June 17-18th- We spent two nights at Hazelton, BC, about 178 miles east of Prince Rupert.
Old Hazelton is a small community that boasts of many ‘firsts’…….trading post, bank, school, etc.. in Northwest British Columbia
We walked around the two or three blocks that comprise Old Hazelton in about an hour. Their Pioneer Museum at the library was closed (only open from 7:30 – 9:30 pm!) as was the art museum (closed on Monday, when we happened to be there). New Hazelton and South Hazelton were a bit bigger, but not by much.
We had stopped at the Hazeltons to tour ‘Ksan, an historically reconstructed Gitxsan Native village.
‘Ksan was constructed in 1976 to honor the culture of the Gitxsan People (People of the River of Mist, referring to the Skeena River).
This is the Skeena River. ‘Ksan stands at the confluence of the Skeena River and the Bulkley River, where Gitxsan villages have stood for centuries before any contact with the Europeans.
‘Ksan Historical Village consists of 7 traditionally styled longhouse buildings containing a number of artifacts and many beautiful ceremonial costumes.
The tour of these longhouses highlighted the ceremonial uses of the buildings as well as the daily life of the Gitxsan people. Their long winter months were spent in these longhouses and the time was passed weaving, carving, painting and creating objects of art as well as ornamenting the every day items. And, of course, everyone enjoyed singing, dancing, and the telling of their stories.These longhouses were filled with wonderful examples of the native talent. Unfortunately, no photos were allowed.
This is also the land of the totem poles…….The poles at ‘Ksan were reproduced by well known artists and craftsmen after studying the traditional Gitxsan carvings to decipher what made the Gitxsan carvings unique.
Totem poles were everywhere!
We drove up the road just a bit to the Kispiox village to see this grouping.
Amazing examples of carving, with each telling a story…….though the meaning may be lost to history……
The figures representing birds and animals……
Or people or spiritual beings…….
We stayed in the ‘Ksan campground with snowcapped mountains for a backdrop……
This plaque hung in the ‘Ksan center, which has been recognized internationally as a ‘Peace through Tourism’ site.
May we all strive to travel well………