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NNSL Photo/graphic

This ornament carved by Bob Kussy bears a resemblance to Ashoona's father, renowned carver Kiawak Ashoona of Cape Dorset.

Ornamental whale bone

Daron Letts
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 02/05) - Carvers Goota Ashoona and Bob Kussy are working long days to create wintertime ornaments for the holiday season in their Old Town studio.

The intricate decorations, carved from whale bone, feature images of Arctic wildlife, drummers, singers, hunters, inukshuks and other Northern themes. Many are carved on two sides.

Ashoona is known for her exceptional figurative carvings. Many of her ornaments depict laughing children with bright smiling eyes and the tattooed faces of throat singers lost in a song.

Ashoona just arrived back from a trip to Arviat where she collected 600 more bones to carve over the winter. The two carvers sell about 500-700 carved ornaments every year since they started making them a decade ago.

The pieces are for sale at craft shows this month, including during the Festival of Trees sale tomorrow, and through the Northern Images Gallery.

The carving studio is open from noon until 6 p.m. seven days a week until Christmas eve. Visitors are welcome.