Portable totem pole or speaking staff

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Portable totem pole or speaking staff

This painted cedar wood totem, most probably carved by the Haida people, was collected at Esquimalt near Vancouver by Commander George Moore RN when his ship HMS Thetis visited in 1850. At this time there was a thriving First Nations culture. The ship's crew undertook the building of the first road in the region.
Looking very similar to the many large totem poles set up in the ground, this small version features four figures; the Watchman on top, the Raven, the Beaver, and the Frog. It's likely this was held to designate the speaker in a meeting.

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Esquimalt, Victoria, Canada


Collected 1850


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