The ceremonial posts in the meadow at Gualala Point Regional Park were created by wood carvers from the Sakha Republic in far northeastern Russia. The intricately designed poles are known as serge (pronounced sayrgay) and were carved at the park during the Days of Sakha cultural festival in 2014.
The festival brought a delegation from Yakutsk, the Sakha capital, to the Sonoma Coast to pay tribute to their heritage in the area. (The Sakha people first arrived in Sonoma County in the early 19th Century as part of the Russian settlement of Fort Ross.)
For the festival, Sakha craftsmen created the serges from a 40-foot Douglas fir over two weeks. The serges were dedicated on the summer solstice with traditional Sakha blessings, dancing, and shamanic rituals. In Sakha tradition, serges are hitching posts placed near homes, and their designs symbolize the human desire for survival.
The Sakha cultural festival was presented in partnership with the Gualala Center for the Arts, Fort Ross State Historic Park and Fort Ross Conservancy and Sonoma County Regional Parks.