- Baleen Basket
Baleen, also known as “whalebone,” is a tough keratinous substance from the mouths of filter-feeding whales. In texture, it is comparable to modern plastics, and has long been used by Native Arctic peoples to make buckets, cups, and other containers, ice scoops, sled runners, fish line, lashing, and nets. Coiled baleen baskets represent a recent adaptation from traditional coiled willow-root baskets. They were first produced between 1914 and 1918, predominantly for a tourist market. Over time, distinctive styles have developed, and since the 1970s, more women have become involved in what was originally a predominantly male occupation.