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Canada Gitxsan
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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

Wilson Duff interview with Jonathan Johnson at Kispiox

Item is an audio recording of an interview by Wilson Duff with Jonathan Johnson about the geography of the Gitxsan village of Kispiox and surrounding region. According to Tribal Boundaries in the Nass Watershed by Neil J. Stewart (MOA Reading Room, call number 12.7c GIT STE), Jonathan Johnson (1902-1968) of Kispiox was from the House of Xhliimlaxha and had knowledge of territories in the Nass watershed, including his father’s territory at Gwinhagiistxw. In interviews that took place on July 6 and 7, 1965, Duff gathered information about house territories in the Nass and Skeena watersheds to produce a map showing territories and numbered sites at Kispiox, see the Wilson Duff fonds at MOA, Box/File# Mc15, File# 10-B-21.

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.

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).

[David Gunanoot, Gitsxan Chief]

Portrait of David Gunanoot, Chief of Gitxen. A similar portrait of him is printed on page 107 of Carter's book Abundant Rivers.

Anthony Carter

David Gunanoot, Haselton, BC

Portrait of David Gunanoot, Chief of Gitxen. A similar portrait of him is printed on page 107 of Carter's book Abundant Rivers.

Anthony Carter

Poles of Ksrarom-Larhae

Image depicts two totem poles erected very close together. Read's notes indicate that these are the Poles of Ksrarom-Larhae, located in Gitsegyukl. "Snag-of-the-Sand-Bar pole. At the bottom the monster Hagwelaworh (?), a whale-like sea monster. "

Totem pole detail

Image depicts a close up showing the details of the lower figures on a totem pole, probably the Snag-of-the-Sand-Bar pole from the House of Chief Skogum Laxhe. The bottom figure is is the monster Hagwelawrh, who lives under the water and causes the Sand-Bar to raise with his back. See also image a034836 for another view of this pole.

Memorial pole

Image depicts a totem pole with an inscription indicating that it is in memorial to a Chief who died. The pole depicts two similarly carved creatures that may be owls. Several buildings are visible behind the pole and mountains can be seen in the distance.

Kitwanga totem poles

Image depicts several totem poles standing in a row. Read's pencil notes suggest that these are the Poles of Arteeh at Kitwanga .The pole second to the right is called the Pole of the Mountain Lion. See also items a034845 and a034846.

Mountains and river valley

Image depicts a range of mountains with a valley and river running through it. Based on Read's itinerary for this trip, this may be the Skeena River and valley.

Read Journal

Read's handwritten journal (July 8 - August 5, 1948) of his trip from Vancouver to the Skeena River Valley and back, details the weather, road conditions, people he met, and fish caught along the way.

[David Gunanoot, Gitsxan Chief]

Portrait of David Gunanoot, Chief of Gitxen. A similar portrait of him is printed on page 107 of Carter's book Abundant Rivers.

Anthony Carter

Totem pole behind a fence

Image depicts a totem pole located in a valley with mountains in the distance. The pole is probably from the Kitwanga or Kispiox villages in the Skeena Valley. This pole features a fish on top and a series of ravens interspersed with human-like characters below that. One section of the pole is not carved.

Series of totem poles

Image depicts several totem poles erected in an open field in front of several wooden structures, possibly houses. Read's notes indicate that these poles are the Wawsemlarhae poles at Kispiox Village in the Skeena Valley.

Child and totem pole

Image depicts a child leaning against the base of a totem pole. The pole shows a human figure in profile. See also item a034828 for another view of this pole.

According to George Read, Stanley Read's son, the pole in the image is the Half Way Out pole of Delgamuukw's house; the boy is Harry Brown, whose Gitxsan name is Xsuwii 'Guus.

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