The Raven-Finned Blackfish PoleSource: Illustration published in Garfield, Viola and Linn Forrest, 1961, The Wolf and the Raven, Seattle: University of Washington Press, p. 126.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) restored/recarved the The Raven-Finned 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 in 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.
This pole belongs to the Wolf clan at Klawock. A niche at the back of the pole contains the ashes of a member of the clan. The pole illustrates the story of the Raven-Finned Blackfish, which legend says was first seen by a hunter. According to Viola Garfield and Linn Forrest (1961), the mythical crest animal represented by the pole is common in Haida culture, in particular Haida clans of the Queen Charlotte Islands. Intermarriage has brought the adoption of this legend by the Tlingit. The blackfish spans the entire length of the pole, and is topped by the Raven figure.
Garfield, Viola and Linn Forrest, 1961, The Wolf and the Raven, Seattle: University of Washington Press, p. 126-127.
Project originally submitted by Steve Forrest (with documentation courtesy of Linn Forrest); Brent McKee on August 15, 2017.
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