Bill Konovalov

Bill Konovalov

Jamestown S’Klallam tribe erects three more totem poles at Blyn center

BLYN –– Three more totem poles by Dale Faulstich were added to the roster of carvings around the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribal Center on Wednesday.

“It’s kind of a never-ending cycle,” Faulstich said. “We always have more projects to do or that we can do.”

Two totems standing about 6 feet tall, “Seal Shames Raven” and “Crane and Kingfisher,” were installed at the tribe’s Youth Culture Center on Zaccardo Road.

A 5-foot “Welcome” figure was installed outside the tribe’s community center.

Faulstich, not a native member of the tribe, has designed more than 50 totems that a team of carvers and painters has helped produce in the “House of Myths” carving shed over the past two decades.

The Western red cedar poles were carved and painted by Faulstich, Bud Turner, Harry Burlingame, Jim Simon, Tyler Faulstich and Dusty Humphries.

They were attached to steel poles buried in concrete to help lend them support against the wild winds that sweep off the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

The totems were put in place by Accurate Angle Crane of Sequim, with owner Daniel Goettling directing the crane and Jamestown Excavating workers helping guide the totems on the ground.

Each totem had six to eight coats of paint applied, said Tyler Faulstich, Dale’s son.

“Crane and Kingfisher” tells the story of how the crane whittled down his legs to make it easier to walk silently through water in search of fish at the request of his unfaithful wife, Kingfisher.

He later used those silent legs to catch Kingfisher with Ermine, who turned white and fled as Crane stabbed Kingfisher with his spear.

That, Dale Faulstich’s legend said, is why Ermine turns white in winter and Kingfisher has red under her wings.

“Seal Shames Raven” tells how the proud and honest Chief of the Seals welcomed the sly, mischievous Raven for a week’s hospitality.

Raven attempted to impress Seal with his own feast, with shameful results.

Carved and painted by Faulstich and Bud Turner, “Welcome” features a S’Klallam warrior with his palms facing out in a welcoming gesture.

The warrior is decorated throughout with wolves, which Faulstich noted is the traditional spirit guardian from which the residents of the Suxtcikwi’in village on Sequim Bay were descended.

At the warrior’s feet is a wolf, and wolves are incorporated in the warrior’s hat and chest and on the tiled base, which is designed as a traditional Salish basket.

In addition to the installation of the new totems, workers removed a pair of 11-year-old totems, “Natural World” and “Supernatural World,” from their place in front of 7 Cedars Casino on Wednesday.

Two of the original seven cedar totems that have fronted 7 Cedars Casino since its 1994 construction were put back in place Tuesday after receiving new paint over the past few weeks.

Tyler Faustich and Dusty Humphries were working on a totem that will be sent to New Brunswick, B.C., inside the carving shed Wednesday.

Faulstich is working on design concepts for totems for Sequim’s new City Hall, now under construction.

He said he is trying to incorporate Sequim’s sunny reputation into the City Hall totems.

“The Realtors love that,” he said.

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Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

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