Thomas Doty – Storyteller

Ti'lomikh - Native Village

Photo.

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Drawing.  The Ti'lomikh Project


Since I was a child I have been visiting the ancient Takelma village site of Ti'lomikh. And since 1981, when I began work as a native storyteller, I have been researching the lore and history of Ti'lomikh. This has been an adventure as well as a long and often challenging journey. Much of what is known is buried in reams of linguistic texts, unpublished field notes, back rooms of museums and in the memories of elders. And my own memories of conversations with relations who are no longer with us.

The purpose of this project is to bring all of this information together in one place and eventually make it available in various forms to the public, both online and on-site.

The Ti'lomikh Project was commissioned by the Gold Hill Whitewater Center at Ti'lomikh Falls to better understand the natural history of the Rogue River and its peoples. Funding for the project was provided by the Robert M. Stafrin Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation.

This is a project-in-progress. As new information is discovered, it will be added to this web page. Check back for updates. Enjoy!

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Drawing.  Introduction


The Village


The Takelma Language


Harrington's Field Notes


Rogue River Directions

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The winter lodges at Ti'lomikh would have looked much like this one. Inside, the floor is about two feet below ground level, with a firepit in the center, and sitting and sleeping lodges around the edges. This replica was built by Gray Eagle in 2001 in honor of Takelma elder Agnes Baker-Pilgrim, and is located at the Kerbyville Museum in Kerby, Oregon.

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On March 22, 2016, here's Stephen Kiesling holding a proclamation signed by Jan Fish, the mayor of Gold Hill, Oregon, apologizing for the treatment of Takelma Indians, and declaring the second Monday in October to be First Nations Day, purposefully what is also Columbus Day. Gold Hill is in the heart of traditional Takelma homeland. And this is just the beginning! This proclamation will be circulated around southern Oregon to get official endorsements from other communities before being delivered to Governor Kate Brown in Salem for her consideration to make First Nations Day a state holiday. And then it's on to the White House! The photo on the proclamation shows Agnes Baker-Pilgrim, the oldest living Takelma, sitting in the stone Story Chair, an integral part of the Sacred Salmon Ceremony

First Nations Day Proclamation (Text)

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Takelma elder Agnes Baker-Pilgrim at Ti'lomikh in 2014.

The Ti'lomikh Project has placed three interpretive signs at the village site, including the one pictured above. View or download them as PDFs....

Drawing.  People, Characters, Places


Baker, George & Eveline


Baker-Pilgrim, Agnes


Cow Creek Indians


Coyote


Cressman, Luther S.


Daldal


Drucker, Philip


Eagan, Mary


Evans, Ned


Gold Hill


Grand Ronde Indian Reservation


Hanesak


Harrington, John Peabody


Jennie


Johnson, Frances


Mugger's Alley


Ogden, Peter Skene


Orton, Molly


Riddle, George


Rocky Point


Rogue River


Sapir, Edward


Shasta Indians


Siletz Indian Reservation


Table Rocks


Takelma Indians


Ti'lomikh


Ti'lomikh Falls


Tipulhukh


Walker

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Salmon baking at the Sacred Salmon Ceremony at Ti'lomikh, 2007.

Drawing.  Texts


The Rogue River: Lifeblood of the World


Old Time Salmon Stories


Sacred Salmon Ceremony


First Encounters


Molly Orton & Old Man Walker


Houses & Cemeteries


Dams, Dredges & Ditches

Drawing.  Maps


Map 1


Map 2

Photo.

This artist's conception is a monument to Ti'lomikh and native people, to be built at the village site. Each step represents a thousand years at the village. There are interpretive signs about the history and mythological importance of the village. Climb to the top to get a view of Ti'lomikh Falls and the Story Chair. The flags represent the nine federally recognized tribes of Oregon, plus a tenth flag for Native Americans without a recognized tribe. The steps of the monument will also serve as amphitheater-style seating for interpretive programs at Ti'lomikh (including storytellings!)

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Drawing of Grandma Aggie's vision of a Dragonfly Bridge at Ti'lomikh. The bridge would connect the bike and pedestrian path along the Rogue River. In a Takelma myth, Elder Dragonfly (Daldal) made Ti'lomikh the place of the Salmon People, and home of the Sacred Salmon Ceremony. The bridge has two dragonflies, one looking upriver, one downriver, each representing one of the Dragonfly brothers. The drawing was made by Jim Waddell, retired civil engineer from the US Army Corps of Engineers. He traveled from Port Angeles, WA to sketch Aggie's vision on April 14, 2014.

Drawing.  Sources


Atwood, Kay


Baker-Pilgrim, Agnes


Beckham, Stephen Dow


Beeson, John


Buan, Carolyn M. and Richard Lewis (Editors)


Cressman, Luther S.


Daugherty, Maude


Dorsey, J. Owen


Doty, Thomas


Douthit, Nathan


Drucker, Philip


Gray, Dennis


Harrington, John Peabody


Jackson, Chuck


LaLande, Jeff


LaPlante, Margaret


Miller, Bill


Riddle, George


St. Clair, Henry H.


Sapir, Edward


Schwartz, E. A.


Spier, Leslie


Walsh, Jane MacLaren


Zucker, Jeff, Kay Hummel and Bob Hogfoss

Photo.

Stephen Kiesling, Agnes Baker-Pilgrim and Thomas Doty at Ti'lomikh, 2016.

Photo.

Thomas Doty telling native stories at the Sacred Salmon Ceremony at Ti'lomikh, 2007.