Oomingmak - The Bearded One

This is the first in a series of images which will depict wildlife on the postage stamps of a notional independent Alaska.

The muskox is noted for its thick coat and for the strong odor emitted by males, from which its name derives. The species was hunted to near extinction in Alaska. Fortunately, the species survived in Canada and Greenland.  A few muskox were reintroduced to Alaska from Canada in 1935 and now the species is thriving to the point that limited hunting is allowed.  Herds have also been established in Russia, Sweden and Norway.

The muskox is referred to as Oomingmak (the Bearded One) by Alaska natives.  Qiviut (pronounced “kiv-ee-ute”),  the soft underwool,  is shed naturally each year during the spring months. Eight times warmer than wool and extraordinarily lightweight, Qiviut is one of the finest natural fibers known to man.

This image produced with DAZ Bryce, Corel Painter and Photoshop. Click on image for a larger view.