Congratulations to Lois Bertolino whose Salmon River tied for 3rd place in the Wearable Art Category of the ENDANGERED Art & Photography Contest 2016. All Rights Reserved. Sterling silver cuff bracelet done in the overlay technique.
My piece reflects my concern for the future of the Pacific NW salmon; the waters it depends on; and my great respect for its spiritual and cultural significance to the Native Americans here.
In the 1800s the salmon population was estimated at 1.5 million. Less than 200 years later all 5 species are listed as threatened or endangered.
Salmon, born in fresh water, migrate to the sea, mature, then return to the same waters of their birth to spawn and die. Dams, habitat destruction, and pollution have degraded migratory waters necessary for their survival.
In Native cultures salmon symbolize Abundance, Fertility, Prosperity and Renewal. The Idaho Nez Perce have a traditional spring blessing of the salmon which migrate 300 miles to spawn there. Runs have steadily declined. Nez Perce Horace Axtell said recently, “Right now we have nothing to bless.”
I hope recovery programs and habitat restoration will restore a thriving population to the waters of the Pacific NW once again.