gyảaGang (House Frontal Totem Pole)

About this object


It is the base of a pole that once stood in the village of SGaang Gwaay. It fronted a house named “People Think of This House Even When They Sleep Because the Master Feeds Everyone Who Calls.” This remainder of pole, except top figure, was burned when the village was burned in 1892 by the Koskimo and the crew of a sealing schooner. The following people assisted with this expedition: Smyly, John; Atkins, Bernard; Reid, Bill; Duncan, Kelly; Jones, Roy; Jones, Clarence; Jones, Frank.

Cultural context


Iconographic meaning

This beaver figure can be identified by its large incisor teeth, crosshatched tail, and human face at the tail joint. Beaver was one of crests owned by the lineage of Chief Ninstints (Tom Price), 'Those Born Up the Inlet', of the Eagle moiety.

Physical description

Base section of a wooden totem pole, crescent shaped in cross section and carved in shallow and deep relief. Depicted is a seated beaver with one potlatch ring between erect ears; protruding upper incisors; raised forepaws and hind paws grasping chewing sticks. Below its rectangular shaped crosshatched tail is a human face with large circular eyes. Traces of blue in eye sockets and around nostrils.