Otter hunting makes earrings for Aleut artist
Art Business

Otter hunting makes earrings for Aleut artist

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Carley Thayer’s work is connected to both distant and immediate relatives. Thayer makes earrings and accessories from harvested sea otter fur and pays homage to her Aleut forefathers under the banner of Bering Sea Designs. “I’m from the Aleutian Islands originally,” Thayer said. “Just the first two years of my life, but my dad grew up there, and that’s where my ancestors are from, and they were huge sea otter hunters, and that’s kind of what inspired the name.” Thayer and her family, now of Juneau, are sea otter hunters, too. Alaska Natives are allowed to harvest sea otters for subsistence purposes or the creation and sale of handicraft and harvesting. Otherwise, it would be prevented by the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act. In May, a group effort replenished Thayer’s fur supply. She and her family harvested eight otters near Hoonah, about 40 miles southwest of Juneau. Otters have been hunted by the Aluets for their food and their pelt for generations. Thayer said in her case the otters are primarily harvested for the fur although the meat is occasionally eaten. “It was a family hunting trip,” Thayer said. “I got to see my (13-year-old) […]

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