Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Last Great Tlingit Chief

Ketchikan is known for the world's largest collection of totem poles and contains many original poles and pieces of poles collected from abandoned Indian villages.

                 Haida and Tlingit craftsmen are working to restore and preserve them.

Of the approximately 5,000 Tlingits in Alaska today, 900 live in the Ketchikan area.

                                   The Raven-Fog Woman story pole is shown below.

                                                          The Raven

                                                               The Bullhead

                                                     Slaves holding bullheads.

                                       Raven's wife with smoked and dried salmon.

The Fireweed in front of these poles has lost it's red color, a sure sign that winter is near.

The pole on the left is bare because there is not much to say about this man. The one on the right and the one below are Haida poles, distinguished by their layout.

Haida figures interconnect and overlap more than Tlingit figures, which are isolated from each other.

                                    A beaver on top has "bucky teeth" and beaver tail.

                                                      Eagle has a curved beak.

                                                     Raven stealing the moon.

                                                         Raven stealing the sun.
                                                  Tlingit artist Nathan Jackson.

                            A Tlingit story pole. Figures are more rounded and separated.

                                 We did not learn the story of this Tlingit pole.

                                               Judy on her way to a clan house.
                                    The first to enter before the arrival of the new chief.

           This woman has come a long way to see the Last Great Tlingit Chief.

 This four year old boy is from the Killer Whale clan. He is an exceptionally good dancer-one of the best we have seen all summer.

                                         Arrival of the new Chief is a festive moment.

                                      New Chief checking out his clan button blanket.

                                                 Looks OK to me.

                                 Quickly taking command and issuing orders.

                                           She seems to be looking for an explanation.

                             But this woman is clearly held in awe by the new Chief.

               This boy looks equally just as impressed and certain of his clan future.

 It's 6 hours by ferry from Ketchikan, Alaska to Prince Rupert, British Columbia, our last ferry destination. We had a smooth ride in choppy seas with lots of fog and rain.

We have been told that Haines and Skagway already have snow on the ground.

St. Paul's Anglican church at the Indian village of Gitwangak has a bell tower standing in front that houses the original bell from the 1893 bell tower.

Here we are treated to some of the oldest original totem poles we have ever seen.

There are several Indian villages in this area, but we have run out of time to explore them and the many other poles they contain.

 We will come back on another trip when we explore the Pacific Northwest and the western provinces of Canada.

                                       We get a distant view of one more glacier,

                                                  find the world's largest fly rod,

and a wonderful city park in Burn's lake, B.C. with another free campground. Tomorrow we pass through customs and enter the lower 48, or "The outside" as Alaskans would say.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

great photos jerry we all miss u guys keep the photos comming wish we were there thats me