Photo: Inspiration for a totem, 1935

Images from another time

Posted: Thursday, August 21, 2003

Taken in 1935, this photograph shows Auke Lake during the winter. According to Auk Kwaan legend, Auk-da-shaw lived beneath what is now Auke Lake, said Rosa Miller, an Auk Kwaan elder. A man stole Auk-da-shaw's child, who then took vengeance by killing all of the Auk Kwaan people except for a woman giving birth behind a hut. The woman, in turn, killed Auk-da-shaw's child and started carrying her baby toward the location of present-day Juneau. This woman restarted the Auk Kwaan clan and is now known as the mother of the Auk Kwaan or the spirit woman. She is depicted at the bottom of the Auke Tribe totem pole displayed in the Juneau-Douglas High School atrium. Legend says that she still wanders around Auke Lake crying and carrying her child upon her shoulders.

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