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Return to:   "Happy Jack" Angokwazhuk - "Happy Jack" Angokwazhuk overcame unfortunate circumstances to become the most famous and innovative ivory carver of his time.
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Group of ivory billiken figures

The original "billiken" was a small plaster statue with the inscription "Billiken--God of Things as They Ought to Be," patented by Florence Pretz of Kansas City in 1908. The Buddha-like billiken was adopted as an official "patron saint" of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in 1909. A traveler apparently brought one to Nome soon after, where it was copied (without its inscription) by the carver Happy Jack. Later, Happy Jack and other carvers replicated billikens by the hundreds. Alaska State Museum - Juneau.

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