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
Yesterday it was still wet when we woke up, and some of us were sleeping in puddles, our bedding soaked. We hoped the weather would break, but as the day progressed, it continued to rain. Pete and Barb drove into town and purchased several tarps for covering the tents, and our camp looked like the Pemco Insurance commercials for those quirky “blue tarp campers.”
The ceremonial protocol started this morning, with the canoes from the North. At the Tribal Canoe Journey, the guests are the entertainment! A large “flying wing” tent covered the grassy stage area. The audience sat under two large rectangular tents, with a wide open space between the tents for dancing directly in front of the stage.
One by one, Tribal groups went on stage to sing, dance, make announcements, tell stories and present gifts (lots of gifts – to our hosts, to the hosts of every other stop on the journey, and to the audience). Although the Cowichan planners had originally said that each group would have a limited amount of time on stage, at a skipper’s meeting the decision was made to change that to the “Salish Way” of doing protocol, in which Tribes may take as much time as they need. So a list of the order of the Tribes was displayed, but it was impossible to know when we would be on stage. All we knew was that if we missed our time slot, we’d be skipped over.
In the late afternoon, everyone donned their Jamestown t-shirts and cedar hats. Andrea (being a seamstress and embroiderer) and her kids were in full regalia with button vests and drums. When we arrived, the weather was finally breaking into sunshine, and a group from Nisqually,Muckleshoot, Puyallup and Squaxin Island were on stage. They took 2-3 hours. Then Suquamish went up. They have an amazing singing group, and took 2-3 hours. By the time the S’Klallam bands went on, it was after 10 p.m.!
Our crew participated in singing and drumming the songs they knew, though clearly, Port Gamble and Lower Elwha had learned many more songs than we had. Marlin presented the Cowichan representative with a Pendleton blanket that Elaine had brought for us to give away.
Earlier in the evening, a marriage proposal had been made publicly – between a Lower Elwha young woman and a Yakima young man. During the Lower Elwha presentation, the two were honored by having a love song sung to them by the Tribe. They also announced that their canoe, The Spirit of Elwha (pulled in honor of Vanna Charles, who died last year in an auto accident), started taking on water in Tsartlip was returned to Port Angeles. There was also an “issue” with a broken drum beater in which Port Gamble’s Mike Jones had to apologize to our hosts. But the show continued.
The group was
hungry, having waited for protocol through the dinner hour, so Irv
and I went out and bought a hot meal for them to have at camp when
they returned. By about 11:30, they rolled into camp and we
enjoyed a very late dinner. All agreed that it had been the most
participation yet by a Jamestown canoe family, and that next year,
we want to be ready to do more.
In the morning Marlin drove Steve, Nikki, Annan, Irv and I to Victoria to catch the 10:30 ferry, and we returned home where Tribal staff greeted us as we disembarked the ferry. On the way down the Trans Canada Highway, the pullers were able to view from land many of the waters where they had pulled the canoe from Esquimalt, around the Saanich Peninsula and up into Cowichan Bay.
I have asked everyone on the journey to send me their thoughts over the next days and weeks, so that more can be added to the blog.
July 30, 2008
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