Sunday, May 24, 2009
Stories in Cedar
Totem pole types include story-telling legend poles, wedding poles, history poles, poles that ridicule bad debtors and those that honor the dead.
Meanings are elusive, for the ravens, wolf crests and bear symbols now stand apart from the ceremonies that breathed life into the carvings. Mortuary poles honor the dead. Often cremation ashes are kept in a receptacle in the back. The single figure at the top represents the commemorated person's clan. Crest poles, usually part of a house, portray the ancestry of a particular family.