Saxman Totem Park, Raven Pole – Saxman AK

Description

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) relocated the Raven Pole, from a village in Southeast Alaska to the newly established Saxman Totem Park. CCC set up a totem restoration project in 1938 and Tlingit carvers enrolled in the CCC lead the work.

In the 1961 volume, The Wolf and the Raven, anthropologist Viola Garfield and architect Linn Forrest describe the visual characteristics of the Raven Pole: “Raven on the top of the Raven Totem pole is carved with outspread wings ornamented with feather and wing-tip designs, and with breast feathers forming the hair or head dress of the human figure below. This is an arrangement similar to that of Raven and Fog Woman on the Kadjuk pole. Below is a bear and beneath that two supernatural beings. Of the upper one appears only the head, its teeth encircling the forehead of the lower figure. Small faces in the ears and nostrils and on the feet of the two lower figures emphasize their supernatural character. The carving of these figures is very similar in style to that of the lower part of the Dogfish pole. Like the latter, this carving dates from the end of the nineteenth century and is a poor sculpture.”

Source notes

Garfield, Viola and Linn Forrest, 1961, The Wolf and the Raven, Seattle: University of Washington Press, p. 13-56. 

Saxman Totem Park, National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, 1979, accessed July 1, 2017.

Project originally submitted by Brent McKee on July 14, 2017.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.

Location Info

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Saxman Totem Park
Saxman, AK

Coordinates: 55.31987000713738, -131.59619795641402

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