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Pair of Tlingit Model Totems


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Tlingit culture is divided into two moieties, or groups: Eagles and Ravens. These groups, also called clans, are exogamous – which means they marry out to the other group – and are matrilineal, meaning they follow the group of their mother. This pair of poles are nearly identical, but the one on the left features a raven on the top, while the pole on the right features an eagle (the beak shapes subtly differ between the two). Underneath each of the top figures is a mammal, perhaps a marten or bear, holding a halibut. The poles are monoxylous, meaning the poles and bases are carved out of single pieces of wood. The poles are painted in traditional green, red, and black and are carved in yellow cedar. The totems are classic Tlingit design, with minor variations that set each pole apart when studied. Certain stylistic features, particularly in the shape of the bottom figure’s arms and legs and the size of the eyes, point to a likely origin of Hoonah, Alaska. It’s incredible that these poles have remained together all these years, and as such, are being sold as a set. Made for own use. 14 3/4"H

PERIOD: Mid 20th Century

ORIGIN: Northwest - Tlingit, Native American

SIZE: 14 3/4" H

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