Marty, Marsha, and I left the boat but Howard decided to stay and come off a bit later. He is the guy in the maroon shirt and khaki's in the top center of the photo.
rom the boat, we learned about how the natives (mostly Athabascans) caught fish during the salmon runs, and how they dried them.
|Temporary salmon camp with drying racks on left and inside sheds behind|
|Salmon were then filleted and then sliced in a special way to enhance drying|
|Freshly sliced on left and dried on right|
|Temporary camp site during salmon harvest|
|Inside drying shed on left|
We got off the boat at the Athabascan "village." Marsha, Marty and I were in a group with a young woman who was Navaho. She moved to Alaska as a young teenager with her mom and step-father. Navaho and Athabascan are "cousins" and their languages are similar. She was valedictorian of her high school class an dis now studying fire science and forestry (I think) at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, nearby.
|Grass on roof|
There were caribou around that we had seen from the ship. They are definitely smaller and have a more shapely face/head.
|More temporary housing--covered by caribou skins|
|A boat and leantos|
|Pelts including wolf (left) and foxes (right)|
|Caribou, Moose and ? skins drying|
You can see some of the beautiful clothing that is made.
One woman beader in the community was very famous and has items on exhibit at the Smithsonian History Museum in Washington, DC. The designed on the clothing represent stories in different groups of native peoples.
|Moccasins and ceremonial object|
|Amazingly beautiful (and warm) coat|
|Back of coat|
http://www.anchoragemuseum.org/galleries/alaska_gallery/athabascan.aspx (much more detail)
After dinner at a Thai restaurant, we visited the Fairbanks Visitor and Cultural Center.
Highlights included an amazing arch made up of dozens of antlers:
|Marty & Marsha under the arch|
|Mostly Moose Antlers and me|
|Gould cabin, built before 1910|
This cabin is one of the few from the early days of Fairbanks that is on its original site. It was small so that the husband didn't have to collect too much firewood. The wife cooked on a wood stove and hauled water by the bucket to the home. It was built very close to neighboring cabins but now is right next to the Visitors' Center.
There was a great description of the natives' fish camp.
There was a wonderful video showing the area at different seasons during the year.
There was information on the Murie's, Olaus and Margaret, who helped develop the concept of wilderness in Alaska.
I especially liked the poster below!
And some amazing art work on hides:
So our Alaska adventure came to a close. The next day we were up at 5 to head to the airport at 6 for our early morning flight. I hope you have enjoyed the blog. At least for me, it will help to keep the memories alive.
|Canadian MT from plane on our flight home|