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Northwest Coast Totem


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Northwest Coast polychrome totem. Carved with bird figures, frog and bear. Remnant of newspaper clipping verso, mounted to square wood base. Provenance Hudson Bay Fur Company, Seattle, Washington. "…Indian tribes of Alaska and the North Coast of British Columbia particularly the Hydas inhabiting Queen Charlotte in Prince Whales Islands, ecelled in the carving of totems. In the villages can still be found totems up to 80 feet in height. Some of them hundreds of years old. Before the advent of the whites the different Indian chiefs were known among their people by their skill in which they excelled in hunting a particular animal. They also believed that the human intelligence transmigrated into wild animals, fish or birds. The clan of the mighty bear hunter was therefor known as bears of a whale hunter, whales etc. Each family of Indian representing a bird, animal or fish. The grotesque figures with which the poles are covered an which represent whales, eagles, ravens, bears, beavers, wolves, frogs demonstrate to them the intermarriage of the different families…" Remnants of a Hudson Bay sticker at top. 27 1/2"H

PERIOD: Early 20th Century

ORIGIN: Northwest - Unknown, Native American

SIZE: 27 1/2"H

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