Saturday, August 27, 2011

There is a sad look to Puget Sound...

   Charter fishing boats were difficult to find.  There are no big docks, no fishery canneries, no real smell of fish at all.  No nets piled up along the beaches, no stacks of crab pots along the docks.  Port Townsend was the nearest "big town" and it didn't have the look of a working city at all.  We stopped at a boatyard, seemingly the biggest industry in Port Townsend and saw acres of yachts being restored.  This has become a playground for the wealthy.
   Indian names are everywhere. streets, cafes, casinos.  I wonder whether this is for the benefit of the tourists?  Reminded me a bit of Sisters, Oregon, a little town in Central Oregon with a local ordinance that all new construction has to have an "old West appearance".  There is a McDonald's there with an 1890's look!
   There is no living History from this Indian Heritage, no one is making canoes or Totem Poles anymore.  Beef Jerky is not made there, nor Pemmican, no dried fish operations or the smell of smoked Salmon. "Pow-wows" are only evidenced by a round up of motor homes, giant R.V's and Winnebago's.
   Casinos seem to be every thirty feet.  "Lucky Dog," "Indian Jack", silly names the white man gave them.
Revenge, I guess.  We took their land; we took their livelihood, customs and language.
   American Indians had no concept of private property, no word for land ownership.  Like the air we breathe, water that is found everywhere, the sun that shines equally, the land belonged to everyone.

Puget Sound
This is not to say that they didn't have a concept of wealth; they did for sure. These are the Northwest Indians who invented the "Potlatch", what we sometimes call now a "potluck dinner', although it could last for days and weeks in a very good season.  Tribes would get together and share their bounty and the wealthiest tribe were those who gave the most away!
   It is the Modern Era and times change, I know, but it seems that along the way we are dropping things that maybe we should have taken with us, and embracing things that make our past more difficult to find.

I am HERE too!

2 comments:

Clipped Wings said...

So very true, Jerry. I find a contradiction in how we think other nations should treat their people, and how we treated our own. Do as I say and not as I do, I guess.

AutumnLeaves said...

Totally in agreement with your sentiments here, Jerry.