Large Mexican seri ironwood hand carved sculptures of a pelican and a whale.
Very nice polished heavy dark wood,
circa ... moreLarge Mexican seri ironwood hand carved sculptures of a pelican and a whale.
Very nice polished heavy dark wood,
Pelican: 13.5" x 3.75" x 6".
Whale: 12" x 4" x 3.5".
"Mexican ironwood carvings is a handcraft that began with the Seri indigenous people of the state of Sonora. The wood comes from Olneya tesota, a Sonora Desert tree commonly called ironwood (palo fierro in Spanish). It is a slow growing important shade tree found in northwest Mexico and the southwest U.S. The wood it produces is so dense that it lacks air bubbles and sinks in water. Traditionally, it was used for firewood and charcoal with some carving.
In the mid-20th century, the Seri had to move from their traditional home of Tiburon Island to the mainland, around the same time tourism was developing in Kino Bay. The first to carve ironwood for sale was Jose Astorga, who began with other materials and ironwood for utilitarian items. In the 1960s, he began carving ironwood figures which sold well to tourists and others followed. The craft began to be widely distributed in the 1970s, with non Seris beginning to carve, introducing animals from other areas as subjects, and the use of power tools. Carving, charcoal production and loss of habitat has put pressure on the ironwood tree, which the Mexican government declared protected in 1994. Although carving is still permitted, the price of the wood has increased and production has decreased." less
- 6ʺW × 3ʺD × 13.5ʺH
- Item Type
- Vintage, Antique or Pre-owned
- Good Condition, Original Condition Unaltered, Some Imperfections
- Condition Notes
- Wear consistent with age and use. Wear consistent with age and use. less
- Place of Origin
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