People believe that totems originated around the Northwest Pacific Coast where Native Americans had specific rules and traditions about how they were made and used. Although no one knows for sure how long the Native Americans have been living in the North America region, it is known that their culture is very much centered around their spiritual beliefs as individual families and clans. Despite the common belief that totem poles represent Native American gods, in many tribes they were used to represent the beliefs and traits of the family who owned it.
In a reading done in class, “Farmers of the Woodlands,” written by Peter Nabokov and Dean Snow, there is discussion of the religious and spiritual beliefs of the people who lived in the Eastern Woodlands. For the Penobscot bands, they had the spiritual belief of totems. These totems were animals. They believed the totems were the ancestors to the people of the band. These totems linked them to the lands they lived, hunted, and fished
The word totem derives from the Algonquian word “odoodem” meaning kinship group. You can see how that represents a totem pole well because a ceremony for a new pole is watched by hundreds of tribe members. More than just beautiful carvings, totem poles represent myths, legends, and honourable stories of families or tribes.
The fork of the lodge represents the eagle's nest. The eagle plays a large part in the Sun Dance for it is one of the Plains Indians' most sacred animal. The eagle flies high, being the closest creature to the Sun. Therefore it is the link between man and spirit, being the messenger that delivers prayers to the Wakan-Tanka (god). (Atwood) In addition to being a messenger, the eagle also represents many human traits. We can see what values and traits these cultures saw as being important in a person by those traits imposed upon such a sacred animal. The eagle is seen as courageous, swift, and strong. He has great foresight and knows everything. "In an eagle there is all the wisdom of the world." (Atwood) During the Sun Dance the eagle is the facilitator of communication between man and spirit. The Crow may be accompanied by a dancing eagle in his visions, the eagle "instructing him about the medicine acquired through the vision." (Atwood) The eagle's feathers can cure illnesses. During the Sun Dance a medicine man may use his eagle feather for healing, first touching the feather to the sun-pole then to the patient, transferring the energy from the pole to the ill. It is the buffalo, however, that makes up the main theme of the Sun Dance. In various stories it was the buffalo that began the ritual. The Shoshone believe that the buffalo taught someone the proper way to carry out the dance and the benefits in doing it. Buffalo songs, dances, and feast
The Gwaii Haanas Totem Poles represent and commemorate ancestry, histories, people, and or events. Each totem pole is designed differently with beings or crest animals. These markings show a family lineage and the rights and privileges that each family held during the time they lived in. Some totem poles honoured a specific event or person, and others are visual representation of kinship. These totem poles don’t really tell stories, they are documents of how each family lived or what they did. Totem poles were first brought up by the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest. During the First Nations they had what was called memorial or commemorative poles. These poles were often created, by their successor,
To warm the teepee up during the cold months of traveling, the fire pit was also useful for cooking. First Nations are known for their beautiful totem pole that is hand crafted and carved by First Nations. The pole of the totem pole is made out of red cedar. Totem poles were first made for telling stories and display animals and family ancestors. There are six main different types of totem poles, each totem pole is a representation of family history. Every totem pole has a unique story to it and is most likely to be one of the most recognizable cultural symbols. They would all go to the ceremony lodge or also known as the sweat lodge. There will be one person who is responsible for keeping the fire pit on and putting the hot stones in the center of the ceremony. These ceremonies lodge are mainly for spiritual cleanliness and healing. At the start of the ceremony, everybody would say their prayers to God or the Creator. During the ceremony everybody gets out the lodge and then goes back in to prevent health hazard. When the ceremony is over and everybody said their wishes a feast would be
The strong trees and mountains are symbolizing the protection from the newcomers. They are powerful and will not let anything in their path stop them from achieving their goal, taking over the country from the indigenous people. The trees have sharp points on the end of them. The trees, along with the mountains, are portrayed as a form of protection for the Raven and totem pole. They are protecting the totem pole from damage and falling down. The skies are dark purple and black representing the new people coming to take over. The dark colors and winds are intimidating. They symbolize the danger the Nootka people are facing. The indigenous people’s land is being taken over, and there is nothing they can do to stop it. The country and people around them are all too powerful. Now, they need to worry about protecting themselves and let go of the land they love.
“One general truth that threads throughout the Native American spiritual beliefs is the belief of the Mother Earth spirituality” (Coll). They often called earth their mother and called father the air. The earth to the Natives is very sacred to them and is the most important thing to them. Most of the ceremonies were in some way revolving around the earth and they called earth “home.” Most of the ceremonies were practiced for many years and were passed down through generation to generation. The Native Americans didn’t have a book like the bible or any language that was written. One big thing they had was Totems. These were everywhere in their tribes and it was supposed to represent people and the animals that represented them. The Indians were supposed to have 7 spiritual animals and the many animals on the totems were supposed to represent all the person’s spiritual
In 1998, a Na’Na’Kila Institute was established that helps protect and the development of the Haisla culture, including language. The Na’Na’Kila helped bring back the Haisla totem pole (Gyp’sgolox) that was removed in 1929 and was missing for more than 60 years. In 1991, it was discovered in the Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm. On July 1,2006, the totem pole
All aboriginals are linked to the Dreamtime through their totemic creation ancestors, whose stories are passed on through generations. Just as they would care for their family or tribe, they are obliged to care for their ancestral spirits existing in their land. It is important to remember that ancestral spirits are not necessarily ‘Gods’, but instead they are natural features of the land. As the Ancestor Spirits travelled the land, they taught the Law. When Aboriginals say they have a spiritual connection to the land, this relationship exists through the Law developed at the period of formation that includes a system of totemism. A totemic being represents the original form of an animal, plant or other object as it was in the Creation Period. The Kumbumerri Yugambeh people’s totem is the Eagle. ‘What is meant by totemism in Aboriginal Australia is always a mystical connection, expressed by symbolic devices and maintained by rules, between living persons, whether as individuals or as groups or as stocks, and other existents—their ‘totems’ —within an ontology of life that in Aboriginal understanding depends for order and continuity on maintaining the identities and associations which exemplify the connection.’ (5.3) Totems not only create a sense of belonging and spiritual connectedness to the land and others in the tribe, but they also offer hints to the person's
Buffalo, sometimes bison or elk skin was brought by the man after hunting for the exterior and poles were either made by him or traded for. It was quite usual to pay a horse for five poles. Trees were scarce on the plains so poles were a rare and valuable commodity. During cold weather the men also placed an extra piece of hide around the top of the teepee to keep warmth in. Having fires in the centre of these dwellings meant the need for an escape for the smoke, and a hole was left at the top of the tent for this purpose. These teepees could often be between twelve and twenty feet tall so placing the extra skin was no easy feat. The men also, with permission of their wives painted the exterior of the teepees. This was usually done during winter when hunting was limited. Scenes depicted usually included animals, historical battles, celestial bodies and personal
The sculpture on South Campus at Moravian College commonly known as Moravian Roots One and Two, who was created by Steve Tobin in 2010 has a significant meaning behind the moderately new sculpture. There are two of the same types of sculptures in the same place, just distance away from one another. This sculpture seems to be abstract, since we are taking the form of what it looks like to create a meaning, which can be something different in other people’s eyes. The sculpture is a dark black shade that naturally blends in with the surroundings, therefore making it blend in with its natural surroundings. The negative space between the roots are easily seen since its roots are based in various directions, showing us how far the roots of the sculpture and realistically Moravian has grown. There is no base or pedestals for these two sculptures who go hand in hand together, but it is roughly around five feet standing upward and going in sporadic directions, to signify differences. They are roundly shaped with carved pointed edges giving the image that it is like a tree root or branch, being slightly pointed on the top. The inner parts of the “tree roots” are textured off to have a little dots making it a bit rougher than the soft and smooth outer sides that we see from a distance. There seems to be no said real front or back side to this piece because the tree roots go in different directions, therefore giving the observer a chance to decide which way they would like to view it.
Ultimately, the totem pole is symbolic in the story because it represents the Indigenous people in Canada. In King’s short story, the museum workers are constantly trying to remove the totem pole from the museum as Walter states that, “” the totem pole is not part of the show, and we need to move it someplace else”” (King 14). This quote accurately demonstrates the controlling nature of the museum workers because they attempt to remove the totem pole numerous times, but each time is as unsuccessful as the last. This correlates to Canadian history with the settlers trying to eliminate the Indigenous people in Canadian Society which was also unsuccessful. Additionally, another example that proves the controlling nature of the workers is witnessed when Walter attempts to find the owner of the totem pole instead of just leaving it in the show. Considering this, the whole notion of ownership is very different in Indigenous and non–Indigenous cultures. Indigenous culture believes that everything is to be shared and no one is an owner of anything. This concept is complete and total opposite in non-Indigenous culture as everything belongs to someone.
Sikhs also wear two significant articles of clothing, the kirpan, and the turban. A kirpan is a ceremonial sword that they carry around. While a turban is a scarf that wraps around their head. The kirpan is one of the five kakars, which are five articles of faith, and is a small dagger that translates as "mercy and bless". A baptized Sikh is supposed to wear it always (Schwartz, 2011). Sikhs also wear a length of fabric around their heads, commonly known as the turban, which originated from the