Thursday, August 27, 2015

Totem Poles and Teepees in the Yukon


One of the things that I loved about traveling in the Yukon was the vibrant First Nation culture that was visible everywhere. Traditional paintings, sculptures, food and clothing were displayed in every town that I visited but I really enjoyed seeing the totem poles. The one above stands in Whitehorse.


This totem pole sits in the middle of CarCross (Caribou Crossing), surrounded by shops covered in beautiful First Nation symbols. All tribes don't have totem poles but those that lived near forests carved them to represent the tribal nation's history and stories.You can see the intricate detail and work that goes into the carvings. I was tempted to climb them to look at the figures up close, but I didn't. Besides being difficult, it would be highly disrespectful to climb a totem pole.


I spotted this teepee on a farm just outside of  Dawson City. It's made with traditional elk skin and wood, with an opening on top for smoke. I really enjoyed connecting with First Nation culture when I was in the Yukon, have you ever experienced any aspect of the culture?


Sunday, August 16, 2015

A Yukon Wedding


There is no place on Earth like the Yukon. I had no idea what to expect when I visited this striking and unconventional region of Canada and that was probably a good thing because you just have to experience it. Descriptions and expectations just don't measure up. So when I sifted through the hundreds of photos I took of all of my out of this world experiences--glaciers! elk hearts! human toe cocktails! a real caveman!, it was hard to choose a singular image of how to sum up the Yukon. But this pic of a Yukon wedding does a great job of capturing the spirit of the place. This wasn't posed or set up, this is the real wedding party on a vintage fire engine, rolling through the dusty streets of Dawson City. It was actually the first of two wedding parties that I witnessed, the other was on a pickup truck. They waved and invited me to join the reception as they rolled off.  They didn't know who I was, I didn't know who they were but they didn't hesitate to invite me to their special day. That's the Yukon; adventurous, welcoming and unexpected.