Lookout Park Pole

-- Haat iyagu´t

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Location

Lookout Park
United States
59° 13' 54.3504" N, 135° 26' 32.2692" W
Photo: 
Carver: 
David Svenson, Greg Horner, and Alaska Indian Arts
Date Carved: 
1983
Body: 

This 16 foot Eagle Family Pole took 1,000 hours of carving time. It was purchased by the City of Haines from Carl Heinmiller and Alaska Indian Arts. This pole inspired Jim Heaton to start carving totem poles. David Svenson now carves on collaborative pieces with Pilchuck glass artists in Washington state. This pole wasn't carved specifically for this spot. It was at Alaska Indian Arts for awhile. Peter Goll, while in the legislature, obtained $10,000 for Haines to install this pole in the Lookout Park pavilion.

At the bottom of the pole is a Chief holding a copper tinaa (money piece) with an eagle design on it and wearing a clan crest hat with a little eagle on it and basket rings at the top. He is holding his wife up on top of his head and their child is sitting on her lap. She has a labret in her lower lip. The coho salmon is draped across her head. The coho is a raven crest - the wife is the opposite clan of her husband, who is an eagle. Above that is the guardian figure of the pole, an eagle. And above the eagle are two guardian figures. Guardian figures are more common on Haida poles. This is the eagle family pole for the Chilkat Valley. One guardian is facing up the Chilkat Valley and one is facing up the Chilkoot Valley. On the top of the potlatch hats on the top of the guardian figures, there were originally brass welding rods that looked like sea lion whiskers. These are not usually on this style of hat, but they discouraged birds from sitting on the top of the pole. The wires were taken off a few years ago when lead caps were put on the top of the pole.

As Alaska Indian Arts matured and carvers became more skilled, the poles become more detailed and complex. This is an example of one of the later, more complex poles.

- Thanks to the Haines Sheldon Museum for info from their Totem Trot event.

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Ikaduwakaa and the Storyboard are part of the Doorways to the Past; Gateway to the Future project, cooperatively supported by the Chilkoot Indian Association, Haines Borough Public Library, and a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency that fosters innovation, leadership, and lifelong learning.