Ellen Land-Weber, Photography

Chinook Ghost in Low Water at Long Rock on the Trinity River, Hoopa Valley Reservation, digitally printed photo collage, 2000

"Each year eels and salmon traveled up the Trinity to the valley, and acorns ripened in the surrounding hills. Before the people of the valley gathered these foods, they held special ceremonies. The northern district had the responsibility for the First Eel Ceremony in the spring.
After ten days of preparation, a spiritual leader from Takimildin went to a place in the north end of the valley near the entrance to the canyon. He spent the night there fishing for eels, praying for a large catch, and giving thanks for the bounty of the land. Then the people shared a feast of eels. For five days after the feast, the spiritual leader could not travel upstream. If he did, the eels might follow him out of the valley. When the first salmon came up the river in the spring the
southern district held the First Salmon Ceremony. Like the man who conducted the First Eel Ceremony, the spiritual leader from Medildin prepared himself with ten days of prayer. Then he fished for salmon...and once again the people met for a feast."

Pliny Earle Goddard, Life and Culture of the Hupa