Indian "cemetery" Holy Place Carvings F. Gowan Vancouver Real Photo Postcard collection Jim Linderman




Imagine coming across this scene in 1900. Titled "Indian Cemetery" I am not quite sure that describes the scene adequately or correctly. Shrine? Holy Place?

F. Gowan Publishers was a real photo postcard and photography seller based in Vancouver, British Columbia during the very early 20th Century. Sparse documentation for a most extraordinary environment.


ADDITIONAL interesting early Canadian photography work is shown HERE HERE and HERE or you can enter "Canada" into the search box above.


"Indian Cemetery" by F. Gowan Vancouver BC Real Photo Postcard circa 1910-1920? Collection Jim Linderman


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4 comments:

  1. these were in the fraser river canyon, in the vicinity of present-day boston bar and north bend. by the late 19th century, most of the indian cemeteries had become partially christianized as the local natives got caught up with the religion of the colonizers. today, most indian 'rancheries' in the canyon still have their own small cemetery, but usually with a white picket fence and white-washed crosses. what became of the old totems is an interesting question: taken away by souvenir hunters and anthropologists? kept by local families? mouldered away in the elements?

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  2. Fantastic Ben...MUCH appreciate the comment AND your speculation as to what happened to them. I know wood doesn't last long outside, but then I also know they last much longer when purloined by collectors and put on pedestals!
    Jim Linderman

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  3. Hello again,

    The Fraser Canyon is one of the dampest spots in the BC, while the Thompson canyon, right next door, is one of the most arid. One is full of historical remnants, the other almost devoid. The canyons are also one of the most important transport corridors in Canada, with two transcontinental railways and the main road between BC's Coast and Interior... hence the likeliehood of souvenir collectors! Furthermore, one of Canada's premiere amateur anthropologists, James Teit, lived nearby in Spences Bridge -- he helped his professional colleagues learn a lot about of native culture, and rescue / appropriate / steal many artifacts.

    As part of a larger project, I've been interested in the history of local Indians selling souvenirs to passing motorists, from the late 1920s through to today. The region's woven baskets are of great interest to many historians and collectors, but unfortunately, they prefer to focus on the most "authentic" examples, rather than the ones with more popular motifs on them.

    http://www.langleymuseum.org/baskets/collection_index.html

    Across the Strait of George, on Vancouver Island, another interesting hybrid of native and 'newcomer' cultures is the Cowichan Sweater...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cowichan_knitting

    Ha, sorry to blab on!

    Ben

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