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Components of a Totem pole

Components of a Totem pole

Think of a Totem pole that has three components. you will need to explore the three archetypes that make up a human being: The Child, The adult, The Human being; three archetypes from bottom to top. They are archetypically made up of the three movies that have enriched your life. The favorite movie of your childhood, the favorite movie of right now,(this time in your life), and the favorite movie of all time for you. They are often the same film in some areas and sometimes three different movies.”

A totem pole typically functions symbolic and stylized individual, dog, and supernatural forms.1 Totem poles are primarily graphic representations of kinship, depicting household crests and clan registration. For example, some Kwakwaka’wakw families of northern Vancouver Island belonging to the Thunderbird Clan will feature a Thunderbird crest and familial legends on their poles. Other common crests among coastal First Nations include the wolf, eagle, grizzly bear, thunderbird, killer whale, frog, raven, and salmon.2 Wealthy and influential families may have more than one crest. Totem poles can also be created to honour a particular event or important person.

Of the substance traditions manufactured by coastal Very first Nations around the world, the totem pole is most likely just about the most well-known social icons of your Pacific North west. The array of different totem pole styles and designs reflect the rich diversity of the First Nations histories and cultures that produced them. This section will explore the meaning and purpose of totem poles, how they are constructed, stylistic variations, and their significance in cultural revitalization initiatives among First Nations.

Most totem poles stand between 3 to 18 metres tall, even though some can get to over 20 metres in height.3 Several types of totem poles are erected to provide numerous structural and ceremonial purposes. Most longhouses had house posts, carved with human or animal forms, to support the main beams of the building. Similarly, some longhouses featured a house frontal pole, which would be located at the main entrance and often contained an opening for passage into the house. Mortuary poles, which contained the remains of the deceased in grave boxes, served as both a tomb and a headstone. Likewise, a memorial or commemorative pole was often created to honour an important deceased person, usually by his or her successor. Memorial poles tend to be the tallest type of pole, particularly among the Tsimshian of the Nass and Skeena Rivers in central British Columbia. Less commonly, some First Nations carved “shame poles” to ridicule neighbouring groups who had unpaid debts. Shame poles were more common in the nineteenth century, but today, some First Nations erect these poles as a form of protest against the loss of Aboriginal territory or for other political grievances. One well-known shame pole, which stands in Cordova, Alaska, was carved by Tlingit fisherman Mike Webber to protest the environmental disaster and political mishandling of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound.4

The totem pole patterns that most folks understand nowadays have been, for the most part, designed during the last 200 many years.5 Most historians along with other professionals agree that totem pole carving did not reach its maximum up until the nineteenth century, when numerous coast Initially Countries were actually active in the sea food and hair business with Europeans. During this time, coastal First Nations acquired new tools that enabled them to construct more elaborate poles. Most poles, even though they are made from rot-resistant cedar, last only about a hundred years before they begin to disintegrate.6 This disintegration is recognized as a natural part of a pole’s life cycle.

Carving a totem pole demands not just creative expertise, but an enchanting comprehension of cultural histories and woodland ecosystem. Most totem poles are made from Western red cedar, a rot-resistant tree that is straight-grained and easy to carve.7 Before a cedar tree is harvested for a totem pole, many coastal First Nations communities will perform a ceremony of gratitude and respect in honour of the tree. Several trees may be inspected before a particular tree is chosen for its beauty and character. According to Roy Henry Vickers, an artist of Tsimshian and Haida ancestry, “each tree is like a human being; it has its own personality and uniqueness.”8

Typically, totem pole carving was completed by guys, though these days both men and women are becoming skilled carvers. Many totem pole carvers have honed their skills since childhood, typically from watching their fathers and uncles carve from cedar wood. After a tree is felled, the wood is debarked and shaped using implements such as adzes, axes, chisels, carving knives, and chainsaws. Other artists argue that technological innovation is an important part of cultural transformation and growth.9 Whatever their personal preference, artists use these tools to create the swirling, oval shapes common in coastal First Nations artwork, also known as “ovoid” design.10 An artist will frequently pay close attention to the grain and colouration of the wood to capture the sense of life and movement in his or her carving. After the wood is carved, some artists paint their poles, or choose to leave the pole unpainted. Many poles are coloured using synthetic paints, and some are painted with natural pigments derived from ground charcoal and ochre

The ethnic versions of totem pole models are intricate and rise above the purview on this segment, but a number of generalizations can be created about localised qualities. The Coast Salish of the Lower Fraser tended to carve house posts rather than single stand-alone poles. These house posts would frequently appear on the interiors of longhouses. In the central coast, the Haida of Haida Gwaii and the Tsimshian carved towering totem poles, often reaching over 100 feet tall, which were usually erected beside a longhouse. Coast Tsimshian poles often had horizontal line breaks between totem figures, while Haida poles had closely intertwined designs with a shallow relief. In contrast, the Kwakwaka’wakw poles featured deeply etched surfaces and jutting wings and beaks.12 The famous Stanley Park totem poles, although located on Coast Salish territory, include totem poles from all over coastal British Columbia, including Haida, Salish, Kwakwaka’wakw, Nisga’a, and Nuu-chah-nulth designs.