Spirit Houses (Eklutna Village, Alaska, USA)

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Spirit Houses:

The interior of Alaska is home to the Athabaskan Native Peoples. These colorful spirit houses are a uniquely Athabaskan tradition. Spirit houses were built by the family after the person’s death. The graves of the Athabaskan people are marked not only with their traditional spirit houses, but also with a Russian Orthodox Christian Cross. There are also graves marked only with crosses, honoring the resting places of Russian Orthodox non-native members of the church.

The Russian Orthodox Christian Cross:

The Three-Barred Cross existed very early in Byzantium, but was adopted by the Russian Orthodox Church and was especially popularized in the Slavic countries. The upper arm represents the inscription over Christ's head, and the lower slanting bar represents His footrest. In the symbolism of the Russian Orthodox Church, the most common explanation for the footrest is that it is the pointing upward to Paradise for the Good Thief on Jesus' right, who acknowledged Him, and downward to Hell for the Thief on His left (Luke 23). http://www.eklutnahistoricalpark.org.

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Comments (7)

Mahdi Kalhor on January 9, 2011



All the best from Iran, Mahdi

Laura Ruth on January 10, 2011

Mahdi, this is a cemetery. The spirit houses are homes for the souls of the Eskimos who were buried here. Thanks for visiting! Laura

Leo W on January 20, 2011

very beautiful capture of this place of peace - L

best greetings, Leo

Adem Dogan on February 13, 2011

O! looks very sad

like 3

greetings, adem dogan

Laura Ruth on February 19, 2011

Leo and adem - this graveyard represents an unusual combination of Native American and Russian Orthodox cultures - only in Alaska! Thanks for letting me share. Laura from Los Angeles.

beh108 on April 20, 2011

Very nice shot beautiful colors!


Greetings from Iran

Manek Taolin on October 1, 2011

Very beautiful photo!


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Laura Ruth
Burbank, CA, United States

Photo details

  • Uploaded on November 9, 2010
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Laura Ruth
    • Camera: SONY DSC-H55
    • Taken on 2010/01/01 05:27:06
    • Exposure: 0.003s (1/400)
    • Focal Length: 6.20mm
    • F/Stop: f/4.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO80
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash