TOTEM POLES

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Short discussion of Northwest Coast Totem Poles

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TOTEM POLES:

TOTEM POLES

Totem Poles are made by the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America.:

Totem Poles are made by the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America.

Totem Poles are monumental sculptures carved from large trees. They are found in the Pacific NW along the coast up to Alaska.:

Totem Poles are monumental sculptures carved from large trees. They are found in the Pacific NW along the coast up to Alaska.

Because the Northwest Coast is a rainforest, the wood rots quickly. Because of this, there are very few examples of totem poles carved before 1900. Another reason why there are few old examples is because missionaries thought them to be religious symbols and had them burned.:

Because the Northwest Coast is a rainforest, the wood rots quickly. Because of this, there are very few examples of totem poles carved before 1900. Another reason why there are few old examples is because missionaries thought them to be religious symbols and had them burned.

Totem Poles are free-standing and use 3 basic colors: reds, blue-greens, and black.:

Totem Poles are free-standing and use 3 basic colors: reds, blue-greens, and black.

Artists still carve totem poles today. Today's carvers charge from $500 to $3,000 per foot for their totem poles. :

Artists still carve totem poles today. Today's carvers charge from $500 to $3,000 per foot for their totem poles.

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Types of Totem Poles Crest Totem Poles: Usually part of a house, they portray a family's ancestry and the emblems of its clan. Story-telling Totem Poles: The most common type, these are made for a wedding, to preserve history or to ridicule bad debtors. Mortuary Totem Poles: These totem poles are made to honor the dead. Cremation ashes are often kept in a compartment in the back. A single figure represents the deceased person or their clan.

The vertical order of images is widely believed to be a significant representation of importance. The higher the figures on the pole the more important or prestigious they are. This is where the phrase "low man on the totem pole" comes from. :

The vertical order of images is widely believed to be a significant representation of importance. T he higher the figures on the pole the more important or prestigious they are. This is where the phrase "low man on the totem pole" comes from.

Sometimes, however, an important family will place their family crest on the bottom of the totem pole. This makes it look like it is supporting all the other figures. Because a tree is thickest at its base, this figure would be a lot bigger too, making it seem more important. Placement on the bottom also brings that figure closer to the people, increasing their interaction with that crest.:

Sometimes, however, an important family will place their family crest on the bottom of the totem pole. This makes it look like it is supporting all the other figures. Because a tree is thickest at its base, this figure would be a lot bigger too, making it seem more important. Placement on the bottom also brings that figure closer to the people, increasing their interaction with that crest.

YOUR PROJECT:

YOUR PROJECT

You will be creating a totem pole from your cast Creastone block. You will create a sketch of the front and back to help you plan your carving. Remember, this is a SUBTRACTIVE sculpture, so once material is removed, it cannot be replaced.:

You will be creating a totem pole from your cast C reastone block. You will create a sketch of the front and back to help you plan your carving. Remember, this is a SUBTRACTIVE sculpture, so once material is removed, it cannot be replaced.

Your Project must include: * at least 4 figures * a vertical order of importance * at least one attachment :

Your Project must include: * at least 4 figures * a vertical order of importance * at least one attachment

Remember, this is a Sculpture in the Round. That means it is seen from all sides. Make sure your sculpture is INTERESTING on ALL sides!:

Remember, this is a Sculpture in the Round . That means it is seen from all sides. Make sure your sculpture is INTERESTING on ALL sides!

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IDEAS You may choose to copy NW Coast figures. You may create your own figures using the style and colors of the NW Coast. You may use Pop culture or other figures to create your own original totem pole. Attachments can include: ears, nose, beak, arms, legs, antennae, horns, whiskers, wings

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You can carve entire bodies, just heads, or a mixture of both. Remember, you can be as creative as you want, so you can carve objects too, like favorite foods, drinks, etc.

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