Model Totem Pole

About this object

Narrative

This pole exhibits the classic traits of Elwitt’s work including whiskers on the mammal figure at the top, face paint on the human figure, the small bear-cub like figure, and the eagle or owl figure on the bottom. The uncarved portion at the bottom of the pole is also a signature feature of an Elwitt pole, as is the carved out back. Pole is carved from a hardwood that is highly oxidized, another classic Elwitt feature. Please see totems in the CMH (VII-C-331, VII-C-334, and VII-C-335), the multi-figure spoon in the MOV (AA 777) and the pole in the postcard from MNBC (P-19) for comparison.

Physical description

A model totem pole depicting (from bottom to top): a bird with a frog, a man and a frog with their tongue's connecting, and a bear. The bird's circular black eyes are outlined in red and surrounded by a black ovoid. It has a small beak and mouth. The side wings have a black ovoid in ovoid in ovoid design. The frog facing upward in front of the bird has a black outlined, heart shaped face with circular black eyes outlined in red, and plain circular nostrils. It has a black dotted body. The man has black circle in tapering oval eyes with black brows above, a flat triangular nose, and an open mouth with a tongue extending into that of the frog's below it. The frog below the man has circular black eyes and a black body. The bear has black circle in tapering oval eyes, plain ears, black outlining the face, a flat rounded snout, and a downward turned open mouth showing sixteen plain teeth and four front fangs. Carved on a half-oval shaped pedestal.