Totem heritage Center21The locals are always to attract attention of new-comers: without the labor force not a single business can be successful. It was since the times immortal, for example, at times of Baranoff when he was the lord of Alaska appointed by the Russian tsar.  So it is nowadays. Alaskan major business is salmon fishing, hunting, tourist souvenirs.

At totem bars, restaurants and privately it is salmon trade at any visible corner of the town, but whale meat is not advised to eat at all, without any explanations why. Not recommended-and that’s all!

We are presently at the Totem Heritage Center which houses a pricelee collection of 19th century totem poles and other carvings, retrieved in the 1979s from the Tlingit Indian villages at Tongass Island and Village Island, and from the Haida village of Old Kasaan, on Prince of Wales Island. The inhabitants of these villages moved to Ketchikan and other towns at the beginning of the 20th century in order to be near schools, churches, and the canneries, mines, and sawmills that offered employment.

The Alaska State Museum and the Alaska Native Brotherhood, with the permission of Native elders, carried out the retrieval of the totem poles. Elders also provided valuable cultural and historical information about the poles. The Smithsonian Institution and the U.S. Forest Service provided technical assistance.

The totem poles in the Heritage Center were carved by Native artists during the heyday of totem pole carving on the Northwest Coast, between the middle and the end of the 19th century.

Here is our photo expose from that spot.

“Totem Heritage center, Ketchikan, Alaska, summer 2012”:

Totem Heritage Center, Ketchikan, Alaska, summer 2012

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It is very pleasant to realize at this Center that the life style of the natives is preserved and keeps on developing. Working together they create their original images of life and death of their members of tribes, ideas and feelings through their pieces of art. Their people died very long ago, but totems still stand, weathered as testimony to the skill and sophistication of their carvers. They look so funny with wide open mouths and bulged eyes, to my opinion.

One little note.

The tourism business in Alaska is blooming. So there are the offers everywhere to buy excursions for more than 100 dollars per person around the city, to the museums, mountains, sea, sky for the panoramic view by helicopter etc., etc. But nowhere in a brochure, or from oral advertisers was not mentioned a word about the free shuttle bus which brings you straight to the Totem Heritage Center and back every fifteen minutes, picking up the people from the Center and the Park.

Free services we need to discover ourselves using in abundance the knowledge of the English and American languages.

That is what we did.

Returning to the cruise liner “Zuiderdam’, we took some farewell shots of the city of Ketchikan which we propose to your attention.

“The City of Ketchikan, Alaska, summer 2012, view from the top deck of our ship.

the city of Ketchikan, Alaska (view from the deck of our ship)

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the city of Ketchikan, Alaska (view from the deck of our ship)

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