Friday, July 8, 2011

Around Ketchikan, Totem Bight Historical Park, Potlatch Park - June 27, 2011

The sun is shining. Good day to get out. We have not seen much of the sun here in Ketchikan, so I have to enjoy it when I can. Besides the colors will be so beautiful and make such good pictures. Juel is working, so this will be a day of adventure on my own.

This is the view from our deck.

The ever familiar bus stop. I have learned the bus schedule pretty well now and become acquainted with the stops I need. However, the hospital promised Juel a hopefully soon.

The flags over the Marina Ferry. I went to check on ferry schedules to see if we can work out a trip for the days Juel is off. The ferry is not cooperating with the trip we had in mind. So we will likely try something else.

Probably the reason we can hardly find any Pepsi served anywhere. Though I have had no soda since leaving home. Juel, however, is missing her Pepsi.

The flower colors are extra beautiful with the sun shining so nicely!
And some more beautiful colors!

 There are always lots of boats on the water. I love seeing all the different kinds.

Raven Stealing the Sun pole, next to the library.

Creek Street...
 Looking up Ketchikan Creek from the Creek Street Bridge.

The Tram going up to Cape Fox Lodge.

 Looking up the creek from the lower end of Creek Street.

Jellyfish in Ketchikan Creek.

 Spider web on the Creek Street boardwalk.

 The harbor from the bridge where Ketchikan Creek meets Tongass Narrows.

 Self shadow.

 Starfish in the water where Ketchikan Creek meets Tongass Narrows.

When there are cruise ships in town, the crossing guards are out to assist people in getting across the streets. They will yell at anyone who tries to cross anywhere but the crosswalks. 

 The sunshine brings out all the colors in Ketchikan. Wish we saw the sun more often.

 Aboard the Blue Line Bus heading north to Totem Bight Historical Park.

 Eagle Grave Marker - Haida pole

According to The Wolf and the Raven this is a very "inexact and poor" copy. "The shape and angle of the wings are wrong, and the shape of the beak was altered. The carver also failed to reproduce the limp, lifeless form of the whale. The whole carving is stiff and lacks the vitality and feeling of arrested motion achieved by the carver of the original....The copy was made without the original, the carver insisting that he could remember it....The result is obviously not a copy...and only remotely resembles the original." (p. 97)

In Silent Storytellers of Totem Bight State Historical Park Tricia Brown states: that master carver John Wallace made one deliberate, uncommon change - the addition of the Chilkat blanket across the eagle's breast and wings. 

Walking through the rainforest to view the totems....

Thunderers' Pole
 A house pole from Tongass Island was copied for this pole illustrating the Tlingit story of four brothers who were changed into Thunderers and lived among the Thunderbirds on the mountaintops.

 Inside a Clan House
In a traditional village, many people shared a clan house with a central fire pit. The people lived in different areas depending on their status. Chiefs and their families had more privacy in the rear of the house, surrounded by others of high status. Poor families and slaves lived nearer the door, which was the more dangerous area (approaching enemies). The slaves kept the fire going, did the cooking, and performed other household duties.

 Wandering Raven House Entrance Pole

The front opening was the only entrance/exit. Notice the corner house posts which supported the house beams and were sometimes carved with the same legend. According to Silent Storytellers "These illustrate the legend of 'Black Skin,' the Tlingit strong man of the Raven moeity, always in the act of  showing his strength by tearing  a sea lion in half. In most carvings, he's wearing  a headdress  made of braided sea lion intestines. However, in these Charles Brown designs, he wears the white weasel-skin hat of his clansmen, reserved for those of high honor." (p. 31)
Another view of the Wandering Raven House Entrance Totem

View from in front of the Clan House

Pole on the Point
This pole was carved by Charles Brown and several apprentices. It stand 68 feet tall. The pole is topped with the shaman with many stories depicted in the figures below him.
 The Shaman

Looking out over the water...
 The tide is higher than when Juel and I were here last. 
 So beautiful - the driftwood, the water, the mountains and the islands...

Sea Monster Pole (front) carved by John Wallace in the late 1930's which resembles one that stood in a Haida village on Prince of Wales Island. A village watchman is at the top of this 35 foot pole. Below him are two Eagle clan crests and figures from the undersea world. 

Kadjuk Bird Pole (back) patterned after a Tlingit pole from Cat Island. Below Kadjuk is Raven, who is a headdress for his wife, Fog Women. She is holding two salmon. Below her are two faces representing Raven's slaves.

 These painted bear tracks appear along the side of the Kaats' Bear Wife pole. The orginal Tlingit pole was located on Tongass Island. Charles Brown made the first copy for the Mud Bight project. A she-bear peers down from the top, and other than these painted tracks, the pole is unadorned. Fifty years later, Tlingit carver Israel Shotridge was commissioned to carve a replica of the bear. It was 1985  and this was his first commission work. Today he is a master carver.

Halibut Pole

In 1970, Nathan Jackson carved this replica of the pole that once stood on Prince of Wales Island. "A pole carved to honor another clan or person is often identifiable because there is little or no carving beneath the uppermost figure, a clan crest or carving representing an individual.  The square pole was a style of carving characteristic of the people of Tuxekan." Silent Storytellers p. 49

A path to the water through the trees. I went down to the water...

A naturalist from one of the cruise ships was on the shore with a couple travelers. She found this tiny crab...
 ...and this limpet.

Some other treasures of the shore...
I love driftwood - especially pieces that look like such interesting creatures.

Kelp, barnacles, and shells clinging to the rocks.

 This is just a thin membrane kind of thing. I wondered if it might have been a jellyfish, but I am not sure. The naturalist was no longer around so I could not ask her.

This was a most interesting thing to find along the shore. 

Another driftwood creature.

Just a piece of bull kelp, but it looks like some kind of water snake.

Waves splashing up on my boots. I really REALLY like my boots! They are comfortable and waterproof.

This looks and felt like a jellyfish that had not dried out yet...but I am not sure. Where is the naturalist when you need one?

Trading Post at Totem Bight/Potlatch Park

Carved bench in front of Trading Post.

Totem at back door of Trading Post.  Raven, bear, beaver.

 Barn Swallow

An employee pointed out a nest with a couple babies hidden in an alcove of the Trading Post. This is likely the momma as she approached the area a couple times and then would sit on this wire and watch. 

All the buildings are decorated in a similar manner. I love the beautiful artwork.

 The Carving Center
The carvers' workroom was open. I felt strange going in when no one was there. However, since it was open, I went in and looked around. 

Later I asked the carvers about leaving the building open and unattended and they replied that they have never had a problem with anyone damaging or taking anything, so they leave it open. So different than at home where everything is locked up tight.

I don't have any information as yet on this pole, but will keep looking.

Another interesting display. There were 4 or 5 carved wolves in the bushes surrounding this dugout.

I came across two of the carvers at work. Woody said that he has been apprenticing under Breeta for about a year.
Both were very willing to talk about their work. I think I remember Breeta saying that she had been a carver for about 16 years. Both obviously loved their work. (Breeta is how it sounds...not sure of the spelling, maybe Britta?)

Another of the beautifully decorated buildings.

Not sure if the truck is just a display or if it is actually being put to work.

 They did have a display of vintage vehicles.

 Another clan house. This door has probably been added just for the convenience of visitors. Clan houses were constructed with the simple small opening at the front. This was a precaution against invaders (Another reason the chief and his family and other high status people lived in the back, while poorer families and slaves lived near the door.)
 Inside the clan house are some pretty decorations. Authentic clan houses were much more functional inside with walls lined with furs, clothing, weapons, etc. The ceilings were often lined with drying meat, fish and plants.
 The fire pit - cooking area. Maintaining the fire, doing the cooking and other tasks were often the responsibility of the slaves or poorer families.

A couple more totems that I do not have information on.

This was likely not a toy as wagons often are today. I am sure it had a job hauling. However, I can still pictures some young boys having a lot of fun with it.

 This building had a lot of fishing/crabbing items in it.

 The open wall allows visitors to view the inside of this home (?).

As I passed by the carvers' workshop, Breeta was giving a talk to a tour group.

This has been a fun day, especially enjoying the sunshine!

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