Elwha tribal canoe nearly complete

The task of naming the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe’s sleek, new canoe falls to the tribal elders.

But if lead carver Al Charles Jr. has his say, the name would represent what he has been doing all along — living his ancestors’ stories.

For more than two weeks, Charles Jr. and carvers Darrell Charles and Harry Moon have cut, scraped, smoothed and sculpted a cedar log into the underside of what will soon be a 42-foot oceangoing canoe.

Mixed with the scream of a chain saw’s motor and the banter among community members who come to watch comes the re-creation of what Charles Jr.’s ancestors, canoe people, have done for centuries.

“We’ve heard stories all of our lives,” Charles Jr., 30, said.

“We’ve been living a lot of these stories that were told to us. We’ve been carving the canoes, even though we’re using modern tools and modern equipment.”

Since June 12, when they began building the tribe’s next canoe that will be used in a ceremonial journey later this summer, the men have shaped the vessel’s underside and are ready for the next step.

——————–

The rest of this story only appears in Monday’s Peninsula Daily News. Click on “Subscribe” to get the PDN delivered to your home or office.

More in News

Spencer Weber
A scene from the photo archives of the Northwest Maritime Center's Race to Alaska looks deceptively serene. The 750-mile race of unmotorized watercraft from Port Townsend to Ketchikan is on again this year.
Race to Alaska ready to sail

Contest resumes after two-year hiatus

Timber sale, block grants discussed at county meetings

Government entities meet next week on North Olympic Peninsula

Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group

The Rev. ClayOla Gitane, rector at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, places signs and teddy bears in memory of the 21 victims of Tuesday's mass shooting in Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Church hosts candlelight service for Texas school shooting victims

Prayer vigil tonight will include an interfaith service

c
NWI: Purchase protects Discovery Creek headwaters

Ninety-one acres bought from Rayonier

Dr. Gib Morrow, Dr. Allison Berry and OESD Superintendent Greg Lynch.
Public health officers honored for COVID-19 work

Greg Lynch, superintendent at the Olympic Educational Service District 114,… Continue reading

Charges to be urged after report of toy guns at schools

Students allegedly pose on campuses over weekend

Memorial Day edition available online only

Memorial Day is a federal holiday and the U.S. Postal Service does… Continue reading

Memorial Day ceremonies set Monday

Flags to be placed on veterans’ graves on Saturday

Most Read