Senior Laraya Duncan collects animal bones

Senior Laraya Duncans butterfly as part of her bone collection.

Senior Laraya Duncan’s butterfly as part of her bone collection.

Most people own collections. Some collect mugs, others collect shells. For SCW senior Laraya Duncan, that collection is animal bones! For 2 years, Laraya has been gathering and cleaning the bones of a variety of animals.

I currently have 11 bones, including: a shark tooth, a turtle tooth, a turtle vertebrae, mystery bone (I think from a squirrel), a mouse skull, some mice teeth, a mouse femur, and a shrew jaw.” reflects Laraya. This assortment also includes a cicada wing, preserved flower, butterfly and muskrat foot cast. 

She got into this type of collection through the culture of goblincore, and her forensic science class. Whenever she sees a bone, whether it is at a park, or in her own backyard; she takes it home and begins the process of cleaning it.

Laraya explains, “Most of the time I just have them for decoration. I have a corner on my dresser that I keep all my ‘creepy’ things on. One of the bones however I made into a necklace, but I lost the chain.” 

While this is a very interesting and unique hobby, it begs the question; Why? Why does Laraya do what she does?

She puts it perfectly by saying, “I find them very interesting and beautiful. Something that stays after something is gone.”