What do totem posts mean

(totem pole)

Native American art of the north west coast.
A virtual exhibition of replicas of the different tribes of the Pacific Northwest coast of Canada. (studys of native american arts)

Totem poles actually: Heraldic post represent the high aesthetic standard of Native American art of the Northwest Coast, and are a sign of the complexity of the Northwest Coast Indians.
To understand them, one must understand that they are rooted in two complementary social elements. On the one hand, the totem pole fulfilled a social function, and on the other hand, it showed the wealth. Only when you understand both can you learn more about their meaning. Totem poles are a mirror of social identity, its history, its privileges, its status, its social relationships and its moral law. We cannot pretend to have understood all the complexity, much was lost even for the Indians, whose culture was destroyed by the conquest of the west coast by the whites.
Many Indian tribes believed that they were descended from a certain species of animal.
It became a religious symbol for a totem, which was ascribed supernatural powers. If it is treated with respect, the Indians believe, its powers will also be transferred to the people. These large carved and painted tree trunks embody the ancestors (ancestors) of an Indian tribe.
A totem pole was erected in honor of a deceased chief, to commemorate memorable events or when a new house was built. Important heraldic animals were orca, bear, beaver, wolf, raven, eagle and cormorant.

All totem poles also in large view (click on a picture)
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The totem pole is also incorrectly referred to as a torture stake.
A torture stake was only used by the plains Indians of the American Midwest
used and this was mostly a simple tree - mostly dead and without branches. All totem poles are hand-carved from light to medium-strength wood (hardness similar to pine / fir). The figures and motifs of this totem correspond to the totem animals of the Indians of the north-west coast of America.
The totem tells a story or symbolizes the status of an Indian clan. Each Indian tribe had its own arrangement of the animals and figures in the totem pole. Wind and weather then form a traditional totem pole. Cracks and clearly visible weather influences should be seen in the wood.

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or [email protected]


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Last updated on: 12.12.2019
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