Mon Mar 19, 2012, 09:22 PM
CountAllVotes (14,419 posts)
A Vision of Reviving Tribal Ways in a Remote Corner of California
KLAMATH, Calif. — From a forested bluff, Willard Carlson Jr. stands watch over Blue Creek where its indigo eddies meet the gray-green riffles of the Klamath River. The creek is sacred to Yurok Indians like himself: it flows into high country, a pilgrimage point and a source of curative power for tribal healers. The Yurok consider it their “golden stairway” and weave its stepped pattern into their basketry.
This is a California few outsiders know, where remote villages still await electricity, and the river is a liquid neighborhood. For the state’s largest tribe, with about 5,000 members, well-publicized battles over fishing rights and hydroelectric dams are perhaps less pressing day to day than the question “What part of the river are you from?”
Five years ago, Mr. Carlson was rebounding from alcohol and drug abuse when he felt the need to return here, to his family’s ancestral ground. One night, cooking salmon and eel over an alder fire, he vowed to do something that had not been tried here for at least 150 years: to build a traditional Yurok village from scratch, a ceremonial place that will “bring people home to reconnect with the old ways,” he said.
Mr. Carlson, now 59, his salt-and-pepper hair heavy on the salt, named the village now rising in a clearing Ah Pah, or “the beginning of the stairway.” He views it as a place of healing for “the many people who have lost their way.”
Congratulations to the Yurok tribe for making it to the New York Times on March 18, 2012.
4 replies, 1524 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
A Vision of Reviving Tribal Ways in a Remote Corner of California (Original post)
Response to CountAllVotes (Original post)
Tue Mar 27, 2012, 08:39 PM
PufPuf23 (5,572 posts)
4. This is my home country and residence now til death --
three Tribes -- Yurok, Karuk, and Hupa.
I am far in favor of restoration and strength of traditional Indian culture and the local natural world.