Juneau & Icy Strait Point

Icy Strait Point

On Friday the Statendam spent the day docked at Juneau. This was our first day of inclement weather: It rained almost all day. We took a look outside early in the day and agreed we’d wait until the weather cleared up before heading out. But the weather never did clear up, and we spent the day on the ship, reading and relaxing.

Yesterday (Saturday) we visited Icy Strait Point, an island now owned by Alaskan Native people as a result of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971. The site includes the Hoonah Packing Company facility of the 1930s (shown in photo at the top of this post) that has been converted into a museum, restaurant, and shops.

Many of the inhabitants of the island are of the Tlingit people, a matriarchal people indigenous to the Pacific Northwest Coast. We attended a performance at which several people acted out some of the Tlingit origin myths. We were allowed to take photos before and after, but not during, the performance.

Tlingit young man

This young man spoke to us as the audience gathered. He’s 16 years old and attends the local high school. The bear skin on the wall behind him is from one of the largest bears caught on the island in recent years.

Tlingit blanket

The performers wore as robes these beautiful blankets.

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