timistravels

My job allows me to visit a lot of Alaska on a yearly basis. I wanted to capture the trips in one location!

Totem Park in Klowack, Alaska (Prince of Wales Island)

on August 3, 2015

March 23, 2015

Klawock (originally called Tuxecan) was traditionally a fish camp for the Tlingit that inhabited Prince of Wales Island.   In the late 1870’s ‘white man’ came to the area and built a cannery.   Prince of Wales island is the 4th largest island in the US and I am happy to say I have been to them all. Do you know what they are? (answers below).

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Klawock is one of a few communities on PWI. Craig, Hollis, Hydaburg and Coffman Cove, and are just a few.   Klawock is home to over 800 people! I flew to Klawock on a small plane from Ketchikan, it is about 50 miles.

Culturally Klawock is strong in honoring the Tlingit ancestors.   Yearly there is a celebration for Elizabeth Peratrovich as well as a summer “celebration of the sea’ event. Much of Klowak’s population is Tlingit.

I was honored and touched to be able to walk around the Totem Park one evening. It is the largest grouping of authentic Alaskan totem poles in the world. Many of the totems are identical to the original totems which stood in the area long ago.   Others ARE the originals that were moved here in 2013 when the park was erected.

According to what I read, The first restoration of the Tuxecan totems occurred in the 1930’s when the civilian conservation corp. hired local Klawock natives to create the totem park and preform restoration of the 21 poles that existed at that time.  The poles that were raised in 2013 are the third generation of the poles that were first carved and stood in the old Tlingit village of Tuxecan. 

The Wolf and the Raven clan are proud owners of the totems that were raised in 2013, the newest poles being the:

Killer Whale

Gunyahs “Dog-Eater”

Sun Chief

Kats “Bear Hunter”

Mythological Raven

The raising of these 5 poles completed the second restoration of the 21 Totem poles that are at home on the hill above the first cannery in Alaska

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Here is an example of the petroglyph’s that are found in the area.

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The sawmill and fishing are the big economy in the area and of course any time there are tourists it is a good thing.

(Answer to Island question, #1 Hawaii, #2 Kodiak, #3 Puerto Rico)

 


2 responses to “Totem Park in Klowack, Alaska (Prince of Wales Island)

  1. Tom Milan says:

    Great commentary, Timi. The totem designs are definitely not like ones that I’ve seen in the past. Are these unusual or have i only been exposed to commercialized totems?

    Like

  2. timistravels says:

    These are traditional Tlingit and Haida totems of SE Alaska.

    Like

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