Canoe Naming Ceremony at Fort Clatsop -
Lewis & Clark National Historical Park in Oregon
Members of the Chinook Indian Nation participate in the naming ceremony of three canoes at the Fort Clatsop National Memorial in their aboriginal Clatsop territory. One of the three canoes, Okulam, was carved by Tribal member Tony A. Johnson for Fort Clatsop in 1999. The other two canoes are Skakwal, owned by the Chinook Indian Nation and Ul-iymits, owned by Tony.
Okulam is a myth character who’s name became the word for waves/surf in the Chinook language. Okulam got it’s name because it has a fat belly that split open while being steamed.
Skakwal the Chinook name for Lamprey Eel. Skalwal was named this because eels are fast in the water and persevering. They will even climb rocks in order to get where they are going.
Ul-iymits the Chinook word “old nose”. Ul-iymits was named this because Tony used an 1,180 year old stick of wood to carve the nose of the canoe.
Upper left, Tony Johnson at the naming ceremony.
At right, Gary Johnson steaming open a canoe by placing hot rocks into water filled canoe.
Bottom, Okulam on display at Ft. Clatsop.