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Saxman Village Totems

Late this morning after a bunch of work, I headed down to Saxman Village to check out some more Tlinget, Haida, and Tsimshian totem art.


I just did the $5 grounds ticket and not the $35 tour guide tour, so I didn't get to learn which totems were which tribes and which carvers did what, and unlike at Totem Bight, there wasn't a little guide with numbers that you could follow on your own (at least not that I found). I admit, I was really just in "chill and wander" mode, so I didn't even ask many questions. I guess I need to go back and do the tour like a responsible tourist, but until then, here are some caption-less photos from Saxman Village.

This one is probably Haida:


These next two: Tlingit (because of the uncarved space on the pole, signifying respect for whatever's up top):







As you can see, the weather in Ketchikan today was sunny and clear. It was 63 degrees F when I just looked at 6pm. 

I hopped the bus back into town and grabbed lunch at the New York Hotel next to Creek Street (a yummy spinach salad with a salmon filet). I still had a couple hours to kill before meeting up with Ray Troll for a studio visit/portrait shoot, I wandered over to the Tongass Historical Museum (the only museum I hadn't been to yet). I asked the front desk guy what was cool, and he said the native corner in the back was the coolest thing. I looked at it all, but he was right.

Check out these small totems from Tsimshian tribe:


The one on the left depicts a beaver, a raven, and a bear, and was carved by Tsimshian carver Stan Marsdan. The one on the right is called the "Truman Pole" and it was carved around 1951 by Tsimshian carver Casper Mather. This pole represents the Cold War, and the figures depicted (from top to bottom) are: U.S. President Harry Truman, the American Eagle, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the British Lion, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, the Russian bear, and the world at the bottom, split in two.

I also liked this woodblock print "Street in Ketchikan" by Roland Mousseau. Mousseau created this print during the time he was part of the Work Progress Administration's Alaskan Art Project of 1937. 


The creek behind the museum:


Looking like low tide at Creek Street. (Also, the cruise ships must have gone, because there's NO ONE in this shot! Two people = no one. Hush.):


Thomas Basin (marina) across the street from Creek Street:


It was a nice easy afternoon of wandering and sightseeing. My time with Ray at his studio later in the afternoon was super fun (and informative!) and we got some great shots. Next post! 

One Comment

  1. Just a fabulous off the beaten wake journey.

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