Fine old wood carving of Ainu Peoples
The Ainu minority people located in Hokkaido created a wood carving culture and export business going back to the early 20th century. Many Ainu carved wooden statues in particular "bears" known as Higumawere carved to sell as souvenirs. Until then, these bear carvings had only existed as religious objects, usually as headdresses and prayer sticks. History tells us that during the early 20th century, a former bear hunter by the name of Umetaro Matsui (ËÉ¾®Ã•Ì«ÀÉ. 1901-1949) started carving bears in the town of Asahikawa (Ðñ´¨ÊÐ) after surviving an unfortunate run in with a bear.
This rarely seen example,is an early,monumental, and finely carved wooden "double bear" effigy in an unsual form, cryptomeria (cedar) wood, Ainu carvers, Hokkaido region, 24"h x 44"l, Middle Showa period (1950-1960). It is an art treasure deserving inclusion in the finest collection.
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