Skip to comments.Loggers find face in a tree
Posted on 04/16/2014 7:31:22 PM PDT by Theoria
Klahoose carving settles question of territory
A face carved into a tree trunk was discovered by forestry workers in a remote location up Toba Inlet. It had been staring down an ancient river valley in the rainforest for almost 200 years.
The recent chance discovery was made approximately 60 miles up the inlet and helped to silence a question of doubt regarding the geographic limits of Klahoose First Nation traditional territory.
Two employees of Fireball Contracting Ltd., Rob Reynolds and Keith McCrea, were working in a cutblock and turned around to discover the carved face. Klahoose Forestry Limited Partnership manager Kim Olney, informed Klahoose First Nation of the find.
They had the good fortune to turn around and there it was staring back at them, said Kathy Francis, Klahoose councillor, lead negotiator and historical and archaeological advisor for the nation. This is an extremely remote area. Its rugged and at times inaccessible. Yet here is this tree way up in the middle of the rainforest.
Francis said the coordinates were recorded and the tree was ribboned off. A team of archaeologists and cultural leaders, including Erik Blaney of Tlaamin (Sliammon) First Nation, was assembled to travel up Yekwamen (Toba Inlet) to perform a traditional ceremony for the relocation of the culturally modified tree. Francis contacted Al Mackie and Owen Grant at the BC Archaeology Branch and George Field, conservator at the Royal BC Museum to combine efforts for the next steps.
The team was assembled and en route within a week of the discovery, Francis said. We flew up and found it using GPS. There are a few different views on what it is. It may have been a trail marker. It was on what would have been the main trading trail. This tree was in between two other marked trees. The way it was situated, the face isnt looking straight out at you; her face is almost on an angle. She was looking directly down the valley.
The Klahoose discovery went a long way toward silencing reason of doubt from the federal government concerning the extent of Klahoose traditional land. The area was known to be in Klahoose territory, Francis said. It has filled gaps in history for us. There was a strength of claim done against Klahoose a few years ago. We would argue the inlets, the lower reaches of the valleys and the river beds. The government would argue against it.
Francis explained that the tree was removed from the site to avoid risk of blowdown as it was left exposed when most of the surrounding trees in the area were harvested. Weve taken it down and have moved it to Squirrel Cove where were making it safe to move into the community centre.
Francis explained that careful attention has been paid to the preservation and the correct procedures around how to manage the find.
In addition to marking the traditional territory of first nations that once used this technique, anthropologist Franz Boas wrote that he believed such carvings may also have been used to mark ownership of specific trees intended to be used in construction or boat building. Once ownership was emblazoned on the side of the tree it could then be traded or preserved and harvested at a later date.
A handbook and registry of arborglyphs and culturally modified tree markings managed by the ministry of forests, lands and natural resource operations contains blazes and carvings that are estimated to run as far back as 5,000 years.
Following the Klahoose find, another carved face was discovered on the northeast of Vancouver Island, in Namgis territory, deep in the heart of the Nimpkish Valley. Archaeologist Jim Stafford, of Coast Interior Archaeology company, said the arborglyphs will be studied to coax further detail and try to solve the emerging history the faces hold.
A plaque will be constructed at the site of the Klahoose find.
On Friday November 15th, Klahoose Councillor Kathy Francis and a team of professional and cultural leaders made way to Yekwamen (Toba Inlet). The group were on their way to perform a traditional ceremony for the relocation of a recently identified culturally modified tree which was found recently by a forestry worker in the area.
The tree is a significant find for the Klahoose and continues to prove our occupation of the land and use of the area. said Kathy Francis. We are looking forward to housing the find in our administration building to share with our membership. The image in the tree has been identified to have been carved in the late 1800s. Great care and attention has been ongoing with the preservation and the correct procedures how to manage the find. Kathy Francis contacted Al Mackie and Owen Grant at the BC Archeology Branch and George Field, Conservator at the Royal BC Museum to combine efforts for the next steps.
The forestry company Fireball Contracting owned by Klahoose members Bill Brown and John Reedel was the first to recognize the find for what it was weeks before the ceremony. Employees Rob Reynolds and his Partner Keith McCrea spotted the face on the tree and immediately knew it was something special. Klahoose Forestry LP Manager Kim Olney informed Klahoose First Nation and Kathy and Kim began to get the plans in place.
The Klahoose Cultural Leader Norman Harry Sr. and a Tlaamin Cultural Leader Erik Blaney witnessed and performed a ceremony to ensure cultural protocol was observed. The heartfelt moments before the tree was harvested was both moving and surreal on that snowy winter Friday. Needless to say that the emotional event was a historical moment for those who witnessed.
After the ceremony a host of people were involved carefully moving the priceless find to the beach where eventually the journey will begin to the final resting spot. John Head of Toba Montrose General Partnership was coordinating the transport and Coulson Heli crews, Mayco Noel and Jordan White coordinated the flying of the tree to safe ground.
As for the next steps, Klahoose plans to have a ceremony unveiling the tree in its new home in the near future and to share this great find to the entire Klahoose membership for all to enjoy. A plaque will be constructed at the site of the find.
The Cultural Modified Tree is going to be at the Klahoose offices at Toq (Squirrel Cove) for permanent display. Klahoose wishes to thank the individuals and contractors who assisted in these efforts.
America demands Justice for the Fallen of Benghazi!
Hey! I went to high school with those guys!
It's a decent start...
Is that Rodney Dangerfield?
I was thinking Jimmy Hoffa.
I am sincerely freaked out by that thing.
It would have to be recent, wouldn’t it?
It it were chest high today (as seen on photo), how do you account for tree growth over the past decades, not to mention century?
If it were carved 100-200 years ago, would it not be a lot higher up on the tree, as it grew?
I’d say about 40 to 50 years old, if that.
No, it would stay the same height. The growth around the carving would determine the age. Like I said, that tree is not that old and I said the carving is about 40 to 50 years old..if that.
BTW, If they leave that tree up, it will most likely blow down or break off at that carving since it is weak there now. That tree is now out in the open with nothing around to shelter it from the wind.
NW injun arborglyph's have been covered pretty well.
Look Big Ears. I suppose it is an image of Obama. =)
Looks to me like carvings and statues found in the South Pacific islands.
“I’ve got wood!” Treebeard
Cut it down.
Sell it at the gift shop.
Actually, I think that’s the intent.
PC for "vandalized" by somebody other than white...