Totem poles back in time and even today, are raised for different reasons. These two are house posts to support large roof beams that would make a large dwelling for several families that were related.
I read at the Museum that they also stood for large decorations representing the supernatural ancestors and history of the chief. These two carvings, because of the exaggerated features but some naturalistic features and proportions and because they are deeply carved are distinctive of the Kwakwaka’wakw tribe.
House Front Poles are crests of the owner of the house. The poles tell stories that are known in the family and are part of their history.
This is a Haida Interior House Post, made of red cedar around 1850 or before that. It supported one of the roof beams but also it displayed the history of that family.
You can see some more photos of the totem poles in our trip to Vancouver and why we decided to take this trip this year. I could back any time and see it all over again. I loved seeing them and learning all about them.