The Hoopa Valley is a remote mountain valley in Northern Humboldt county where the Hupa people have lived for hundreds of generations. Through gathering photos of three generations of the Marshall family and incorporating google earth imagery as well as photos of my own, I’ve created a visual representation of their way of life. Melvin Marshall said of his life in the valley, “We have the river, we have the mountains, we’re always outdoors.”
-Luke Tygar McCarthy
Flooding in the Hoopa Valley: This re-photography project was done to show how resilient the Hupa people are. During December 1964 through January 1965, the Hoopa Valley experienced 35 inches of warm rains that melted snow-capped mountains which flowed into the Trinity River and creeks. While several bridges in Humboldt County were washed away, the main bridge in Hoopa stayed intact and those who were there can recall the BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! of logs bumping into it all day and night. This bridge replaced the bridge that was washed away in the December 1955 flood. The Brush Dance pit at Hostler Creek was also completely destroyed. It was dug-out while new cedar and redwood planks and poles were collected. The firepit within the dance pit was located and by August 1965, Brush Dances were held as they had been for hundreds of years before.