The Arctic Char: Salvelinus alpinus:
All the Arctic Char living above a latitude of 64 degrees North, winter in coastal waters moving into rivers to spawn. These sea-run char grow to about twenty-six pounds. Below this latitude they also inhabit cold, deep lakes, many evolving into distinct varieties varying greatly in size and coloration. Lake char are smaller, usually reaching about eight pounds. They are a favorite of anglers. The wondrous colors here come with the hormonal change during spawning. The fingerling in the foreground still carries the dorsal markings that disappear in maturity. These markings represent a Tlingit village in the snow.
“Tlingit” means the “people”. Also written “G-tinkit”, “T-linkit” and “Thinket” it is pronounced “Clink-it”. They occupy an area along the Pacific coast from Mount St. Elias to the Nass River, including Sitka and the other islands of the Alexander Archipelago. Tribes had a master carver who was held in great esteem (sometimes he was also the chief). This head carver or another also oversaw the carving of the village totems their main task the overseeing of the dugout canoes, which provided a means of fishing and traveling. The fish totem designs in the center char are of my own design inspired by nature as would those of the Tlingit have been. In the female fish to the right float icebergs along these Northern coasts as the snow falls. In the head of the male on the lower left is a dancer and a drummer wrapped in their prized Chilkot blankets. These were blankets woven from a mixture of the inner bark of cedar and mountain goat wool (traded for with the interior Chilkotan tribes for fish). Male artists of the tribes produced the patterns, which told tales and held many symbols.