Although Radical Sasquatch made very clear his displeasure with the new Sasquatch exhibit at the Washington State Capital Museum, "Giants in the Mountains: The Search for Sasquatch", I decided to go and see if it was as bad as he feared. While it could have been worse (there was no explicitly pro-Weyerhaeuser Conspiracy propaganda), it left much to be desired.
The exhibit was a bit sparse on content and festooned throughout with insensitive footprints made of brown faux-fur. The multimedia portion of the exhibit consisted of a TV hooked to a DVD player showing a continuously repeating segment from Sasquatch Odyssey, a 1999 documentary more about cryptozoologists than Sasquatch themselves.
That there was no mention of the Sasquatch Militia's role in defending the Republic of Cascadia was unsurprising considering the museum's ties to the nearby regional seat of occupying Federalist power. However, I was surprised by the complete whitewash of Sasquatch culture, as almost all the Sasquatch artifacts were of the anatomical variety (mostly foot-related, naturally):
Instead of letting Sasquatch explain themselves through their own howls and art, the exhibit took the all-too-common approach of describing them from the point of view of humans. Besides the usual misinformed opinions of cryptozoologists, and a small array of pop-human-culture posters along the main stairway, there were a number of examples of art and stories about Sasquatch from Native Americans, such as this healing pole carved by Skokomish artists:
The only Sasquatch cultural artifact on display, and probably the most interesting part of the exhibit, was a foot-long carved stone head (text below is from the display):
C. 1500 B.C. to 500 A.D.
Courtesy of the Maryhill Museum of Art
Several stone heads have been discovered in the Pacific Northwest with primate-like features. The specimen above, discovered in the Columbia Basin, is of particular interest because it possesses a sagittal crest. These crests appear in great apes, gorillas and some chimpanzees. They tend to present in the skulls of animals that rely on powerful jaws.
As you can see, the museum curators have the date way off and make no mention of the World Stomper Championship or the artifact's original use as part of a free bobblehead doll souvenir. Sadly, the exhibit was characterized by this sort of shoddy scholarship and reliance on non-Sasquatch sources for information. They really should have consulted with the Sasquatch Museum of History & Industry.
I left too early for the speaking engagements or the appearance of Squatch, so no photos from those. The Olympian has more on the opening day events: "Sasquatch exhibit starts run at state Capital Museum"