Talking Totem Poles

Talking Totem Poles

by Glenn Holder
Publisher: Dodd, Mead & Co.
Library Binding, 80 pages
Used Price: $4.00 (1 in stock) Condition Policy

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What are totem poles? Where are they found? Who made them? What do they say?

Strangely enough, if an onlooker doesn't already know the story a pole tells, he can't "read" the pole. There are some totems existing today that have lost their stories, and these are called puzzle totems.

A totem pole was a sort of "signboard" made by the Indians of the Northwest Coast. A pole was erected by a chief for various reasons, usually at a big party called a potlatch.

The author tells how a tree was selected, cut down, carved, and raised; what symbols a finished pole might bear; and what legends it might tell. The book is especially timely because of the current interest in the totem as an expression of authentic native art. It centers on Indian lore as well as the recent efforts to save the authentic old poles.

—from the dust jacket

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