totem pole


The combination of figures on this totem pole suggests that it recounts a story from Kwakwaka'wakw legend, one that features a man, a bear and a Dzunakwa--a wild woman of the woods. The exact composition of the story is unclear, but it may have been a warning to children of the dangers of the deep forest and the powers, spiritual and physical, of the men who braved it to hunt, fell trees and otherwise support their families. It was hastily made in the early twentieth century for sale to non-Natives through a shop in Seattle, probably by a carver of the Kwakwaka'wakw people of the central Coast.

Collection Information

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