Friday, January 8, 2010

More on Totems

Cinda Chavich

Published on Friday, Jan. 29, 2010 5:11PM EST

Last updated on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010 3:46AM EST

"It's dark and drizzling when I finally reach the village of Gitanyow, but the dull weather can't blunt the striking scene before me. Here, alongside the muddy main road, stand more than 20 weathered totem poles, the carved crests and lineage of families who have lived here for centuries. While it's impressive to see these stark sentinels in any setting – whether in a museum, art gallery or urban park – the chance to view the poles in situ, in the First Nations community where they belong, is both wonderful and humbling.

And in this isolated Gitksan village, in northern British Columbia, I'm among some of the oldest standing poles in the world.

“This one is from 1760, this 1880, and 1910,” says hereditary chief and local museum curator Deborah Good, as we walk among the remains of the weathered wooden figures, many which had been left to rot on the ground before this small museum was opened in 2008"..............

From the Globe and Mail, January 29.2010
Please click here to read the complete article

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