On our nature walk today, students learned how to identify (and eat?!) the Salmonberry, a species of brambles in the rose family, native to the west coast of North America.
They also learned the origin of the name 'Salmonberry' - rooted in the beliefs of the Chinook tribe, and heard a legend from the tribe, about a boy/girl named Salmonberry.
The Chinook believe that when the plant was first discovered, the Coyote was instructed to put its berries inside the mouth of every salmon he caught from the river. This was done to ensure continued good fishing. Therefore, according to the Chinook, this legend is how the name “Salmonberry” originally came about long ago.
The stories from native peoples of the Olympic Peninsula tell of the deep history of human relationships with the salmonberry. In one Makah legend, it is said that if a child stays out past dark, the Basket Woman will come. The Basket Woman will scoop up that child and roast him or her for dinner. In the legend, a young Makah child named Salmonberry stays out on the beach until after dark to see for her/himself if the Basket Lady really exists. Basket Lady appears in the night and takes Salmonberry and her two friends to her hut to be cooked for dinner. The students in the class inevitably can 'see through' the reason for the legend - especially in a time where children would be playing by themselves around dusk.
The salmonberry’s importance to the Chinook tribe is portrayed in the common usage of the name weaved throughout tribal legends and memories.
This blog tracks recent highlights from Block 8 Academy. It includes events that occurred during care time as well as special events attended by students and their families.