To be in Taholah

If I had my druthers, I’d be spending the 4th of July weekend on the Pacific coast. It’s Taholah Days, and the Quinault Nation is having hand-carved cedarwood canoe races.

Those boats are beautiful! It’s a lovely homage to their culture and art, modernized.

Man, the coast people really know how to make a canoe. This is a work of art.


  1. Le Chifforobe says

    Works of art, yes!
    But even more impressive to me is that large canoes like this were used to hunt whales. Once you’ve caught it, where do you put it?

  2. says

    I was privileged to see a number of these canoes at the NoDAPL camp, the Quinault Nation showed up in force, over a couple of months. Beautiful work is an understatement.

  3. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    “Quinault Nation Treaty and the birth date of the United States of America
    Bolded to emphasize the more general use of the word than the federal usage.

  4. Tethys says

    Those canoes are marvels of engineering, as well as art. The process from cedar tree to canoe can be found here. He has great photos of old and new canoes, with lots of construction details. The photo that shows the seats in Reg Davidsons canoe is simply gobsmaking. Hand carved!!

  5. anchor says

    #1 — I have read some accounts that they would typically attempt to tow the carcass (rarely more than one at a time, and not always successfully) back to the nearest workable shore after sending others to meet at the appointed place with the necessary tools for dismantling them. Then they had to work out whether to transport the meat/material to their families, or have their families move to meet them at a location nearby – and THAT was contingent on hard considerations of whether it would prove suitable to hang out over an entire Winter. Either way, it must have been excruciatingly hard and perilous work. In any case, just one successful hunting mission before the tail end of the warm season can have helped ensure the survival of the tribe over the ensuing Winter.

    What amazes – and moves me, literally, to tears – is that there used to be a CULTURE of humans who were not only industrious and hard-working and SMART enough to survive ROUTINELY under environmental and seasonal challenges that would have rendered 99% (just guessing) of today’s ‘civilized’ population into a whining argumentative mess before they expired against such harsh conditions – and STILL managed to adorn their craft with a luscious degree of artistry, however they may have attached some traditional ‘spiritual’ significance to such adornment. That is the very backbone of commitment.

    And it produced beauty as well as functionality. That combination makes it sublime.

    I hate to jump topic, but just for context: that’s the diametric opposite of the Trumpster mentality which pays attention to nothing else other than pathetically unimaginative fantasy constructs of what the world ‘should’ be, as opposed to a strategy that carefully analyses reality to find solutions that nature allows…which is basically how technology/engineering informed by science actually works. Alas, that Trump thing has been allowed by a broken cultural mechanism to call the shots of a nation that carries the highest economic and military inertia on the planet. As PZ has said before: “We’re doomed”.

  6. archangelospumoni says

    Dr. Myers knows his Pacific NW, as proven again by this post. If you are ever out here (I am halfway between Seattle and Canada), get out to the Olympic Peninsula and poke around to your heart’s content. The Quinault nation has some great stuff like this and there is a ton of other stuff. A million things to do. And besides, we are a blue state. My wife and I have amended some travel plans due to too many red states involved.

    P.S. Read this:

    They/we took out 2 dams on this one river (Elwha) over on the peninsula and the authorities are duly restoring things. Actually, letting Mother Nature restore things. Read and learn about progress!