In 1992 I paid a visit to the village of Yuquot (a.k.a. Friendly Cove), beyond the end of the highway on the far west coast of Vancouver Island. It was a pilgrimage to commemorate the bicentenary of Captain George Vancouver's survey of the North-west Coast, and also a chance to visit one of the most interesting historic sites in Canada, the so-called Whalers' Shrine. Actually there was not much to see. The contents of the shrine had been removed to the basement of a New York museum eighty-eight years earlier. All that remained was the site itself, a small island in a lake not far from the village (which also had been removed, but that is another story, well told in Hugh Brody's documentary film A Washing of Tears). The shrine has been seen by almost no one since its removal because it has never been put on display; at the same time, it has been seen by millions of people in several famous photographs that were taken before it was dismantled. This paradox is one of several contemplated by the American museum curator and anthropologist Aldona Jonaitis in The Yuquot Whalers' Shrine (Douglas & Mclntyre/University of Washington Press), the first book-length study of the site. Along with a history of the shrine, Jonaitis presents a precise description of its contents, many photographs and several First Nations stories accounting for its origins. When I look at the photographs of the carved human effigies with their blank, unseeing eyes staring back at me, I am reminded once again of that other, parallel reality that existed, and still exists, in this part of the world. The shrine relates specifically to ancient whaling practices on the Pacific coast, but the story of its "purchase," preservation and possible repatriation will appeal to anyone with an interest in First Nations issues.