times of the season, that is mid summer, winter, or times when the subsistence life is very slow... which is very unpredictable. I would suggest visiting our store often, subscribing to the store and adding it to your 'circles' via Etsy, We used to send emails but the list has become too long! The claws sell very fast and their prices will go up every year, which increases their value to collectors.
ALL QUESTIONS AND CONVERSATIONS ARE WELCOME. :)