If you’re looking for truly authentic, creatively original gifts in Fairbanks, AK, start your search at Arctic Travelers Gift Shop. Here you’ll find unique, one-of-a-kind creations that are more than just beautiful—they’re symbolic of the history and culture of the Alaskan people.
From hand carved Oosik masterpieces, to Alaskan knives in Fairbanks, AK, our selection is vast and encompassing. You can spend hours looking through every amazing item we have on display! Or, if you’re searching for something particular, we’re happy to help you find it.
When you do find the perfect gift or accessory, don’t be afraid to ask our knowledgeable staff about it! We’re experts regarding everything we sell and are proud to educate our customers on the interesting facts and eccentricities regarding the various handcrafted items we sell, including:
- Walrus Ivory Carvings
- Baleen Carvings
- Inupiat Carvings
- Athabascan Beadwork
- Yupik Baskets
Take a look at some interesting facts about native Alaskan art below and what you might find when you stop by Arctic Travelers Gift Shop.
Oosik—pronounced “ou’sick”—is the Eskimo word for the walrus penile bone (baculum). These sturdy articles can be up to three feet long. Large ones were used as clubs by the Eskimos or used for making tools because the bone is so dense. They are an excellent conversation piece and the rich natural colors enhance their appeal to collectors everywhere.
Oosik became trade items in the late 1940s on King Island, when bored GIs stationed on the island asked Native carvers to carve animal heads on the Oosik ends. Fran Tate, a Barrow, AK restaurant owner, presented Johnnie Carson with one on his show.
Oosik—its a walrus thing.
The Aurora Borealis is a celestial phenomenon generally associated with the Nordic winter—it’s a symbol of the clear, frosty nights up in the north.
The origin of the Borealis lies in sudden, violent outbursts of energy taking place at the sun’s surface, during which vast clouds of gas are thrown out into space. These clouds, which contain electrically charged particles (free electrons and protons), reach far out into the planets. When passing the earth, some of the charged particles are caught by the magnetic field of the earth and are carried to two annular zones surrounding the earth, one of each of the magnetic poles.
When the particles reach the outer layers of the atmosphere at an altitude of 100-200 kilometers, polar lights flare up—Aurora Borealis or “Northern Lights” in the northern hemisphere and Aurora Australis or “Southern Lights” in the southern hemisphere.