Seeking Salal

klkwu-shalu (Chinookan)
klkwu-shalu (Chinookan)

a bed of young salal plants, well mulched and bordered by the wattle. Klkwu-shalu translates to the plant and the berry, in Chinookan. This is the form that melted into the Chinook Jargon trade language, melted onto many tongues and was swallowed. These rhythmic sounds re-emerged as the common name, which the white traders were able to savor or spit out: Salal.

sala'xbupt (Makah dialect)
sala'xbupt (Makah dialect)

the wattles wriggled along the trails and through the forest, under trees and paths, around the shrubs. Salaʼxbupt translates as the entire plant of salal, with it's many important services in the ecosystem/

t'aka7ay
t'aka7ay

please note that most computers and web fonts donʼt have accurate alphabetical symbols to translate these indigenous languages. this is my closest available interpretation, and I apologize for the variances.

sk'idgaan (in progress) (Haida)
sk'idgaan (in progress) (Haida)

in the studio, work in-progress before the final installation on site. the text was hand-stitched with black wool into hand-made burlap & straw wattles. sk'idgaan translates to salal (berries), Haida Skidegate dialect.

​Webster’s Wood Sculpture Park

Port Angeles Fine Art Center​

Port Angeles, WA.  2010
Jute, straw, black wool, salal seedlings, poetry
8 inches (dia.) x 200 feet (long)

 

This work undertakes the restoration of both the woodland ecology and the social ecology through the important native shrub, Salal.​
  ​
The forest-habitat remediation began with removing invasive vegetation and replacing with native Salal, a keystone indigenous shrub. Handmade wattles meander 200 feet through the forest, along the trail and under trees. The wattles serve to mulch salal seedlings.​
Text is hand-stitched into the hand-made burlap wattles, using black wool. The text includes the word for Salal in eight Pacific Northwest Indigenous languages, and English poetry.  Eventually the wattles will decay, becoming mulch and nesting material for the resident flora and fauna.

(Seeking Salal: formerly Squiggle Salal)