Special Spirit Power, War Spirit Power, Thunder Power and Chain Ligtning was unique to the Dungeness people. The S'Klallams would display this power in the manner that they entered a village for a potlatch or gathering.
From the Dance Plaza House Post Carvings - Dale Faulstich, Lead Carver and Designer.
Assistant Carvers: Nathan Gillis and Ed Charles. Volunteer carvers: Harry Burlingone and Don Walsh.
1033 Old Blyn Hwy
Sequim, WA 98382
To recap an event from Wed. night: Julie was a bit nervous about crossing the Strait and honored us on Thursday night by sharing not only her concerns, but her Grandmother’s song, which she inherited. As she told the story behind the song, her Grandmother had sung the song all of Julie’s life, but Julie had never been able to sing it all the way through. (She said that everyone has a song in them, but it comes to them when it is time for it to come; when the person needs it.)
Several nights before her Grandmother died, the song came to Julie, and she has been able to sing it ever since. “My Grandmother told me to sing it when I’m afraid,” she said.
By the time the song ended, there was not a dry eye in the smudging circle.
Marlin wants everyone to know that the Laxaynem crew is comprised of pullers with and without prior years’ experience. “Today, they came together extremely well as a canoe family. The Tribe should be proud that this crew is representing them on this journey.”
Elaine added: “After today, I think it’s funny that anyone ever made the journey from the US to Canada by canoe. But love and lust will do a lot to motivate people to travel challenging waters!” (she was referring to the many romances that have taken place over the centuries between members of Tribes from both sides of the Strait).
And she reminded us that we’re journeying together with people from the many Tribes around us – we have lived parallel lives over the years.”
She added about yesterday’s trip across the Strait: “The group really became a team today. Each learned how to work as part of a team, not as individuals. Once they focused and made the commitment, we saw a great change in each one toward the others, the community, and their own resolve. Taking care of each other in terms of spirit and safety are most important. I commend the team for going against incredible odds. It’s a tribute to the spirit of the canoe and to those who built it that it didn’t split apart in those waters.”
I want to describe the places that we are staying. There are hundreds of tents set up in a large field, with support vehicles and canopies spread around. It grows at every stop. Most Tribes have a flag flying so that people will know where they are (as we do). As people get set up, groups begin practicing chanting, singing and dancing so that they can perform well at the evening protocol.
Last night, Marlin returned from dinner with this story: He was waiting in line for food, and a young girl of about 12 came by with her own plate of food, for which she had waited in line as well. “She looked up at me and said, ‘Do you want this food?’ I said no thank you. But that was really a display of respecting her Elders.”
After dinner, the singing and dancing began in the Songhees Big House. With a metal roof, the drum beats reverberated across the camping field, and the voices carried far. Other groups continued to sing in camp. We were exhausted and fell asleep to the music, the rhythms weaving together like a lullaby from long ago. which went on well into the night.
This morning, we were up at 5 making a hot breakfast for the pullers and support boat crew. They took off at 7, and now we are packing up to move to the next camp – our first leisurely “take-down” since we started. It’s a good opportunity to take stock and repack the gear. We thought we were going to Tsawout, but a member of the Suquamish Tribe just told us that there is no camping there. As all of the stops are relatively close by land, we will scout out where the next best place is, and make it back to the Tsowout beach in time to pick up the pullers this afternoon.
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