Monday, February 7, 2011

First Nations Totem Poles, Stanley Park, Vancouver

On the northeast end of Stanley Park in Vancouver there are a number of totem poles erected by the First Nations and the work of First Nations artists.

This first group of carvings are from the area surrounding the totem poles where a number of Coast Salish Gateways by artist Susan Point are the focus of attention.



There are eight totem poles in all, by different artists, in different styles and very different in appearance, but all very colorful and worth photographing.


This pole is by Kwakwaka'wakw artist Oscar Maltipi.  The figure at the top is the Thunderbird and the bottom figure the Killer Whale.  The full pole is the middle of three in the next picture.


The pole on the left is the Beaver Crest Pole carved by Nisgas'a artist Norman Tait and various members of family.  The pole "depicts how the Tait family's Eagle Clan adopted the beaver as their crest."


The third pole in the photo above is Chief Wakas Pole.  It is one of the most intricate and colorful of the poles.  The pole was carved by Nimpkish artist, Dough Cramer and depicts a number of different animals.



The Sky Chief Pole was carved by Hesquiat artist, Tim Paul and Dididaht artist, Art Thompson and represents important characters in First Nations history.


The Kakaso'las pole, the center pole in the photo below, was carved by Ellen Neel and her uncle Mungo Martin and was originally the property of Woodward's Department Store.  It is also the oldest of the poles.



 This very colorful pole is the Thunderbird House Post used to support the roof beams of a First Nations Cedar House.  It was carved by Charlie James.




The pole on the right is the Ga'akstalas Pole and was carved by Wayne Alfred and Beau Dick.  The bird at the top of the other figures is the legendary Quolus.





The last of the poles is Chief Skedan's Mortuary Pole, the original version of which held the chief's remains at one time.  Haida artist Bill Reid carved this pole.


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