Artistic carving of animal bones - one of the oldest art forms, practiced since prehistoric times.
In Russia, there are various centers involved in the artistic carving of animal bones.
The oldest of them is located in the Chukchi village of Uelen in the Chukotka Autonomous District. Despite the fact that the center of the development of handicrafts "Uelen Bone Carving Workshop" itself was created only in 1931, the Chukchi and the Eskimos have been carving bones and walrus tusks almost since the moment of their emergence. Thus, the handicraft is as old as those Peoples, it is incredibly ancient.
Initially, it was considered to be a uniquely male profession, but later girls were allowed to work in the workshops.
Products are made from walrus tusks and whale bones collected on the coast. The main motifs are hunting scenes, characters and scenes from folk tales of the peoples of the north, and scenes of everyday life.
Magadan bone carving factory creates its products from mammoth bones, walrus tusks and deer antlers. Those are 3D statuettes representing animals and scenes of the everyday life of the people of the North, chess sets, trinkets, decorations and colored engravings on walrus tusks.
Yakut carved bone handicraft has been known since the 18th century, but the products from the Republic of Sakha enjoy well-deserved fame and have received a considerable number of awards at exhibitions. Basically, there are animalistic statues and hunting scenes as well, handles of bladed weapons decorated with elaborate carvings, and utilitarian objects - skladni (wing icons), chorons and more.
Kholmogory bone carving is also widely known. The handicraft emerged in the 18th century in the villages of the Kholmogory District, the Arkhangelsk Oblast, one of which gave Russia a scientist as prominent as Mikhail Lomonosov. The craft still exists today. The craftsmen carve walrus tusks, mammoth bones, and the bones of domesticated animals. The art itself is an unusual mixture of West Slavic, German, Dutch and northern Russian techniques and traditions.
The creations of the Kholmogory craftsmen typically represent vegetative ornaments of leaves, berries, branches and tendrils, resembling the shape of sea shells - rocaille. Their distinctive feature is the use of colored engraving or colored foil, but this is not applicable for all products.
As for what they make, there are combs, dishes, boxes and chests, figures of animals and scenes from the life of the people of the north.