An art form unique to the Northwest Coast
of British Columbia, totem poles are three-dimensional sculptural
figures carved out of western red cedar. These photos give
you a sample of the different types of totem poles available
for commission. Read further on for more info, or contact
us and we will be happy to assist you with your inquiries.
The "Northwest Coast Kwakiutl"
totem pole communicates a family's history by bearing the
crests they own. These crests, derived from a legend or myth,
usually from an ancestor who became or was encountered by
a being from mythical times. The ancestor and all of his descendants
have the right to use these Kwakiutl crests.
usually bear images of humans, birds, (Eagle, Raven, Thunderbird),
or creatures from the sea, (Whale, Sea Otter, Seal, sea urchin,
Salmon), or the forest (Frog, Bukwas, Dzunukwa, Bear).
There can be any number of figures on one
pole, depending on the type of pole you choose, what the pole
is intended to do, and where it will stand. See Totem
Poles page 2 and Totem Poles page
3 for more info.
Typically, Kwakiutl poles are carved of western
red cedar, texturized with the adze, and painted in Kwagu'l
traditional colors of black, red, green, brown, yellow, or
gray. Any appendages on a Northwest Coast totem pole, such
as the Thunderbird's wings and horns, Raven's wings and ears,
Killer whale's dorsal fin, Welcome Figure's outstretched arms,
a bird's beak, are added on.
or give us a call, if you would like to commission one of
our many styles of totem poles. We have great freight companies
that we utilize - reputable and reliable! All necessary crating
can be done right here in our workshop.