Model Totem Pole, 1979 by Harry Schooner, Bella Coola First Nation
Model Totem Pole, 1979 Harry Schooner, Bella Coola First Nation red cedar, pigment, copper signature plate 36.5" high x 8.5" wide x 5" deep
This model pole tells the story of the Snuxyaltwa Smayusta (Story of Origin) of Bella Coola. The figures on this model depict Thunderbird, Killer Whale, Bear with Human, Loon, and Sun (top to Bottom. A wonderful addition to this pole is a repoussé copper signature plate depicting an eagle design, harry's signature and the date the pole was made.
Bella Coola master carver Harry Schooner's ancestral village is at Talyu (South Bentinck), and the Schooner Family are Talyuumc. Harry is well known for his traditional full size and model totem pole carving.
In August of 2009 at Talyu, a full size totem pole similar to this model pole was carved and raised to mark sovereign Nuxalk Territory and to protect the land and water from exploitation by the government and logging corps. Known for his traditional totem pole carvings, Harry acted as the primary carver with Joe Mack, Richard Pollard and Art Saunders (Silyas) assisting. To learn more about this pole raising go to http://www.nuxalk.net/html/snuxyaltwa.htm
As well, Harry worked on behalf of the Nuxalk House of Smayusta, a pathbreaking traditional First Nations government and activist organization that has done much to illuminate indigenous rights issues in British Columbia (BC). He protested and was arrested while protecting Ista, the religious place of origin of the Nuxalk, from logging corporations destroying the old Nuxalk villages, hunting grounds, fishing grounds, grave sites and sacred areas.