In September, I took a little trip up to Duncan, BC, The City of Totems. I thought I would dehydrate from all the salivating I was doing, when I saw the totems.
One of my favorites was "Cedar Man Walking out of the Log" This is the worlds widest totem pole, measured in 1.8m or 5'11" Amazing! The original tree was over 750 years old (Makes me cry to think that a tree that old would be cut down, but at least it went to art and culture and not 2x4's) MacMillan Bloedel donated the tree to the city, and on the back of the totem, planks were removed to make First Nations houses.
The totem is carved by Richard Hunt, and the design came from his family pole that honored Mungo Martin, a Kwagu'l master carver. The top of the log was left natural so people could see the size of the log - this forms the hairline of the Cedar Man. On the chest is a copper shield, which represents wealth in Kwagu'l families. The skirt represents the traditionally worn cedar bark skirt. The talking stick has a representation of all family crests: The top is the Kulus (Baby Thunderbird) which represents Richard dancing the tamed Hamasta, (a high ranking dance in Kwagu'l culture); the Killer Whale in the middle represents spirits of our Great Chiefs; and the Man on the bottom represents a Kwagu'l family member.
I was moved and inspired to paint this amazing totem/ Thank you Richard Hunt!