Deep roots and a friendly manner make POW culture an enjoyable experience.
Visitors comment to us about how friendly people are on POW. Yep, that’s part of the culture here. It’s an island, and as diverse as our eleven towns are, we are all together in knowing that things go better if we look out for each other. So relax. Smile, wave, and say hello. It’s okay.
In recent history logging was a big part of the POW economy. Loggers work together and look out for each other so that no one gets hurt. That tradition shows up in the local culture, so don’t be surprised if someone stops to check and be sure that you are okay.
Here’s a note to help you get along well on POW Island. Alaskans have a large personal space, and that extends to driving on our long, island roads. Don’t tailgate, and if someone wants to go around you then pull over briefly at the next safe pullout and let them by. It’s a simple courtesy that we like to practice.
Alaska Native tradition and culture has been a presence here for over 10,000 years. Haida and Tlingit artworks express some of the richness and depth of the culture. While you are here enjoy any of the three amazing totem parks, stop by the carving sheds, or take part in Hydaburg’s Culture Camp.
Kasaan Totem Park
Stroll through lovely forest along a level, well groomed trail. As you cross the creek on a stout bridge a totem pole comes into view through the trees. It is at once imposing and in harmony with the environment. The forest trail winds past more totems, and then you are at Kasaan’s Chief Son-i-Hat Whale House. This longhouse was recently refurbished using traditional methods and materials. The totems inside, though, are the originals and are over a century old. Experiencing this place is well worth your time and a 2/3 mile walk.
After such a stirring adventure enjoy a meal at the beautiful Totem Trail Cafe. Views from the cafe often include humpback and killer whales.
Hydaburg Totem Park and Carving Shed
At 5th and Main. in the center of Hydaburg’s waterfront. is a park filled with stunning Haida totem poles. New and aging poles are audibly silent, but visually their singing echoes through strong curves and intricate details. Their carvers’ mastery is clearly evident.
Those carvers are often working at the carving shed nearby. Stop in and watch new works of art taking shape.
Klawock Totem Park
Working on this one!