We had the privledge of being invited to witness the Blessing Ceremony of the new Totem of Welcome located at the entrance to the Peak to Peak Chair on Whistler Mountian. This beautiful cedar tree has been transformed by world reknowned Rick Hari, his son James and a team of assistants. Taking over a month and a half to carve, this work of art was on display in the Lil’wat Culteral Centre in Whistler while the carvers worked their magic.
Many tourists were able to see the totem being developed and one little 4 year old girl from England will forever have her hand carved into the side of the totem.
Elders and Chiefs from the Squamish, Lil’wat Bands were present and there was wonderful energy with glorious sunshine and the totem was blessed in traditional form. Cedar Boughs, Okra and Water were used by the Li’wat ladies while the Totem Chant was sung by the traditional singers with drums. Frank Andrew from the Squamish Nation blessed the totem with herbs, a small whistle and an eagle feather.
The blessings were given to the artists for their spirt and love that was carved into this unique welcoming figure that stands 30 feet tall with arms spread out in the Traditional welcome sign and the tree that was grown for this purpose.
Individulas were invited to witness the Blessing and are charged with passing the information along to others that could not attend in person.(old school facebook) This is the traditional way of passing information through the tribes of old and a part of the Native Heritage that is resurging today.
The Blessing Ceremony is an ancient tradition and it was special to see with the back drop of Blackcomb and the Mountains while sitting in the sunshine enjoying a ceremony that has been in existance for thousands of years.