sylvesterayek's Shop Announcement

Subsistence Information:

Subsistence in Alaska Native cultures means to maintain and sustain life, traditions, values and cultural identity. Subsistence in the Arctic is to hunt and gather from nature, land, sea and air. For the indigenous peoples of Alaska, subsistence is a way of life for over 10,00 years. Those same traditions continue to this day.

Subsistence harvested walrus ivory has a purpose and is utilitarian. Alaska Natives eat the meat, the skins for making boat covers and house covers, the intestines were eaten and used for rain coats, the bones for tools, the stomach for containers and drums, the hide for clothing and house covers, the fresh hide for the preservation of other foods and the ivory for useful and decorative implements. Seal meat is also eaten and the skin is used for clothing and for costumes used in ceremonial dances.

Subsistence hunting in Alaska is highly regulated. To be permitted to subsistence hunt, a person must be at least one-quarter Alaska Native by blood. It is illegal for a person who is not an Alaskan Native to actively participate in any manner in hunting sea otters, polar bears or walrus.

Only walrus ivory that has been handcrafted may be exported to a foreign country and must first obtain a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

For more information about subsistence living and Alaska Native Peoples sale of ivory read the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service guidelines. Visit:

Alaska Native Arts Foundation Information:

The Alaska Native Arts Foundation (ANAF) is dedicated to promoting and celebrating the rich cultural heritage of Alaska’s indigenous peoples. ANAF brings Alaska Native art to the global marketplace and works to increase awareness of the unique cultural expressions of Alaska's indigenous peoples to stimulate demand for Native works of art. Established in 2002, ANAF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit located in Anchorage, Alaska.

MaryJane Litchard Information:

MaryJane Litchard is an Inupiaq eskimo who was born in Kotzebue, Alaska. She will help transport and ship Sylvester Ayek's artwork from Nome, Alaska. MaryJane's help and assistance with the transportation of Sylvester's art pieces will ensure the pieces are received and shipped from his hometown.

MaryJane Litchard is also an artist. She grew up in Lost River, Nome, Teller, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Barrow. MaryJane is multi-talented and enjoys drawing and painting, creating fur flowers, finger dolls and hand-sewn parkas. She also carves with ivory, makes baleen baskets and does scrimshaw on ivory and baleen.