Image of two totem poles at Alert Bay. In the foreground is a memorial pole for Chief Wakas. It was raised in 1924 and carved by Arthur Shaughnessy. In the background is a memorial pole for Amos Dawson's uncle. Carved by Charlie James.
Fonds consists of negative images of petroglyphs largely from the Pacific west coast of North America. Most of the images are from sites located in British Columbia, but there are also images from sites in Washington State, New Mexico, and other areas of the United States and Mexico. There are also images of artifacts, masks, totem poles, wood carvings, and graveyards. Images of family travels, landscapes, wild animals, and house cats are interspersed within the collection.
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."
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.
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.
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.
File contains catalogue records, both printed and handwritten, of Northwest Coast items housed at the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian. Other textual records contains correspondence between MOA and the Smithsonian. There are images of some of the artifacts in the Smithsonian, such as totem poles and clothing displays.