Four Story TotemCourtesy of City and Borough of Juneau staff.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) restored and recarved hundreds of totem poles in Alaska, as part of a restoration program that lasted between 1938 and 1942. The program was part of a larger U.S. Forest Service effort to employ Alaska Natives and conserve totems and Native cultural assets. U.S. Forest Service architect Linn A. Forrest oversaw the joint program of the Forest Service and the CCC throughout Southeast Alaska.
Master carver John Wallace of Hydaburg carved the Four Story Totem Pole. An information page, published by the Public Art Archive, summarizes the history and symbolic meaning of the figures represented on the pole: “Wallace has been described as “the last of the professional Haida totem-carvers” and he demonstrated his art before thousands at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. It is carved of western red cedar and stands 35 feet tall. The pole depicts four Haida clan stories from top to bottom: 1) “The Monster Frog,” represented by a Frog, Man and Raven; 2) “The Man with the Fish Trap,” represented by a Bear, Chief, V-Shaped Fish Trap, Black Bear; 3) “Toeewank and the Land Otter Man,” represented by a Shaman holding a Land Otter; and 4) “The Shaman at Island Point Town,” represented by a Black Oystercatcher Rattle, Octopus, Halibut, Halibut-hook baited with supernatural Mouse and its Spirit. In 1962 the Rotary Club of Juneau purchased the pole from the Haidas and presented it to the City of Juneau the following year. It was moved to its current location at the corner of 4th and Main Streets outside the Juneau-Douglas City Museum in 1993. The ‘Four Story Totem’ pole is a part of the Juneau-Douglas City Museum’s permanent collection, JDCM 84.19.001.”
The Four Story Pole was restored circa 1994.
Correspondence with Dr. Emily Moore, Colorado State University, 10-22-2016. JDCM Collection Objects Exhibit Page, Four Story Totem Pole, accessed August 25, 2017.
Project originally submitted by Brent McKee on August 27, 2017.
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