National Geographic : 1956 Jun
Q National Ueograpnic soclety 741 W. Robert Moore, National Geographic Staff Totem Poles Served Indians as Storybooks, Coats of Arms, and Grave Markers Carved from cedar in the round, the poles ranged from a few feet to 80 feet high; only the finest trees were used. The poles symbolized victories, family histories, defeat of rivals, even unpaid debts. Their stories are always "read" from top to bottom. Here, in Juneau's Alaska Historical Museum, a visitor inspects a small Tlingit totem. Hook-nosed monster on the wall is the Thunderbird, a friendly spirit.