The Sockeye Salmon: Oncorhynchus nerka
These Salmon spawn during the summer in small tributaries of lakes where the young spend one to three years before migrating to the ocean. Here they live up to four years. They return to their home streams om maturity to spawn and die. They range from the Bering Strait to Sacramento California, being most abundant in the Pacific Northwest. The salmon were welcomed back by the indigenous peoples every year as a food and a spiritual source. The abundance of salmon was one of the contributing factors making their societies totally non agrarian with plenty of leisure time during the dark months (Nov.-Mar.) to devote to art and the supernatural. The Scene inside the salmon is of a Haida village in the Queen Charlottes ca 1880, when their art was at its peek. Their canoes and Totems were carved mainly from”
The Red Cedar: Thuja plicata
A giant tree often growing over 150′ tall and a diameter of 6′. The fibrous bark pictured in the foreground was woven into clothing, mats and baskets. The salmon were caught with hooks (like the one pictured), by nets of nettle fibre trawled between two canoes, speared with harpoons which had removable heads and trapped in elaborate underwater weirs. The coming of the Tall ships (depicted in the Sockeye’s tail) with their disease and vices were the beginning of the end for the Haida Culture (which is now recovering and renewing) and the Sockeye. The foreign and domestic fishing fleets (increasing yearly) have meant an end to the vast quantities once taken for granted.