Looking at Totem Poles
Magnificent and haunting, the tall cedar sculptures called totem poles have become a distinctive symbol of the native people of the Northwest Coast. The powerful carvings of the vital and extraordinary beings such as Sea Bear, Thunderbird and Cedar Man are impressive and intriguing.
In Looking at Totem Poles, Hilary Stewart describes the various types of poles, their purpose, and how they were carved and raised. She also identifies and explains frequently depicted figures and objects. Each pole, shown in a beautifully detailed drawing, is accompanied by a text that points out the crests, figures and objects carved on it. Historical and cultural background are given, legends are recounted and often the carver’s comments or anecdotes enrich the pole’s story. Photographs put some of the poles into context or show their carving and raising.
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The Depiction of Legends
adzed Alaska Alert Bay artist Band base beak Beaver Beneath Bill Reid bird British Columbia British Columbia CARVER British Columbia Poles Campbell River canoe carved ceremony chief clan Coast Salish Comox creature crest figures crouched dance depicted dorsal fin Doug Cranmer Dzunukwa Eagle ears Ferry Terminal Freda Diesing Frog front Gitksan Grizzly Bear Haida head Henderson Henry Hunt high-ranking HILARY STEWART house posts human Hunt CULTURAL STYLE Huxwhukw Killer Whale Kispiox Kolus Ksan Kwakiutl Kwakwaka Kwakiutl Kwakwaka'wakw labret legend LOCATION masks memorial pole mortuary pole Muldoe Mungo Martin Museum of Anthropology Nanasimget Nuu-chah-nulth old pole original painted Park CARVER plank house pole was raised potlatch Queen Charlotte Islands Raven replica represents Richard Hunt Royal British Columbia salmon Sam Henderson Sisiutl Skidegate stands Stanley Park story supernatural tail flukes Tlingit Tony Hunt Totem Park totem poles traditional University of British village wakw wearing wings Wolf woman Wrangell