Jump to content
waltonksm

Potlatch

Recommended Posts

I am quickly displaying some of my St. Mary's Potlatch photos.  You may find some of these to be a little "different."

 

Being Presented.  You are given your Eskimo name. At this time. The names are from departed people, but during potlatch their spirits are in the person who is being presented. A little later today the spirits will return to the spirit world, and potlatch is over.

Potlatch 2019

 

 

Each family that ha presented their relative then dances.  They have their own "new" songs and dances for this occasion.

 

Potlatch 2019

 

 

This young woman was just presented, but this is taken during her first family dance.

 

Potlatch 2019

 

After the first night of potlatch there is  giving of food to the men. This year we have lots of moose around, so a couple of guys told me they were going out to get a couple of moose....... And they did.

 

St. Mary's Potlatch, 2019

The big pile on the left is one of the two moose they got.This moose was walking around only 60 hours earlier. Most of the fish were frozen.  But quite a few were still relatively fresh, having been caught in nets within a few days of this distribution.

St. Mary's Potlatch, 2019

 

Top center is a beaver.  The gift giver kept the hide (it may have been given out at the potlatch dance event.) The beaver tail is stuffed into the chest cavity. If you are really having a lot of troubles with aches and pains, there is nothing quite like having  a big serving of soup made with beaver tail.  Also, the beaver testicles are boiled up, minced, and used as a surface rub.  And if you think about for a second, consider salicylates. This is a natural form of something similar to aspirin.  I have to confess, I prefer aspirin.

St. Mary's Potlatch 2019

 

I do not like fish.  I love catching them with rod and reel,  but I do not like them. I do not eat fish, and do not want to smell fish. Our community hall absolutely reeks of fish today. Fish slime dripped onto the floors, and is tough to get absolutely , completely cleaned up. I just left the hall after it has had much cleaning done.  And I STILL smell fish. I occasionally eat salmon (grilled,) but that i about it for me. So here I am in an area that is still rich with fish, and I hate fish.  I do eat moose and caribou.  And I once tried whale... but ONLY once, and never again!

Edited by waltonksm
correct spelling and add more text description
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting stuff, Walton. Thanks for sharing here. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Walton, as always, I find your images of your world most fascinating.

 

The tails of salmon are more neutral and less fatty &  fishy IMHO.  (I am of course talking about farmed salmon.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Hugh, and Dallas too.  Farmed Salmon?? You don't use those words around here.  The Yukon King Salmon have the highest fat content of any salmon anywhere in the world.  I just found the number: 34%. I think this is the percent of the total  weight of the fish.  The fish in my photos were mostly white fish, pike, and "Lush," which I seem to remember is a local name for Burbot. I did not see any salmon in the piles on the floor, although I have seen small kings caught in nets in the winter. 

 

Our king returns have been so low that you were not allowed to even catch them, during some fish openings.  There has been no sport fishing here for quite a few years (I am on the lower Lukon.) The number of kings caught is also dependent upon mesh size of the nets.  Smaller mesh size means mostly Chum salmon. Most of our openings now DO NOT allow long nets, but require you to use much smaller dip nets.  It is easy to return a king to the river with no injuries when using a dip net.

 

Chums are also known as "dog salmon."  With the crash of the king population, you will find that a relatively "new" salmon is being marketed:  Keta  (Oncorhynchus keta.)   A lot of people in this area caught as many chums as possible, dried them, and then would feed them to their dogs in the winter.  So...... they needed a new name for marketing the chums/dog salmon. 

 

Yes, salmon are much less "fishy" than the other fish we have here. I will eat salmon occasionally (if there is nothing else to eat.)

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for sharing all this Walton!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Different indeed, thanks for sharing this images, a bit of insight into the way of living 

glad that photos do not smell :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Luc and Armando. 

 

Yes, it is different, and YES, I should have been covering this for years before I started.  But then, shooting high speed ektachrome would still not compare with having ISO 3200 on a modern digital camera.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By visiting this website you are agreeing to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy & Guidelines.