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In time the inner beach will become dry land; the barrier beach will become what the inner now is; the bar will become a barrier beach; and a new bar will develop out in the ocean. The dynamics of these geological processes were captured in Tlingit toponyms for these marinescapes. In former days the winter villages, as well as the mid-summer and fall fishing camps, were on the sheltered waters southeast of Yakutat. Commercial fishing during the summer is now done off the mouths of the larger streams draining the coastal plain between Dry Bay and Yakutat Bay and even farther away , but in autumn, when the season is over, a number of families still go inside the sloughs or lagoons to put up fish for their own winter use.

Fall and winter hunting and trapping camps were usually located up the streams near the mountains; others were closer to the shore in order to hunt seals on the sandbars. From mid-summer to fall, berries were gathered and edible roots were dug on the flats. Three important principles are apparent in the operations of these devices that ensured they would capture only a portion of the salmon presenting themselves at the structures….

The first principle was that the structures were located at approximately half tide in the intertidal zone. Whether constructed of stones or wooden stakes, this positioning ensured that at high tide, the structures were completely below water—that is no portion of them stuck up above water to obstruct or deflect the salmon…[or otherwise impede their progress upstream].

The second operating principle is that the techniques [the traps] are designed in virtually all cases to harvest fish only on the ebb tide. This means that the fish are free during the incoming tide and at high tide to advance freely up the estuary and into the stream without obstruction or capture. However, on the ebb tide, some of the salmon that did not ascend will be caught in the traps. Thus, the number captured would only be a portion of the number that endeavored to ascend.

The third operating principle was not to block the stream channel above the title range. Langdon a — Significantly, not all Tlingit groups appear to have built lagoon or estuarine-based weir and stake traps. Rather this innovation seems to have been a special adaptation to take advantage of small dog Oncorhynchus keta and pink Oncorhynchus gorbuscha salmon streams, which were more common on the islands. These species tend to spend more time in the estuarine environments than red, silver, or king salmon.

One reason for its destruction by the natives in was that the Russians denied the Indians access to their traditional fishing grounds in this region. Unfortunately, military regulations during World War II also kept them out. From until , when Federal law closed the Ankau to commercial fishing, this area supplied the saltery and later the cannery, but even by the runs of reds and cohoes had been seriously depleted Rich and Bell, , p.

However, enough salmon still come to the Ankau to make this a place where the natives go in the fall to put up fish for their own needs. The routes chosen would vary according to whether one was going to gather seaweed on the coast, cockles in the lagoon, or fish in the streams. Another portage through a creek full of boulders and where we had to wade and we entered our first fresh-water lake. Even the soils were better in the lagoon systems, and they often became choice plots for Tlingit potato gardens, after that species was introduced.

Undoubtedly, further research in this area, as has been done recently in British Columbia Deur, et al. Another source of wealth in the lagoons was their birdlife. As a result of these encounters, many of the lagoon-based shore birds, including sandhill cranes, herons, and brants, are held as crests by Tlingit clans. We ask that Mr. Smith, the superintendent of the Baranof Packing Company, would be forbidden to take away our lagoons, bays and streams where we used to fish long before the arrival of white people.

We wish that he would do the necessary fishing only with our consent. We demand that he stops throwing pieces of wood and tree trunks across the streams to prevent fish from going there to spawn. In Kan In addition to caring for and protecting fragile lagoon systems, Tlingits recognized their dynamism and potential to shift and transform rapidly. Such powerful sites were also the locus of spirits.

In hopes of benefiting from her largess, a man who sensed Tlanaxeedakw's presence in the woods typically manifest as the sound made by a sucking child would shed his clothing, bathe, and the pursue her. If he was destined to gain her wealth, he would overtake her, whereupon she would scratch him with her long fingernails. The scabs from these wounds were the source of wealth and had to be preserved and treated according to ritual protocols in order for the beneficence to occur.

He heard this so often that he was very anxious to see her. One day, therefore, he went up to the lake and watched there all day, but he did not see anything. Next day he did the same thing again, and late in the afternoon he thought that he would sit down in the high grass. The sun was shining on the lake, making it look very pretty.

After some time the youth noticed ripples on the water, and, jumping up to look, saw a beautiful woman come up and begin playing around in it. After her came up her two babies. Then the man waded out into the lake, caught one of the babies, rolled it up in his skin coat, and carried it home. Swanton — Then he stopped by the side of a creek, tore his clothes off, and bathed in the cold water, rubbing himself down with sand. Afterward he felt very light and, although the voice had gotten some distance away, he reached it, and saw a woman with an infant on her back.

He pulled the child off and started to run away with it, but he did not escape before the woman had given him a severe scratch upon his back with her long copper finger nails. By and by he came to a tree that hung out over the edge of a high cliff and ran out to the end of it with the child in his arms. When he still refused to give her the child she handed him another. If you give a scab from it to any one of your people who is poor, he will become very rich.

Do not give it to anybody but your very near relations. And so in fact it turned out. The sore did not heal for a long time, not even after he had become very rich. Everything that he put his hand to prospered, and the relations to whom he had given scabs became the richest ones next to him. The scab, it could be said, represents a covenant and reminder that relations with productive but sensitive habitats, such as lakes and lagoons, must be guided by principles of respect and reciprocity.

At the same time, the largess of Wealth-Bringing Woman should not be hoarded selfishly, but rather must be shared with relatives to promote broader social welfare. The association of mineralized copper and scabs with wealth is indexical of the earthly and bodily interflows and exchanges that support life, and the products and byproducts that accompany these exchanges. The many ecological zones and their fuzzy edges lead to a high degree of biological and cultural diversity in these environments.

Upon the discovery of the wild herbs of the lagoon

If managed with respect and care, these are the richest of habitats. If not respected, the other-than-human inhabitants of these environments could turn on humans, leaving scars without wealth, as it were, and obligations for restitution. He urinated in bed and all the time, and suffered a great deal when he tried to cohabit. The only way to avoid this was to cut a dog open and throw it into the swamp.

Lagoons are explicitly conceptualized as sources of power in Tlingit cosmology. In the famous story of the Salmon Boy, told up and down the Northwest Coast see Thornton : 73—80 , a boy disrespects the salmon tribe and is captured by them and taken to live in their marine world until maturity. The family employs a shaman to transform him back into human form, after which the boy becomes a powerful shaman, who instructs his people in the ways of the salmon people and the collaborative reciprocity that exists between them and humans.

It is here that the anadromous salmon pause to transform themselves from marine to riverine creatures, before continuing their terminal upsteam journey to provide sustenance for Tlingits and the myriad birds, wildlife, and other constituents of the forest ecosystem that depend on their nutrients. Like the lagoon, the slough can be a potent source of wealth, sustenance, and power.

The Tlingit are neither reductionist, collapsing two different features, or confused, not knowing their saltwater features from freshwater features. It is largely in the nexus of these exchanges that the Tlingit dwelled and made their living. For humans and other animals, these uniquely rich environments provide certain affordances Gibson , namely prospect food and materials , refuge shelter , transport canoe roads , and power shamanic and other-than-human spirits. As edge habitats lagoons are great repositories and producers of sustenance and wealth, and their features of cultural interest are well identified in toponyms.

At the same time, their liminality and inbetweeness makes them unique sites for transformations and mixings of land and sea, of tide and current, of salmon and shaman. In addition, there was a bio-spiritual dimension to environmental apprehension, especially in dynamic environments like lagoons, set within broader, dynamic physiographic environments like the uplifting, glaciating, Ring of Fire that comprises Southeast Alaska. These more elemental processes, too, were conceptualized as driven by spiritual beings, like Wealth-Bringing Woman and her offspring, who could enrich or destroy humans.

Like the salmon, which might be driven off by the disrespect of not being allowed to ascend their streams, lake and lagoon-dwelling spiritual beings could turn on humans if they were not treated respectfully. They came by Outer Point and came to Auk Bay. The Chief then told his people where they would make their new settlement. At the same time most of the people explored the whole bay. They also found out the herring spawns in the spring.

There were all kinds of berries, game, and shellfish food. They saw ducks of all kinds, many animals like bears and mountain goats. This place suited them and they went right back to report to the Chief. He came and looked the place over. He told his people they will make their settlement in Auk Village to live in winter time… Joseph n.

Thornton Similar tragedies have befallen other watersheds with precious lake and lagoon systems, although their conservation has become a higher priority since the late s.

Restoration of Ghana's Keta Lagoon Will Bring Back Lots of Fish

It is in the direct contact with materials, whether or not mediated by tools—in the attentive, touching, feeling, handling, looking, and listening that is entailed in the very process of creative work—that technical knowledge is gained as well as applied. It was perhaps a month later, when the people of the place arrived - the fill of six great boats.

They were a fine race of men, and spoke a tongue that sounded very different from the tongue of Hawaii, but so many of the words were the same that it was not difficult to understand. The men besides were very courteous, and the women very towardly; and they made Keola welcome, and built him a house, and gave him a wife; and what surprised him the most, he was never sent to work with the young men.

And now Keola had three periods. First he had a period of being very sad, and then he had a period when he was pretty merry. Last of all came the third, when he was the most terrified man in the four oceans. The cause of the first period was the girl he had to wife. He was in doubt about the island, and he might have been in doubt about the speech, of which he had heard so little when he came there with the wizard on the mat.

But about his wife there was no mistake conceivable, for she was the same girl that ran from him crying in the wood.

So he had sailed all this way, and might as well have stayed in Molokai; and had left home and wife and all his friends for no other cause but to escape his enemy, and the place he had come to was that wizard's hunting ground, and the shore where he walked invisible. It was at this period when he kept the most close to the lagoon side, and as far as he dared, abode in the cover of his hut. The cause of the second period was talk he heard from his wife and the chief islanders.

Keola himself said little. He was never so sure of his new friends, for he judged they were too civil to be wholesome, and since he had grown better acquainted with his father-in-law the man had grown more cautious. So he told them nothing of himself, but only his name and descent, and that he came from the Eight Islands, and what fine islands they were; and about the king's palace in Honolulu, and how he was a chief friend of the king and the missionaries.

But he put many questions and learned much. The island where he was was called the Isle of Voices; it belonged to the tribe, but they made their home upon another, three hours' sail to the southward. There they lived and had their permanent houses, and it was a rich island, where were eggs and chickens and pigs, and ships came trading with rum and tobacco. It was there the schooner had gone after Keola deserted; there, too, the mate had died, like the fool of a white man as he was.

It seems, when the ship came, it was the beginning of the sickly season in that isle, when the fish of the lagoon are poisonous, and all who eat of them swell up and die. The mate was told of it; he saw the boats preparing, because in that season the people leave that island and sail to the Isle of Voices; but he was a fool of a white man, who would believe no stories but his own, and he caught one of these fish, cooked it and ate it, and swelled up and died, which was good news to Keola. As for the Isle of Voices, it lay solitary the most part of the year; only now and then a boat's crew came for copra, and in the bad season, when the fish at the main isle were poisonous, the tribe dwelt there in a body.

It had its name from a marvel, for it seemed the seaside of it was all beset with invisible devils; day and night you heard them talking one with another in strange tongues; day and night little fires blazed up and were extinguished on the beach; and what was the cause of these doings no man might conceive. Keola asked them if it were the same in their own island where they stayed, and they told him no, not there; nor yet in any other of some hundred isles that lay all about them in that sea; but it was a thing peculiar to the Isle of Voices.

They told him also that these fires and voices were ever on the seaside and in the seaward fringes of the wood, and a man might dwell by the lagoon two thousand years if he could live so long and never be any way troubled; and even on the seaside the devils did no harm if let alone. Only once a chief had cast a spear at one of the voices, and the same night he fell out of a cocoanut palm and was killed.

Voices of Nature - Salt water

Keola thought a good bit with himself. He saw he would be all right when the tribe returned to the main island, and right enough where he was, if he kept by the lagoon, yet he had a mind to make things righter if he could. So he told the high chief he had once been in an isle that was pestered the same way, and the folk had found a means to cure that trouble.

So the people of the isle cut down the tree wherever it was found, and the devils came no more. They asked what kind of tree this was, and he showed them the tree of which Kalamake burned the leaves. They found it hard to believe, yet the idea tickled them. Night after night the old men debated it in their councils, but the high chief though he was a brave man was afraid of the matter, and reminded them daily of the chief who cast a spear against the voices and was killed, and the thought of that brought all to a stand again. Though he could not yet bring about the destruction of the trees, Keola was well enough pleased, and began to look about him and take pleasure in his days; and, among other things, he was the kinder to his wife, so that the girl began to love him greatly.

One day he came to the hut, and she lay on the ground lamenting.


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The same night she woke him. The lamp burned very low, but he saw by her face she was in sorrow. Two days before the boats begin to be got ready, go you to the sea-side of the isle and lie in a thicket. We shall choose that place before-hand, you and I; and hide food; and every night I shall come near by there singing. So when a night comes and you do not hear me, you shall know we are clean gone out of the island, and you may come forth again in safety.

I will not be left behind upon this isle.

Mozia - The Lagoon and the Salt Pans - marsalas jimdo page!

I am dying to leave it. And the reason they will kill you before we leave is because in our island ships come, and Donat-Kimaran comes and talks for the French, and there is a white trader there in a house with a verandah, and a catechist.


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  • Oh, that is a fine place indeed! The trader has barrels filled with flour, and a French warship once came in the lagoon and gave everybody wine and biscuit. Ah, my poor Keola, I wish I could take you there, for great is my love to you, and it is the finest place in the seas except Papeete.

    So now Keola was the most terrified man in the four oceans. He had heard tell of eaters of men in the south islands, and the thing had always been a fear to him; and here it was knocking at his door. He had heard besides, by travellers, of their practices, and how when they are in a mind to eat a man, they cherish and fondle him like a mother with a favourite baby. And he saw this must be his own case; and that was why he had been housed, and fed, and wived, and liberated from all work; and why the old men and the chiefs discoursed with him like a person of weight.

    So he lay on his bed and railed upon his destiny; and the flesh curdled on his bones. The next day the people of the tribe were very civil, as their way was. They were elegant speakers, and they made beautiful poetry, and jested at meals, so that a missionary must have died laughing. It was little enough Keola cared for their fine ways; all he saw was the white teeth shining in their mouths, and his gorge rose at the sight; and when they were done eating, he went and lay in the bush like a dead man.

    Some of the old chiefs are murmuring already. They think you are fallen sick and must lose flesh. Since die I must, let me die the quickest way; and since I must be eaten at the best of it, let me rather be eaten by hobgoblins than by men. Farewell," said he, and he left her standing, and walked to the sea-side of that island. It was all bare in the strong sun; there was no sign of man, only the beach was trodden, and all about him as he went, the voices talked and whispered, and the little fires sprang up and burned down.

    All tongues of the earth were spoken there; the French, the Dutch, the Russian, the Tamil, the Chinese. Whatever land knew sorcery, there were some of its people whispering in Keola's ear. That beach was thick as a cried fair, yet no man seen; and as he walked he saw the shells vanish before him, and no man to pick them up.

    I think the devil would have been afraid to be alone in such a company; but Keola was past fear and courted death. When the fires sprang up, he charged for them like a bull. Bodiless voices called to and fro; unseen hands poured sand upon the flames; and they were gone from the beach before he reached them.

    With that he sat him down in the margin of the wood, for he was tired, and put his chin upon his hands. The business before his eyes continued: the beach babbled with voices, and the fires sprang up and sank, and the shells vanished and were renewed again even while he looked. And his head was dizzy with the thought of these millions and millions of dollars, and all these hundreds and hundreds of persons culling them upon the beach and flying in the air higher and swifter than eagles.

    But I will know better the next time! And at last, he knew not very well how or when, sleep fell on Keola, and he forgot the island and all his sorrows. Early the next day, before the sun was yet up, a bustle woke him. He awoke in fear, for he thought the tribe had caught him napping: but it was no such matter.

    Only, on the beach in front of him, the bodiless voices called and shouted one upon another, and it seemed they all passed and swept beside him up the coast of the island. And it was plain to him it was something beyond ordinary, for the fires were not lighted nor the shells taken, but the bodiless voices kept posting up the beach, and hailing and dying away; and others following, and by the sound of them these wizards should be angry.

    As when hounds go by, or horses in a race, or city folk coursing to a fire, and all men join and follow after, so it was now with Keola; and he knew not what he did, nor why he did it, but there, lo and behold! So he turned one point of the island, and this brought him in view of a second; and there he remembered the wizard trees to have been growing by the score together in a wood.

    From this point there went up a hubbub of men crying not to be described; and by the sound of them, those that he ran with shaped their course for the same quarter. A little nearer, and there began to mingle with the outcry the crash of many axes. And at this a thought came at last into his mind that the high chief had consented; that the men of the tribe had set-to cutting down these trees; that word had gone about the isle from sorcerer to sorcerer, and these were all now assembling to defend their trees.

    Desire of strange things swept him on. He posted with the voices, crossed the beach, and came into the borders of the wood, and stood astonished. One tree had fallen, others were part hewed away. There was the tribe clustered. They were back to back, and bodies lay, and blood flowed among their feet.

    The hue of fear was on all their faces; their voices went up to heaven shrill as a weasel's cry. Have you seen a child when he is all alone and has a wooden sword, and fights, leaping and hewing with the empty air? Even so the man-eaters huddled back to back, and heaved up their axes, and laid on, and screamed as they laid on, and behold!

    For awhile Keola looked upon this prodigy like one that dreams, and then fear took him by the midst as sharp as death, that he should behold such doings. Even in that same flash the high chief of the clan espied him standing, and pointed and called out his name.

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