Coast Salish forms and symbols connect this longhouse with Indigenous traditions.
This longhouse brings the history, perspectives, and culture of the First Peoples of Puget Sound to Brightwater. The sculptural forms of Grandfather’s Wisdom are derived from Indigenous Northwest Coast waterside building traditions. “The artwork represents in a modern view what a longhouse would look like standing in a place that it's highly likely one might have been,” says Andrea Wilbur-Sigo, a member of the Squaxin Island Tribe and the first documented woman carver in her tribe and family.
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The longhouse’s carved motifs feature Killer Whale, Octopus, and Thunderbird—creatures of universal importance among Coast Salish tribes. The longhouse, made of old-growth cedar and stone, is flanked by a series of upright paddles—an homage to the practice of “paddles up,” which signals a desire to land and visit when approaching a community by canoe. Salmon imagery on the paddles acknowledges the historical importance of the fish to Native peoples, as well as the restored habitat and improved connection to Little Bear Creek made possible by Brightwater.
About the Location
Brightwater Science, art, design, and ecology come together at Brightwater, one of the largest wastewater treatment facilities in the world. Located north of Woodinville, WA, Brightwater comprises a park, a community gathering space, an exhibition hall, and a scientific learning laboratory in addition to the structures that house technical operations. Throughout the site, integrated and portable…
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