Support Tlingit and Haida History! Come See Mary Henrickson Give a Talk on Her Research of Alaska's Fire Trees [March 22-23] - P.O.W. Report

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Support Tlingit and Haida History! Come See Mary Henrickson Give a Talk on Her Research of Alaska's Fire Trees [March 22-23]

Mary Ida Henrikson will be on POW giving a slide show to the schools in Thorne Bay and Klawock and a show at the Craig Library.

While in Craig she will also donate a painting by Ballard Hadman THE AGE OF REASON to the Craig Library.


Slide show at Thorne Bay School 3/22
Lecture at Craig Library 3/22 7PM
Slide show at Klawock School 3/23 (11:00-2:00 High/Middle School then Elementary.)

Has Mary Ida Henrikson Solved the Controversial Mystery of Alaska’s Fire Trees?
Did the early Tlingit and Haida of Southeastern Alaska develop innovations for
preserving fire for heat, light and cooking well ahead of their time? Did they sustain a
sophisticated navigation system for ancient mariners braving their dangerous seas in wooden canoes? Mary Ida Henrikson’s unique “The Mystery of the Fire Trees” provides a provocative

Since no previously written accounts prompting these questions can be found, the author/
artist, who grew up in the region, was surprised to learn late in life that she had an ancient cedar on her property that apparently had been altered for fire storage.

Intrigued, she investigated neighboring forests, pursued oral histories and, working with
local boatmen, hunters, trappers and woodsmen, discovered dozens of centuries-old trees with deeply burned interiors that appeared to have been vented to serve as lighthouses along their coasts.

Then, in addition to employing techniques favored by scientists, Henrikson applied
artistic, creative thinking to the puzzle, producing a colorful series of paintings exploring the importance of fire trees to her region’s ancient past.

Her resulting book describes Henrikson’s personal journey as well as the account of her
quest and the series of paintings that furthered it. Her approach is as unusual as her theories, which are exciting to explore. Comment from anthropologists, foresters, seamen and elders are included.

For additional information, a good look at Henrikson’s gallery and contact information,
visit or contact Lael Morgan, Epicenter Press,

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