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Model Totem Pole depicting Raven, Beaver, Bear with Copper, c. 1970

Model Totem Pole depicting Raven, Beaver, Bear with Copper, c. 1970

Regular price $2,800.00 Sale

Model Totem Pole depicting Raven, Beaver, Bear with Copper, c. 1970
Kwakwaka'wakw Carving
Yellow Cedar

36” tall x 4.5” wide x 4.5” deep

Totem poles are monuments created by First Nations of the Pacific Northwest to represent and commemorate ancestry, histories, people, or events.  Totem poles are typically created out of red cedar, a malleable wood relatively abundant in the Pacific Northwest, and would be erected to be visible within a community.

Model totem poles 
began to be carved in the Pacific Northwest in the mid-1860s, when full-sized totem poles were no longer being worked. Both wood and argillite, a black shale, were used for the model carvings, the bulk of which were made for sale to outsiders.

This model pole is believed to originate from the Northern Kwakwaka'wakw or Southeastern Alaskan Tribal areas. The pole depicts Raven, Beaver, and Bear holding a Copper.

The Raven symbolizes creation, knowledge, and the complexity of nature. He is mischievous and curious, and is known as a transformer and a trickster. In Haida legends, the Raven released the sun and moon, and discovered mankind in a clamshell. Raven can represent humor and lightness of being.

Beaver symbolizes creativity, hard work, and determination. Known as the carpenter of the animal Kingdom. He teaches persistence, resourcefulness, cooperation, and harmony. The Beaver is a serious, hard worker and will not quit until he is done.

Bear symbolizes strength, courage, family, and teaching. Known as the protector of the animal kingdom. The Bear is thoughtful and independent, and possesses human-like qualities. In Haida culture the Bear is referred to as “Elder Kinsman”.

All three of these figures are clan or crest figures of the family of the carver. The bear is holding a Copper.  Copper was the ultimate symbol of wealth. Throughout the Northwest Coast, shields made of copper were exchanged at ever higher values between chiefs at potlatch feasts.

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