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Dentalia Shells
These thin, tubular mollusks formed the currency of commerce throughout the Pacific Northwest as long as 3000 years ago. Pre-European civilization is often considered a barter economy, with, for instance, coastal tribes swapping oolichan grease directly for prized Oregon obsidian. Commodity traders, however, could rely on this wampum to close a transaction when interest in the goods was decidedly one-sided. Called hykwa in Chinook jargon, dentalia shells possessed all the necessary attributes of money, being portable, recognizable and durable but rare and desirable enough to foster trade. Being available in a variety of sizes, the tusk-like shells were even divisible into small change. Professional traders are known to have tattooed measuring lines on their forearms as a handy calculator of individual shell values. Only a handful of groups, including the Nuu-chah-nulth in the vicinity of Tofino, possessed dentalia in quantities sufficient enough to make them wealthy. Harvesting the deep water mollusks was no easy undertaking however. From a dugout canoe a long, broom-like apparatus was thrust straight down into the muddy sea bottom then retrieved. With any luck a shell or two would be trapped amongst the stiff twigs at the end of the handle. Dentalia were also ostentatiously displayed as symbols of wealth and power in the form of body adornments. Perhaps most recognizable are the breast plates invariably worn by cheesy Hollywood Indians.
Illustration by Manami Kimura
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07
Feb
2007
argaiv1913
Baden-Powell Centennial Trail:Hyannis Drive to Deep Cove E-mail
(11 - user rating)
Written by Brian Grover   

Level: Moderate
Distance: 7.2 km
Time: 4 h
Elevation Change: 275 m
Season: Year Round
Map: 92 G/6 & 92 G/7
Access: Take the #210 Upper Lynn Valley from Dunsmuir Street next to Burrard SkyTrain station to Phibbs Exchange. Change to the #214 Blueridge bus to Hyannis Drive. Walk west past Berkley Avenue to the trailhead on your right.

After climbing at a moderate pace for 2.3 km, you'll reach Mount Seymour Provincial Park where the terrain begins its descent towards Deep Cove 4.9 km to the east. On the way you'll pass a branch leading up to the historic Mushroom Parking Lot. Just fifteen minutes out of the way, you'll be rewarded by great views of the lower mainland from the picnic area. Consider returning to the Baden-Powell trail in a loop via the Old Buck Access Trail and a short segment of the Old Buck Trail itself. The detour avoids backtracking while adding only 10 minutes to your hike.

For those wishing to bail out at Mount Seymour Road hourly bus service is 2 km down the hill near the park headquarters on Indian River Road. The #215 bus will take you to Phibbs Exchange where you have to transfer to the #210 Vancouver bus. Continuing eastward through the park you'll soon come to Indian River Road which you'll have to follow a short distance to a power line right-of-way. From here the trail will soon lead south to a rocky bluff with magnificent views of Indian Arm and Deep Cove. The final leg of the Baden-Powell trail cuts back west again through a short but extremely pretty section of lush west coast rain forest. Turn right at the end of the trail and then left on the next street. The charming community of Deep Cove offers enough of the usual tourist treats to satisfy even the hungriest hikers. At the foot of Gallant Street pick up either the #211 or #212 bus to Phibbs Exchange. A quick change to the #210 Vancouver bus will take you downtown.

bearpaw

 

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