One-Mile Welcome Sign
-- Haat iyagu´t
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These are some of the older poles in Haines. Each 12 foot pole represents one of the area moieties - Raven and Eagle. These poles have been painted five or six times over the years. The black is the form line. The red is secondary color (lips, tongues, hands and feet). The blue green is the tertiary color. Chip carving was made with a gouge rather than an elbow adze because this was early in the totem revival period and carvers were not as comfortable using the adze.
When facing the sign, the Raven pole on the left, designed by Edwin Kasko (an Eagle), is symbolic of the Raven as founder of the world in all his great powers. The raven is the top figure on the pole. The second figure is the whale, representing Alaska and its great size. The whale has its tail in its mouth. The bottom figure is the head of the frog, which shows everlasting life. The whale is a baleen-type whale, not an Orca, so it has no teeth and can hold its tail in its mouth.The frog is thought to have everlasting life because it went into the mud in the fall and came out of the mud in the spring. The frog has no teeth and its tongue is sticking out. (A bear would have visible teeth.) These are the three main clans from the Ganaxteidi in Klukwan.
The pole on the right is the Eagle pole, designed by Leo Jacobs (a Raven). This pole tells of the eagle and his feeding grounds from 19 mile to 21 mile on the Haines Highway, where one of the largest concentrations of eagles in the world can be seen from October to March. The top figure is the "Overseer Eagle" or eagle crest figure; the second figure is the Salmon Chief (man holding salmon), who provides the late run of salmon to the feeding grounds; the Eagle Chief, head of the Eagle clan, is the third figure (an eagle, currently missing one wing); the bottom figure is of the Brown Bear, which also feeds on the salmon and is a symbol of strength and great size. The Salmon Chief represents the Chilkat Valley where all five species of salmon are found.
- Thanks to the Haines Sheldon Museum for info from their Totem Trot event.
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.