Do Not Copy

Do Not Copy

Saturday, October 17, 2009

10-17-09 J-45 Get's His Name!


Saturday, October 17, 2009
 


...coming from the heart...that's what it's all about for me when it comes to the whales...so when I was asked if I would speak at the Samish Nation Potlatch Naming Ceremony and Celebration for the naming of J-45 - out came the word Yes!...I wouldn't miss that opportunity! (the link above is for the news release on The Whale Museum web site)
...I have the distinction of being the first to photograph J-45 last February when I was out on Capt. Jim's boat and we were in the Strait of Juan de Fuca**... I was so touched when Ken Balcomb from the Center for Whale Research told me I was the first to photograph this new calf...well, don't you know little J-45 was extra special... and each time through the summer that J Pod was in my sight I would scan and scan until I made sure he was there...here he is with his brother Riptide J-30...

  ...then at the ceremony I was asked if I would be a witness to the ceremony...what an honor!...okay, so I started to cry...oh, my...as explained by the speaker of the ceremony, it was the requirement of the 4 witnesses to pay attention and remember what occurred..then at the end of the ceremony each of us was to stand and to speak about what we learned about the ceremony and how we would witness this...about of the naming of J-45 to others for the rest of my life...now when it comes to talking about the whales - I CAN DO THAT!!
..so here I will share a bit with you...
...each witness had a blanket placed over their shoulder, across to the other side and fastened...the witnesses sat side by side, along one side of the gathering circle of the Samish...
...four blankets were placed on the floor, laid flat, one on top of the other...
...a selected young man, Jacob Moore, had a blanket placed over each shoulder...he was given the framed image of J-45 and was asked to stand in the center of the blankets... (I was under the understanding - which was incorrect- that Jacob's last name was Suttles and that he was related to Dr. Wayne Suttles, who J-40 had been named in honor of in 2005.) I apologize for any misunderstanding this may have caused.
...the blankets represent purity, purity of the heart, the heart where the name for J-45 came from...there was much thought put in to the decision of his name and the name came from the hearts of the Samish people...
...Jacob carried the image as he led the singers and drummers...
...this was the introduction of the young whale and his name?: Se-Yi-chn
...Se-Yi-chn means 'younger one' ...and it was explained that in the Samish language there is no word for brother or sister but the reference was always to 'older one' or 'younger one'...that the focus was always on respect for the elders...an elder would be anyone older than you... Se-Yi-chn with his immediate family......when it was my turn to witness to the gathering I said what an honor it was to be a witness to the naming of this whale, that it was extra special for me and and honor for The Whale Museum to be part of the naming...I explained about the meaning of the blankets...I 'blubblered a bit'...then I remembered about sharing with others and I think I blurted out...'oh, yes, about witnessing to others, you can be sure I will...I will tell everyone, it will be in our newsletters and it will most definitely be shared..." then I realized I needed something, "but I will need to know how to spell his name." :)...oh and did I cry while I was talking? yes...can't help it...
...and then..after each witness spoke, the Samish people came and gave gifts of thanks for our witnessing and sharing...I was thanked for my tears...and that made me cry even more...

what a day!



Here is a link to photos that were taken that day.

Here is a link to a post on October 23, 2009 by Candace Calloway of the Seattle PI about the Naming


**-I later realized that I had also photographed J-45 when J pod came past the light house a few days earlier...and I thought I was photographing the other new baby, J-44! Only one other person was present on that occasion and he didn't have a camera  :)