Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Totems






I visited British Columbia in 1978 and am sharing a few images I scanned yesterday. Even though it was over 30 years ago, I remember how interesting the totem poles were. I read several books about and by Emily Carr, one of my favourite artists, who also found totems fascinating. If you have an interest in totems, I suggest you look at her captivating images of totems.

I can only imagine the work and effort that went into carving large trees with creatures and symbols that had meaning for the artist as well as the people who viewed them. When I go back to BC, I will definitely build upon my collection of totem photographs!!

Most of my photos of totem poles are in portrait (vertical) format because the subjects are vertical and narrow. I took several close views of the individual characters on each totem as I pondered their meaning. For example, the childlike figure in the second photo has its hand in its mouth which typical of small children. However, there appears to be somethng wrong with the hand - too many digits and the thumb (if thats what it is) is wrong. I can't imagine that this was an error, but I have no idea why the artist did that.


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