Emily + Alan

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Last updated 6 years ago

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Emily + Alan

The first true freestanding totem poles were apparently constructed by the inland Tsimshian, Gitksan, and Nisga'a peoples along the Nass and Skeena Rivers.

Totem poles

To to totems

Totem pole symbolism is intimately linked to the kinship system of the Northwest coast. The family relationship, as defined among members of a group, is called it's kinship system. The familiar Western kinship system of mother-father, brother-system, uncle-aunt, niece -nephew.

To to totem poles

The word ‘totem’ was first used in 1781 by an Englishman called Long who lived among the Algonquin tribe and became an interpreter. He then wrote a travel book in which the secrets of totemism were revealed.

Totem poles are sculptures carved from large trees, such as the Western Red Cedar. In North America, totem poles are part of the cultures of many indigenous peoples of Alaska, British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. Totem poles serve many purposes beyond their beauty, and their meanings are as varied as the cultures that make them.

Totem poles are sculptures carved from large trees, such as the Western Red Cedar. In North America, totem poles are part of the cultures of many indigenous peoples of Alaska, British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. Totem poles serve many purposes beyond their beauty, and their meanings are as varied as the cultures that make them.


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