March 25, 2008

How-On-Quet Cemetery

I ran across this Tolowa Indian Cemetery in How-On-Quet the other day, when I was out sketching. The Tolowa Indians had their tribal grounds at the basin of the Smith River in Northwestern California and Southwestern Oregon. Entry into the cemetery seemed to be private as there was a "No Trespassing" sign posted and a chain on the gate. It is one of the loveliest "resting places" that I have seen.

I started this and then tossed it aside because I was frustrated with the way it was coming out. This morning I pulled it back out and decided to finish it. The graves weren't as uniform as they are in my picture. The ovals are raised mounds, there were several of those, the one in the bottom right corner had Abalone shells all the way around it and flowers on top. I had painted just the plain graves all the way across then realized that the mounds weren't "prepared for a burial" they were the finished grave... so I changed them, makes it difficult to see the flowers on top. This whole thing was painted tighter than I would have liked but I guess this is better than tossing it...


Blogger Teri C said...

What a neat find Tami. Yu have conveyed the cemetery peacefulness perfectly.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Lin said...

Nicely done, Tami and a wonderful tribute and remembrance!!!!! I so agree with Teri ... serene indeed.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this little painting!

5:41 PM  
Blogger caseytoussaint said...

Good for you for going back and re-working this. You always find the most interesting places to sketch and paint.

1:29 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

I love this one - I think the geometry of the graves makes it - it gives it the peacefulness in a way that a more chaotic arrangement wouldn't -full of feeling.

4:00 AM  
Anonymous SandyLH said...

You're right! it is very peaceful there. The warmth of the setting sun and the breeze off the ocean below give you a good feel. My good friend is of the Tolowa tribe and the graves are of her ancestors and cousins. Seems no matter where she goes there is always a cousin in sight, it's pretty funny. Caution is out that one cousin not marry another cousin by accident. Very nice painting, thank you for sharing. Sandy in Crescent City, CA

11:12 PM  
Blogger Tami said...

Thank you for stopping by and commenting, Sandy. I just wish I'd paid more attention to the layout of the graves when I started it instead of just painting what was in my minds eye.

7:09 AM  
Blogger Dena Gorbet said...

I am Tolowa and almost everyone of my 5x back to the present ancestors are there. One day I know I will be resting there as well. Its a beautiful picture. I knew exactly the place you painted. I know its strange to say but it is one of my favorite places in the world. Its very peaceful.
Thank you for not trust passing, we are always in threat of grave robbers.
FYI- You will never see a grave dug without someone with it. There is a spiritual reason, but also we (the family) dig a fresh whole and we all participate in the burial of the loved one by throwing flowers and dirt in, some grab shovels. Its our last gift we can give to that person directly. After we remember and honer them with our lives and teaching our children and everyone with a listening ear what we know about them.

Thank you for your respect and your gift.

my photos are here and you are welcome to look in my albums

1:42 PM  

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