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Archival description
Canada Cultural groups With digital objects
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Group portrait of men, women, and children

Many women and children wearing native clothing stand outside. Men in native clothing sit on horseback, scattered among them. A man in western clothing stands in front of the crowd.

Fred Ryckman

Group portrait of men, some on horseback

Several men wearing native clothing sit astride horses, facing away from the camera. Other men stand in a field near them. A tipi can be seen copy right and mountains are visible in the distance.

Fred Ryckman

Totem Park, UBC, Vancouver, Kwakiutl (#2 + 5 carved by Mungo Martin), Alert Bay sea lion pole #2, new Mungo Martin pole #5, frontal pole #6, eagle crest pole #7

This pole was on display at UBC in Totem Park in the 1960’s and 1970’s and moved to the Museum in the late 1970’s. It was carved in 1914 in Tsaxis (Fort Rupert) by George Hunt Sr. for the Edward S. Curtis film "In the Land of the War Canoes" which was originally titled "In the Land of the Head Hunters". The pole was collected by Marius Barbeau and Arthur Price in 1947. The pole was repaired and re-painted by carvers Ellen Neel in 1949 and Mungo Martin in 1950-51. It stood at Totem Park, UBC Campus until it was re-located to the Museum's Great Hall in 1976.

Iconography: Kolus is a young thunderbird. Thunderbird is a supernatural bird identifiable by the presence of ear-like projections or horns on the head, and a re-curved beak. The pole alludes to the story of Tongas people in south Alaska, who migrated south.

Alert Bay memorial pole

Image of a memorial pole at Alert Bay. Inscription at the bottom held by the figure reads "In loving memory of Tlaowa Latle of the Qiowasudinuk (Kwakwaka'wakw: Kwikwasut'inuxw) Tribe. Died Nov. 9 [rest of inscription illegible].

William Carr

Pole of Gurhsan, Gitsegyukla

Image depicts a totem pole erected in a farming area. It stands behind a rail fence and in front of a wooden barn. Read's notes state: "The Owl, or Grave-of-Gurhsan, form representation of the mythic owl. The pole dates from about 1913, was carved by Arthur Wilson, of Larksail phratry."

Pole of Mawlarhen, close up

Image depicts a close up of a totem pole, depicting the face of a human-like figure at its base. Read's note indicates this is the Pole of Mawlarhen at Gitsegyukla. "Raven at top; half pole uncarved; then large eagle, with folded wings; sitting frog; frog hanging with head down; bottom, the Man of the Comb whose hands, raised with palms forward are like native combs. Pole c1925, was about 40 years old. Erected to commemorate Mawlarhen and his sister Poking Bullhead. Carver local artist, Jimmy Good of the Fireweed phratry." See also item a034838 for another view of this pole.

Two totem poles

Image depicts two poles standing in an open area. The front pole features a human-like creature on visible portion. The back pole also includes a human figure at the bottom with an owl on top. The figures on the bottom may be crest figures (Leading In or Halfway Out) or a Man of the Wild. Read's note suggests that one of these may be a Pole of Hrkyadet at Kispiox.

Three totem poles

Image depicts three totem poles, standing in an open area. Reads note under this photo indicates that the pole on the left may by a Snag-of-the-Sand-Bar pole from the House of Chief Skogum Laxhe. The pole on the right may be Chief Laxhes Hat-of-Tsagyem-hanak Pole. See also item a034837 for a closeup of the Snag-of-the-Sand-Bar pole.

Carving of Grizzly Bear of the Water

Image depicts a carving of a creature that resembles a bear--with fins. The carving sits on a wooden structure, possibly a carver's bench. Several buildings can be seen behind the carving platform.

Read Notes

Read's note cards detail information about three groups of totem poles and contain text and page references to Marius Barbeau's book, Totem Poles of the Gitksan, Upper Skeena River, British Columbia (published by the Canada Department of Mines and the National Museum of Canada, 1929).

House of Wiiseks/Wiigyet of Gitsegukla Totem Pole

Image of a totem pole in Gitsegukla owned by Gary Hill Sr. of the house of Wiiseks/Wiigyet. The pole was cut down and as of March 2019 there are plans to make another one.

Additional images of this pole are printed on page 122 of Carter's book Abundant Rivers.

Anthony Carter

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