projects > Silence (Tarpaper Totem)

Photograph of tarpaper sculpture at Manzanar Japanese American World War II incarceration historic site. By Gardiner Funo O'Kain.
Silence (Tarpaper Totem, Manzanar)
June 02, 2021

Manzanar is in the Owens Valley. One of the reasons this area was selected by the War Relocation Authority for an American concentration camp was that it was difficult to escape because it is surrounded on three sides by mountains. In this image, the Sierra Nevada mountain range is in the background; Mount Williamson is at the center.

Thank you to the people who care for the Manzanar Historic Site: Christine Holstlander, Sarah Bone, and Bernadette Lovato directly encouraged and supported my permit application and on-site activities. There are many other workers such as Roger Myoraku, who maintain the site, conduct ongoing research and who educate visitors and engage with the Japanese American and Indigenous communities whose histories are preserved here.

The Owens Valley is Paiute land.