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  1. Outdoor Writer


    These are carved ironwood items from Mexico. I have about a dozen or so from a scorpion to a large eagle with spread wings. In between, there are elk, deer, rams, bears, ducks, a moose, a quail and a roadrunner. They are very heavy and except for a couple, they are highly polished, very dark brown color. These were all purchased by me in Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta and near Caborca before 1990. I know at least two of them are genuine Seri indian carvings. I'm not sure about any of the others. Prices on these have gone up considerably since I bought any because of the crackdown on ironwood trees. These are some quickie photos, albeit a bit dusty. 😉 I'll try to get better individual ones and measurements in the next coupe days when I feel like getting on a ladder to get them down. For some perspective, the eagle's right wing is about 20-22 in. high. and the tip-to-tip spread is anout 12 in. I will consider reasonable offers but no trades. Payment via PayPal (buyer doesn't need an acct; just a CC or checking acct.) or cash only. Must be picked up near 67th Ave. & Camelback in Glendale, AZ or shipped at buyer's expense. History from Wikipedia: The craft originated with the Seri people as a way to earn money from tourists. In the first half of the 20th century, the Seri were mostly confined to Tiburon Island, coming into Kino Bay seasonally to sell firewood, which included ironwood. In the mid 20th century, the traditional Seri economy was disrupted by shrimping in the Gulf of California, which reduced the sea species the Seri needed for food. In the late 1950s, tourism in the area took off in the Kino Bay area. These two developments, along with the island’s status as an ecological reserve prompted the Seri to move to the mainland to communities such as Desemboque and Punta Chueca. Selling handcrafts, including baskets and jewelry as well as the carvings, has become a vital source of income.[4] The first ironwood carver was Jose Astorga, who began by carving animals of pumice stone. His first work with ironwood is utilitarian, bowls, spoons, etc. His first decorative items were created between 1963 and 1964, focusing on sea animals that were popular with tourists. His daughter later became the first to sign her work.[4] Commercial wax and other sanding methods were introduced in 1968. That same year, University of Arizona students began to make monthly trips to the Seri villages to buy the carvings, greatly increasing their popularity.[4] In the 1970s, the Mexican government began to promote and widely distribute the carvings leading to about half of the adult population engaged in the craft.[3][4] Non Seris began carving in the 1970s, as the popularity of the craft grew, and introduced motorized cutting and carving methods in the 1980s as well as carving of animals not part of the Seri world.[3][4] In 1974, BANFOCO became a carving wholesaler with the aim of providing the Seris with a regular income.[4] In the 1980s, distribution extended into Canada and Japan.[3] The growth of the craft however, along with continued use of the wood for charcoal, started to decrease the supply of wood. In 1994 the ironwood tree became protected by the Mexican government, allowing its use only for carving.[3] By this time, the craft had spread into various parts of Sonora as well as the Baja California peninsula.[4] However, most ironwood carving is still done in Kino Bay, Caborca, Magdalena de Kino, Punta Checa, Puerto Libertad, Puerto Peñasco, Santa Ana and Sonoyta.[3] The scarcity of the wood has caused its price to rise and production to fall. This in turn has made already existing pieces more valuable.[4] Prices left to right: Duck - $40 Elk - $75 Moose - $75 Deer - $75 Ram 1 - $75 Ram 2 - $75 Bear - $75 Eagle - $100 Quail -- $50 3rd from the left is a moose, and the bear has a fish in its mouth Prices below: Bear -$15 Roadrunner - $30 The one on the right is the roadrunner Smaller duck - $30 Scorpion -- $50 TM List