|Steaming down the Clarence Strait into Ketchikan|
|We could tell we were not alone when we got there.|
|Good thing we didn't have to parallel park|
The succeeding rows of dwellings climb so steeply
that there is a funicular on Creek Street to access the upper reaches more easily.
We took a quick lunch on the ship and then joined our Road Scholar group at the Southeast Discovery Center for a program given by a native Haida woman.
|Here Jan examines a shawl made from Cedar strips and fringed with fur|
|Woven hats, carved utensils, and some colorful buttonwork on a jacket|
Her presentation covered the Haida's matriarchal society and clan system
and then ended with a rousing traditional song.
Our group then traveled to the Totem Heritage Center
where we saw a collection of modern and period totem poles. Totem poles, we learned, are generally made of red cedar and seldom last more than 100 years because of the damp climate. Another interesting piece of information was that the natives do not worship totem poles. The carvings usually tell a story or legend or celebrate an auspicious occasion such as a fifieth wedding anniversary or the successful culmination of a hunt. You can tell the more modern or restored poles because they use brighter, more intense colors.
The painters of older poles had only available natural vegetable dyes, which tended to be duller and more restricted in color. Below is an older and un-restored example
Some of the very oldest examples are weathered back down to the natural wood.
The flat piece below is actually a halibut and it was fitted to the top of a pole by inserting the square hole visible in the center onto a peg carved on the top.
We had only a small amount of free time left after we visited the Totem Center and we used that to walk around a bit on Creek Street.
This was an intriguing group of nicely restored small houses, shops, restaurants, etc. built on stilts and grouped around a small lake and stream.
|Miss Dolly's house was a former bordello|
|This narrow little souvenir and craft store was filled with delightful gifts|
|Lush foliage along Creek Street|