Thursday, April 17, 2008

The world of miniatures

Alaskan Cultural Heritage Museum Model 2008

We're building a miniature "eco-village" in the office as soon as it quits snowing and it all goes away finally. I've got spring fever bad ths year, we've been living in a tiny space for a long time. For theraphy I started making a model gertee and it blew into this huge project. We'll also have a 16 inch teepee, Tim's minature cabins, and even a cardboard travel trailer (which is an Alaskan heritage). So our little "camp" will be as authentic as we can make it, except for the smells. Along the way to setting this up I learned there are few pictures on the miniature market. So I've taken thumbnails of the Redington family photos and will sell them as framed miniatures to our summer visitors with portions of the profits going toward building the Alaskan Cultural Heritage Museum (which is what Nordica wants to call it now).

Alaska has always been filled with funny little dwellings, it is a badge of honor here to claim to have roughed it your first decade in the state. While my tent lifestyle seems brave and amazing to people outside, we know all kinds of people who lived in wall tents and 13 foot travel trailers with 3 or more people. My girlfriend Mary in Fairbanks had three babies at home in their dinky little place, Catherine had Jamie in their tent in Chitina, it's nor the norm but it is a fact of life here. Low-income and young Alaskans make do, and they feel like they're better people because of it. To Nordica and I, that is our true "cultural heritage," and that is what we intend to honor with our living Alaskan history project.

Mini Alaskan hutch with framed 1940s prints
from the Redington family collection

Visitors on our road increased 26 percent last year... that's the National Park Service count. The park also has their own cultural heritage project going on. They too are gathering the stories of the old Sourdoughs and Indians and saving their history for future generations. All we're doing differently is saying we're still here and our Alaskan spirit is still alive. The park explanations for why people are "allowed" to hunt out here is well worth the read for anyone who doesn't believe we've lost our lands to the international community. They think we're a Scenic ByWay and a buffer zone, and we're at the tip of the Wildlands Project (Y2Y?).

We've got more bike trails coming and meetings on motorized access to trails... same crap they went through in Yellowstone is now on our doorstep. But who knows for sure where it will all lead. NAIS is a growing topic in forums across the country, that program alone is waking up the people who (I think) have the most power to stop the plan... the rural landowners. They've been the most organized from the beginning and have a huge linkage.. I can't imagine that the Sawdust Rebellion and the Klammath Bucket Brigade have fallen off the face of the earth. I'd imagine they're all over the y2y issue and be shocked if they aren't. Once our people connect the land grabs to LA21 it's all downhill for the communitarians from there, right?


Anonymous said...

Why does that man have a gun trained on those teddy bears? Is he holding them hostage? Or were they home invaders, and he has gotten the jump on them and is now waiting for the police to arrive.

Maybe he is just hopped up from draining off that huge cup of cappuccino on the table next to him?

the tent lady said...

I wondered if anyone would wonder what's going on in the "scene." The bears are his friends. He reached consensus with himself that they should marry. He's performing a handgun wedding. It's a meaningful balance between wildlife protection and morality. Wildlife protection is necessary for the health and safety of the community at large.

He's not an Alaskan, he's from New Mexico and he's with a group called