Klawock Totem Park, Mortuary Column – Klawock AK

Description

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) recarved/restored the Mortuary Column 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 owner of this totem is unknown. The column represents a brown bear figure at the bottom. According to the anthropologist Viola Garfield and architect Linn Forrest (1961), this figure suggests that the pole belongs to the members of the Wolf phratry. The top figure is a bird, an owl with a downward-shaped beak, which also suggest that the pole belong to the Wolf phratry lineage. Garfield and Forrest note that, “Others interpreted the bird as the mythical mountain bird, Kadjuk, but this identification is doubtful, since Kadjuk is a crest of certain Raven phratry members.”

Source notes

Garfield, Viola and Linn Forrest, 1961, The Wolf and the Raven, Seattle: University of Washington Press, p. 113. 

Project originally submitted by Steve Forrest (with documentation courtesy of Linn Forrest); Brent McKee on August 22, 2017.

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Location Info


Klawock Totem Park
Klawock, AK

Coordinates: 55.553605866187056, -133.09775376165464

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