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Haida House Frontal "Totem" Poles

Can you please assist me in understanding the significance of the Haida house frontal or "totem" poles and their purpose. I'm also curious as to why certain types of figures are incorporated in the totems.

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Here is a suggestion of a simple outline:

1. On Totem Poles & Symbols
2. The Haida People and their Totem Poles (purpose, meaning)
3. Common symbols/items & why

On Totem Poles

What do totem poles symbolize and why are they used? Carved from native cedar woods of Northwest Pacific Coastal territories, Totem poles are seen as expressions of belief and tradition of the native peoples of the region. Also, they are seen as outgrowths of aboriginal art because they were important in a ceremony called Potlatch - a kind of community/tribal feast where members of First-Nation tribes from the region would carve a specially chosen cedar wood, to symbolize their beliefs, keep the kinship rites and traditions, record their history, their ceremonies, their achievements, their religious beliefs and their hopes and dreams. A completed totem therefore becomes the symbol of the clan/tribe that made it - from it, members draw a sense of belonging, a sense of cultural identity.

The Haida and their Totems

The Haida are a First Nations people in Northwest ...

Solution Summary

The significance of the Haida house frontal or "totem" poles and their purpose is examined. Why certain types of figures are incorporated in the totems are determined.

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