This large model pole features a bald eagle, a Native man in fringed leather regalia wearing an anthropomorphic headdress, and a horse, depicted frontally in low relief. This pole dates to around 1900, and early Salish carvers created some eccentric carvings in adapting their carving skills to the introduced format of model totem poles – a more northern type of art. Some Salish artists incorporated easily recognizable imagery that evoked “Indian-ness” and would appeal to tourists visiting from back east. The presence of a Plains Native person and horse on this pole is highly unusual, although not unheard of. It’s also possible that this artist was from an Interior Salish group that was familiar with Plateau and Plains cultures that border their territory. The pole features a sticker on the back from the Hudson Bay Fur Trading Co. in Seattle and a partial label explaining some background on totem poles. This unknown maker’s work can be found in the Museum of Vancouver collection. 33"
PERIOD: Early 20th Century
ORIGIN: Northwest, United States