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Date:10/24/2014 7:51:13 PM
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Hey Capt.
Okay, today is a totem pole lesson! The Tlingit people make poles for different occasions. Mom's favorite is the shame pole! That's when a person is too cheap to return a favor by having a potlatch party for friends. There is one in Alaska erected for Seward! He went to a potlatch, didn't know the customs, and left with a ton of gifts. The Tlingit waited in vain for him to come back and return the favor, then they built him a shame pole facing the ocean.
(A potlatch is a party where you eat, drink, and make merry, then the host opens his treasure room and empties it by giving everything away to his guests. There is an expectation of reciprocity, though.)
On Falco's page there are some pics of the totem pole in place at the museum. On my and Peppino's pages, there are pics of Tommy Joseph at work, the Eagle and Raven clan symbols, and a miniature totem pole, made to sell to tourists.
Totem poles tell a story, usually only legible to the family who has it in front of their house. This pole tells a story about Tommy Joseph's father and a friend. At the bottom is the clan, they are Eagles, I think. (Mom can't remember off hand) As you go up the pole, you will see 2 guys and a boat. The story is that one of the guys (right) was seal hunting, shot the seal, but didn't kill it. He then grabbed its tail in his teeth and grabbed the flippers with his hands, to keep it from getting away. His friend, in another boat, saw him struggling with the seal and came to his aid, killing the seal. They were both able to go home with seal meat that night. The guy with the seal in his mouth is Tommy Joseph's father. Above them is a salmon, which is another food source for the Tlingit people.
Okay, that's today's lesson, heehee. Hope you are having a wonderful day and getting lots of love. Hugs, Willie
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