Samuel White is a Lower Elwha S’Klallam Tribal member located in the Pacific Northwest of Washington State. Sam’s native name is phonetically pronounced “kooa-kowa-day” which means little bull head. Unfortunately, many of his names left to him by Dave Forlines where lost when a tape recording was stolen from him. He is a direct descendant of the Chickasaw tribe in Oklahoma through his father. Sam is a father of 11 children. Sam is the Chief of Police for Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe which is a sister Tribe to his own.
Sam was trained to carve as a young teen by Dave Forlines his Godfather and Richard Mike his uncle. He helped carve the totem poles for the Lower Elwha S’Klallam Tribe along with the first traditional dugout canoe.
Sam has been carving for near 30 years. Sam mostly has carved small carving for friends and family as gifts such as combs, rattles, masks, miniature canoes, full size paddles (functional and decorative) and plaques. Sam tries to keep as true to traditional carving as possible with a slight integration of modern contemporary native art. He tries to freehand the designs with nothing being exact or symmetrical. He was taught to if you carve good enough, no sandpaper would be needed. Sam feels he is improving every time but has lots to learn with each carving.
Sam has a family history of military service and is a proud father of his eldest son joining the Marines. That is why he is proud to be part of this project for the U.S.S. Washington.