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About Saał-Kaa

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My name is Fred Fulmer and I was born in 1958. My Father is German and My Mother is Tlingit from a village in Alaska called Hoonah. My Tlingit name is Saał-Kaa which means “Named Great Man”.

 

I’m from the Chookaneidee Clan and from the Iceberg House or Glacier House. My mom’s people originated from Glacier Bay. So I’m Eagle/ Brown Bear. My dad was in the Navy during my growing up years, we moved around during that time.

As an adult my wife and I moved our family up to Ketchikan and lived there from 1981 to 1987, during this time I got influenced by all the Totems and Native culture all around us. While attending Ketchikan Community College I watched Nathan Jackson carve 2 Totems for Sealaska there on campus.

 

This is where my interest in carving began, and grew as I learned my Mom's Grandfather Frank St. Clair carved a Totem pole for the A’ak’w Kwa’an people during the CCC days called the Yak’te pole, which stands in front of the old Auke Bay village site.

I moved back to the Seattle area in 1987 and put my interest in carving on hold until I came across a Chookaneidee Clan Uncle, Ray Nielsen Sr. who started me on the path of carving. I got to spend a year learning from Uncle before he passed onto the other side.I then became a student of Haida carver Ralph Bennet for a few years before going on my own path. 

 On my journey as an artist, I wanted to focus on the Tlingit style. I took some workshops with Israel Shotridge,Scott Jensen, and Steve Brown. Relocated to Juneau in 2013 for a career change. While in Juneau I was honored to witness and participate in Historical events. When I started carving in the 90’s my Artist statement included a wish. “ If the Yatxe’ Totem pole that my Great-grandfather carved- ever needs to be replaced or restored. I hope that I can be a part of that”.

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In 2015 that dream came true! I helped Wayne Price with the Restoration/Preservation of the Yaxte’ pole.

In 2016 I was honored to be selected as Mentor carver for the 25 ft Raven Healing Totem Pole project that represents Raven Clans of the A’ak’w Kwa’an.

August 2016 my wife Ivy and I got to attend the Dedication of the Huna Tribal House in Bartlett cove Glacierbay, Hoonah’s Ancestral Land. 

 

I’ve enjoyed carving, sharing Tlingit culture through songs and dance and storytelling over the years and plan on continuing being a part of this rich heritage. One thing I realize as each year passes, “my generation is now becoming the new elders”. 

Commission Requests

I accept carved masked and art commissions, totem carvings & restorations. If you are interested please contact: fredfulmertlingitartist@gmail.com