House Frontal Totem Pole

About this object


This pole once stood before a dwelling named “Plenty of Tliman-Hides in this House,” which Haida histories record belonged to the clan named Those Born at Qadasgo Creek. The meaning of “tliman” is no longer known. The house timbers were still standing in 1947 according to Barbeau but had fallen by 1954. The pole was cut into four sections when it was removed and shipped from its original site.It had been standing sunk five feet into the ground, surrounded by rocks.

Iconographic meaning

Figures are from historical narratives owned by clans of the head of the house, a raven, and his wife, an eagle. Hatted figures at top are watchmen to warn of approaching danger. Carved figures, as displayed from front to back: Grizzly bear, with human wearing ringed hat (base of pole), Cormorant, with small human-like figure, Eagle (missing beak), with small human-like eagle, Three watchmen (top of pole).

Physical description

Single wooden totem now in four sections (parts a-d). The sections are all crescent shaped in cross section and carved in shallow and deep relief. The fourth section from the top (part d) has a sitting bear with curled nostrils, protruding tongue; three claws on raised forepaws which hold three ringed hat of a human between the bear's legs.