Ever heard of the term underwater basket weaving? That's exactly the method used to make baleen baskets.
Baleen baskets are a highly-prized and skillful art form of Northern Alaskan Inupiat Eskimos. Baleen is a flexible material from the inside of the bowhead whale, who uses a filter system (bowhead whales don't have teeth) to help process plankton and small fish. Baleen baskets are woven with thin strips of baleen in a method called coiling that sews baleen bands together, ending with a beautifully carved ivory finial as the basket lid handle.
While most baleen plates are black, white is less commonly found on baskets and comes from young or female whales.
This baleen basket is one-of-a-kind, rare, and highly detailed. Sewn by native artist Marilyn Hank Otton from Point Hope, Alaska, with her signature on the bottom inside of the basket and a native hand symbol on the bottom outside of the basket, showing that this basket was native made.