Native Village
Youth and Education news
Volume 4   September 2011

Master carver to begin creating poles, facade for Quileute cemetery
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Click here to zoom...Washington: Israel Shotridge's carvings will soon grace Quileute Cemetery. The Tlingit master artist will carve two 15-foot totem poles and a 30-foot facade of a canoe for the cemetery in LaPush.

The memorial is important for the tribe, said Bonita Cleveland, tribal chairwoman, "as it will grace the entrance of one of our most sacred sites, the resting place of our beloved ancestors."

A private blessing for the beginning of the project was held. In about six months, when the project is completed, a public blessing will be conducted at the Quileute Cemetery.

The Quileute tribe "is honored to select a master carver whose artistic vision and beautiful, majestic pieces represent work that only a true visionary can create," Cleveland said.

"Israel's devotion and commitment in bringing the poles from his homeland and the beautiful blessings that he bestowed upon them solidified that we had made the correct and honorable choice," she added.

Shotridge will take on several Quileute tribal members as apprentices during this project, which will use a 40-foot red cedar log from southeast Alaska.

Shotridge, who is originally from Ketchikan, Alaska, has been carving totem poles and canoes for the past 30 years.

"I am living my dream: to be commissioned by other tribes to carve significant pieces of art.  It's the greatest honor," Shotridge said in the statement.


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