So the celebration theme continues on our Cruising the Inside Passage tour. This time, it is a celebration of a whole community in the Tlingit village of Saxman, about three miles southeast of Ketchikan, Alaska.
One of the fun things about traveling is the serendipity that often happens. Upon exploring the Totem Heritage Center in Ketchikan and learning about the art and culture and storytelling of the totem, we learned about the potlatch. That's the special occasion when a clan would erect a new totem. It is typically a closed, kind of invitation-only affair. But on this day, there was to be a very public totem raising in celebration of the community receiving the funding to raise two new totems at the Saxman Tlingit Village and carved by accomplished artists. The public was welcome.
And it was quite an occasion. Special speakers included both U.S. senators from Alaska: Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich. There was also traditional native dancing and singing by a group dressed in colorful, beautiful regalia. And it took a village to raise these totems, as you can see from the photo. This depicts the Bear Clan from the Eagle family.
Next ... A visit to Juneau and a joyous celebration among some dozen(!) Humpback whales -- typically more solitary beings!