Street Salesman by bjywamer

Street Salesman

This is my Nominate-4-November offering for tomorrow's word: street portrait. While it is not the greatest photo, it IS a sight unique to Alaska, in that the man seen here on a street corner is holding a baleen (from the mouth of a whale) which he hopes to sell!

From Wikipedia: "Baleen is a filter-feeder system inside the mouths of baleen whales. The baleen system works when a whale opens its mouth underwater and the whale takes in water. The whale then pushes the water out, and animals such as krill are filtered by the baleen and remain as food source for the whale. Baleen is similar to bristles and is made of keratin, the same substance found in human fingernails and hair."

From the national Marine Fisheries Service:

"Can I legally buy baleen from a street vendor? Are there any restrictions on what I can do with it?"

"Yes, baleen (normally this is from the endangered bowhead whale) may be legally sold by Alaska Natives as Traditional Native Handicraft under both the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and Endangered Species Act (ESA). The baleen must be cleaned and polished to qualify as handicraft. Once purchased, bowhead baleen may be transported out of State, but may not be subsequently sold or taken outside of the United States."
Good photo Barb and very interesting story about them.
November 17th, 2013  
I adore your story and photo!
November 17th, 2013  
@dougk Thank you, Doug!
November 17th, 2013  
@titam Thank you, Menarose!
November 17th, 2013  
interesting - 365 gives such unique views into other cultures :)
November 17th, 2013  
@rvm Thank you, Rachel! Yes, I am so enjoying my "armchair travel" through participation in 365!
November 17th, 2013  
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