Monday, June 6, 2011

Glacier Bay Huna Tribal House Project

It was a beautiful June day here in Hoonah today. I went out fishing and even took my camera, but the fishing was slow and I didn't see anything I wanted to take a picture of ...until I got to the old school shop. That's where the Glacier Bay Tribal House Project has been located. The doors were open so I dropped in to talk to Gordy Greenwald. The screen they've been working on for the past four months is finally finished. It was beautiful. All of the designs are from Gordy's imagination- each is original. I guess the screen won't be going anywhere any time soon. The park service in Glacier Bay hasn't erected a building for it yet and Gordy wasn't sure when they were going to get around to it.
 Along with the screen I noticed several masks that one of the local artists, Herb Sheakley had carved from red cedar. He also made the bentwood box picutred here. I think I mentioned before that the boxes are made from one solid piece of wood, scored on the back and then soaked or steamed to make them pliable enough to bend into a box form. Then the top and bottom are added. It's quite an art form- I'd never heard of anything like it before I came to Hoonah. I actually got a chance to help one of the students I worked with at the school make one in Gordon's Northwest Coast Art class.
 In the bottom picture, if you look closely, you can see two rocks. The rocks are similar to what the natives used for anchors. They somehow drilled a hole in the rocks they wanted for anchors and attatched a rope that they made from cedar roots. I held one of the hand made ropes and tested its strength- it's every bit as strong as anything you could purchase in a store.
 If you would like more information you can follow the project on Facebook. Search for Glacier Bay National Park Tribal House Project. There are several photos and an eight minute video clip. I hope you get a chance to check it out.


  1. Nice pics dad, Mr. G is very talented too, amazing artwork!

  2. Man I miss that woodshop and the teachings I had from Mr. G....miss just the smell of the yellow cedar and the stinky memories...