David Boxley, Salmon Legends Totem and Beaver Legends Totem, 1992
© David Boxley, Salmon Legends Totem, 1992, Carved and painted cedar, The artist at work, King County Public Art Collection

Tsimshian artist David Boxley used two cedar logs to carve the 30-foot Beaver Legends Totem and the 40-foot Salmon Legends Totem. Before the Tsimshian had a written language, they used totem poles to help pass stories from one generation to the next. The Salmon Legends Totem, in the Park's meadow, tells two stories — the top two figures recount the legend of Eagle, who saved a village from starvation, and the bottom five figures tell a story of betrayal and healing. The Beaver Legends Totem, on the lakeshore, also tells two stories — the top three figures recount a story about the power of wisdom over physical strength, while the lower two figures tell of how Beaver came to have brown hair. Says Boxley: "...as I pass this [native art form] on to you then I achieve one of my goals: you will understand, and the art will live."

David Boxley, Salmon Legends Totem and Beaver Legends Totem, 1992
© David Boxley, Beaver Legends Totem, 1992, Carved and painted cedar, King County Public Art Collection, Photo by Joe Manfredini

Tsimshian artist David Boxley used two cedar logs to carve the 30-foot Beaver Legends Totem and the 40-foot Salmon Legends Totem. Before the Tsimshian had a written language, they used totem poles to help pass stories from one generation to the next. The Salmon Legends Totem, in the Park's meadow, tells two stories — the top two figures recount the legend of Eagle, who saved a village from starvation, and the bottom five figures tell a story of betrayal and healing. The Beaver Legends Totem, on the lakeshore, also tells two stories — the top three figures recount a story about the power of wisdom over physical strength, while the lower two figures tell of how Beaver came to have brown hair. Says Boxley: "...as I pass this [native art form] on to you then I achieve one of my goals: you will understand, and the art will live."

David Boxley, Salmon Legends Totem and Beaver Legends Totem, 1992
© David Boxley, Salmon Legends Totem, 1992, Carved and painted cedar, King County Public Art Collection, Photo by Joe Manfredini

Tsimshian artist David Boxley used two cedar logs to carve the 30-foot Beaver Legends Totem and the 40-foot Salmon Legends Totem. Before the Tsimshian had a written language, they used totem poles to help pass stories from one generation to the next. The Salmon Legends Totem, in the Park's meadow, tells two stories — the top two figures recount the legend of Eagle, who saved a village from starvation, and the bottom five figures tell a story of betrayal and healing. The Beaver Legends Totem, on the lakeshore, also tells two stories — the top three figures recount a story about the power of wisdom over physical strength, while the lower two figures tell of how Beaver came to have brown hair. Says Boxley: "...as I pass this [native art form] on to you then I achieve one of my goals: you will understand, and the art will live."

David Boxley, Salmon Legends Totem and Beaver Legends Totem, 1992
© David Boxley, Beaver Legends Totem, 1992, Carved and painted cedar, King County Public Art Collection, Photo by Joe Manfredini

Tsimshian artist David Boxley used two cedar logs to carve the 30-foot Beaver Legends Totem and the 40-foot Salmon Legends Totem. Before the Tsimshian had a written language, they used totem poles to help pass stories from one generation to the next. The Salmon Legends Totem, in the Park's meadow, tells two stories — the top two figures recount the legend of Eagle, who saved a village from starvation, and the bottom five figures tell a story of betrayal and healing. The Beaver Legends Totem, on the lakeshore, also tells two stories — the top three figures recount a story about the power of wisdom over physical strength, while the lower two figures tell of how Beaver came to have brown hair. Says Boxley: "...as I pass this [native art form] on to you then I achieve one of my goals: you will understand, and the art will live."

David Horsely, Song Carrier Housepost, Soul Housepost, Man-That-Becomes-The-Moon (Transformer) Housepost, 1999
© David Horsley, Three Salish Houseposts, 1999, King County Public Art Collection, Photo by Joe Manfredini

In 1991 David Horsley carved three houseposts from the last of the old-growth cedar logs to come out of the Snoqualmie National Forest. Indigenous to the Puget Sound region, house posts were originally carved from the interior vertical beam supports of the longhouses where the First People of the Puget Sound lived and represented the process of reincarnation. Horsley's red, black and white houseposts depict different Puget Salish stories. Song Carrier, created to replace Man-Who-Eats-Lots-of-Fish, which was destroyed by vandals in 1997, is the title given to someone who maintains a collection of songs and has the ability, talent and intelligence to share them. Owl, Raven, Fire, Raven's House, Man and Woman are the symbols Horsely depicts in this housepost. In Soul he uses the Drum, Otter, Tuhstuhd, Hail, Songs, Frog and Wolf to represent the journey of the soul and in Man-That-Becomes-The-Moon (Transformer) he uses Eagle, Mountain Goat, Elk and Deer symbols to represent the Transformer.

David Horsely, Song Carrier Housepost, Soul Housepost, Man-That-Becomes-The-Moon (Transformer) Housepost, 1999
© David Horsley, The Man that Becomes the Moon (Transformer), 1992, King County Public Art Collection

In 1991 David Horsley carved three houseposts from the last of the old-growth cedar logs to come out of the Snoqualmie National Forest. Indigenous to the Puget Sound region, house posts were originally carved from the interior vertical beam supports of the longhouses where the First People of the Puget Sound lived and represented the process of reincarnation. Horsley's red, black and white houseposts depict different Puget Salish stories. Song Carrier, created to replace Man-Who-Eats-Lots-of-Fish, which was destroyed by vandals in 1997, is the title given to someone who maintains a collection of songs and has the ability, talent and intelligence to share them. Owl, Raven, Fire, Raven's House, Man and Woman are the symbols Horsely depicts in this housepost. In Soul he uses the Drum, Otter, Tuhstuhd, Hail, Songs, Frog and Wolf to represent the journey of the soul and in Man-That-Becomes-The-Moon (Transformer) he uses Eagle, Mountain Goat, Elk and Deer symbols to represent the Transformer.

David Horsely, Song Carrier Housepost, Soul Housepost, Man-That-Becomes-The-Moon (Transformer) Housepost, 1999
© David Horsley, Song Carrier Housepost, 1999, King County Public Art Collection, Photo by Joe Manfredini

In 1991 David Horsley carved three houseposts from the last of the old-growth cedar logs to come out of the Snoqualmie National Forest. Indigenous to the Puget Sound region, house posts were originally carved from the interior vertical beam supports of the longhouses where the First People of the Puget Sound lived and represented the process of reincarnation. Horsley's red, black and white houseposts depict different Puget Salish stories. Song Carrier, created to replace Man-Who-Eats-Lots-of-Fish, which was destroyed by vandals in 1997, is the title given to someone who maintains a collection of songs and has the ability, talent and intelligence to share them. Owl, Raven, Fire, Raven's House, Man and Woman are the symbols Horsely depicts in this housepost. In Soul he uses the Drum, Otter, Tuhstuhd, Hail, Songs, Frog and Wolf to represent the journey of the soul and in Man-That-Becomes-The-Moon (Transformer) he uses Eagle, Mountain Goat, Elk and Deer symbols to represent the Transformer.

Collection: Beaver Lake Park Sammamish, Washington

Tsimshian artist David Boxley, and adopted Snoqualmie artist David Horsley created traditional Native artworks for Beaver Lake Park on the Sammamish Plateau.