It came highly recommended by many of you, and I want to thank you for that – this is the feel of native Alaska that I was searching for!
The Saxman Totem Village is home to an authentic clan house and the world's largest collection of standing totem poles. Most of the original poles have outlived their life and are being replaced by replicas to preserve the history and the story of the people of this area.
Tlingit Indian Village Established in 1894 is named for School Teacher Samuel Saxman, one of three men lost December of 1886 while scouting for a new location for people of tongass and cape fox villages. Totems here comprising worlds larges collection including poles moved from Pennock, Tongass, and village islands and from old cape fox village at kirk point. Many are Poles restored under federal works project directe by the US Forest Service beginning in 1939.
Original 200 year old Totem lying on the ground.
The original paints are made from local plants and minerals – the turquoise green being from copper --- this is off the top of my head as I try to remember all of the information that was given in a very short span of time!
The story I found really neat was how old totem poles come to die ---they lay them down on the ground like this one here and just let nature break it down and take it back into the earth until there is nothing left.
In the slide show below you will see some photos from the workshop where the artisans are carving new replicas of the old poles before they are laid down to rest. The smell of cedar was everywhere.
If you can’t view the slide show, click the image below to go directly to the photo album.
|Saxman Totem Village, Ketchikan 2013|