gyảaGang (House Frontal Totem Pole)

About this object

Narrative

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.

Iconographic meaning

The figures on pole A50000 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. The carved figures from base to top are: 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).

Physical description

Single wooden pole now in four sections (parts a-d, top to bottom). The sections are all crescent shaped in cross section and carved in shallow and deep relief. On the top (part a) are three humans side by side wearing three ringed hats, also known as the Three Watchmen. The figures on the sides hold onto the squared erect ears of bird from following section.