Alaska's Winter Horizon

Alaska's Winter Horizon

Monday, March 27, 2017


Here are more pics from my day of touring the totem poles near Ketchikan. The afternoon was spent visiting the area known as Saxman.
Here we met master carver Nathan Jackson.
 He showed us the pole he was currently working on that would honor William Seward.
 He explained about different styles and methods used to carve poles.
 He was a wealth of information and very entertaining.
 This man has dozens of totem poles displayed all over the world! Fascinating.
After we visited Mr. Jackson in the carving shed, you were able to get outside and just wander around in Saxman Totem Park.
This park is the home to the largest number of standing totem poles.
The clan house was gorgeous.
There were many poles lining the streets and walkways.
 What a view! Got the mountains, the water, and impressive totem poles.
 I bet this one has a good story. It made me laugh to see the one figure's hand being held in the character's mouth on the totem pole. Might need to research this one.

 They were all so beautiful. It was interesting to try to pick out the different animals depicted on them.

 This short carving was pointing at you. Lots of detail on the hat.
 It appeared to be Abraham Lincoln on the top of one of the poles here.
 This was a wonderful way to spend a day. You could wander for hours looking at the totem poles just in Saxman and Totem Bight Parks. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Totem Bight State Park

Here are a few more pictures of the incredible totem poles found in Totem Bight State Park.
Myths and legends from both the Tlingit and Haida tribes can be found on these poles.
Our ranger said that characters on the Haida poles usually interconnect and overlap.
 The Tlingit poles have characters that are farther apart and appear more rounded.
 I could have studied them all day and never been able to discern the difference.

 All I know is that they were awesome! 
The colors on these were quite interesting. 
Totems of long ago were painted with natural pigments found in salmon eggs, clam shells, lichen, and minerals found nearby. 

Looks like some of them have paint on them.
No, that is not a carved eagle atop this totem. It seems that spot offered the eagle a perfect place to search for food in the nearby waters.

 There are 14 totem poles to view here.
 Many of these poles had been repaired or recreated around 1938 when the U.S. Forest Service used Civilian Conservation Corps funds to hire Native carvers to bring these works back to their glory.
 Thankfully, they salvaged them and created this wonderful park that we can all appreciate. 
This place was already getting green and lush.
 It will be a shock to return to all that snow still on the ground at home!