These hand carved mammoth ivory polar bear earrings are inspired by the traditional Native American Zuni bear—a distinctive mix of ancient materials and powerful Native symbolism.
Our Zuni bear earrings marry Native symbolism and tradition from the South and the North. The polar bear carvings are inspired by a traditional Zuni bear fetish shape that has long been used in ceremonial activities. The Zuni people live primarily in New Mexico, and like all Native cultures they enjoy a rich and storied mythology populated with animal/nature symbolism.
The polar bear is a symbol deeply beloved by Northern Native peoples, particularly the Inuit who live in parts of Alaska, Greenland, and Canada. For them, the polar bear is a source of courage, inspiration, communication with Spirit, and guidance in the ways of living in the North. The polar bear is an expert hunter who has adapted beautifully to the rigors and seeming inaccessibility of a life lived on the ice.
These polar bear earrings are made with an ancient material that offers a poignant connection to the polar bear's current plight. The fossilized mammoth ivory used to carve the bear is over 15,000 years old. It has lain in the earth for many centuries after the last of the great mammoths became extinct. The polar bear himself is now threatened with extinction due to the vanishing ice caps and habitat depletion we are seeing with the effects of global warming.
Pair these mammoth ivory earrings with a complementary Zuni Bear necklace for a set that is sure to turn heads, and hearts, everywhere you go!