Argillite Mortuary Totem depicting Bear by Denny Dixon, Haida
Mortuary Totem depicting Bear by Denny Dixon, Haida First Nation argillite 7.5" high x 2" wide x 1.75" deep
This carving is a model totem of a traditional Mortuary Pole that honored important members of the clan after their death. The Bear is a symbol for power, courage, physical strength and leadership. Warriors are known to wear bear claw necklaces which meant protection. In Haida culture, the Bear is referred to as "Elder Kinsman" and is treated like a high ranking guest.
Haida Carver Denny Dixon was born in the early 1940’s in the Village of Skidegate on Haida Gwaii, BC, Canada. He worked exclusively in Argillite and was strongly influenced by his brother Pat Dixon as well as by Pat McGuire, who he joined in Vancouver in 1969. Denny is known by collectors for his beautiful argillite poles, boxes, pendants and broaches. When he worked at the Montreal Museum, he presented one of his argillite boxes to the Empress of Japan.