14,000-year-old set of 13 bones seen at Lummi
A set of 14,000-year-old rodshaped bones now in the Washington State Historical Society Museum is evidence that it’s not just a saying, a Snoqualmie Tribe couple say.
The bones, found in the late ’80s with many other artifacts in Douglas County, are a complete set of sla-hal bones—the oldest found, said Marvin Kempf of Rockport.
Marvin and his wife, Michele, under the direction of Katherine Barker, a Snoqualmie Tribe elder and tribal archivist, were preparing Tuesday to present large photos of the bones at the evening’s Paddle to Lummi cultural presentations. The game, which combines songs, spirituality, intense competition and guesswork, links today’s tribal members with their ancient ancestors, the couple says. Tribes throughout the area still play sla-hal, often calling it by different names.
“We are still the same people we were 14,000 years ago,” Michele said. “And we’re playing the same game.”