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Dec 13, 2020| Local Shopping

Top 15 Souvenirs To Buy From Alaska

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Lynch & Kennedy
Skagway, AK

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Back Alley Rock Shop
Skagway, AK

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Harbor Tea & Spice
Juneau, AK

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Fish From Trish
Ketchikan, AK

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Abby’s Reflection Apparel & Quiltworks
Sitka, AK

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Mt. Juneau Trading Post
Juneau, AK

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Alaska Eagle Arts
Ketchikan, AK

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Alaskana Botanicals
Hoonah / Icy Strait, AK

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Santa's Letters and Gifts
North Pole, AK

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Oomingmak Musk Ox Producers Co-Op
Anchorage, AK

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BearHead Photography
Skagway, AK

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If you want to fill someone’s stocking with the top souvenir from Alaska, loading your virtual shopping cart will be easy with this list of unique Alaskan gifts.

You’ll make everyone happy with any of these unique and affordable gifts from Alaska. 

1.  Alaska Ulu Knife

It’s always difficult to find a souvenir or a gift for the person who has everything.

But even those who have everything probably don’t have an authentic Alaska Ulu knife.

The Ulu knife has a wide-arced blade and is sometimes called an "ooloo” knife. 

Whatever you call it, the uber-utilitarian Alaska Ulu knife can be used for everything from mincing vegetables to cutting meat, filleting salmon, chopping nuts, and dicing vegetables. It’s also handy for cutting pizza, of course.

Invented by Alaska Inuits, the Ulu knife, short for uuluurag, or woman’s knife, has a history going back as far as 3,500, even 5,000, years. But it is as useful today as it was when the Inuit were using it to separate skins for clothing. 

No kitchen – modern or otherwise – is complete without an Alaska Ulu knife. Read this blog if you want to learn more about this classic Alaskan knife.

Don’t forget an Alaska Ulu knife cutting board or bowl, which both accommodate an Ulu knife for more effective and safe cutting. Check out the rest of the Ulu collection at Voyij here

2.  Totem Pole

Nothing says uniquely Alaska more than a totem pole.

Totem poles are monuments created by indigenous Alaskan tribes, depicting everything from history to life and death. These dramatic testimonies to Alaska’s indigenous people’s culture are unique gifts from Alaska. These large totem poles will proudly tower over your backyard or place of business as a memorial to the art and history of Alaska.

For smaller budgets, totem poles are available in desk size or as an objet d’art in your living room.

An Alaska totem pole is not only a beautiful tribute to Alaska indigenous peoples’ history, they tell a story. Alaska’s tribes did not use the totem poles for worship. Rather, the totem pole tells a story and illustrates the past in an unforgettable form. The Rain Barrel has an amazing collection of Totem Poles that you can order online.

3.  Alaska Jade Jewelry

 
Sure, you’ve seen jade or what you think is jade.

Maybe you even have some jewelry with jade embedded in it.

But you’ve never seen anything like rare Alaska jade. 

Alaska jade is so special it’s the state’s official gem. How much more authentic Alaska can you get?

Alaska jade has a remarkably smooth and luminescent finish and its colors range from green and yellow to red, black, and white. But it’s lavender jade that is uniquely and authentically Alaskan. The term "jade” itself is really the generic name for the minerals, nephrite, chloromelanite, and jadeite.

Call it what you want – it’s beautiful!

You don’t have to remember the mineral names for Alaska jade. Just think of it as gorgeous, special, and as a uniquely Alaska gift that comes from the state’s rugged and mountainous terrain. 

You can get Alaskan Jade articles in a wide range of prices, from a more affordable twist necklace to a more exotic Jade Sculpture

4.  Gold Nuggets And Gold-In-Quartz Alaska Jewelry

 

When you think of authentic gifts from Alaska, always remember: "Thar’s gold in them thar hills!”

Lots of it.

Alaska’s landscape is loaded with rocks and fossils, gems mining collectibles, not to mention a large selection of gold nuggets, gold-in-quartz, and shipwreck coins. You’ll find more information on gold quartz here.

But perhaps the most exciting is gold-in-quartz. First discovered in 1880, gold-in-quartz was formed millions of years ago by intense heat 3,000 ft. below the Earth’s surface as lava streams cooled and welded gold into surrounding quartz. It’s unusually tricky to find authentic gold-in-quartz because the mines where it is found are kept secret. That’s why it’s important to have a certificate of authenticity to avoid imitations.

The results of all the earthly activity are spectacular. Gold-in-quartz jewelry is an unusually lovely authentic Alaska gift that will leave sparkles in the eyes of its recipient.

Orocal Gold Nugget Co. has a huge collection of Gold Quartz & Gold Nugget Jewelry that you can check out. 

5.  Alaska Seafood

It may seem funny to present your loved one with the gift of Alaska seafood. "Merry Christmas, honey! Here’s a salmon!” 

A unique gift from Alaska indeed. 

But when the gift from Alaska is Alaska king crabhalibutprawnsblack codscallops, King Salmon, and coho salmon or silver salmon, mouths will begin to water. 

Honest to Neptune!

Sure, you’ve had shrimp, oysters, salmon, and the like from other sources that you might have gotten at a local grocery store or even your fish market. But, if you’ve never eaten fresh-caught wild salmon or seafood from Alaskan seas, then, well, you’re in for an experience that you’ll want to repeat again and again. And again.

Better yet, seafood caught fresh from Alaska’s pristine waters is a treat that also contributes to heart health, mental health, and lowering blood pressure.

Alaska seas have every type of seafood the discerning home chef needs for the perfect dinner.

For example, if you have a taste for bivalve mollusks (and who doesn’t?), mussels are like no other in the world. They make for luscious appetizers for Christmas dinner or any other special occasion.

It’s even delicious canned. One favorite is canned smoked octopus but another offering like a canned smoked sockeye salmon is a showstopper at any meal.

So, here’s the deal: Alaska seafood is tasty and it’s good for you. What else can you ask for from a meal? 

6.  Fossilized Woolly Mammoth Ivory And Jewelry

Millions of years ago woolly mammoths roamed the Alaska landscape, and although the woolly mammoth has long-since disappeared in the last Ice Age, their tusks remain as a popular gift from Alaska. The tusks are often discovered by gold miners or when they emerge after heavy rains.

The tusks themselves can be up to 16 ft. in length. They’re heavy, too, weighing in at as much as 300 lbs. Each tusk is uniquely colored in dark browns, tans, greens, and rare "blue ivory.” Alaskan indigenous people and local artists use the tusks as a medium for scrimshaw or ornamental engravings.

If you’re not in the market for 300 lbs. of ivory, and sure, that’s tough to gift-wrap, material from woolly mammoth tusks are also used in bracelets, necklaces, and other uniquely Alaska gifts. At Voyij, we carry an array of jewelry and other ivory products that would make a perfect gift.  

7.  Alaska Birch Syrup

How do you like your pancakes or waffles? With syrup, of course!

Pure Alaskan birch syrup is organic and a uniquely Alaskan gift that will change the way you eat your flapjacks forever. Blending Kahiltna birch syrup and organic cane sugar, its light but distinctive birch caramel flavor is great for French toast and it’s especially yummy on sourdoughs.

It’s a blend of birch syrup and organic cane sugar, providing a lower cost option for those with kids or a lighter palate. It is milder and sweeter than our pure syrup but retains the essence of birch. It’s sweet and mild with a distinctive caramel-like flavor of birch. 

Yummy!  

8.  Alaska Native Art


Alaska’s unique and authentic art is a gift with the heart of Alaska built-in.

Alaska Native art is diverse, eclectic, and uniquely Alaska.

Alaska Northwest Coast art features bold designs and Earth-tone colors. Baskets, blankets, caps, masks, stone carvings, sterling silver totemic jewelry, and even totem poles are just some of the items that should be added to your souvenir list. There are dozens of items to choose from to make a loved one happy. But while you’re at it, grab something for yourself. You’ve been good all year, after all. 

But don’t forget Alaska Inuit art! Talk about authentic gifts from Alaska, this is the real stuff! 

Alaska art is divided into categories such as Southwest Alaska, Central Interior Alaska, reflective of the tribes who live there.  Baskets made of beach grasses, beadwork, and ceremonial blankets are just part of what Inuit culture has to offer.

Perhaps the most spectacular example of an Alaskan souvenir – next to a full-size totem pole – is ivory from Northern Alaska. Only Alaska natives may possess pure ivory, and it can only be sold after it is hand-crafted.

If you haven’t checked out Alaska native art while composing your souvenir list, you’re missing out on some great uniquely Alaska gifts!

There are many stores & studios that feature a wide range of Alaskan Art including the famous Martin Oliver’s Alaskan Eagle ArtsStarlite OriginalsMt. Juneau Trading Post, and many more! 

9.  You Need Devil’s Club Salve! Trust Us!

Devil’s Club Salve is one item you didn’t even know you needed.

But need it you do!

If you’ve got aches and pains – oh, yes you do! – Devil’s Club Salve is a uniquely Alaskan remedy.

Coming straight from the rainforest of Alaska’s Southeast, Devil’s Club Salve Products will help you get through the day.

The devil's club or devil’s walking stick, (Oplopanax Horridus, for the botanists among you) is a woody-stemmed shrub, covered with small thorns, large leaves, and red berries. It is commonly found in the rainforest of Southeast Alaska. Alaska Natives have been using the Devil's Club plant for thousands of years. It is a member of the ginseng family and is also known as "Alaska Ginseng”. 

Use it for arthritis, muscular aches and pain, sore back, hips, knees, shoulders, carpal tunnel syndrome, skin rashes from diaper rash to eczema, burns, cuts, chapped skin and lips, bedsores, bruises, and insect bites. 

10. Alaska Bear Claws Are A Culinary Game-Changer

 

Ok, Alaska bear claws are not real ursine paws.

But Alaska bear claws are the perfect Alaska gift for the chef in your life. The "Bear Claw”  is a salad and pasta server, and it will change your life when it comes to hard-to-corral spaghetti, chopped salad, and other elusive dinner fares.

Alaska bear claws are a must-have accessory for any kitchen and while you’re thinking of kitchen utensils, the Alaska bear claw is a nice companion to the Alaska Ulu knife you’ve already used to chop your salad.

11. Alaska Northern Lights Photography Is Positively Dreamy

Sure, you can take your own Northern Lights photograph with an iPhone as long as you’re in Alaska and you’ve downloaded the Northern Lights app.

What fun is that?

You can purchase gorgeous Northern Lights photography that will transport you to the ethereal Alaska night sky.

If you’ve never seen the Northern Lights, well, it’s a pity for you. Also known as the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights are colored streaks of light composed of tiny charged particles that collide with oxygen and nitrogen atoms to create a color collage that rivals the best modern art. 

Northern Lights photography is a thoughtful Alaska gift that can adorn any office or living room wall.

12.Want To Keep Your Niaqoq Warm? Qivuit Is Just The Furry Answer

First of all, niaqoq is the Inuit word for head. And of course, you want to keep your niaqoq warm. 

You may not have heard of qiviut, but it’s the perfect Alaskan remedy for cold conditions. 

Pronounced "ki-vee-oot,” qiviut is the inner wool of the muskox, a hooved, Arctic denizen with two thick layers of fur. The inner layer is especially warm and it is used for everything from ultra-warm hats and tunics to luxurious socks. It’s softer than cashmere and is guaranteed to protect you from winter conditions. 

The Oomingmak Musk Ox Producers Co-Op has a collection of Qiviut scarfs that you can buy online.

13.For The Quilters In Your World

Give the souvenir gift of warmth and history with a unique Alaska quilting design!

Although quilting is part of American history, it has an especially important place in Alaskan culture. Alaska is home to several quilting artists who bring Alaska alive with their quilting patterns. You can also get uniquely Alaska "kuspuk",  or hooded overshirts with distinctly Alaska patterns for adults and children. 

Considered an educational media of Alaskan culture, Alaskan quilts, and kuspuks make for a gift that is, well, uniquely Alaska.

14. Everybody Needs A Letter From Santa

What would Christmas be without a letter from Santa

If you know someone who has been good this year, you can get a letter from Santa straight from the real North Pole -- North Pole, Alaska

Letters from Santa are printed on parchment and can be purchased in packages that include Christmas ornaments and jewelry made by local artists. 

Some packages are available that come with a letter plus items like earrings made from local artists (including a beautiful set made with road-killed porcupine quills! No kidding!). Christmas ornaments and other Christmas accouterments are also available as an affordable Alaska gift.

15. Don’t Forget A New Christmas Ornament! 

All Christmas ornaments have a family history of their own. That’s why you need to purchase a new family memory with an Alaska Christmas ornament

Alaska has dozens of shops and stores that sell authentic Alaska Christmas ornaments that feature painted Alaskan landscapes, angels, whales, sled dogs, Athabaskan mittens, and everything you associate with Alaska.

An Alaska Christmas ornament is a sweet and sentimental gift idea that will not only decorate the tree, but it will also warm hearts for years.

A FEW FINAL WORDS… HO, HO, HO FROM VOYIJ!

Ordering is easy from Voyij. Gift-giving from Alaska will not only impress your friends and family, but it will also show that you will go anywhere in the world to make them happy. Our catalog also includes petrified wood inlaid jewelry, necklaces, pendants, and earrings – all from Alaska. 

For more information about uniquely Alaskasouvenirs & gifts, go to Voyij Alaska.

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