Posted by: danielfee | July 25, 2012

Travel Photo of the Day 07-25-2012

Totem Pole – Ketchikan, Alaska

Totem Pole

Carving a Totem Pole

The Ketchikan area has a large display of totem poles and contemporary native art all over town. There are two totem pole parks and a totem pole museum. Most of the poles is southeast Alaska are from the Tlingit, an indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest Coast of America. Totem poles are monumental sculptures carved from large, mostly Western Red Cedar trees. The meanings of the designs on totem poles are as varied as the cultures that make them. They may recount familiar legends, clan lineages, or notable events. Some poles celebrate cultural beliefs, but others are mostly artistic presentations. Certain types of totem poles are part of mortuary structures and incorporate grave boxes with carved supporting poles or recessed backs for grave boxes. Other poles may illustrate stories that commemorate historic persons, represent shamanic powers, or provide objects of public ridicule. However totem poles were never objects of worship by the tribes.



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