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Nome Artists Awarded for Work to Sustain Cultural Knowledge

Jerome Saclamana shows students how to saw ivory. Photo: Mitch Borden, KNOM.

Two Nome artists are receiving monetary awards from the Rasmuson Foundation to benefit their cultural art projects.

Marjorie Kunaq Tahbone and Jerome Saclamana are getting thousands of dollars to support their art work through the Individual Artist Awards (IAA) program. According to a statement from the Rasmuson Foundation, Tahbone plans to create Inupiaq fur parkas with hides of eight different Arctic animals, using patterns from her ancestral home in Wales.

Tahbone says:

“Tanning hides, sewing furs, carving, and beading are all things I loved learning. Right now, I am learning how to make crimped, hard-bottom soles for mukluks.”

She plans to continue learning traditional sewing and then teach others in order to sustain that cultural knowledge. 

Using a different art form, Saclamana, an ivory carver, plans to study museum collections and collaborate with other carvers from the Lower 48 to work with wood. The Rasmuson Foundation awarded him $18,000 so he can spend a year focusing on this particular project.

Both Saclamana and Tahbone were among 35 award recipients, selected from a group of over 300 applicants.

Image at top: file photo: Jerome Saclamana saws ivory. Photo: Mitch Borden, KNOM.

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