Real or Faux? The Native Made Products in the Gift Shop, and the Coast Salish Artists who Carved the Some of the Art Seen at the Longhouse at Tillicum Village.
With the hundreds of guests who visit Tillicum Village every season, a few comments get back to us and we’re taking the opportunity to answer them. One is why so many of our items sold in the Tillicum Village gift shop are from Canada and not from Washington State. We’d like to share a brief history of the relationship with our Northern neighbors.
The area’s Coast Salish people who are the embodiment of the Native presence here in the Pacific Northwest have resided along the coastal strip from northern Oregon to southern Alaska obviously including the coastline of the Canadian territories. They were for lack of a better word, ‘borderless’. When they travelled the lands they didn’t cross a modern-day division or border.
One of the early artists of Tillicum Village is acclaimed master carver and member of the Nuu-Chah-Nulth tribe, George David. George originally hailed from the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, in the village of Clayoquot. The preferred mediums George used were both wood and hide, but also created unique jewelry pieces in silver and gold.
Another misconception about another prominent feature out at Tillicum Village is that of the beautiful totem poles displayed on the grounds. It has been debated exactly how the intricately designed poles figure into the habitat of Blake Island. The answer is they don’t. The totem poles that are a popular and much visited part of the island are actually not native to Washington State at all, but of those north of the border. They were not found among the Coast Salish people because they did not adhere to the social system the totems were created for. The Poles were distinguished as a necessity of clan recognition as well a social system amongst the northern and central tribes.
George David along with his father and brother created many magnificent totem poles that are proudly displayed out on the island. We continue to display them because they offer a tangible connection to the land and people who came before. The totems are of such invaluable Craftsmanship; they’ve been requested to be an exhibit at a premier Seattle museum.
The Tillicum Village season begins March 2nd and will again offer many interesting items in the gift shop, and showcase many authentic artifacts we are proud to have entrusted to us. Guests will enjoy the famously delicious salmon baked buffet as well as be entertained with the live and interactive dance and storytelling presentation show. All this set amongst the scenic background of Blake Island that offers the unique beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
By PJ Mohn
We had a milestone this summer. Tillicum Village is 50! Here’s a little back story:
Tillicum Village was created 50 years ago by Bill Hewitt for the World’s Fair. Bill wanted to build an attraction to celebrate the culture of Northwest Coast Native Americans — from their salmon to their art to their legends. He chose the name “Tillicum,” a word from Chinook jargon meaning friend or friendly.
In 2009 Argosy Cruises had the opportunity to acquire Tillicum Village, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to further showcase the food, art, and history of the Coast Salish people, making it a living tribute to our region’s heritage.
At Tillicum Village, the stories are told by Roger Fernandes. The dances and songs are used with the permission of the Native American families to whom they belong, in some cases the families of our Native American performers themselves. And we worked closely with members of the Suquamish tribe and others to create an experience that brings native culture out of the museum and into the modern day, where it is still alive and vibrant.
50 years this summer was an excellent opportunity to celebrate keeping the culture alive with a party on Pier 55. Here are a few pictures to include you in the festivities.
Roger Fernandes, the native storyteller featured in the Tillicum Village show, gave a cultural message. He also told a story about the Clam People, and sang a beautiful song.
The Dancers performed on the Pier
Performing on Pier 55 for the first time in Tillicum Village history
The dancers and Roger Fernandes
Anniversary cupcakes guarded by a foreboding mask from Tillicum
Photo Courtesy of Steve Shay Photography
Enter this sweepstakes to win a family 4-pack of tickets to Tillicum Village on Father’s Day!
Remember how gorgeous the weather was on Mother’s Day? Cross your fingers, because this week is supposed to be a nice one to celebrate Dad!
What better way to treat Dad and enjoy the sunshine than a trip out to Tillicum Village? Cruise across Elliott bay to Blake Island. Watch the salmon finish cooking over the fire. Go into the longhouse dining room to eat the buffet including the alder-baked salmon, a venison & bison stew, and plenty of fresh fruit and vegetable and rice to fill it out. Finish up your visit with our show combing tech and live performance about the Coast Salish. All of it from a scenic island accessible only by boat.
Enter this sweepstakes here in the comment section or on twitter. The prize is two adult tickets and two kids (5-12yrs) tickets to Tillicum Village for Father’s Day. YOUR choice of an 11:30am departure or a 1:30pm departure.
Photo Courtesy of Steve Shay Photography
See more information and a full menu here.
Two ways to enter to win?
1. Follow @ArgosyCruises on Twitter.
2. Tweet Argosy why you and your family want to go to Tillicum Village on Father’s Day OR comment on this post why you want to go.
The winner is Pavy T! Congratulations! They won a family 4-pack out to Tillicum Village on Sunday.
Here’s the Fine Print: Eligible winners must be 18 years of age or older. One valid entry will be accepted per day of the contest starting 6/11/2012 and ending 6/14/2012 at 12:00pm PST. Our family 4-pack prize will include 2 adult tickets and 2 children’s tickets to the 2012 Father’s Day at Tillicum Village. Tickets valid only on Sunday June 17th, 2012. Tickets are non-transferable, non-refundable, and not redeemable for cash.
Save 25% on Tours, Dining Cruises Aboard the Royal Argosy, and Trips to Tillicum Village!
At Argosy Cruises, we’re celebrating spring and we want you to join us! Whether you live in Seattle and need a play day, are visiting, or hosting guests, join us for a cruise!
When you book and take your trip before June 30th, 2012, you can save %25 on our dining cruises aboard the Royal Argosy, sightseeing tours, and the Tillicum Village experience.
Call us today to reserve your spot! (206)622-TOUR
*Reservations required, new bookings only, not valid on special event cruises or for already discounted items, cannot be combined with other offers, not valid for groups of 5 or more, other restrictions may apply.
We’re running a sweepstakes for a family four-pack of tickets out to Tillicum Village on Mother’s Day.
We’ve come to love special occasions out on Blake Island. It’s fun to step outside the ordinary and give Mom an adventure with a meal and scenery all built in.
After enjoying a cruise across Elliot Bay to the island, you go up to the long house in just enough time to see them finish cooking the salmon over the open fire pits. Then it’s time to eat the salmon dripping in butter and Juniper Berry Seasoning. Yum! The rest is a delicious buffet including the unique experience of bison and venison stew and the always popular fresh fruit with Chef Ron’s Strawberry Sherry Honey Sauce.
We always throw in something additional on these special days, and Mother’s Day is no exception. Mothers will all be given a gift to take home.
But you want to know the important stuff…like how to win those four tickets [Two adults and two kids (5-12yrs)].
Go to either the Tillicum Village Facebook page, or the Argosy Cruises Facebook page. Look for the Mother’s Day Tillicum Village Sweepstakes tab. It’s running until May 6th, and you can enter every day to increase your chances of winning.