Alaska's Totem Poles

Overview

Through the mists of Alaska's rain forest, totem poles have stood watch for untold generations. Imbued with mystery to outsider eyes, the fierce, carved symbols silently spoke of territories, legends, memorials, and paid debts. Today many of these cultural icons are preserved for the public to enjoy in heritage parks and historical centers through southeast Alaska. And, after nearly a century of repression, totem carving among Alaska's Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian peoples is ...

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Alaska's Totem Poles

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Overview

Through the mists of Alaska's rain forest, totem poles have stood watch for untold generations. Imbued with mystery to outsider eyes, the fierce, carved symbols silently spoke of territories, legends, memorials, and paid debts. Today many of these cultural icons are preserved for the public to enjoy in heritage parks and historical centers through southeast Alaska. And, after nearly a century of repression, totem carving among Alaska's Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian peoples is flourishing again.

In this newly revised edition of Alaska's Totem Poles, readers learn about the history and use of totems, clan crests, symbolism, and much more. A special section describes where to go to view totems. And foreword writer David A. Boxley offers the unique perspective of a Native Alaskan carver who has been a leader in the renaissance.

Author Pat Kramer traveled throughout the homelands of the Totem People - along Alaska's Panhandle, the coast of British Columbia, and into the Northwest - meeting the people, learning their stores, and researching and photographing totem poles. Pat is also a tour director and the author and photographer of several other books, including Vancouver, Gardens of British Columbia, and Totem Poles, a guidebook to Western Canada's totems.

Foreword writer David Boxley, the first Alaskan Tsimshian to achieve national prominence, is a renown totem pole carver, having carved sixty-five poles in the last twenty-six years.  He has been deeply involved in the rebirth of Tsimshian culture through organizing and hosting Potlatches in Alaska and Washington.

"This is a handy guide for travelers in Southeast Alaska who want to learn more about Alaska's totems. There's even a guide of where to view totems in the state. Ravens, killer whales (Orca) and bears...they're all represented in the totem."

                                                                                                                        ——Alaska Travelgram

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780882407319
  • Publisher: Graphic Arts Ctr Pub Co
  • Publication date: 6/1/2011
  • Edition description: Third Edition, New edition, Revised and expanded
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 104
  • Sales rank: 1,512,358
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.33 (h) x 0.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Author Pat Kramer traveled throughout the homelands of the Totem People - along Alaska's Panhandle, the coast of British Columbia, and into the Northwest - meeting the people, learning their stores, and researching and photographing totem poles. Pat is also a tour director and the author and photographer of several other books, including Vancouver, Gardens of British Columbia, and Totem Poles, a guidebook to Western Canada's totems.

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Table of Contents

Map 4
Foreword 5
Ch. 1 An introduction to Alaska's totems 6
Ch. 2 Totem traditions 27
Ch. 3 Totem crest figures 45
Ch. 4 Frequently asked questions about totem poles 64
Ch. 5 Visiting Alaska's totem poles 79
Further reading 95
Index 96
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