Eagle and Blackfish Pole (left)Edited photo. Original photo courtesy of Linn A. Forrest.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) restored/recarved the Eagle and Blackfish Pole between 1938 and 1940. The restoration was part of a larger U.S. Forest Service program focused on the conservation of totems and Native cultural assets. The pole was originally found at the abandoned village of Tuxekan. With the accord of the former residents, the CCC and the U.S. Forrest Service relocated the pole to the Klawock Totem Park on the Prince of Wales Island.
The Eagle and Blackfish Pole belongs to the Wolf phratry and marks the resting place of a member of the clan. The eagle figure identifies the group to which the clan member belonged. The figure of the black fish illustrates the legend of Natsihlane, a Tlingit hunter who created the first blackfish.
Part of the photographic material published on this page by the Living New Deal was provided by courtesy of Linn A. Forrest (1905-1986), a practicing architect who photographed the totem poles at the time of their restoration, between 1939 and 1941. Forrest oversaw the joint program of the Forest Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps to recruit Alaska native carvers in the restoration and recarving of totem poles throughout Southeast Alaska. Employed by the U.S. Forest Service in Oregon, Forrest transferred to Juneau, Alaska in 1937, where he undertook the totem restoration as one of his first projects. Under his supervision, indigenous carvers preserved and restored 103 totem poles and three Tlingit and Haida community houses. Forrest documented the restoration process and maintained notes and a photo record of a significant portion of the work. He used a Leica camera designed for the then new Kodachrome 35mm color slide format.
Garfield, Viola and Linn Forrest, 1961, The Wolf and the Raven, Seattle: University of Washington Press, p. 131, 133.
Project originally submitted by Steve Forrest (with documentation courtesy of Linn Forrest); Brent McKee on August 15, 2017.
We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.SUBMIT MORE INFORMATION OR PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THIS SITE