This is one of those pieces that blows me away, sometimes I look at the pieces and think, "Did I paint this?" I actually did!
This totem, entitled, "Owl Spirit" was carved by Tom Lafortune, from Tsawout First Nation of the WSANEC (Saanich) People.
This particular section of the totem represents the Orca Clan regalia at the bottom of the pole.
The story of the Orca Chief goes like this:
It is a story of four hunters who head out on a canoe to harvest seaweed and salmon. Because they were tired and lazy, they threw their anchor overboard without thinking about how it could damage the sea floor or marine life.
When the Orca Chief found out what the hunters did, he sent up his most powerful orca warriors to bring the men back to his house. The warriors circled around and around the hunters' canoe until a whirlpool was formed, and the men were sucked down into the Orca Chief's house.
The men apologized for their disrespect. The compassionate Orca Chief then sent the hunters off with his warriors so they could learn how to sustainably harvest the ocean's resources before they went home.
Roy Vickers says Orca Chief is just one of the many northwest coast legends that has layers and layers of learning.
"At the core of the teaching is love and respect for all," he said.
"When the men humbled themselves and were sorry, there was justice served, and the justice was those men were taught a better way to live."
I have put myself in the photo in order for you to see just how large it is.
Quite hauntingly beautiful isn't it?
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