Alaska souveniers

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Jul 19th, 2008, 07:22 AM
  #1
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Alaska souveniers

What are your favorite things to bring back from Alaska? I will be spending 6 days exploring the areas around Anchorage and Seward/Kenai Fjords NP doing lots of hiking, some sea kayaking and possibly salmon fishing.
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Jul 19th, 2008, 07:41 AM
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you should probably post this under " Alaska" !.. but, I brought back bottle openers - or church keys as we call them here in the midwest.. and they were $1.95 - $2.95 at their WalMart..same ones found at the souvenir shoppes for $6.95...easy to pack and they each had something from Alaska on them, my girlfriends loved them.. kitchy and cheap !
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Jul 19th, 2008, 07:44 AM
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Ulu knives. Both my SILs love the ones I brought back.
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Jul 19th, 2008, 07:46 AM
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Art from a local artist, an Inuit carving.
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Jul 19th, 2008, 08:37 AM
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The best idea that someone gave me before my trip to Alaska was to buy an "Alaska" photo album to put all of my pictures in.

I try to do that on all of my vacations now.

For others, we bought Ulu knives as well.
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Jul 19th, 2008, 09:49 AM
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frugaltraveler - there is no "Alaska" forum - all posts to US board go into the same place.

We spent 2 1/2 weeks in Alaska last month. In cities and cruise ports, we learned that most of the jewelery, t-shirt and souvenier shops are owned by the various cruiselines. And little that was sold there was from the US - forget about being fvrom Alaska.

Bought a framed panaramic photo of Mt McKinley at a photo shop in Talkeetna. Other than that, we did not buy much.
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Jul 19th, 2008, 10:55 AM
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Alaskan souvenirs are really expensive. The first time we went (probably 10 years ago) we found a store in Sitka selling out their high end stuff. We knew the prices and these were a bargain. We got a stone carving of a Native Alaskan fishing. He has a bone face. We also got another Native Alaskan carved out of whale vertebra. The next time, we went low end. I got a small Native Alaskan tree ornament out of leather and fur. We bought some painted greeting cards we framed. We also got an Ulu knife. I regret not getting a very large mask of a raven painted red and black. Just beautiful.

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Jul 19th, 2008, 12:12 PM
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I agree with whoever said Ulu knives.

I bought them as a gift for friends with arthritis and then found that everybody likes them.
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Jul 19th, 2008, 01:45 PM
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The WORST has got to be the items made from moose droppings, like "Moose Dropping Earrings" or necklaces ... I'm not making this up!

Bill
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Jul 19th, 2008, 01:49 PM
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I agree, the true Alaskan souveniers are very expensive. Basketry, for example, is becoming a lost art. Ulus are great. One thing I picked up was a story doll made of bone and fur. It is given to a child when they are born. Very cool.

MY
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Jul 19th, 2008, 01:59 PM
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Believe it or not, Wal-Mart has a decent selection of Alaska souveniers. Fred Meyer has a few also.

We bought Alaskan Amber/Pale Ale T-shirts at Fred Meyer. Wal-Mart and many other places have Alaska Wild Berry products <http://www.alaskawildberryproducts.com/>.
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Jul 19th, 2008, 02:22 PM
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Masks, yoyos, dolls made out of fur, hair and skin by Alaskans. We bought some at a craft coop in Anchorage and some from the locals in Barrow. Just starting to shed after 15 years.
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Jul 19th, 2008, 03:16 PM
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People who say Alaskan souvenirs are expensive may not appreciate that craftspeople also want to be paid for their CRAFT--which indeed may be a dying art. If it isn't authentic, than "whatever". It's expensive at half the price. BUT these are no longer " aborigines squatting by the side of the road, and I'll do them a favor by buying their stuff for $1.50." Think about it. They are craftsmen, and deserve to be rewarded for an original work.
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Jul 19th, 2008, 04:03 PM
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Gretchen - 2 posters indicated they were expensive, but no one said over-priced. I think they were commenting on actual cash price, not making any commentary on craftspeople not getting their due worth for their art.
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Jul 19th, 2008, 04:25 PM
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...these are no longer "aborigines squatting by the side of the road, and I'll do them a favor by buying their stuff for $1.50." Think about it. They are craftsmen, and deserve to be rewarded for an original work.

Just what we needed--a lecture on what everybody knows. Thanks.
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Jul 20th, 2008, 01:02 PM
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thanks Gail for correcting me..

brmsimmons: what are you interested in for souvenirs ? And the ULU knifes are great.. but watch the ones sold at Walmart or Fred Meyer - they are made in China...
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Jul 20th, 2008, 01:54 PM
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frugal - the most confusing thing about this board is that there are sub-categories under which it appears possible to post. They are actually only useful for when one is doing a search, and even then they sometimes don't work. On an otherwise very wonderfully designed board why this is the way it is remains a mystery to me.

Now, can you answer a question for me that I have wondered about for decades (sorry that I am hijacking the post) - why are they called church keys - they do not look like the key to any church I have ever seen a key for, but I have heard them called that quite often.
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Jul 20th, 2008, 02:02 PM
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For myself, a handmade in AK ulu. This particular shop only carried Alaska made items. Watch for a sign in the window. I bought less expensive ones for my sister and mother. Some of the least expensive sounveniers are notecards of Alaskan artists' works. Some of my favorite are photos of the northern lights with a paragraph about where and when the photo was taken. My husband had salmon and halibut sent to co-workers at home. Friends gave us some frozen home smoked salmon which we enjoyed and shared with friends back home on several occasions. I also like jams and jellies you can get at the public market in Anchorage as well as other farmers markets. Really great twig picture frame at the Girdwood Forest Faire. Check the Sealife Center gift shop in Seward.
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Jul 20th, 2008, 03:24 PM
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I bought a stone carving and a mask made of whale bone at a little gallery. The peices were all done by native people who were in rehab for drug and alchohol problems. The proceeds go to the program and the peices are beautiful.

I got two silver pieces from a local jewery maker...not the shops the ship trys to sent you to....one is a Loon necklace and the other is a whale tale in a wave.

These are my special pieces and all were moderately expensive but not that bad. I think the stone carving was the most expensive at 190.00. I wanted a mask...I have a large collection of African masks but love the Pacific Northwest masks..but I couldn't find any that bridged the gap between 40.00 tourist junk and 2,000.00 fabulous. The one I liked the most was 5,500.00. I'll save that for my next life.

I also got stuff....like kitchen towels and socks. Socks with polar bear and whales and wolves and moose..very fun.
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Jul 20th, 2008, 03:54 PM
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The best place for native crafts and artwork in Anchorage is the gift shop at the Alaska Native Hospital - http://www.anmc.org.

Note the hours are fairly limited. While you're there take a minute to walk around some of the corridors - some of the artworks and craft items on display are quite wonderful.

It's a good place to do your souvenir shopping - the best of good causes, fair prices, and next to no junk.

Note if flying or returning on a cruise - ulus are not welcome in some cases. You should check with your carrier before buying one. Having it shipped or mailing it yourself might be the best choice.
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