Monday, August 8, 2011

A Yurok Village

Patrick's Point State Park has a reconstructed Yurok  Village.  The tribe uses it to teach both their own young people and the public about their traditions.

They had several dwellings and I found the construction to be very interesting.  They were built the traditional way, using planks from trees in the state parks that had fallen due to natural forces.  The round hole on the left side of the dwelling is the doorway.

It is hard to see from this shot but you enter onto a platform that runs around the edge of this sunken room.  The platform is used for storage and the people are below ground level.  
It seems a good way to avoid drafts in a cold and rainy climate.  In the center is a fire pit.

What about smoke?  Well they had a smoke hole, covered with planks to keep the rain out.

They had no nails so they lashed the buildings together using plant ties.  I found the construction to be very ingenious.

As with many cultures, the sweat lodge is important an important part of the culture.

The Yurok made dugout canoes and believed them to be living beings.
At the stern of the craft are two foot rests, these are the kidneys.  Towards the bow is a nob, this is the heart.

In front of the heart is carved a pair of lungs.

The canoes were used by both men and women.  They provided transportation on the rivers and larger ones were used to hunt in the ocean.

I find it interesting to see how people adapt their cultures to use what is at hand.  Plains Indians made homes from hides which were abundant.  In areas where birch was abundant that was used for making canoes and shelters.  Acorns are toxic but where they are abundant, native Americans learned to leach out the toxins.  Humans are amazingly resourceful.
See more of our amazing world at That's My World, Tuesday; hosted for us by Klaus, Sandy, Wren and Sylvia.


diana said...

Thanks for this post. I will be in this area in a couple weeks so very timely!

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

It has been many years since we were at Patrick's Pt. SP and I do not recall seeing this at the time. Very interesting post.

Sylvia K said...

A really fascinating post, Martha! I would love to visit there! Your photos are the next best thing! Hope your week is off to a good start! Enjoy!


Judy said...

Very interesting! Nothing like the native villages I have seen before!

Gaelyn said...

People of the past certainly did make use of the resources around them. Wonder if people of the future will be able to do the same.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Fascinating and entirely new to me -- I was looking for the map to see where this park is (and then I realized that the map is on your other blog -- I'll go check that out to see if you have something from here.) If not it's off to Mr Google.

I hope this one isn't slated for closing.

forgetmenot said...

Interesting post--always nice to learn about other cultures and how people lived "way back when". We've come a long way!!! Mickie :)

katney said...

Some of the general design is similar in the villages of some of the Alaskan natives.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

That's all very interesting. I love how they lashed the planks together to build their buildings. Yes, humans are very resourceful and adaptable.

Kim, USA said...

Wow thanks for this post and I like the photos too made me think how simple their life before. ^_^


TheChieftess said...

Beautiful photos and interesting history!!! I can't believe I haven't visited your site before!!! Thanks for stopping MammothLakesDP again!!!

eileeninmd said...

Nice tour and post. Your photos are wonderful.