Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Perspectives: Makah salmon

Here's how the Makah Indians cook salmon -- fourteen fish around a fire, the juice dripping down the cedar stakes.  Yes, they tasted delicious. 

The venue is a fire on the beach side of the old Airforce Base in Neah Bay, Washington, where I lived for several months more than twenty years ago, now.  Wow!  I ran the basketball program -- those young Makah toughs would be 40 years old, now! 

Ham Green, Makah story-teller, logger, truck driver,
preacher, you name it. 
The Makah were one of the only tribes to hunt the big whales.  A few years after we left, they carved a cedar tree and went out and killed a gray whale, again. This episode prompted much anger from the liberal suburbs of Seattle, which decided it preferred whales to Native Americans, if push came to shove.  I would often stroll down to Cape Flattery and sit on the cliffs, watching the surf run through sea caves, and keep an eye out for seals, otter, and whales as they came near the shore to scrape themselves.  Cape Flattery is the Northwest corner of the continental United States, and appropriately grand, in a fog-through-gnarled-cedars kind of way. 

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