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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Bethesda in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Bear and the Steelhead

 
 
Bear and the Steelhead Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 23, 2014
1. Bear and the Steelhead Marker
Inscription.  The carvings on this bench depict a story from the Salish people of the northwestern United States and British Columbia, Canada. The story teaches respect for natural cycles, represented by the salmon’s annual migration upriver from the sea to freshwater breeding grounds. Salmon Woman created the cycle when people who depended on the fish for food took the year-round abundance for granted and abused the resource. After Bear defied warnings not to harvest the fish in their breeding grounds, all salmon except the steelhead (the only one he had not disturbed) died. Today, it is only the steelhead that survives spawning and returns year after year to breed, while other salmon species die in the spawning beds. The proper time to catch the salmon is based on the tides that are controlled by the Moon.

This bench and carvings are from a western red cedar tree used for the 9/11 Pentagon totem pole.

Symbols and colors in this bench:
Moon:    Protector and guardian of the earth by night
Salmon:  Dependability and renewal—the provider
Bear:      Strength, learned humility, motherhood and teaching
Bear and the Steelhead Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 23, 2014
2. Bear and the Steelhead Marker

Red:       Blood, valor
Black:    Power
White:    Skies and spacious heavens
Yellow:  Sun, light and happiness

 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Native AmericansScience & Medicine.
 
Location. 38° 59.754′ N, 77° 5.862′ W. Marker is in Bethesda, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker can be reached from Center Drive just from Wisconsin Avenue (Maryland Route 355), on the left when traveling west. Marker is in front of the National Library of Medicine, 8600 Rockville Pike. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 38 Center Drive, Bethesda MD 20814, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Totem For Healing (here, next to this marker); Raven and the Sun (here, next to this marker); Tree of Hippocrates (a few steps from this marker); President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the NIH Bethesda campus on this site, October 31, 1940 (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Louis Stokes Laboratories (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Centennial Anchor (approx. 0.4 miles away); From Trolley to Trail (approx. 0.4 miles away); Old Spring House & Pool of Bethesda (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bethesda.
 
Bear and the Steelhead Bench image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 23, 2014
3. Bear and the Steelhead Bench
Woman with Basket & Bear and the Steelhead image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 14, 2013
4. Woman with Basket & Bear and the Steelhead
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 21, 2019. It was originally submitted on October 11, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 326 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 11, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 4, 2021