14 March 2006
At the Makah Museum
There is no grunge. The tools and baskets gasp for air under antiseptic Lucite boxes. I mistake a shiny thick strut for a carved log, then see it is the rib of a gray whale. After killing a whale the hunters sewed its mouth shut to keep it from sinking as they towed it home. I step outside into drizzly air under a gray sky. I stop by the harbor where the Makah pulled whales ashore to distribute their flesh to tribal members. I study the sandy beach, flecked with shell and seaweed. The blood stains washed away long ago.