National Geographic : 1945 Jan
© National Geographic Society Oil Painting by W. Langdon Kihn As a Memorial to a Departed Chief, Haida Raise a Totem Pole, Lofty Escutcheon Bearing His Coat ofArms Downward from the Eagle, clan totem at the crest, the figures represent: the chief himself, Thunderbird, and one ofthe chief's ancestors. Projections on other poles stand for fins of killer whales. Posts are not idols, but proclamations of prestige. Carving this cedar log took months. To participate initserection, guests have as sembled in ceremonial robes. Such villages no longer exist. Christianized Haida abandoned theirs around 1880. Zealously they cut down poles or sold them.